The planter brick wall is designed as a combination of traditional masonry units and units that can support vegetation. Most plants do not need much, if any soil but they do need nutrients. The planted bricks will be fed water and nutrients through drip irrigation lines that ware built into the cavity of the masonry wall.
This system has the potential to counter heat island effect in big cities through evapo-transpiration, pollution conversion, and my the light, reflective color of the bricks. Plants with shallow root systems such as Rosemary, Lavender, Sage and a variety of succulents may be planted in the bricks and the edibles harvested through the openings in the wall. The planted wall will help mediate the temperature of the microclimate surrounding the building, buffer sound and filter the air.
The planter bricks are made by direct digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping technology. Ceramic particles are printed and held together with an organic binder and then fired in a kiln, just like traditional bricks. The bricks may be assembled in a load-bearing cavity wall condition or installed as a traditional masonry curtain wall. The plantar bricks can be installed new or retrofitted.
PROJECT LINK: The Planter Brick
PROJECT TEAM: Rael San Fratello with Molly Reichert
PHOTOGRAPHY: Rael San Fratello
3D Printed Ceramic and Concrete