Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Living Walls or Vertical Gardens

A vertical wall of greenery is not only aesthically pleasing in concrete jungles, but it also significantly cools the wall.

The vertical garden is not just ivy growing up a wall, rather the plants are rooted in the wall. It is closely related to a green roof.... simply a green roof suspended vertically.

Previous to the Olympics in Vancouver, I had been seen pictures of living walls(aka vertical gardens, green walls, plants walls, biowalls), but I hadn't been able to get up close to one until I saw this one on display during the Olympics. The picture below looks a bit like it could be a bunch of plants at a nursery, waiting to be purchased, doesn't it? However this small panel is hanging vertically and while he plants have not filled out yet, you can see the various colours and textures have created something visually appealing:
To explain the concept, from Wikipedia:
"In vertical gardens, plants are rooted in fibrous material anchored to a wall. Water trickles down between the sheets and feeds moss, vines and other plants. Bacteria on the roots of the plants metabolize air impurities such as volatile organic compounds."
To further develop the idea of using various leaf colours and textures Patrick Blanc has designed many incredible vertical gardens around the world. This one is on the Marché des Halles in Avignon, France:

The overpass below is Pont Max Juvénal, in Aix-en-Provence, France:
A living wall on the CaixaForum, a new museum in Madrid, Spain:
Made by Scotscape Living Walls, in Scotland:

The walls can also be indoors, such as in offices, hotel atriums, etc, to improve the air quality, but I will save that for a future post.

Some further info and pictures can be seen at these websites: