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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

Audrey Hepburn

St. Luke’s Hospital Living Wall, Oxford

  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2019
  • For Benfield and Loxley
  • 88m2
  • Maintained by Biotecture
  • Publicly viewable

Project Details

  • South East Aspect
  • Native plant species given priority
  • Plants included for their ability to trap particulate matter from traffic pollution
  • Flowering plants included to attract pollinating insects

St. Luke’s Hospital is an independent care home that provide both long and short term care. The building in Oxford was originally designed in the 1970’s. Changes in industry standards over the last 4 decades meant that the building was in need of expansion and refurbishment in order to meet the needs of the residents and staff today.

As part of these refurbishment works, Biotecture were specified by Oxford Architects to design and install the hospital living wall which is on the South East Façade. The green wall is positioned over the main entrance to the hospital overlooking the car park where it can have the greatest impact both visually as well as on air quality by trapping particulate matter from the traffic emissions.

To avoid disturbing patients as much as possible a lot of the works were constructed off site and craned into place. The living wall was also planted and grown off site so that when the planted living wall panels were installed on site they would have immediate coverage and because they had already established good root systems they had the best possible chance of staying healthy during the delivery and installation phase. This ensures the most robust and sustainable living wall installation possible.

The living wall is not shaded by any surrounding architecture so the plants benefit from good light levels and a warm, sheltered location. Native species or near native modern hybrids like Hedera, Erysimum and Carex were favoured for the living wall planting design to satisfy BREEAM requirements. We have also woven flowering plants into the design like Lavendar and Vinca minor to provide year round colour, seasonal interest and food and shelter for pollinating insects.

To see another example of a living wall installed at the enterance of a residential care home you can  visit our ‘Care home, Harrington lane‘ portfolio page.