Vertical Garden Installations
In today’s world, with limited space in cities, architects and gardeners are turning to a new concept in order to bring some green into the concrete jungle: vertical gardens. Unlike regular gardens, which lie flat on the ground, vertical gardens are designed to climb into the sky. This makes them more difficult to design. First, you have to deal with gravity. Secondly, you have to accommodate for the sunlight each portion of the garden will receive. A plant that thrives in sunlight won’t do well on the north facing side of a building. Likewise, plants that can’t stand the sun need to be placed towards the north, rather than the south. With those things in mind, here are five incredible vertical gardens:
Back in 2007, the Italian city of Milan was facing a crisis: too much pollution, not enough green space. To deal with this problem, Boeri Studio presented the Bosco Verticale, Italy’s first vertical forest. For the first few years, the project seemed like a pipe dream. In fact, it took over two years for experts to decide what type of plants and trees would best thrive in such a vertical garden. However, as construction began, more and more Milan residents turned into believers. Both towers have been completed, and the Bosco Verticale is scheduled to open in late 2013 under a construction budget of 65 million Euros.
Installed in the fall of 2009, the Westfield Living Wall is the largest living wall in Europe. Developed by Scotscape Living Walls, the lush green of the Westfield Living Wall contradicts with two of the other walls on the shopping center, which are both covered with electronic advertising. To keep the wall green, the installation contains a fully automated irrigation system. During Christmas time, thousands of red and white cyclamen were planted to create a flower snowman and Santa Clause to give the wall a more festive feel.
The slate grey of a concrete overpass is one of the least aesthetically pleasing sights in the modern day metropolis. Completed in 2008 by Patrick Blanc, the Point Max Juvénal Overpass is a vertical garden like no other. Rather than driving beneath a boring concrete overpass, drivers and passengers get to pass under a luxurious vertical garden. The Point Max Juvénal Overpass turns what was once an eyesore into a thing of beauty while also improving the environment.
Back in 2011, the National Gallery in London decided to run a special feature: they wanted pieces of living art for their gallery. Scotscape was up to the challenge, creating a living wall that was a replica of a Van Gogh painting, “Wheatfield with Cypressus”. As the wall was a piece of art, weekly visits were scheduled to ensure the vertical garden maintained it’s resemblance to the painting. Surprisingly, the garden only took three days to install, and visitors were able to enjoy it from July to November 2011 when it was taken down again. The irrigation system was reused.
While not one particular garden, more and more “green houses” are popping up. These aren’t the greenhouses that hold flowers or plants for gardeners – rather, these houses are made up of vertical gardens. Each side of the house features a beautiful vertical garden instead of a plain wall. In order for green houses to survive, designers and architects need to create a water membrane to ensure the plants stay moisturized all year long. For those that live inside the green houses, the extra expense and upkeep is worth it. Rather than coming home to the same suburban beige as others, they’re greeted to a beautiful green treat.