Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
Cardiff's bird and bat condo complex
A striking 1,000-unit residential building project in Cardiff, Wales, has only one prerequisite for potential tenants: They must have wings.
Wed, Sep 09, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Wing critters in the Cardiff Bay
area of Cardiff, Wales, you’re in luck ….
Animal Wall, a Gitta Gschwendtner
-designed piece of real estate with 1,000 “units” for birds and bats has been built alongside the southwestern edge of a proper “human” housing development
at Century Wharf that also boasts 1,000 residential units. Four different apartment sizes (well, nesting boxes) are available on the 50-meter long wall to accommodate birds and bats of different sizes and species. The nesting boxes are made from woodcrete, a wood/concrete mixture, and an ecologist assisted in their design.
Animal Wall was built to serve as a buffer between the new development and a riverside pathway and to also counteract the decline of wildlife that has been triggered by rapid development in Cardiff Bay.
Following the decline of the natural habitat in Cardiff Bay over recent years, I was very interested in exploring ways to introduce nesting places in my artwork for Century Wharf. I have loved the opportunity to match the number of flats created in the housing development with the number of bird and bat boxes in my design for the Animal Wall.
I love the idea of building a structure — even though this particular one appears a bit too Brutalist for my tastes — that’s part ecological artwork/part urban animal sanctuary. It's a thoughtful way to encourage wildlife to return to an area that they may have been forced out of. But in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’d want to live adjacent to a giant bird and bat apartment complex. I really can't imagine more noisy neighbors. I’ll leave the bathroom situation to your own imagination, but I’m guessing the dark-colored Animal Wall will soon be completely streaked with white. Oh well ...
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