For the first major renovation to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry office in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the government contacted a local architecture and design firm, Sadar + Vuga. When the work ended, a new façade adorned the building—a tangle of crisscrossing green beams covering tall glass windows. Inside the building, a dull green light shrouds the upper floor, which is enveloped by the screens. The effect feels like walking inside a fibrous plant. (Continued)
Long troughs brimming with tropical plants hang from ceilings, and as the plans grow, their vines and flowers stretch toward the ground. Troughs swirl and curve from ceiling to floor. Still more greens sit in pots on the floor, including in the executive room, which is often used for ceremonial receptions, award ceremonies, banquet luncheons, and meetings for the extended management team. The building also features many glass ceilings, almost like skylights, allowing the sun to dose man and plant in brilliant light.
Thinkgarden, a "creative business lounge" and meeting space in Milan, Italy, is based on the idea that nature promotes creativity. And that there's just too much stress in meetings already. So at the center of their building is an area where hammocks hang down, just a few feet from where more studious employees sit at their desks. A circle of boulders near the hammocks allows workers a change, too, if they tire of their cramped chairs. (Continued)
Even if a worker is sitting at a Thinkgarden desk, nature is never far away. Bright pink and red tulips are perched on low cabinets. All the furniture is a bright white, making the greens stand out. An interior garden with flowering trees and billowing shrubs has taken over an entire corner. Then there's a different kind of green, too: Next to the reception area is a carefully manicured putting green, perfect for anyone who thinks best on the golf course.
Trails of leaves extend across the walls of the Sugamo Shunkin Bank's Tokiwadai branch. The walls are stark white, creating a vivid contrast to the leaves, which were stenciled and painted in 24 vibrant and varied colors, from pale blues to fluorescent yellows. The addition of seven indoor courtyards, each with stringy tall trees and soft grasses, give the bank's interior an appearance of a magical forest, says the building's designer, Emmanuelle Moureaux. (Continued)
Ever notice how a fallen leaf may be pockmarked with holes? The bank's exterior façade channels that idea. Seventeen square holes are scattered over the exterior in all different sizes. The inside of each hole is painted as bright as the leaves indoors. And just like the interior walls, the exterior is a stark white.
Lunch break! Employees at HOK London, a branch of the global architecture firm, head to the picnic green. A long strip of grass runs through a central corridor, inviting workers to relax, kick off their shoes, and rub their toes in the grass. Seersucker-striped deck chairs line the grass, and a picnic table with a classic red-and-white checked tablecloth sits at one end. (Continued)
Despite abundant greenery, perhaps the greenest part of HOK London was its actual construction. The company's plentiful resources allowed it to become the first LEED Gold building in the United Kingdom. Designers selected low formaldehyde and low volatile-organic compounds when selecting the finishes, furniture, and carpet. Large windows attempt to make the most of the natural light—at least when London's sky isn't a milky gray. —Abram Brown