The Salad Building
Paris is full of fabulous architecture, but few recent efforts are as spectacular as Patrick Blanc's green wall at the Jean Nouvel designed Quai Branly museum. Forget green roofs, the towering wall right on the river Seine looks as if some tropical jungle has finally taken its revenge after decades of deforestation and abuse at the hands of man. There's something post-apocalyptic about it, in a good way.
Grown without soil on a continually moistened substrate of felt cladding that wraps the building facade like a wet blanket, Blanc's 'vegetable wall' is a chaos of chlorophyll that puts passersby directly back in touch with nature. If only we could retrofit the utilitarian concrete block horrors of the last several decades with this stuff. Just imagine how it would spruce up former East Germany's lingering plattenbau.