People leaving Covent Garden tube station could soon be staring at a wall covered in plants.
An office building opposite the tube station will be transformed into a ‘vertical park’ with a living wall covering over 1,500 sq ft of the building facade to be revealed next month on the corner of Long Acre and James Street.
Over 8,000 plants and 21 different species will be planted over an area of 1,500sq ft, and the wall will have varying tones of green with red, pink and mauve, designed so that the wall contains colours throughout the year.
It will be watered by a drip irrigation system which will be run on up to 80% rainwater harvesting dependent on the weather and season.
Designed by living wall specialists Biotecture, who abseiled down the building’s façade to plant the living wall, the plants chosen have been considered for biodiversity providing for birds and insects as well as for their environmental benefits in improving air quality.
Green walls are increasingly popping up on the sides of buildings, with examples next to the Marylebone Flyover, the back of the “walkie talkie”, an office block on Southampton Row, and more recently, the Postal Museum.
The walls are usually seen for their aesthetic and environmental benefits, but one that’s less often talked about is sound absorption. Solid flat walls reflect road traffic with minimal absorption, but the broken surface of the green wall, along with the softer planting is very good at breaking up the sound waves and reducing the refraction.
In a noisy city, anything that helps reduce the volume of traffic noise is as much to be applauded.