Forget back yards with infinity-edge pools and tennis courts, if one is to be considered a true bon vivant in 2014, the garden must grow directly on the house. Be they lawned-topped mansions, 'flower towers,' or vine-entangled fairy tale cottages, houses cloaked in grasses, shrubs, wild flowers, and herbs are having themselves a bit of a moment in the design world, recruiting fans from Mexico City and Beverly Hills to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Here now, 24 photos showing the diversity (and fairly unanimous beauty) of plant-covered housing:
↑ In Paris' second arrondissement, living wall pioneer Patrick Blanc outfitted a five-story raw concrete façade in strokes of 7,600 plants.
↑ The vegetation, representing 237 species, was implanted last spring, debuting in full-bloom in time for Paris Design Week in early September.
↑ Described by the architects as "a mini lung," this Lisbon abode by Luís Rebelo de Andrade, Tiago Rebelo de Andrade, and Manuel Cachão Tojal boasts walls profuse with 4,500 plants, all 25 species of which are indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula or Mediterranean.
↑ In all, the Lisbon house features some 1,076 square feet of saffron, lavender, rosemary, and more.
↑ Kooky Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana (a.k.a. the Campana Brothers) teamed up with the architects at SuperLimão Studio to cover the edifice of a showroom in São Paulo with thousands—thousands!—of vases filled with snake plants.
↑ OK, so technically this project is a gallery/showroom rather than a house, but the method of verbiage is so unique, it just had to be included. Here's how they did it, according to the architects:
"Over six thousand seedlings have been arranged in hanging vases, working as an origami made of aluminum sheets, including an efficient draining system making the water flow from one vase to the next until eventually reaching the ground."
↑ Movie producer Steve Tisch tapped designer Peter Dunham to spruce up his Beverly Hills home. The vine entangled loggia seen here is just outside the screening room, adjacent to the pool. Photo by Roger Davies/Architectural Digest
↑ Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia went with a layered, lasagna-like approach to the vertical garden, slatting greenery between the dozen slabs of concrete planters.
↑ Actress Julianne Moore, whose "verdant refuge" was featured in a 2012 Architectural Digest, recruited Brian Sawyer of the architecture and landscape firm Sawyer/Berson to bring in the jungle into her New York townhouse. Photo by Christopher Baker/Architectural Digest
↑ In 2009, Bricault Design cloaked its steel-and-wood addition to a house in Venice, Calif., with greenery irrigated via stored rainwater and recycled gray water from inside the house.
↑ A close-up of the vegetation.
↑ Spotted in the annals of Architectural Digest's Design File, this 1929 Dallas house was revamped (including the addition of two new wings) by architect and designer Peter Marino. Photo by Matthew Millman/Architectural Digest
↑ The largest living wall in London is this 3,767-square-foot surface on the façade of the Rubens at the Palace hotel in Victoria. Designed by "green roof consultant" Gary Grant, is a mix of pollinators that The Royal Horticultural Society have dubbed the most likely to attract birds, butterflies, and bees—even in a major city.
↑ The some 10,000 plants are said to reduce surface flooding (they're watered by harvested rain) and air pollution.
↑ A concrete housing block in São Paulo is fronted by this vertical garden. Brazilian architecture studio TACOA also gave the complex rooftop gardens.
↑ Like an ultra-mod Hobbit house, French architect Patrick Nadeau's La Maison-vague is blanketed in an insulating layer—sorry, "fully vegetated shell"—of flowers and herbs. The architects write: "The basic form is to encapsulate within a single mat of vegetation that undulates and floats above the ground, at sitting height (the rim surrounding the wooden shelf is kind of a big bench). The traditional relationship between house and garden is changed, disturbed even, the project encompasses both in the same construction."
↑ Italian architecture firm Act Romegialli converted a storage shed in the Italian Alps into a verdurous box that is somehow equal parts Snow White cottage and Philip Johnson's Glass House.
↑ To make Green Box, Act Romegialli gave the client's backyard building a lightweight steel frame and glassy walls, then pretty much let nature do its thing. Vines slink down the rooftop and over the façade; inside, the architects used reclaimed wood, concrete, stone, and galvanized steel to reinforce the minimalist-cabin feel. More photos, below.
↑ Behind the façade of this contemporary slate house in Mexico City, architect Paul Cremoux installed a three-story vertical garden.
↑ The architect tells Dezeen: "We would like to think about vegetation not only as a practical temperature-humidity comfort control device, or as a beautiful energetic view, but also as an element that acts like a light curtain."
↑ Capella Garcia Arquitectura rather queasily call this project in Barcelona "vegetecture." The 69-foot green wall is grows on galvanized steel scaffolding that were prefabricated with room for planters, benches, and fountains.
↑ Italy and Belgium-based firm Samyn and Partners gave this house near Brussels a glass wall up front and a wrap-around plant installation by French vertical garden maestro Patrick Blanc 'round back.
↑ At the Brussels house the verdure abuts the house's huge wall of window. Here the juxtaposition between the wild and the modern is obvious—and, of course, insanely beautiful.
· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]