Historically, the march of progress has always claimed some victims. The Industrial Revolution saw an uptick of pollution levels. Development in personal computers and smartphones has produced landfills of obsolete technotrash. Advances in mining have produced The first casualty of technological advance has always been nature. But we know better–we understand nature and technology can coexist.
In 2017, Cubesystem Builders Corp headed the construction of the Podium green wall. It was the largest green wall at the time, comprising 65,000 separate plants sectioned across 2,700 square meters. It is irrigated automatically and maintained via pruning and fertilizing. To the Mandaluyong pedestrian, the Podium green wall is a vertical oasis in the slate-grey of the city.
On top of the aesthetics, the Podium green wall has a utilitarian purpose. The large number of plants can effectively produce enough oxygen for 17 people for 24 hours. The process of photosynthesis can sap the ambient heat of the environment, thus lowering the temperature in the bustling metropolitan space. It was created to provide comfort, both physical and emotional, to people.
Now, the Podium green wall has a new purpose: promoting biodiversity. Since its construction, the green wall has now become a sanctuary for many species of birds and insects. The very definition of our philosophy of biophilic design has its roots in loving life and the different forms that life takes.
Seeing birds nesting where they normally couldn’t may seem small. But it’s a small step towards the larger goal of safeguarding this planet’s resources. A bird’s nest doesn’t simply mean birds can live in the green wall; it means they have deemed the place suitable to raise their young. It is a sign of hope, a promise that we as humans can build spaces that are truly, naturally alive.