Living Walls

The design, creation, systems and care of green or living walls

Biomembranes for living buildings

NOTE: This article was first written in 2006, so some aspects have been updated to reflect current realities. Biomembranes is a term I’m borrowing from biology (the structure bounding a cell) to describe the outer skin of future self-sustaining buildings. I have stated elsewhere that I believe that for the built environment – and therefore

Read More 

The (near) future of urban landscapes

UPDATE September 2022:  Given the increasing urgency of climate change and the overwhelming stresses this will place on our civilisation for the near, medium and long-term future, I now doubt this scenario will ever come about.  A glimpse of what might have been, maybe, had we taken climate seriously and managed to move through that

Read More 

Maintenance of Green Walls

We are now a decade into the explosion of living or green walls.  There have been many successes and some notable failures along the way, some of of which may be system-induced and some caused by inadequate or inappropriate maintenance regimes. Assuming we now have systems that work at least reasonably well, what is required by

Read More 

Living Walls

There is something incredibly exciting about living walls.  Stacking green plants on the vertical plane on buildings, where you’d think they just should not be, goes against the odds.  Yet nowadays they are almost commonplace, and most people have encountered one somewhere.  They cling to life with extraordinary tenacity, usually in a growing medium only

Read More 

20 Fenchurch Street Living Wall

The Walkie-Talkie building, infamous for melting cars, has one of the UK’s largest green walls, to the South side of the building, facing North.  I designed this wall as my last commission for Biotecture, the living wall company I conceived and co-founded. They were in turn commissioned by Willerby Landscapes. The design went through many permutations

Read More 

Green Walls – where next?

Is there a “next place to go” for green/living walls? Absolutely there is – there’s probably two next places to go – in opposite directions, seemingly.  First we have a growing need for the mitigation of environmental factors which are largely of our own making; air pollution, rising temperatures, storm and waste water management and

Read More 

New Interior Living Walls at Wilson Street, London

I recently visited newly installed walls at Wilson Street, London, which I designed for Biotecture.These were a joy to behold with lush new growth on the two main walls on the ground floor reception, and later walls to basement areas which were designed and planted up slightly later. foliage detail Basement stairs

Newsletter Launched

I launched my newsletter this week on vertical greening, sending it out to clients and those who’d signed up here or on the website.  From the number of views and feedback, (considerably higher than industry standards) I’d say it was a success!  The aim is to inform interested parties of news and developments in the

Read More 

Internal green wall for Aveda

A new wall has just been installed at the Aveda Institute at High Holborn.  An unusual design, it is a column wrap-around, which gives some design and technical challenges. Because it was not possible to retrofit drainage into the building (a common problem when buildings are not owned by the occupiers), a recurculating, tank-based system

Read More 

When Green Walls get Greenwashed…

Reporters always have to grab a headline, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when the new green wall near Victoria station started grabbing headlines such as “London’s largest living wall prevents flooding”.  It’s a misleading headline to say the least: A, it’s not the largest wall, that “accolade” (if size is all that counts) belongs

Read More