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Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Client: Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios

Install Date: 2017

The living wall at the new Postal Museum in London demonstrates ground-breaking living wall technology with the integration of 5 post boxes within a 21m × 3m elevation consisting of 3,468 plants in the freestanding vertical garden structure.

Project Details

The main entrance to the Postal Museum was bare, with little colour, vibrancy or specific interior design considerations tailored to the initial visitor experience. There was also a new seating area in the café opposite the entrance wall, which further encouraged a design re-think.

The idea of installing a living wall was developed to help welcome visitors and make it clear that they were at The Postal Museum before they’d stepped inside – while the integration of post boxes inside the wall was set as a design challenge for Biotecture to address. The brick structure was not secure enough to hold a living wall, so special consideration had to be given to the support steel structure before sign off for installation.

The post boxes to be featured in the wall were historically very old, with some dating back to the 1800s. The client wanted to be involved and consulted in the plant selection process to make sure the final design was sympathetic to the post boxes and the rest of the courtyard space.

Highlights
  • Situated in the main entrance courtyard
  • Freestanding steel frame structure
  • Completed in 11 working days by two operatives
  • 21m wide × 3m high
  • An events space application has been submitted citing the living wall as an attraction
  • The Postal Museum expects to welcome over 180,000 visitors per year once open – and the new living wall serves as a showpiece attraction

Our Approach

We took the full design on from steel frame to the installation of plant panels and flashings. Many rural villages or countryside post boxes are built into brick garden/house walls with shrubbery. The living wall and post boxes were designed to draw on this inspiration.

We used eight species of plants. A predominantly evergreen colour scheme was chosen in order to avoid a colour clash, and to not detract from the vibrant reds of the postal boxes. The planting design was carried out by Biotecture and submitted to the architect and client for approval. Mounted lighting on the top of the wall was fixed into the top coping. This was used to lighten the courtyard and shadow onto the plants and wall.

A total of four deliveries were carried out for the plants, all steel frames and the irrigation system. Five vintage post boxes were selected to be featured in the living wall, each of which required careful restoration. The weight of the boxes ranged from 45kg–90kg. As such, each post box was drilled to be fitted onto brackets built in the steel frame.

We are really happy with the living wall

Lee Warr Architect, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios

Key Benefits

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Benefit Icon – Key Benefit A

Key Benefit A

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Benefit Icon – Key Benefit B

Key Benefit B

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Benefit Icon – Key Benefit C

Key Benefit C

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Read more about the benefits of exterior living walls

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