Sydney’s Newest Building Isn’t Just Going Green. It’s Literally Green.

Cities the world over are realizing that, with all the recent development, they might be running out of room. There’s barely room for buildings, people and plants. Green spaces are vital for cleaning the air, cooling the city and keeping the residents sane. It’s extremely difficult to create green space in a packed urban area.

In Sydney, Australia, architect Jean Nouvel wanted to create this elusive green space. However, he wanted to do it in a way that worked with the modern city’s existing profile–a compromise, of sorts. What he came up with was One Central Park, a dual-tower apartment and retail complex that rises 116 meters. The towers are 16 and 33 stories, and feature four floors of retail space and 563 apartments above.

The building with its two units and reflector.

The building’s greenery takes a cue from the nearby parkland.

The vegetation grows freely all over the building, like an urban forest.

The buildings is also wrapped in a series of gardens that house a variety of vegetation. Vertical planters and vines climb the panels along the sides of the buildings. In the residential decks, trees and plants grow in miniature gardens. What might otherwise be a sterile-looking high rise has a lush, verdant look.

Each unit gets its own bit of greenery, so even city-dwellers can enjoy a bit of nature. For the apartments that might not get enough sun to sustain their gardens, the reflector shines light on shaded areas. At night, it lights up, but there’s no word yet about how the residents like that.

The reflector allows sunlight to reach plants in shady places.

Each unit gets access to some greenery

The building as seen from above, looking notably green.

In addition to looking nice and breaking up the monotony of the urban setting, city greenery also provides a way to clean and filter the air. It also cuts down on the phenomenon of heat islands, which collect heat from the sun and trap it, raising the temperature of the city and, on a macro scale, the planet. 

Via designboom|images courtesy of Frasers Property and Sekkisui House

Read more: http://viralnova.com/vertical-gardening/

Julie Bishop Describes Serious Diplomatic Relationships With Emoji

Exclusive: World’s first political emoji interview.

Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, simply loves using emojis to make a point. In a BuzzFeed News exclusive, we sat down with her for the world’s first political emoji interview.

Lukas Coch for BuzzFeed / AAP Images

1. We started off with a simple one to get the ball rolling.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

2. But it turns out that her emoji patronus is a monkey.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

3. When asked to hand out emoji spirit animals to others, she gave prime minister Tony Abbott the running man. Is he running to his right?

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

4. And the man tipped to challenge Abbott for the top job got the iPhone. Is that because he loves working the phones?

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

5. Meanwhile, she thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is embodied in the red-faced angry man.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

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6. Bishop is famous for her morning running routine. Does she enjoy a dance also? Maybe.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

7. And when it comes to her downtime…

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8. …she’s just like us tbh.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

9. But what about some serious emoji-plomacy? Let’s put Australia’s relationships into perspective.

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10. Then there’s Australia’s biggest trading partner and Asian neighbour.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

11. Australia’s most intense relationship at the moment is with Indonesia, which is set to execute two Australians for drug smuggling. The presence of “pensive face” is telling here.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

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12. Bishop’s position on marriage equality is “open hands”, which in this case could be interpreted as “jazz hands”.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

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13. The other elephant in the room is Bishop’s soaring popularity, which comes as Abbott’s sinks. So does she want his job?

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

14. And finally, we found out her secret weapon emoji.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

It’s the emoji mind of Australia’s forward-thinking foreign minister.

Mark Di Stefano/BuzzFeed

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/emoji-plomacy