Largest living wall in Africa

by Tania Wannenburg
Largest living wall in africa THE ZONE

Nature is integrated with the urban landscape through the creation of a 90m² planted wall at The Zone @ Rosebank.

The 90m² planted wall at The Zone @ Rosebank is the largest installation of its kind in Africa.

The spectacular vertical garden is situated on the ground floor of The Zone Boulevard, which is part of the multi-million rand redevelopment that started in the middle of last year. This architectural feature facilitates a seamless flow from the indoors to the outdoors within the centre’s high-street shopping ambience, and creates a standout piece of natural beauty.

In the city, where space comes at a premium and open public gardens are a luxury, creating a living wall is a clever way to bring nature into the urban landscape.

“Living walls enable us to reclaim our natural surroundings and restore the balance between humans and nature,” says Soné Verster, landscape architect at Organic Space, creators of the living wall.

“Not all plants thrive in a wall environment and we had to consider this when designing the feature,” she explains. Over 30 plant species were planted, including indigenous varieties such as the spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum.

To accommodate the soil and provide the required nutrients for the plants, as well as allow for root growth, a felt pocket system was designed and installed. In addition, as part of the circulation system that irrigates the plants is a cleverly integrated water feature.

“The water feature lends sound, texture and movement, and we’ve even seen the arrival of birds to the living wall,” says Wesley Scott, Marketing Manager at The Zone. “It also adds greatly to the ambience of the space where customers will be enjoying the outdoor seating in front of some of their favourite restaurants.”

While the living wall has abundant aesthetic features, it’s also of practical use. The plants filter the air and help to get rid of the emissions from passing cars.

“We wanted to help neutralise some of the harmful effects of the city life,” says Anton Bieber, portfolio manager for The Rosebank Node at Old Mutual Property. “And by introducing the living wall, we were able to do just that.”

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to The Zone @ Rosebank for the information given to write this article.

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