The Organic Architecture Guild

A Sustainability Union

Michael Singer Studio, IBN-DLO Wageningen, Netherlands, 1999 – Alterra Institute for Environmental Research


Courtyard Environment, Michael Singer Studio,1999

Alterra Institute for Environmental Research

IBN-DLO Wageningen, Netherlands, 1999  

The Alterra Institute and the Dutch government invited Michael Singer to collaborate on the design of the exterior and interior gardens for its new headquarters in Wageningen. Singer worked closely with architect Behnisch and Partner and landscape architect Copijn Tuin en Landschaps Architecten on this state of the art "green" building. The gardens function as the "lungs and kidneys" of the building, cleaning air and gray water as well as providing comfortable climate control without air-conditioning. Water is first diverted to an outdoor constructed wetland and pond. From that point it is piped into the first atrium garden pool next to the building's library. This pool contains fish and plantings that absorb toxins. From the library pool the water is sent to the second atrium water feature for its final cleaning. This pool has a shallow-patterned concrete plate with water plants growing on its surface. The water drips into a deep cistern for storage and recycling in the building's irrigation system. Singer's design also provides research and experimentation sites, within the garden, for some of the environmental scientists working for the institute.

 Artist: Michael Singer

Design Team: Ken Radtkey and Brook Muller


Courtyard Environment, Michael Singer Studio, 1999

Project Manager:

David Loomis

Builders: Craig Maldonado, Matt Anders, Dennis Callahan, and David Hyman

Architect: Behnisch and Partner

Landscape Architect: Copijn Tuin en Landschaps Architecten

Netherlands Representative: Etienne Schoenmackers

Photography: Edwin Walwisch and Michael Singer

Walking Suface, Michael Singer Studio


Office Environment, Michael Singer Studio

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