Patrick Blanc's Green "Vegetal Walls"
If you think there's nothing new under the sun in the world of architectural design, chances are you haven't seen Patrick Blanc's vegetal walls. These walls are individually designed works of art featuring plants specially selected for the climate and environment (indoor or outdoor) of the wall in question. The plants are grown with an automated hydroponic, system for irrigation and nutrients, which allows for a light weight structure and the possibility of very large walls. The results are beautiful and diverse, ranging from veritable indoor jungles, to huge green murals, to minimal fairy-like moss-scapes. Besides creating visual appeal, vegetal walls improve local air quality by filtering carbon dioxide and certain toxins. They also improve the insulation capacity of the building, conserving heat in cool weather and releasing it in the heat. Most of all, these living walls create a sense of space that's entirely unique, blending indoor with outdoor and urban with wild. They remind us that nature isn't something out there, but wherever we go, something intrinsically part of us and always right here.