2020 ASLA COMMUNICATIONS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: The Seed Bank: A New Approach to the Living Wall / Miridae

To create a new kind of living wall

Project Specs

Design:

“在许多公司选择使用绿墙来传达可持续发展理念的当下,“种子银行”为我们展现了构建生命墙的全新可能,它能够鼓励互动和参与,并通过低技术手段实现植物的传播。相比于依靠风、重力或动物群来繁衍的植物,种子银行采取的是一种更加直接地面向栽培者的方式。通过“种子吧台”,来访者可以清晰地获取关于种子的图解和信息,并将它们带回各自的景观播种,使种子银行得以在这些景观中扩展,并起到恢复环境的作用。”
– 2020年评审委员会

“Where some companies signal sustainability with a green wall, the Seed Bank represents an effort to create a new kind of living wall that encourages interaction, engagement, and eventual plant dispersal through low-tech means. While many flora rely on wind, gravity, or fauna for propagation, this display distributes seeds in a more direct-to-cultivator manner. A seed bar provides visitors with clearly presented graphics as well as information and seeds that they can then take back to their respective landscapes to sow, allowing the Seed Bank to extend into and restore the landscape in which it resides.”
– 2020 Awards Jury

来自 ASLA 对gooood的分享。
The Seed Bank | Miridae

 

项目陈述
PROJECT STATEMENT

该项目的开端是为一家全国知名的建筑公司打造它们位于萨克拉门托市中心的总部绿墙。该公司希望拥有一面可持续、能够体现方位感,同时又不需要费心维护的绿墙。项目团队的想法是通过新的设计来鼓励公司在其建筑中使用对于构建栖息地有着关键作用的本地植物,使人们重新认识到这些常常被忽略的物种所具备的美感与功效。

团队决定为这面绿墙赋予一种截然不同的概念,并将其命名为“种子银行”:它挑战了人们将植物与叶、茎、花联系在一起的传统思路,仅使用了休眠状态中的种子(来自加州本地的重要植物)来突显出通常不被人们所观察到的部分,并以一种具有明确空间感的方式来组织他们,使当地物种与它们与生俱来的、潜在的传播方式形成紧密的关联。

Our project began with a call for a “living wall” from a prominent national construction company moving their regional headquarters to Downtown Sacramento. They wanted a living wall that was sustainable, provided a sense of location, and required little maintenance. We wanted to create something that motivated the company to use habitat-crucial native plants in their construction projects and that would highlight the beauty and the benefits of these often-overlooked species.

Thus, we decided to pursue a different concept for this living wall, one we have titled, the Seed Bank. Challenging the design standard that highlights the leaves, stems, and flowers we typically associate with plants, the Seed Bank uses dormant, live seeds of important California native species to highlight the unseen elements of these plants and to organize them in a spatially-explicit way that ties the local species to their natural and potential distributions.

▲打造绿墙的新方式:种子银行挑战了传统绿墙的形式和观感,提出用休眠中的本地植物种子来打造生态墙。这一概念为客户赋予了支持本地栖息地建设的新使命。A New Approach to the Living Wall: The Seed Bank challenges the look and feel of the traditional “green” living wall and instead proposes a living wall of dormant native plant seeds. This concept arms the client with a new mission to support native habitat. ©Kai Skye

 

项目说明
PROJECT NARRATIVE

简介

种子银行除了其字面上的功能之外,同时还具备肌理和教育功能。首先,“存放种子的银行”是其最基本的形态,它保护着种子的遗传多样性,使其免于变得稀有乃至灭绝。更重要的是,它是一个“活的银行”,种子本身就是令植物得以穿越时间的容器。种子银行展示了一种更加可持续的塑造绿墙的方法,因为相比于传统的绿墙,它所需要耗费的水、能源和维护成本都要少得多。

