Quai Branly Museum Plant Close-up

Vertical Garden (Mur Végétal) Living Walls by Patrick Blanc

Vertical Garden Exterior of the Quai Branly Museum, Paris by Patric Blanc

While he is often misattributed as being the inventor of living green walls in the more cursory online publications — quite an absurd status to bestow upon anyone who has only been working since the last quarter of the 20th century — Patrick Blanc is certainly the botanist who brought architectural plant installations to prominence.

Green Wall in Vancouver by Patric Blanc

Blanc’s ingenious patented Mur Végétal (Vertical Garden) system, which involves layers of felt membranes and integrated irrigation pipes, has enabled him to create these vibrant and complex installations in virtually every major city throughout the world.

Patric Blanc Mur Végétal in Veillet Studio, Paris

Vertical Garden above 'The Driver' in London by Patric Blanc

Although his Vertical Garden concept can be applied to sheer vertical surfaces in both interior and exterior settings, Patrick Blanc’s work is predominantly found adorning public-facing facades of commercial buildings. On the Caixa Forum in Madrid (pictured below), the vibrant green wall contrasts brilliantly with the rust red of its neighbour’s Corten steel exterior.

Caixa Forum Vertical Garden by Patric Blanc

The Oasis of Aboukir at Night

The piece that seems to have attracted the most attention though is his ‘The Oasis of Aboukir’ installation in Paris which features a bewildering 237 different plants species. The 25m high Vertical Garden covers 5 storeys and offers a more organic alternative to the previously blank concrete facade.

The painstaking diagram of L’Oasis D’Aboukir by Patrick Blanc detailing plant species.

The painstaking diagram of L’Oasis D’Aboukir by Patrick Blanc detailing plant species.

The Oasis of Aboukir Vertical Garden Installation in Paris by Patric Blanc

Close-up of Athenaeum Corner Living Green Wall by Patric Blanc

On a load-bearing wall or structure is placed a metal frame that supports a PVC plate 10 millimetres (0.39 in) thick, on which are stapled two layers of polyamide felt each 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick. These layers mimic cliff-growing mosses and support the roots of many plants. A network of pipes controlled by valves provides a nutrient solution containing dissolved minerals needed for plant growth.

The felt is soaked by capillary action with this nutrient solution, which flows down the wall by gravity. The roots of the plants take up the nutrients they need, and excess water is collected at the bottom of the wall by a gutter, before being re-injected into the network of pipes: the system works in a closed circuit. Plants are chosen for their ability to grow on this type of environment and depending on available light.Patrick Blanc on his Mur Végétal System

Patric Blanc's Home Office with Vertical Garden and aquarium floor. Living the dream.

Patrick Blanc’s Home Office with Vertical Garden and aquarium floor. Living the dream.

Athenaeum Corner Living Wall by Patric Blanc

Living architecture is something of a staple here at Homeli and if you’d like to see more then check out our archives, or our feature on 5 houses with green roofs.

Vertical Garden in the Icon Hotel, Hong Kong by Patrick Blanc

Quai Branly Museum Plant Close-up

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