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When everybody is planting apples a visionary plants oranges.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Client: Makers Construction Ltd

Install Date: 2018

INTU worked with Makers Construction on a full car park refurbishment for the main car park at their Milton Keynes location. As well as improving traffic flow through the car park, creating larger spaces and better way finding, intu was keen to install several areas of living wall and car park green infrastructure to provide a stunning visual welcome to all visitors.

Project Brief

A common misconception of Milton Keynes is that it’s a concrete jungle. One of the key elements of this project for intu was to show its visitors a vibrant and nature-inspired Milton Keynes.

Biotecture worked with Makers and INTU to highlight four main areas where green infrastructure could be utilised to improve the visual aesthetic of the car park and make a great first impression on visitors.

A large area on the front of the car park, wrapping the main vehicle entrance, smaller areas on levels two and three, which include way finding signage built into the living wall, and an innovative use of ivy growing up tension wires on the up ramps within the car park all help to improve the overall visitor experience.

In addition to the obvious visual benefits, this green infrastructure is helping to improve air quality by trapping particulate matter from car exhaust fumes.  This is particularly important for people walking to and from their cars inside the car park where this particulate matter would otherwise be trapped within the building.

Highlights
  • Main car park serving the intu shopping centre in the centre of Milton Keynes
  • Part of a  £2.8 million re-development of the shopping centre car park
  • Finalist in the British Car Park Awards and shortlisted for the Green Parking Award
  • Large area of living wall on the front entrance, smaller living walls on parking levels 2 and 3 and ivy curtain walling to the internal upwards ramps

Our Approach

When designing the planting plans for the various areas of living wall within the car park , it was important for us to consider the different requirements of the particular location including the aspect of  the wall, lighting levels in the location and whether the wall was overshadowed. It was also important to ensure that there was a consistent look and feel to all areas of living wall. As a result, three different planting designs were created that utilised some of the same plants to give them something in common but also included plants unique to each location to provide individual accents

It was also important to use plants that would not excessively drop spent flowers or leaves as this would result in increased maintenance in the car park and a potential safety risk, especially on the ramps. To address this, Biotecture selected plants that are evergreen and do not drop their leaves and minimised the range of flowering plants included in the planting plans. Clever use of plants like lavender that don’t drop spent flowers means that it is still possible to have plenty of colour. These will be trimmed regularly as part of the ongoing maintenance regime carried out by Biotecture.

 

Biotecture have also installed a large outside living wall at the Bell Court shopping centre in Stratford-upon-Avon. You can read all about that project by visiting the case study page.

Plants have a natural calming effect on people and, as the walls establish themselves, we expect wildlife to make this their home as it has in Biotecture’s other locations. We hope it will become an attraction for people to visit us and show why Milton Keynes is unique and a great place to live and work

Shelley Peppard General Manager, intu Milton Keynes
Download this case study