4.2 The Oasis of Aboukir

L’Oasis d’Aboukir, Paris, angle rue d’ Aboukir – rue des Petits Carreaux Design: Patrick Blanc (2013)

Patrick Blanc is a botanist and his company developed the green wall into a high-tech version. In the ‘mur végétal’ the water system is essential. This vertical garden consists of a metal frame with a PVC plate as a foundation for two layers of polyamide felt. This layer acts as a sponge, similar to moss. A network of pipes transports nutrient-rich water to the plants. Gravity ensures that the liquid slowly drips down from the soaked felt. At the bottom of the wall, a gutter collects the excess water and brings it back into the system. The selection of the plants for each project depends on the type of environment, the local microclimate and the amount of daylight. The first vertical garden was implemented in 1986 at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris. The first project with a large-scale vertical garden was the wall of the Musée du quai Branly in 2006, designed by Jean Nouvel. More than ten years later, vertical gardens can be found all over the world. The system is certainly not an example of spontaneous nature; and because there is no soil, it is an ecosystem that depends on technology. Nevertheless, insects and birds find food and shelter here. These vertical gardens furthermore provide a pleasant, heat-absorbing microclimate, as you can feel around the Oasis of Aboukir in the hot summer months.

-Paris (FR) 2013

-Patrick Blanc