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When everybody is planting apples a visionary plants oranges.

Matshona Dhliwayo

Client: Land Securities

Install Date: 2011

This living wall is one of five different living walls that we have now installed and still maintain for Land Securities. It is on the management suite building at the heart of New Street Square and, especially during the winter months, it is the only bit of urban greening in the area.

Project Details

Land Securities contacted Biotecture after the original living wall in New Street Square that had been installed in by others showed serious signs of distress and failure.  They carried out a full and thorough review of living wall companies before selecting Biotecture based on the quality of our portfolio and our professional ‘can do’ approach.

The existing failing living wall needed to be replaced and our client wanted to do this with the minimum of fuss and effort.  We were therefore asked to produce a design and fixing details to suit the existing building that required little or no structural changes.

The living wall needed to look lushly ‘green’.  That was what the client wanted – for all year round coverage of a camouflage type design pattern with a robust plant palette.  We were also asked to consider including some native species including particularly some typical London ferns to help with the biodiversity and urban greening in the City of London.

 

Highlights
  • 240m2 of living wall on three aspects – East, South and West, contributing to the urban greening of the area.
  • Replaced a failing living wall installed by others
  • Completed and unveiled on site in just three weeks
  • Forms the backdrop for summer events in New Street Square.
  • Planting in a camouflage type design with lots of native plants that are good for biodiversity.
  • Fully maintained by Biotecture since installation.

Our Approach

We took the client through the reasons why the pre-existing living wall that had been installed by others was failing and gave them the confidence that they needed to know that the way we work meant that this level of failure would be impossible with our system.  This included some fundamental design aspects as well as the right zoning of both the irrigation and the species to suit the different aspects.

The irrigation design was carefully considered to ensure that we were able to control the different aspects of the walls independently.  For example, we needed to be able to apply more water to the South elevation than the others in high summer.  We even made sure that the system was flexible enough to account for the reflected glare from the glass of an adjacent building.

To Learn more about why the Biotecture Living Wall system relies on hydroponic growing and how hydroponics help us control water usage and nutrient delivery and provide a more stable and predictable root zone for the plants you can read our ‘why hydroponics?‘ page.

For the planting design we worked on a random patterning of plants in a camouflage pattern with species swapping out in the sunny aspects as required.  The patches of plants are surrounded by matrix planting which is a repeating pattern of 3-5 plants which form low background to foil and contrast the main groupings of plants.  The overall effect is a very pleasing and richly textural collage of planting.

 

“We recommend Biotecture because of the importance we place on selecting a supplier who has the expertise and commitment to design, install and maintain a successful large-scale green wall .”

Neil Pennell Director of Sustainability and Design, Land Securities
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