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The mere insertion of plants into the built environment can enhance comfort, satisfaction, well- being and performance.

Biophilic Design

Client: Buckingham Group Contracting

Install Date: 2016

The living wall at the newly renovated Bell Court Shopping Centre in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon is part of a large refurbishment project to improve the existing town centre location, including the associated NCP car park.

Project Details

As part of the £30 million redevelopment of the Bell Court Shopping Centre in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, Biotecture were specified by BMD, the landscape architect on the project to supply and install the living wall on the South elevation of the adjacent car park and East elevation of the courtyard containment wall. The living wall on the pedestrian entrance of the car park adds an exciting and seasonally changing appearance to what would otherwise be a simply functional space.

Bell Court that opened in 2017 has been transformational for Stratford town centre as a space with unusual boutique shops and bistros. There was also a focus on creating public realm space with investment being made in public art, new seating and lighting and a living wall to top off the improvements. The area directly in front of the living wall is used as outdoor seating for the cafes and restaurants making this a very pleasant space to enjoy lunch with friends or an evening meal.

Highlights
  • Living Wall situated on the South and East elevation of the car park
  • Forming the backdrop to an outdoor seating area for restaurants nearby
  • Installed on site in 25 days
  • Living wall in two locations, 15m x 3.6m to the courtyard containment wall and an additional 52.5m2 to the adjacent car park elevation
  • 5 million people visit Bell Court shopping Centre every year and visitor numbers have increased by 23% since the refurbishment works

Our Approach

Artist Louisa Forbes was commissioned to create several sculptures for the site. Puck, who sits in the centre of the courtyard space and owls depicted in flight, give a nod to the Shakespearean heritage of the area.  These owl sculptures are fixed back through the living wall to the support structure behind  and mounted on steel  support poles.

To see another example of a project where there are sculpture elements that interact with the living wall you can visit the Courthouse Apartments in Westminster portfolio page.

The client’s design team had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve with the planting plan. They wanted curved flowing shapes that would offset the very linear nature of the building. Biotecture worked within this brief to design a planting plan that included low growing plants, especially in the areas where the sculptures were to be mounted so that the sculptures would appear to “float” in front of the living wall, rather than recede into it.

Flowering plants in shades of pink, mauve and white were selected to add seasonal interest. It was important that the living wall should look different as the plants underwent natural yearly cycles. White accents were particularly important to help reflect artificial lighting in the evening  giving the living wall added interest for people eating outdoors in the evening.

We are pleased to see the local honey bees enjoying our green wall

Bell Court Stratford Instagram
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