项目团队的目标并不仅仅是创造出一个美观且维护成本低的装置,更要通过这一创造来对公司的决策产生积极的影响,为员工与合作伙伴赋予动力、语言、知识和资源,从而更好地将以栖息地为关注点的当地景观融入他们自己的项目当中。为了实现这一目标,团队还创建了一个互动式的种子吧台(Seed Bar)和种子地图(Seed Map),它们能够在阐明这些物种的重要性的同时,将种子切实地送到人们手中,并教会他们种植方法和种植位置的选择。

通过对于当地物种的阐释,种子银行得以扩展到更广泛的对话当中,发挥它们在提高社区生态恢复力方面的重要作用。种子银行重新诠释了绿墙的定义,同时鼓励着我们转变观念,逐步发扬这一更具可持续性的替代方案。

种子银行:可持续未来的储备和启发者

建造活动向来以牺牲环境与生态为代价。以美国为例,绝大部分的土地已经被转化为城市、郊区(54%)和农田 (43%),余下的相对未被破坏的土地仅占约3%(2009年数据)。大多数城市和郊区都种植着相同的几个植物品种,主要考虑的是便捷性、美观度以及先例经验。这种做法带来的是一种不可持续的生态条件:昆虫、鸟类和其他野生动物的生物多样性需要依靠多样化的本地植物来维系,而实际上——只有少数几种植物主导着我们的景观,这就导致了物种的迅速衰退(2019年联合国报告)。

情况本不应如此。开发带来的影响也可以是积极且可持续的,尤其是那些致力于连接人与自然的连接的城市空间,对于人类福祉有着巨大的益处。物种多样性还为我们提供了比以往任何时候都更加需要的生态功能:它能够通过减轻森林火灾、洪水和虫灾等日渐频发和激烈的自然事件的影响来增强生态的恢复力。

种子可以非常巧妙地展示出进化和环境如何与其自身的形状和形式产生关联:就如动物一样,它们通过微风、流水和动物媒介散播在空间中,以找到适合自己的环境。而休眠中的种子却能够跨越时间,等待合适的环境来到它们身边——不论是刚刚经历山崩的裸露坡地,还是火灾过后留下的富含碳元素的草地——种子的适应性使其能够在理想的环境条件出现之前一直保持休眠状态。

正是这样的特性促成了种子银行的产生。它呈现为一个8英尺高(约2.4米)、20英尺(约6.1米)长的装置,被设置在客户的公司总部、一栋创新性大型木构建筑的中心地带,鼓励着每天从大厅中经过的人们与之互动和对话。这面墙以其细致、多彩且纹理丰富的设计将人们吸引到种子吧台,每个人都可以随手拿走一份种子地图或几个装有本地植物种子的小纸包。

设计:一个合作的过程

该项目从一位景观设计师和一位生态学家之间的合作开始,逐渐扩大为涉及当地艺术家的项目——后者负责种子银行的实际制造、绘图和安装。

种子银行主要展示了加州的原生草原群落,并从剖面和立面对其进行了描绘。在土壤线以上的位置,15种加州本地植物的轮廓以专业且精确的方式被绘制出来,位于背景处的是一幅色彩鲜艳的海岸山脉(Coastal Range)风景画,当人们驻足观察装置时,也正好面对着实际的山脉方向。

不同于小巧精致的茎叶和花朵,位于地面下方的根部——从纤维状的草根到粗壮的直根——则以夸张的形式被展示出来。这些根部的图解是根据普遍最受认可的数据而绘制,并在此基础上加以抽象化,以突显人们对于植物在地下部分的生物学认知和理解远低于地上部分的这一事实。这些根部被嵌入实心的杜松木板上,并喷涂了鲜艳的背景色,使人想起科学在描绘看不见的根部结构时所使用的荧光图像。每个根部均以其代表的特定植物的种子填充,并采用树脂加以保护。

