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The perfect green cut


Will we soon see Tarzan and Jane swinging on vines between high-rise buildings? A dream from the Jungle Book? Not necessarily, if you live in Singapore. And this kind of sustainable architecture is now spreading green shoots through Europe, creating a great new opportunity for the tool industry.

Grubby brick walls and dingy houses covered with graffiti are not everyone’s idea of an ideal city environment. Maybe that will soon change because, in spite of the occasionally ugly spread of urbanisation, many city people still long for some living greenery about them – coupled with the taste of sustainability. In response, architects now give a country-kick to city life by the incorporation of a good chunk of botany both inside and outside new high-rise projects.

For example, the Singapore Woha architectural practice now builds residential and office developments with narrow towers, bridge- and balcony-terraces and exuberant gardens. The result is that large buildings are visually converted into a loose group of well-ventilated, mostly naturally cooled dwellings. For example, the Parkroyal high-rise hotel has more than 15,000 square metres consisting of several sky gardens, swimming pools, waterfalls and walls covered with climbing plants. Planned for completion in 2014, the outer walls of the 30-storey Oasia Downtown tower will support a Pergola-like structure covered by luxurious tropical climbing plants over its entire length. Amazingly, the green area will be 750 percent larger than the hotel terrain; a matted hippie mane, against which the clean western architectural style would look rather bald. The only downside is the cost of a regular trim for the hairy facade.

Happily, this represents a new opportunity for the maintenance crew and their suppliers of hedge cutting gear: the same trend is now seen in Europe in cities such as Paris and Milan. Great news for suppliers of gardening tools.

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