The great wall of Holborn will be a CO2-guzzling machine.
It’s been a good few weeks for London’s eco-credentials, as hot on the heels of the installation of the city’s artificial trees (now eating as much pollution as 275 regular trees) comes another leafy arrival. Last week, the City of London Corporation greenlit plans for the greenest building in town, which will feature a huge ‘living wall’ of plants that’s set to become the largest such example in Europe.
In tearing down and rebuilding Citiscape House, which has been stood vacant for a decade, developers will bring eleven storeys of mixed-use space to the capital, topped with a neat-looking public roof garden that’ll offer winning views of St Paul’s Cathedral. Architects Sheppard Robson are promising a 382-bed hotel, a terrace restaurant and bar, and plenty of office space.
All well and good, however the focus here is on the lean, green, pollution-eating machine that is the living wall. 3700 square meters of flora, composed of some 400,000 plants, will make up the wall, which wraps around the building like a leafy scarf.
It’ll be fed entirely by rainwater harvesting, and designers Phil Allen Design – who are in charge of the building’s landscape architecture – reckon it’ll absorb nine tonnes of CO2 and produce seven tonnes of fresh air every year, as well as trapping particulate matter and improving local air quality.
The extensive use of plants continues up on the roof, where the public garden will be filled with native wildflowers, along with ‘garden rooms’ and plenty of seating to take in the views. Best of all, it’ll be entirely free to visit, which is music to our ears. There’s no word on a potential opening date yet, but expect it to be a treat for the eyes and for the lungs when it finally appears!
Why not plan a green getaway, with our handy little guide to eco-friendly city breaks near London!
Featured image: Phil Allen Design
Also published on Medium.