Michael Chen’s Upper East Side Townhouse Wins R&D Award for Nanobiome Building Skin

TITLE: 2016 R+D AWARDS Citation: Nanobiome Building Skin
SOURCE: Architect Magazine 

DATE: Friday, June 20, 2016
See the original article at www.architectmagazine.com

Boston Valley Terra Cotta client MKCA is to be awarded a citation in the 2016 Architect Magazine R&D Awards for the Nanobiome Building Skin, a conservation-minded integral vertical garden facade system with a strong ecological design focus developed for an Upper East Side townhouse project. The green wall planters were manufactured by Boston Valley (see posts about the project) and the jury praised the project for innovation in both digital design and sustainability.

Below is an excerpt from the citation. Read the full article here.


Though green walls sound nice in theory, they can be a mess in practice. The mounting armatures often are complicated and costly to build; vertical irrigation easily becomes uncalibrated; and plants receiving uneven water levels or sun exposure quickly die out.

For the Nanobiome Building Skin, a green wall for a Manhattan townhouse, local firm Michael K Chen Architecture (MKCA) tackled these issues by using data and modeling to specify everything from the plant species and their arrangement to the manufacture of their containers. The result is a green wall perfectly tuned to its surroundings and ecosystem. Read More…