种子银行共分为5个板块,分别突出了每种混合种子的不同应用。这5个项目类型包括经典草原、后院生境、城市网格、道路用途以及侵蚀控制。不论人们是想在后院建造栖息地,还是修筑能够缓解侵蚀的坡道,种子银行都可以为种植者提供指导,帮助其选择合适的植物。

这5个板块还围绕着“生态型”(ecotypes)的概念进行组织。每个板块都代表了一种不同的生态型,这意味着同一板块内展示的种子均来自于相似的地区,并具有能够适应当地环境的遗传特征。利用生态型进行设计是修复环境的最佳途径之一,因为虽然一个单独的物种可能在多种栖息地类型中生长,但它们仍会根据场地的具体条件(如降水和土壤类型等)而发生演变。捕捉生态型的多样性,就能够提高遗传的多样性并加速物种的进化,这些都是构建能够适应快速气候变化且具有高恢复力的本地生境的重要举措。

除了作为客户的建筑公司外,该项目还汇聚了来自各个领域的合作伙伴,包括当地的原生种子生产者、致力于推广原生草种的非盈利组织以及Jepson植物标本馆,从而能够从不同的侧重点来推进项目。多学科的设计过程促进了合作关系的建立以及对于最佳实践方法的讨论,为长期的合作创造了先例。项目团队希望能够在未来实现更多弹性项目来支持人类与本地生境的共存。

概念的扩展:种子地图和种子吧台

种子银行是一个可扩展的、能够从概念上理解的项目。它能为设计、建造和教育过程中的每一个步骤带来直接且积极的影响。项目团队的目标是通过“种子地图”(互动式的随身小册子)和种子吧台将种子银行的信息以及真实的种子传递到公司员工和来访者的手中,以鼓励他们分享信息和传播种子。种子地图介绍了本地植物的种类,并向读者介绍了什么是种子银行、种子的传播方法以及实际种植的最佳方法。

种子银行与公司总部建筑的其他元素实现了融合,促进了种子在空间中的传播。屋顶空间还设置了两个小型花园,内部种植了种子银行中重点介绍的物种。植物的布局旨在测试物种的传播模式,尤其是鸟类和风媒传播。这也是屋顶花园所具备的一个令人兴奋的潜力:各种植物可以从屋顶向下移动,以它们自己的方式进入城市结构中的那些未被种植的角落和缝隙。项目团队还将继续对这些植物在屋顶以及周围街区中的运动轨迹进行监视和测绘。

种子银行还促进了植物、人、生态系统以及种子供应商的联合。它从实体和观念两个层面实现了种子的“传播”,策略性地将本地植物穿插在城市结构当中,同时提高了建筑商和开发商的生态意识,使其在未来的建筑环境营造中发挥重要的作用。通过学习和推广本地植物和种子对于生态的种种益处,我们得以在后院和社区等不同类型的区域创造具有恢复力的生境,从而更好地应对森林火灾、气候变化和水土流失等更大规模的危机。

▲社交的中心:种子银行被设置在客户的公司总部、一栋创新性大型木构建筑的社交中心,它鼓励每一位访客参与其中,使他们了解到本地生境以及找到最佳生态实践方法的重要性。A Social Centerpiece: The Seed Bank is the physical and social centerpiece of the company’s state-of-the-art sustainable mass-timber-framed building. It encourages engagement amongst its visitors and educates about the importance of native habitats and best ecological practices. ©Kai Skye

 

▲变化的种子:种子银行与公司员工的日常生活产生了密切的联系,并延伸至建筑之外,融入到客户(建筑公司)所做的项目当中。每位访客在离开总部大楼时都会带走实际的种子以及与种子相关的信息,随后在他们生活的社区中传播。Seeds of Change: The Seed Bank ties into the daily lives of the company’s employees and extends beyond the building walls, into their construction projects. Everyone who visits the headquarters leaves with information and actual seeds to spread in their own neighborhoods. ©Miridae

 

