Those claiming that "extra-terrestrial" architecture came to Graz only with the Kunsthaus do not know the glass houses by Volker Giencke.
Amidst bourgois villas in Schubertstraße, three converging slanted parabolic cylinders in acrylic glass arise. Their ideal layout allows lavish growth of plants from four different climate zones inside.
The old glasshouse from the early 20th century was not replaced by the new one. It is listed and still standing in the botanical garden of Karl-Franzens-University. In good neighbourhood with the new (type of) glasshouses which since their opening in 1995 have attracted numerous journalists of international architecture magazines.
Orientation and structure of the glasshouses allow a light transmission of 98%. The highest value so far achieved internationally. Thanks to slightly curved, double-walled acrylic glass elements framed by a minimum lightweight structure. Supply pipes are not visible as they are partly integrated in the structure.
Inside, four climate zones are replicated, with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 24°C and a humidity of 50% to 80%. The tropical or warm house, for instance, houses tropical plants, orchids and mangrove plants. Mediterranean vegetation with citrus plants, eucalypti and the like can be found in the cold house. Vegetation of South America and Austrialia grows in the temperate house, while cacti and other plants loving aridity are in the succulent house. Wooden gangways and bridges lead visitors through four different climes.
Temperature is regulated first by the hot-water heating system integrated into the aluminium pipe structure, and second by a cooling system spraying periodically a fine mist of water droplets, which drops the temperature in the glasshouses instantaneously by 5°C.
+++ By the way +++
The glasshouses are publicly accessible as a "showhouse". But not only scientists, or people interested in botany and ecology make use of them. At a Sunday breakfast, enjoying readings or live music you may feel as if you were sitting in a (public) living room.