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Paradise Park living wall scrapped

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Islington Council has scrapped plans to rebuild the defective living wall on DSDHA’s Paradise Park Children’s Centre in north London

A newly elected council in May called for an immediate review of the project, looking at cheaper alternatives to the mechanically irrigated cladding.

However, prior to the May election the council had commissioned living wall expert Biotecture to restore the product. The Clarke Associates-designed product had previously failed and the project is now on hold.

The wall dried out completely and died last August (pictured) because of a faulty pump, according to AJ sources (AJ online 18.09.09). However, the official explanation has yet to be revealed.

The wall cost £100,000 when it was built in 2006.

Councillor Richard Watts, executive member for children’s services at Islington Council, said restoring the wall failed to represent ‘value for money’.

He said: ‘Planning rules mean there does need to be a green wall on the building, but this can be built for far less money by simply growing plants up a conventional wall.’

DSDHA’s co-founder Deborah Saunt, said ‘Clarke Associates’ green wall was an exciting innovation at Paradise Park, and we hope that a satisfactory solution is found to the problems experienced to restore this green feature to the building.’

A spokesperson for Biotecture defended the technology. He said: ‘We’ve just done [a living wall] for a library in Grimsby; the council are absolutely delighted with it.’

The local authority has ruled out legal action against the parties involved. But a statement confirms the council ‘continues to reserve its position on any claim’.

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