A Fresh Wall of Sustainability

April 18, 2013

Hydroponic growing system in local restaurant

To show the potential of design to respond to a burgeoning global population and dwindling arable land, architecture students have created a thought-provoking solution: growing mint, chives, and basil at a bar. 

It’s not your father’s wine rack. Using local and recycled materials, the students have created the Hydroponic Bottle Wall at Stella’s restaurant in Collegetown. They mounted 24 wine bottles on a double-sided wall and fitted it with an exposed hydroponic growing system. The red wine bottles, specially cut and cantilevering from the wall, serve as growing containers; clay pellets replace soil.

Grow lights softly illuminate the dimly lit bar. The students generated the wall’s wavy surface pattern with 3D software and had it made in the Rand Hall shops.

Students Peter Gudonis (B.Arch. '14), Carly Dean (B.Arch. '14), and Nicholas Cassab-Gheta (B.Arch. '14) designed and installed the wall.

Dean says the wall is a “microcosm of the growing trend of urban agriculture ... incorporating green space, green roofs, growing facades, hydroponics, aeroponics, and other productive technologies in buildings.”

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