In our second look back for 2013, we were getting rather obsessed in February with exterior cladding with a green wall. And how easy it can actually be…
On Friday we looked at how living green wall systems can be used to bring a bit of the Pantone colour of 2013, Emerald Green into an interior space, even though the green wall is most often seen outside.
Of course, as well as bringing a bit of colour into any space, green walls have many air purifying qualities and can even be used to grow edible crops, making then a great space saving choice for residential and business premises. But, as we detailed on Friday, the green wall system is a technical beast.
There are however ways to create a living green wall effect outside with relative ease, as this project, the Art Barn in Greenwich, USA by Robert Young Architecture demonstrates beautifully.
Instead of the traditional panel green wall system that we have come to know, this project takes the effect right back to it’s literal roots – with climbing plants.
The structure is covered with an open mesh type cladding panel which allows the plants, in this case white wisteria, to cling on and scramble up the building. The wisteria acts as a natural rain screen and provides insulative shading in summer, whilst still being a separate ‘skin’ from the building beneath.
This separation provides the feeling of a shield, but also ensures that the vigorous nature of the climbing plants do not do any adverse damage to the structure of the building as they grow. There does seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to climbing plants – good living screens or potential structural nightmares, but if treated with care and attention, with this type of separation, you can have the best of both worlds and is usually the path we adopt with clients with similar projects.
This type of green wall ‘cladding’ is a great way to cover an unsightly building, garage, or to provide a skin for a larger building, just like the example above. Install an open mesh system first, slightly separated from the structure, then choose your climbers. Think of it as a modern, freestanding trellis project and you are pretty much there.
Of course, this type of green wall does take a lot longer to create the end result, but climbing plants which are relatively vigorous can be chosen to cover your chosen structure. You could even mix up your planting with edible climbers too, making the green wall productive as well as aesthetically pleasing.
So, why not think about your own green wall this year? make use of a structure and get growing.
(image via Inhabitat)