Beyond Green Roofs: 15 Vertically Vegetated Buildings

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Vertical gardens bring lush, verdant life to even the coldest and barest of surfaces, both indoors and out. These ‘living walls’ are a big part of the future of green design and technology – they increase interior humidity, purify the air and provide a much-needed touch of nature in spare, angular urban spaces like airports, museums and shopping centers. From skyscraper farms to vertical parks, here are 15 green buildings with stunning vertical greenery, from 6-story elevator shafts to subterranean restaurants.

Edificio Consorcio, Santiago, Chile

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(images via: Plataforma Arquitectura)

The Concorcio Building in Santiago, Chile is one of the world’s most eco-friendly office complexes. It uses up to 48% less energy thanks to the vegetation climbing up its exterior walls, which turns red in autumn.

Bardessono Hotel Vertical Tillandsia Garden

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(images via: Land + Living)

Not all vertical gardens even need soil or irrigation at all. This ‘tillandsia’, or ‘air plant’ garden at the Bardessono Hotel in Yountville, California gives the visual effect of ‘floating’ plants by mounting the tillandsia to metal rods which protrude from the copper wall panel.  They simply need to be misted with water from a spray bottle every now and then.

Urban Plant

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(images via: World Architecture)

This architectural design proposal called ‘Urban Plant’ envisions a new way to deal with producing food for urban city dwellers. The tower has hydroponic vegetable gardens and integrated renewable energy systems that reduce energy use and give urbanites a sense of connection with nature amidst all the concrete.

Musée du Quai Branly

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(images via: FrenchGardening.com)

Perhaps no one is more well-known for vertical greenery creations than Patrick Blanc, who is responsible for the breathtaking living walls at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. The walls are entirely cloaked in plants, from the sidewalk to the rooftop. Blanc devised a patented system that consists of metal scaffolding and polyamide felt stapled to 10mm-thick plates of expanded PVC. The felt retains the water that seeps down from a drip irrigation system mounted at the top of the wall. The Musée du Quai Branly green wall is made up of 15,000 plants and 150 different species.

Parti Wall

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(images via: Archinect)

This outdoor installation, created by ten young architecture and design firms for a newly converted loft building in Boston, transforms a blank brick wall into a lush, green environment. Sedum panels were sewn onto a mesh substrate and fastened to cables for a modern, artistic effect. The prototype is meant to illustrate how Boston’s scattered brick surfaces could become opportunities for zero-footprint public art.

The Moss Room Restaurant

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(images via: EaterSF)

The atmosphere at The Moss Room Restaurant in San Francisco is certainly unlike any other. Diners descend into a subterranean room, housed within the Academy of Sciences, that has a unique feature: a wall covered in moss. Designed by Olle Lundberg, the restaurant features a 40-foot living wall that draws moisture from a large water tank in which African jumping fish will reportedly soon live.

Ann Demeulemeester Shop by Mass Studies

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(images via: Design Boom)

The Ann Demeulemeester shop in Seoul, South Korea features undulating living walls made from a geo-textile planted with herbaceous perennials. The verdant look is even carried into the interior of the store. Mass Studies, the Korean architecture firm responsible for the design, wanted to incorporate nature into what can often be cold retail environments.

CaixaForum Museum, Madrid

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(images via: juanpg, funksturm)

Patric Blanc designed the beautiful vertical garden on the exterior walls of the CaixaForum Museum in Madrid. More than 15,000 plants from more than 250 species cover an entire side of the historical building, built in 1899. The plants are arranged in such a way that they form a painterly design, with arches of color creating a sense of movement.

Unique Potted Vertical Garden

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(images via: CSLab)

We’re not sure where in the world this incredibly unique vertical garden is located, but it sure is impressive. They’ve taken a low-tech approach to covering vast white expanses of wall with flowering plants, each one potted and attached to the wall individually. The question is, how do they water them all?

Topiade Façade for Louis Vuitton

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(images via: Cube Me)

In an attempt to refresh an aging Louis Vuitton building without a major reconstruction, architects Gregory Polleta and Sung Jang came up with a brilliantly simple solution: covering it in a changeable arrangement of topiaries. The project, ‘Topiade’, uses greenery-covered forms that can be changed regularly for a fresh new look.

Midori no Tobira

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(image via: Cee)

Designer Kazuyuki Ishihara created ‘Midori no Tobira’, which means ‘Green Door’, for the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s designed as a Japanese roof garden, for a space that gets a lot of sun and strong winds. Sedum and moss covers nearly every surface, including the walls and roof, giving it a hidden secret garden feel.

Parabienta Green Wall from Shimizu

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(images via: Treehugger)

The ‘wall surface afforestation system’, or ‘parabienta’, was designed by the Shimizu corporation as a lightweight and low-cost way to green up uninteresting exterior surfaces. For about $80 per square foot, a building can be given a whole new look using planted panels of sponge-like polyester-blended soil.

Edouard François ‘Flower Tower’, Paris

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(images via: Design Boom)

Architect Edouard François created the ‘Flower Tower’, a building completely veiled with potted bamboo, in Paris in 1999. The Flower Tower is a residential building bordering a park that has been made to blend in a little better with its lush surroundings. The bright white pots stand out while the bamboo give the residents privacy and a feeling of living in a more rural, natural environment.

Siam Paragon Shopping Center

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(image via: Pseangsong + pingmag)

In another example of Patrick Blanc’s stunning green walls, the Siam Paragon shopping centerin Bangkok Thailand features a lush, rainforest-like cascade of ferns, vines, sedum and moss in various shades of green, yellow, red and purple. The greenery surrounds the building’s 6-story elevator shaft to dazzling effect.

Zurich Airport Hanging Vines

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(images via: Land 8 Lounge)

Cascading vines at the Zurich Airport in Switzerland bring in a little exotic color and texture, serving as an art piece encased in frosted glass. The vines, which are various varieties from faraway places like Malaysia, span three stories and soften the building’s spare, angular design.

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