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

Biophilic Design

St. James’ Hotel Living Wall, Buckingham Gate

  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2014
  • For Taj Hotel
  • 117m2
  • Publicly viewable

Project Details

  • Hotel Living Wall
  • Freestanding frame
  • Masks service areas
  • Planting design inspired by peacock eye

Biotecture partnered with our approved installers on this 117m2 living wall in St. James’ Court, installed as part of the major redevelopment of the exterior of the hotel. Previously the area was dominated by unsightly service areas, distracting from the stunning historical architecture and blighting the surrounding promenade, which contains restaurants and outside eating areas. The living wall was therefore installed on a freestanding frame, rather than attaching to a wall, to mask these service areas and add some natural texture and colour to the courtyard area.

The living wall design was chosen to reflect the identity of the hotel: confident, elegant, sophisticated, yet relaxed and with a sense of fun. The design achieves this with a unique pattern, taking inspiration from the peacock eye. Heuchera ‘Marmalade’ and Heuchera  ‘Southern Comfort’ form the eye, spreading across the corner of the wall, with Liriope spicata embellishing it with purple flowers in summer. Swathes of colour and texture extend across the length of the wall, given by Heuchera  ‘Palace Purple’ and the flowering plants Viola odorata and Sarcococca humilis.

The plant colour palette draws on the colours within the hotel surroundings; predominately plum, terracotta and light jade. The plants were chosen based on their foliage, colour, texture and movement. They are all hardy, evergreen and suitable for the site conditions: sheltered, partially shaded and with good air movement.

Whilst the intentions of the wall were purely aesthetic, a number of secondary environmental benefits are provided by the living wall. These include temperature regulation, giving increased energy efficiency to the building, and pollution absorption. To learn more about the benefits of outdoor living walls you can visit our ‘Exterior Benefits‘ page