39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens

Welcome to the green future. These aren’t your grandmother’s window boxes.

1. Bosco Verticale

This rendering by architect Stefano Boeri features the first urban vertical forest, Bosco Verticale in Milan.

The pair of apartment skyscrapers are built to sustain the equivalent of 2.5 acres of forest extending towards the sky.

The soon-to-be-completed towers feature cantilevered balconies, wind and solar systems, and greywater recycling systems that irrigate the 5,000 shrubs, 480 big and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, and 11,000 ground-cover plants chosen for the project.

2. The “Tower Flower”

Paul Raftery

The “Tower Flower,” designed and built by architect Edouard Francois in Paris’s 17th arrondissement, contains 380 giant concrete flower pots embedded in each of the apartment building’s balconies.

3. A (literal) Tower of Flowers

4. The Stairscraper: “A Desert Green”

The “Stairscraper” was a winning design by Barcelona-based architect Nabito in the Total Housing Competition. The “horizontal landscape city,” reportedly scheduled for completion in Abu Dhabi in 2015, will allow each apartment to have its own balcony and roof garden.

5. Living Wall at the Birmingham NEC

This wall at the LG Arena in Birmingham features a “compost modular system” built into a steel sub structure. Check out the full project gallery created by the UK’s “preeminent supplier of Living Walls.”

6. Living Wall at Westfield Shopping Centre

This living wall in Shepherds Bush is the largest “Living Wall” in Europe. It features a fully automatic zoned irrigation and rainwater harvesting system.

7. Cascading Water Garden

A private London residence designed by Biotecture Ltd. and maintained by Scotscape

8. Edgware Road Installation

This living wall at Edgware Road tube station is an experimental installation measuring how efficiently such walls reduce PM10s (particulate matter) from the atmosphere, which is a respiratory hazard.

9. Hydroponic Interior Wall

Designed by Biotecture Ltd. for an office in Norway

10. Phyto Universe

The Phyto Universe hair-care center on Lexington Avenue was New York’s first vertical garden. Created in 2006 by Patrick Blanc, a scientist from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Engineer Laurent Corradi, the garden covers 2,900 square feet and includes 9,000 species.

11. Le Mur Vegetal at the Musée du quai Branly

Le Mur Vegetal (or “Vertical Garden”) by Patrick Blanc in Paris. Blanc is known as the father of the vertical garden, through which he combines artistry and botany to accomplish astonishing transformations of urban spaces.

12. The Pont Max Juvénal Overpass

Designed by Patrick Blanc in Aix-en-Provence, France (2008)

For contrast…

13. Madrid Caixa Forum

This Patrick Blanc-designed vertical garden on an exterior wall of a former power station features 15,000 plants and 250 different species.

14. Living Walls in the Netherlands

These living walls (also designed by Patrick Blanc) are covered in felt and rock wool, which helps irrigate the embedded plant life.

15. Recycled Bottle Herb Garden

Recycled bottles filled with soil and herbs provide a functional herb garden at a family home in Sao Paulo.

Designed by Rosenbaum.

16. Hanging Desert Garden

At the organic medicinal herb farm Rio Abajo RIo, in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

17. Modular Tetris Garden

Modular garden tiles produced by Spanish company Ceracasa can be configured in an infinite number of patterns.

18. Chimney Garden

Designed by Mike Weinmaster at a luxury condo building in Vancouver.

19. A Sears Swathed in Green

Designed by Mike Weinmaster in Vancouver.

20. The Semiahmoo Library

Designed by Mike Weinmaster in Surrey.

21. An Alternative “Greenhouse”

Unlike traditional “greenhouses,” these houses are covered by (rather than filled with) plant life.

22.

A contemporary private residence was designed by the Belgian architects Samyn and Partners and their botanical specialist, Patrick White.

23. “Green Cast” Plantered Façade

This Japanese structure designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates is covered in slanted planters made out of aluminum cast from decayed styrene foam.

24. Villa Cascais

A vertical garden designed by landscape architecture firm Proap at a villa in Lisbon, Portugal.

25. Florafelt Pocket Garden

Constructed using the florafelt planters produced by “Plants On Walls”

26. Singaporean Office Garden

An award-winning interior garden created by Tierra Design / POD for a building in Singapore’s Central Business District.

27. Succulent Collages

31. A Patio of Pots

32. Vertical Veggie Garden

33. Evergreen Indoor Herb Garden

34. Ascending Hotel Horticulture

Designed by the Canadian firm Green Over Grey Living Walls and Design

35. San Vicente de Raspeig Children’s Library

Designed by architect Jose Maria Chofre

36. “Gardens by the Bay”

Created by Wilkinson Eyre Architects for the National Parks Board of Singapore

37. The “Urban Cactus”

The Urban Cactus is an architectural project in Rotterdam created by UCX Architects, and includes 98 residential units on 19 floors with staggered balcony gardens.

38. Aquapura Hotel

Designed by Rebelo de Andrade in Lisbon, Portugal.

39. Gravity-Defying Bike Path

An exterior wall at a restaurant in Mexico City.

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