Hanging gardens of the world

Hanging gardens of the world
Hanging gardens of the world
Recently we looked at the growing trend of architects designing buildings with gardens in unlikely places, such as on the roof or walls. Here are 10 examples from around the world of buildings that have gone green all over.
Triptych - Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s Patrick Blanc-designed Trio building, which has a 33-metre by five-metre garden on one wall, would no doubt be the 187-square-metre living wall at one of Southbank’s newest developments, Triptych. Rising from levels two to six above the Kavanagh Street entrance, the wall includes 43 species of plants and grasses, selected to withstand the unpredictable Melbourne climate. Gardening firm Fytogreen grew the garden off-site and has also decked out the lobbies with vertical gardens.

Adelaide Zoo – When Adelaide Zoo unveiled its giant panda exhibit last year, the endangered animals weren’t the only attraction. Fytogreen was also behind the creation of the enclosure’s two vertical garden walls, comprising about 10,000 plants encased in biodegradable foam modules. Fytogreen is currently working on Australia’s largest green roof at the Victorian Desalination Plant, which is worth $4.2 million and due for completion in December 2011.

MONA, Hobart – Patrick Blanc’s now global brand of vertical gardens has made it across the Tasman to the Museum of Old and New Art, or MONA, in Hobart. As if artworks themselves, Blanc’s internal garden walls sit alongside Egyptian tombs and subversive pieces of contemporary art in David Walsh’s $100 million museum.

Caixa Forum, Madrid - Adjoining Caixa Forum, a post-modern art gallery in Madrid, is another Patrick Blanc creation. The green wall complements the nearby Botanical Gardens while making a vivid contrast with the gallery’s rusted red steel façade. This 2007 work is one of Blanc’s larger works. His smallest is “la robe vegetal”, a gown made from plants he created with Jean Paul Gaultier.

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Reykjavic City Hall – This 20-year-old civic building in the Icelandic capital is home to an impressive full-moss walls that runs directly into the waters of Lake Tjornin. Phillip Johnson is promoting the moss wall concept to Australia. “It’s a really resilient form of green wall that changes colour when it dries out, then comes back to life when it rains. It works well on south-facing walls and can have an amazing evaporating cooling effect.”



ACROS Fukuoka building –This unconventional Japanese office building was built on top of precious parkland in Fukuoka City. Therefore, the architects sought to recreate the green space by installing tiers of terrace gardens that step up 60 metres from the parkland below. The building is cloaked in 35,000 plants representing 76 species, creating a cool environment for office workers.

California Academy of Science, San Francisco – Imagine the domed contours of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station, cover it in 1.7 million plants, and you have something like architect Renzo Piano’s stunning living roof at the California Academy of Science. The one-hectare roof mimics the bay area’s hilly terrain and includes native flora that provides endangered insects with a protected habitat.



Waldspirale, Darmstadt, Germany – Literally translating to Forest Spiral, this residential complex is all colours and curves with a truly unique rooftop garden. Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed Waldspirale in the 1990s and became famous for blending bold colours and uneven levels with the natural landscape.



Kensington Roof Gardens, London – Virtually invisible from the street, Europe’s largest roof garden (6,070 square metres) is accessed via a discrete doorway marked simply “99 Kensington High Street”.

Commissioned in the 1930s by a department store magnate, the rooftop includes themed Spanish, Tudor and woodland gardens complete with garden pond and resident pink flamingos. Sir Richard Branson purchased the gardens in 1981.



Elizabeth Street Common Ground, Melbourne – Not all vertical and rooftop gardens are for the rich and famous. For example, this social housing development on Elizabeth Street has a large rooftop garden, which developer David Waldren of Grocon says has multiple functions. “It plays an important part of resident rehabilitation, includes a productive veggie garden and provides a safe place for children who live on the upper floors to play.”

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