Last month, we looked at the 20 most-visited residential projects featured on ArchDaily during 2020. Spanning four continents and 15 countries, the styles and designs of these projects varied widely, and covered a wide range of different climates, visual contexts, and client needs. However, we noticed a commonality among a select few projects located primarily in Vietnam and Indonesia: the prevalence of hanging gardens and vines. Below, we look into this trend in more detail, discussing how it is used within these specific projects and more generally. If ancient Hellenic sources are to be believed, hanging gardens have existed at least since antiquity, when the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon were described by writers such as Herodotus and Philo of Byzantium. Today, vertical gardens have proliferated alongside the interest in indoor plants and gardens, especially in suitable climates. This trend in architecture reflects a simultaneous uptick in interest toward sustainability and a more pastoral, back-to-nature lifestyle. In the projects listed below, several of the architects mention moving forward from an industrial past—with its concomitant environmental effects—toward a better future, or at least a secluded, fresh, and natural outpost amidst the chaos of modern city life. Indoor gardens, and the visual allure of hanging plants and climbing vines, provide the setting for such a life. These vertical designs simultaneously conserve space and embed the plants within the atmosphere of the house, ensuring the space feels as much a garden as it does a comfortable home.
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