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When everybody is planting apples a visionary plants oranges.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Client: Canary Wharf Group

Install Date: 2021

Biotecture delivered PlantBox living walls in six prominent locations across the Canary Wharf estate to enrich the public realm and contribute the client’s ambitious sustainability goals. Using our freestanding, stackable and modular system we were able to deliver a big impact within a short timeframe.

Project Brief

Over the last 20 years London’s Canary Wharf has transformed from a derelict dockland into a thriving business centre and lifestyle destination. Canary Wharf Group (CWG), who own and run the Canary Wharf estate, understand that the world can’t become sustainable unless cities start working with nature and they are working hard to play their part. CWG has an ambition to use the Estate as a living test bed, creating places where nature and people can thrive together.

Biotecture were commissioned to contribute to that vision by delivering a number of living walls across the Canary Wharf estate to enrich the public realm and create a pleasant and relaxing environment for workers, residents, and visitors. The living walls at Canary Wharf will also help to improve air quality, attenuate rainwater, and increase Biodiversity.

  • Supports the client’s wider sustainability goals
  • Creates positive first impressions and enriches the public realm
  • Freestanding, stackable and modular PlantBox system
  • Fast delivery – 8 weeks between initial visit and installation
  • Future proof – can be moved or extended
  • Only restraint fixings required
  • 3,000 PlantBoxes – 12,000 plants

Our Approach

Biotecture worked with the client to design and install living walls in seven prominent locations across the Canary Wharf estate, including key gateways and entrances. The living walls were constructed using our PlantBox system, which is freestanding, stackable and modular.

We were able to offer a fast turnaround, with the first walls installed just eight weeks after our initial visit. Our project team created visualisations to ensure the client fully understood our proposals and what we could achieve. The PlantBox troughs were planted up in our nursery before being installed on site in several phases. This ensured the living walls looked great from day one.

The PlantBox System

Launched by Biotecture 2020 PlantBox is an alternative to our integrated BioPanel living wall system.

Ground bearing: The system is loadbearing and only requires restraint fixings, this meant that the living walls at Canary Wharf didn’t need structural approval which allowed us to offer a fast turnaround.

Futureproof: As a modular system PlantBox can be extended, reconfigured or moved allowing flexibility for the future. Biotecture are also working on a design for biodiversity boxes which can be retrofitted into the living walls which will help clients contribute to biodiversity net gain.

Low Maintenance: Each PlantBox trough has a 1.8L water reservoir and capillary felt allows plants to draw up the water they need. The cascading overflow system allows the walls to be watered easily and  avoids the risk of overwatering and water wastage. On larger projects irrigation systems can be integrated.

Biotecture are currently working on phase two which will be completed by May 2022.


Photos: Eric Orme, Place Photography 


All works by Biotecture were completed in a professional and timely manner and we are extremely pleased with the final results and we have had so much positive feedback from colleagues’
and Tenants’. Thanks for a great job.

Paul Griffiths Landscape Manager, Canary Wharf Management
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