Green walls (also known as living walls or vertical gardens) are a valuable addition both for the buildings they cover as well as for the urban areas that host them. Plants making up these walls have an important role in reducing the temperature fluctuations at a wall’s surface. This translates into less energy consumption and a longer building’s lifetime. Furthermore, green walls will block high frequency sounds, and when constructed with a substrate or growing medium support can also block low-frequency noises.
As regarding the public benefits, living walls improve exterior air quality, reduce the urban heat island effect, provide habitat and nesting places for various bird species, and last but not least, they provide aesthetic stimulation even where it would not otherwise be found.
Green wall can be installed both indoors and out, but I have chosen 5 beautiful examples of outdoor designs.
1. Tree House condominium – Singapore
In April 2014 the 24-storey green belt at Tree House condominium in Bukit Timah, has entered the Guinness World Records for the world’s largest vertical garden. But the stunning green wall is more than just a unique architectural feature. Providing 2,289 m² of natural insulation the garden is expected to achieve energy savings of between 15% and 30% arising from reduced usage of air-conditioning.
2. Quai Branly Museum – Paris
Opened in 2006, the Musée du quai Branly is the newest of the major museums in Paris. The museum celebrates the arts and cultures of non-European societies such as the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The museum has an impressive garden that stretches over 18,000m². A notable feature of this garden is the green wall created by awarded botanist and artist Patrick Blanc. The living wall covers 800 square meters of the facades of the museum, and 150 square meters of the interior walls. It is made up of more than 15,000 plants from 150 different varieties, coming from Japan, China, the Americas and Central Europe.
3. Pont Max Juvenal, Aix en Provence
This living wall across a bridge in France is another gorgeous project bearing the signature of Patrick Blanc also known as the modern innovator of ‘green wall’ vertical gardens. The project was completed in 2008.
4. Guildford Town Centre, Surrey – Canada
Entitled ‘Mountains & Trees, Waves & Pebbles’, this impressive green wall is made up of 120 unique plant species and over 50,000 individual plants. It was designed by Vancouver-based Green Over Grey for Guildford Town Centre in Surrey, British Columbia. At over 10,000 square feet (10,150 square feet to be exact) , is is by far the largest living wall installation anywhere in North America.
5. Semiahmoo Library, Surrey – Canada
this beautiful living wall spreads over nearly 3,000 square feet and consists of over 10,000 plants and 120 different species. Before the completion of the ‘Mountains & Trees, Waves & Pebbles’, this project held the title of the largest outdoor green wall of its kind in North America. The plant species include ground covers, large perennials, shrubs and small trees. It was designed by Vancouver-based Green over Grey – Living Walls and Design.