I am enamoured by railway parks after hearing of the high profile High Line in New York. I have walked the Parkland Walk in North London and the Promenade Planteé. I am pleased to see a tweet by Dave Meslin about the Railpath in my hometown of Toronto. I grew up just 2.5 km from the start of the Railpath at Dupont near Dundas. Looking forward to checking it out the next time I’m home for a visit.
Parkland Walk in London, December 2010 and Promenade Plantée in Paris, January 2011:
There is also a disused tramline in Vancouver called the Arbutus Corridor – not yet a park, but it would be great to see this regenerated into a public space that can be enjoyed by the local community.
I am gradually getting back to writing. I’ve been busy getting my consultancy business off the ground and have a gazillion things to write about, for this blog and for my business blog. I’m on a train to Paris for a conference this afternoon, so hopefully I’ll have some time on the train to catch up on my writing.
Only fitting then, to post about another living wall in London I discovered a couple of weeks ago. It is on the south-west corner of the Athenaeum Hotel on Piccadilly. The hotel doorman saw me snapping pictures and smiled as I walked past, so I stopped to share with him my delight with the living wall. It turns out it was created by Patrick Blanc, the artist and research scientist that created a living wall on the Quai Branly Museum in Paris – the first living wall I ever saw! And as I’m travelling to Paris today, I thought it a wonderful connection.
One 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.
It 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.