▲什么是种子银行?种子银行将种子储存起来并保护它们的遗传多样性,使其免于变得稀有乃至灭绝。种子银行中的种子处于睡眠状态,它们是帮助植物跨越时间的容器。What is a Seed Bank? A seed bank stores seeds and preserves their genetic diversity in case they become rare or extinct. The seeds in a seed bank are not dead, but rather vessels through which plants travel through time. ©Miridae

 

▲根部:实际的种子被放置在植物根部横切面的图像上,每个根部结构都汇集了同一个物种。这些根部以抽象的方式展现了加州的原生草原物种,是根据已知的研究进行设计和解释。The Roots: The actual seeds are located in the cross sectional roots, with one species per root structure. Each root is an abstract representation of a native California grassland plant species and was designed and interpreted based on known research. ©Kai Skye

 

▲种子的来源:项目团队从当地的种子供应商处采购种子,并促进了供应商和客户之间的合作关系。在无法获得普通麻迪菊种子的情况下,项目团队找到了当地的植物群落,并亲手收集了它们的种子。Sourcing the Seed: We sourced the seeds from a local seed grower and connected them with the client for ongoing collaboration. When we discovered that common Madia seeds were unavailable, our team found a local plant community and collected them by hand. ©Kate Hayes

 

▲植物图解的来源:项目团队从Jepson植物标本馆的植物图谱中提取出植物剪影,尽管并未体现物种的实际大小,但它们彼此之间的比例是相对应的。Sourcing the Botanical Drawings:We derived the plant silhouettes from Jepson Herbarium’s respected collection of botanical drawings. While the species are not represented in their actual size, they are proportioned relative to each other. © Jepson Herbarium + Miridae

 

▲制作:项目团队与当地艺术家共同完成了种子银行的设计、绘画、制作和装配。植物的根部被嵌入实心的花旗松木板,并以科学成像的方法为灵感,为它们画上了多彩的背景。树根内部以种子和树脂填充。Fabrication: We worked with local artists to design, paint, fabricate, and build the Seed Bank. We routed roots into solid douglas fir, painted them with a colorful backdrop inspired from scientific imaging methods, and filled the roots with seeds and resin. ©Kate Hayes

 

▲安装:途中展示了设计和安装过程中的最后几个阶段。Installation: These images highlight the final stages in the design and installation process. ©Kate Hayes

 

▲种子银行的布局:在面对这面墙时,观者也将朝向西面的海岸山脉和贝里耶萨峡谷,二者均展示于墙的顶部。五个板块根据它们所展示的生态型从左向右(从南向北)排列。Layout of the Seed Bank: As you face the wall, you face west towards the Coastal Range and the Berryessa Gap, both featured across the top. The five panels are then organized from left to right (or south to north) based on their ecotype. ©Chad Davies

 

▲种子地图:与种子银行配套的种子地图更加细致地描述了该项目的概念、应用和具体的植物。设计团队希望为这个小册子赋予互动性,使它们与种子银行的排列位置保持一致。The Seed Map: A Seed Map accompanies the Seed Bank and describes the concept, application, and specified plants in more detail. We designed the handout to be interactive and to orient and align with the Seed Bank. ©Kai Skye

 

▲本地种子的传播:打开种子地图后可以看到一幅图解,它介绍了种子的传播技术以及墙面上展示的植物。Dispersal of Native Seeds: The Seed Map opens to a diagrammatic map that describes seed dispersal techniques and identifies the plants highlighted on the wall. ©Miridae

 

▲最佳实践指南:种子地图介绍了种子传播的最佳方式。种子吧台内还提供了可以随身带走的本地混合种子包。5个小包内的混合种子分别对应着装置中展示的5个生态型板块。Best Practices Guide: The Seed Map communicates best practices for seed dispersal and is accompanied by a Seed Bar with take-away native seed packet mixes. Each of the five packaged seed mixes corresponds to each of the five ecotype panels of the installation. ©Kai Skye + Miridae

 

