The UK’s first living wall in Islington, North London, has died just three years after it was built.
The DSDHA-designed £1.5 million children’s centre opened in 2006 with more than 30 different plants growing through a steel mesh on the 30-foot facade.
But the once-green frontage (see the full building review in AJ 17.08.06) is now just a host of brown, wilted plants.
A spokesperson for Islington Council said: ‘The wall was the first of its type to be installed in the UK and, as with anything new, carried a certain element of risk.
‘Of course we’re disappointed that it hasn’t thrived. It seems this could be down to its design and we are looking at the best way to restore it.’
A spokesperson for DSDHA added: ‘As architects for the Paradise Park Children’s Centre, DSDHA are greatly dismayed at the current state of the vertical garden installed on the building and remain actively involved with the London Borough of Islington in addressing the problems to do with the landscape and irrigation of this innovative scheme.
‘Since the problem has appeared, both Clarke Associates and the services engineer Pearce Associates have been addressing these technical issues with DSDHA’s overview. It is of great distress to all parties that the situation has not been resolved to date.’
The living wall when first complete:
An amended statement from Islington Council (25.08.09)
‘We are trying to work together with the other partners to resolve the situation. At this stage it’s much more about solving the problem rather than taking legal action
‘The Paradise Park Children’s Centre opened in 2005 and the green living wall there was the first of its type to be installed in the UK.
‘The vertical wall with plants growing from two sides of the building was supported by recycled rainwater. It was intended to increase the wildlife inhabiting the park.
‘It thrived initially and even won a national award but, as with anything new, it carried a certain element of risk. We are currently identifying the best way to restore it.’