Fresh Wall of Sustainability

Cornell students have created a thought-provoking solution: growing mint, chives and basil at a bar...

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Via Ezra Magazine, Summer 2013 Issue

To show the potential of design to respond to a burgeoning global population and dwindling arable land, Cornell 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 3-D software and had it made at the Rand Hall Fabrication Shop.

Cornell fourth-year architecture students Peter Gudonis, Carly Dean and Nicholas Cassab-Gheta designed and installed the wall. Gudonis and Dean are members of Cornell Sustainable Design.

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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