▲屋顶花园:从种子银行所在的大厅可以看见两个小型的花池。花池内的种子最终将传播至周围的街区,在萨克拉门托市中心创造更多的本地生境。The Green Roof: Two small green roof planters are visible from the lobby where the Seed Bank resides. Seeds from these plants will eventually spread into the surrounding neighborhoods, creating even more native habitat in Downtown Sacramento. ©Kate Hayes

 

▲屋顶花园实验:项目团队将屋顶绿化植物按照系统网格排布,从而更容易对每个物种的生长和繁衍状况进行检测。其目的是为客户创造一个先例,使其可以在未来的建筑项目中沿用和推广。A Green Roof Experiment: We laid the green roof plants out in a systematic grid so that we can more easily monitor how each species grows and spreads. The goal is to set a precedent for the client to replicate in future construction projects. ©Miridae

 

▲大家的种子银行:种子银行悬挂在定制的酒吧台后方,这里是公司员工们时常举行聚会和社区活动的场所。这样的安排也将促进员工们进行对于生态意识、生态恢复力以及未来建筑环境的最佳实践方法等话题的讨论。A Community Seed Bank: The Seed Bank hangs behind a custom wine bar and is the site of frequent office happy hours, community gatherings, and larger events that include discussions around ecological awareness, resilience, and best practices for the future of our built environment. ©Kai Skye

 

PROJECT NARRATIVE

INTRODUCTION

The Seed Bank has a literal function as well as an inspirational and educational one. In its most basic form, it is an actual seed bank: it stores seeds through time and preserves their genetic diversity in case they become rare or extinct in the wild. And it is living! The seeds are not dead, but rather vessels through which plants travel through time. Our Seed Bank concept is a more sustainable approach to the typical living wall, which is inherently resource-intensive in the water, energy, and maintenance required.

Our goal for the Seed Bank was not just to create a beautiful and low-maintenance installation, but also something that would positively influence decisions made by an impactful building company, arming its employees and partners with the motivation, language, knowledge, and resources to incorporate habitat-focused native landscapes into their projects. To achieve this, we also created an interactive Seed Bar and Seed Map that literally put seeds into people’s hands while explaining the importance of the species featured in the Seed Bank and how and where they should be planted.

Through the story of these native seeds, the Seed Bank taps into larger conversations about the importance of native plants in providing ecological resilience in our communities. It reinterprets the definition of a living wall and encourages us to shift our mindsets to promote this alternative, more sustainable vision.

THE SEED BANK: A RESERVE AND INSPIRATION FOR A RESILIENT FUTURE

Construction has historically come at environmental and ecological costs. Humans have converted the vast majority of land in the continental United States into urban and suburban areas (54%) and agriculture (43%), leaving only around 3% relatively untouched as of 2009 (Tallamy 2009). We’ve planted the same few plant species in most of our cities and suburbs, considering convenience, aesthetics, and precedent as top priorities. In doing so we have created an unsustainable condition where a small number of plant species dominate our landscapes, and the biodiversity of insects, birds, and other wildlife depending on diverse native plants for survival are declining rapidly (UN Report, 2019).

This does not need to be the case. The impact of development can be positive and sustainable, and there is a huge upside in terms of human well-being in creating urban and suburban areas that connect people to nature. Species diversity also provides ecological services that we need now more than ever: it fosters ecological resilience by damping the effects of ever-more-frequent and intense natural events like fires, floods, and invasive insect outbreaks.

Seeds are a wonderful example of how evolution and environment relate to shape and form: like animals, they move through space via wind, water, and animal dispersal to find the right environment. Dormant seeds, however, travel through time to wait for the right environment to come to them, whether it’s a freshly-denuded slope where a landslide occurred, or a carbon-rich grassland where a fire recently burned. These seeds have adaptations that allow them to stay dormant until the ideal environmental conditions occur.

