This solution not only revitalises the space but also protects existing buildings from the sun, improving their thermal conditions. The project was carried out in the industrial complex of Caleras de San Cucao, an area that is known for harsh weather conditions. Without altering each of the unit’s shape or appearance, instead hiding the exterior of the unit beneath a raised garden, covering them visually and at the same time protecting them from the sun has improved thermal conditions within each structure.
The project features a complex structure of metal strips that forms a weaved pattern where planters of different depths are distributed randomly. When it rains, the planters, made of geotextiles and perforated bottoms, filter the water.
The selection of plant species was carried out in collaboration with the gardener responsible for the maintenance of the industrial complex. Varieties were selected on the basis that they demonstrated an ability to adapt to a hostile environment, with strong thermal fluctuations, frequent fog and solid particles in suspension. Secondly, visually striking species were selected to take advantage of different flowering periods and shades of the leaves to generate some colourful contrasts.
By choosing this sustainable alternative to shade and cooling solutions, the architects and project managers have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve comfortable working climates with a little help from nature, perhaps Australia could take a proverbial leaf from Spain’s book and put our natives to the test?