Vertical Gardens | Walls & All
Far from merely an aesthetic architectural treatment, living walls have numerous benefits for the environment and the inhabitants of buildings themselves. From purifying air and insulation (and resulting decreased energy costs) to sound absorption, these vertical gardens enhance the quality of their surroundings.
A striking example in Lisbon by RA Architectural and Design Studio (rebelodeandrade.com) has walls that are completely covered with vegetation (above), creating a vertical garden filled with around 4 500 plants from 25 different Iberian and Mediterranean varieties. This 100 square metres of urban greenery not only creates a green lung in a built-up area, but a connection to nature in the midst of the city.
Boutique hotel Ellerman House in Cape Town also boasts a beautiful example of a living wall which enhances the exquisite natural oceanside setting of the hotel and its indigenous-focused gardens.
These walls don’t only have to be on an exterior surface however, and are even more effective at creating a connection to nature when used in an interior space. The SLOW Lounge by Tonic Design has an incredible example and its natural beauty forms part of the airport lounge’s experience of relaxation, while maintaining its high design ideals. Used indoors, a living wall, as it’s a permanent fixture, replaces the need for cut flowers, which are a less sutainable way of greening the space.
rebelodeandrade.com / tonicdesign.co.za / ellerman.co.za
Text: Julia Freemantle
Photographs: RA Architectural and Design Studio, Ellerman House and supplied