Greening the City, exhibition at the DAM in Frankfurt

ARUP, Ingenhoven Architects, MVRDV, WOHA Architects, Stefano Boeri Architetti, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, Heatherwick Studio,

Thomas Graham, Arup, Hufton+Crow, Rasmus Hjortshoij, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Qinyan Zhu, HG Esch, Patrick Bingham-Hall,




It is evident that green plays a vital role in architecture, and we are all familiar with iconic examples of landmarks adorned with greenery. But it’s time to up the ante and think on a larger scale to make our cities greener in general. The DAM exhibition called Greening the City opens at the end of the month, and there is still time to submit green projects to be included on an interactive map.

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Greening the City, exhibition at the DAM in Frankfurt Some buildings in Europe, such as Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forest, are celebrated as setting an example for a new way of greening up our cities. Just a few months ago, we witnessed the completion of the Boijmans Museum’s Art Depot in Rotterdam, designed by MVRDV and featuring a birch forest on the rooftop. And in Dusseldorf, Ingenhoven Architects designed a building whose facade is basically a stunning hornbeam hedge. In Singapore, for many decades, WOHA studio has been creating architecture with green facades and urban farms of tried and tested efficiency.
The exhibition “Simply Green - Greening the City” running at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) in Frankfurt and opening online due to the pandemic, specifically focuses on issues relating to the theme of green in architecture
Can green in architecture improve the climate in cities, reduce heat islands, lower the release of fine dust particles, and boost people‘s well-being? During this point in time, when we have been forced to stay home more than perhaps we would like, there has been a real upturn in demand for green spaces in the city, and it seems that the added value of planting greenery in urban zones is finally being acknowledged. So, the time has come to develop architecture focusing on green spaces, to upgrade urban areas, and to consider green as something more than just its ecological aspect. 
With this in mind, the exhibition addresses the advantages and challenges of urban green, focusing on the greening of houses and roofs in existing and new buildings. In addition to the science involved, the exhibition also looks at the technical opportunities and practical issues. 
In addition to the famous successful green building we mentioned above, the exhibition intends to map what is actually happening in many cities worldwide. So, DAM has rolled out a call for projects, focusing not on urban parks and gardens but on the kind of green that is conquering architecture in cities more and more: where until recently grey gravel rooftops and concrete facades reflected the sun, now herb gardens, forests of trees and hanging plants proliferate. Years ago, the white gable of a house shone bright, now wild vines grow, and vegetables and climbing plants compete for every ray of sunlight in the courtyards. 
Alongside the greening of new buildings, complex horizontal and vertical green systems are gaining ground in new buildings. The dedicated platform connected to this exhibition, https://www.einfach-gruen.jetzt/ poses the question of the actual locations of these green islands, that are so beneficial in terms of the climatic relationship between architecture, tenants and users, and often not easily seen from the street? Who are the initiators, how did they do what they did, and what purpose do the green rooftops and facades serve? Here, in addition to the answers to a questionnaire, you can also send images of your projects that will then be evaluated by a jury, marked on an interactive map and shared during the Greening the City exhibition. An initiative aimed at boosting and spreading green in the city far beyond just a few, iconic projects. The exhibition is a collaborative project with the research section of the international planning and consultancy firm Arup “Green Building Envelopes” and the City of Frankfurt Department of the Environment.

Christiane Bürklein

Exhibition Einfach Grün - Greening the City
23 January to 29 June 2021
DAM, Frankfurt, Germany
DAM EinfachGruen_PocketHabitat_FotoThomas_Graham_Arup
DAM EinfachGruen_100trees_Heatherwick_FotoQinyan Zhu
DAM EinfachGruen_BIG_Copenhill-Kopenhagen_FotoRasmus-Hjortshoj
DAM_EinfachGruen_Call for Projects_Vogelhaeuschen_FotoDAM
DAM_EinfachGruen_EDEN_Singapur_Heatherwick Studio_FotoHufton+Crow
DAM_EinfachGruen_Ingenhoven-Duesseldorf_ingenhoven architects_FotoHGEsch
DAM_EinfachGruen_PARKROYAL-Singapur_Woha_FotoPatrick Bingham
DAM_EinfachGruen_Stadthaus M1_Green City Hotel Vauban in Freiburg_Barkow Leibinger_Foto Stefan Mueller
DAM_EinfachGruen_Vertical Forest_Boeri Studio_FotoDimitar Harizanov