French botanist Patrick Blanc may be the modern innovator behind what's become known as the green wall, but his latest work really seems to have outgrown the term. Covering a formerly drab street corner in Paris second arrondissement, this well-curated riot of vegetation is more public art installation than vertical garden. Blanc's 236-species "hymn to biodiversity," enough to make you want to run to Home Depot and pick up a few wall planters of your own, was sown in April and inaugurated in full bloom earlier this month as part of Paris Design Week.
Blanc's gardens are planted on frames of metal, PVC, and nonbiodegradable felt built over watering systems. At $65 a square foot plus labor, this privately commissioned 2,700-square-foot wall in Paris came in at about $175L, which is by no means a cheap way to build a greener city, but seems like a steal if your target is that sweet, sweet intersection of environmentally beneficial, ennui-relieving, and aesthetically distinct.
Blanc started experimenting with hydroponics as a teenager, and now, at 60, has installed some 250 of his signature pieces of vertical verdure, from Miami to Bahrain. His green thumb was recently commissioned to turn Sydney's upcoming Jean Nouvel-designed One Central Park into the world's tallest vertical garden—naturally, the botanist is already responsible for the largest—but it's cool to see what he does with a smaller canvas in a well-trafficked urban center. Seriously, check out those strokes of byzantium and burnt orange:
· Replanting the World's Concrete Jungles, One Wall at a Time [Slate]
· A Look at the (Future) Tallest Vertical Garden on Earth [Curbed National]
· All Patrick Blanc coverage [Curbed National]