These concepts are translated into the Seed Bank, an 8’-high by 20’-long installation, located at the heart of our client’s headquarters, an innovative mass timber frame building. Easily accessible in the building’s lobby, the Seed Bank encourages engagement and conversation amongst everyone who passes through the space. The wall draws people in with its detailed, colorful, and textured design; they walk away with the informational Seed Map and local native seed packets from the Seed Bar.

THE DESIGN: A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

This project began as a close collaboration between a landscape architect and an ecologist, and expanded to include local artists who physically built (fabricated, painted, and installed) the Seed Bank.

The Seed Bank is a representation of native California grassland communities, depicted both in section and in elevation. Above the soil line, botanically accurate silhouettes of fifteen native California plant species sit in front of a colorful representation of the Coastal Range, which is located to the west, in the direction one faces when looking at the installation.

In contrast to the detailed and delicate plant stems, leaves, and flowers shown above-ground, the below-ground roots are exaggerated to showcase their different forms, from more fibrous grass roots to tap-roots. The roots were drawn based on best-known data and have been abstracted to highlight the difference between our higher-resolution understanding of plant biology above-ground versus our very limited understanding about their biology below-ground. The roots were then routed out of solid douglas fir and spray painted for a background pop of color, reminiscent of the fluorescent imaging used by scientists to estimate otherwise-invisible root structures. Each root is populated by the seed of that particular plant species and preserved in resin.

The Seed Bank is divided into five panels, with each panel highlighting a different application of the specified seed mixes. The five project types include: classic grasslands, backyard habitat, the urban grid, right-of-ways, and erosion control. Whether one is looking to create habitat in their backyard or restore a slope to mitigate erosion, the Seed Bank is a guide for what to plant.

The five panels are also organized around the ecological concept of ecotypes. Each panel represents a different ecotype, meaning the seeds showcased in that panel were sourced from a similar area and have locally-adapted genetics. Designing with ecotypes is a best practice in restoration because even though a single species may occupy a diversity of habitat types, it evolves to the local conditions (e.g. precipitation, soil type, etc.) at each site. Capturing ecotype diversity enhances genetic diversity and facilitates more rapid evolution, which are important steps in building resilient native habitats which can adapt to rapid climate change.

This project brings together a diversity of partners that are oftentimes on different sides of development, including our client (the construction company), a local native seed grower, a non-profit dedicated to promoting naive grasslands, and the Jepson Herbarium. The collaborations were formed and best practices were discussed during the multi-disciplinary design process, creating a precedent for continued collaboration that we hope will build more resilient projects that support the coexistence of humans and native habitat.

SCALING THE CONCEPT: SEED MAP + SEED BAR

The seed bank concept is scalable and conceptually accessible. It has brought direct positive impact with every step of the design, build, and education process. Our goal with the Seed Map, the interactive take-away brochure, and the Seed Bar, is to physically put the information and the seeds from the Seed Bank into the hands of employees and visitors, so they can share information and spread seeds. The Seed Map identifies the native plant species and educates viewers about seeds banks, seed dispersal methods, and best planting practices.

The Seed Bank is integrated with other elements in the headquarters that facilitate seeds traveling through space. Two small green roofs are planted with the species highlighted in the Seed Bank. The plant layout was organized to test dispersal patterns, particularly from birds and wind. This is an exciting potential for green roofs – the idea that species can move down from roofs, finding their way into unplanted nooks and crannies within the urban fabric. Our team looks forward to monitoring and mapping the movement, both on the roof and in the neighborhood blocks surrounding the headquarters.

The Seed Bank supports communities of people, plants, ecosystems, and seed suppliers. It disperses seeds both literally and figuratively, tactically inserting native plants into the urban fabric, while raising ecological awareness to an audience of builders and developers that play a huge role in the future of our built environment. By learning about and promoting the crucial benefits of native plants and native seed, we can all be better poised to solve larger-scale crises like forest fires, climate change, and erosion by building resilient habitat in our backyards and communities.

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