The Butterfly Effect

Yeah, I went with the movie title on this one. I still haven't seen it oddly enough. Perhaps if I can finish this newsletter before landing in Vegas I'll watch it. Anyway back to real estate. 6sqft says it best:

"Architecture and urban design research group Terreform ONE has offered a proposal for a 12-story commercial building in the works across from Petrosino Square in Nolita that goes beyond any of the city’s existing architectural curveballs, angles, and anomalies. The non-profit group has revealed plans to create an eight-story-high monarch butterfly sanctuary, or “Lepidoptera terrarium,” that would serve as the building’s façade and line its atrium.

The butterfly sanctuary would be contained within a “vertical meadow” that would cover the building’s facade in a diagrid pattern held in place by glass and a layer of lightweight polymer membrane called EFTE foil. Inside those layers would be a three-foot-deep climate-controlled space. The purpose of this remarkable living façade will be to serve as a breeding ground and sanctuary for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). According to Terreform ONE’s website, the plan “aims to be ecologically generous, weaving butterfly conservation strategies into its design through the integration of monarch habitat in its façades, roof, and atrium. Not just a building envelope, the edifice is a new biome of coexistence for people, plants, and butterflies.

The iconic eastern monarch has declined in population over the last 30 years. The new project will boost the monarch’s presence with open rooftop plantings of milkweed and nectar flowers as well as plantings on the rear façade and terrace to provide a habitat for wild monarchs; semi-enclosed colonies of butterflies within the building’s street-facing double-skin façade and atrium will grow the monarch population. The butterflies will have open access to join the population in the wild, adding to local species population numbers.

The prime downtown location in a busy shopping district will draw attention and help make the public aware of monarch extinction. With a total area of 30,000 square feet, the building, comprised of retail and office space, is relatively small by Manhattan standards for a commercial building. But this verdant vertical plane would make a strong case for a diversity of life within city limits."

Honestly, this is one of the coolest things I've heard in a while. How cool would this be? This takes the term "green building" to a whole new level.

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