It’s been a good year.
You’ve emphasised to us how nature is a necessity in our spaces, inside and out, with your constant enthusiastic support of our living walls and work on re-introducing nature to our spaces.
The guides we created for you on how to build for Biodiversity Net Gain have not only been a huge success since their release in 2021, but were endorsed at COP27, where they were praised for effectively combining details around the demands of the BNG regulation with the technical aspects of integration.
But what we want to share with you here are the top 7 living walls of 2022 – picked for their community impact, vibrant design, how they have been set in the context of the project by the architects and more. Let’s start from the bottom.
#7 Tottenham Stadium
Not only on the perimeter of a famous stadium, the swathed planting design draws your eye to the N17 sign. We love how the planting works so well with the brand here, but the impact is not just aesthetical. The 4.3 tonnes of soil on this façade (along with the plants) is providing an alternative habitat for local wildlife in this dense urban area, which is mostly devoid of nature.
#6 27 Mortimer Street
Small but no less noticeable. This is the only interior living wall that makes the list, loved by everyone for the stunning vibrancy of the tropical plant palette. Suddenly, waiting for the lift isn’t quite so boring.
#5 The Christie Hospital
No, it’s not just the living walls that mean this one makes it on the list. It’s the way the architect (AFL Architects) has combined natural materials to create such a simplistic, sleek finish. Working alongside Maple, our planted façade system was interspersed with their vertical timber fins (rainscreen cladding) system, allowing for better ventilation for the car park. Over the whole car park more than 40,000 plants were used, covering 430 square metres.
#4 KFC Chelmsford
Trapping over 4kg of dust every year, these two living walls not only enliven the drive-thru of Chelmsford new KFC branch, but help to mitigate the fumes of the cars as people wait for their food. But that’s not the only reason why this makes it to #4. Whilst we weren’t quite able to include the 11 herbs and spices KFC is famous for, we did include Rosemary and a perennial aromatic herb called Caryopteris incana, which you’ll be able to notice by the scent.
This design really plays on all the senses: sight, touch and smell.
#3 St Mary’s Student Accommodation
What we like to call the hairy one. Wrapping around the corner of the building as well as surrounding the windows, these living walls at St Mary’s student accommodation in Bristol can even be seen from the high street. Highlighting how this modular system can indeed be integrated around windows and cornered facades, this is an excellent technical example.
Nature, especially in such unique and design-led form, brings so many benefits to our mental and physical health. In this case, not only the students will benefit but anyone walking the bustling high street too!
#2 Kildare Village
Coming in at number 2, is the beautiful length of vibrant planting in Ireland – to be more specific, the car park of the Kildare Shopping Village. Not just because it’s the largest living wall in Ireland, Kildare makes it on this list because of the stunning planting design and vivid colours that come through all seasons.
Truly a great example of how it’s not about being the biggest or the most eye-catching, is this community project.
Initiated by the community, for the community, we were just small players helping in the implementation of their vision – and we love the result. What was once named ‘the ugliest wall in Wiltshire’ is now anything but, adorned with more than 3,500 plants, including bug hotels and bird houses.
The community response, environmental impact and clear improvement it has made to the local area and the local people’s daily lives about town makes it our number 1 living wall project of the year.
So, what’s next?
You’ll see lots of exciting new projects and ideas coming next year, including the installation of Europe’s largest living wall, in Manchester.
Read more about that one here:
We’re also working on what could beat what is currently the world’s largest living wall in Qatar (Khalifa Avenue, which stands at over 7,000 square metres). You’ll hear more from us on that in the new year!
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