The modern vertical garden, as we understand it today, was first exhibited by Patrick Blanc at the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival in 1994 – the first long-standing garden of this type. Constructing these living walls on a commercial basis demands an understanding of the kind of plants that will be suitable for the local environment, ones that will remain green all year through and will enhance the space by filtering sunlight and allowing ventilation.
As cities get increasingly more populated, building are bound to get taller and open spaces fewer. This is a serious concern especially in high density areas as growing concretization brings with it various health concerns like pollution, obesity, asthma and a slew of other poor lifestyle diseases.
‘Greening’ the surroundings is the obvious answer, but with the paucity of open spaces that rapidly developing areas face – green spaces have become almost non-existent in high density zones of our cities.
Enter Vertical Gardens. The modern vertical garden, as we understand it today, was first exhibited by Patrick Blanc at the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival in 1994 – the first long-standing garden of this type. Today, these living walls, as they are often referred to, are making a presence in not just the high end luxury areas of cities but also in crowded high density commercial and residential zones.
Why vertical gardens could be the future of architecture
- Reduce the heat island effect: A vertical garden of a high rise building generates a micro climate and humidity that help to lower the overall temperature of the structure and the surrounding area by upto 5%.
- Reduced heating and cooling loads: Green roofs and walls work as insulators for the concrete structures and prevent the building from heating / cooling in excess. This eases the load on the energy consumption, facilitating for a greener building.
- Pollution barrier: The hanging plants on the front facade prevent the particulate dust, carbon dioxide and noise from entering the building, while producing oxygen.
- Supports Biodiversity: The vertical gardens create a unique eco-system that supports bio-diversity and a healthier greener environment.
- The nature connect: And most significantly, the living walls satisfy the innate human desire to connect with nature -something that green buildings cannot do.
“I think the biggest thing to highlight is the positive psychological effect vertical walls can have on those who look at them. Instead of there being nothing or maybe a scrawl of graffiti, a simple wall can become something poetic.”
~ Patrick Blanc, the Master of the Vertical Garden, as told to WSJ