Look Up, Look Around #2

4 New Street SquareOne of my favourite new buildings in London is 4 New Street Square, the management suite at Land Securities’ New Street Square development, EC4.  Constructed between 2006 and 2008 on the east side of New Fetter Lane, the estate comprises four large office buildings and this smaller, plant-clad box housing the estate management offices and meeting space.  It is beautifully covered with small cubicles and holes from which plants escape.

Musée du quai Branley, Paris, 2006It brings to mind the “Living Wall” at the Musée du Quai Branley in Paris.  And having recently returned from a weekend in Paris, I couldn’t help but notice the immense number of buildings in the French capital that were covered with climbing vines and ivy.  At this time of the year, the leaves are changing to autumnal colours and the effect is beautiful.  Vertical gardening is, in my opinion, aesthetically pleasing and a great way of creating a greener, more nature-filled space.  Colm, my boyfriend, was quick to point out that some ivy and wall-climbing plants can damage brick walls, seeping into cracks, expanding in holes in the mortar until then weaken the structure.  But walls incorporated with plant cubicles might be a good alternative.

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