The vertical gardens of Patrick Blanc by Molins


Because of a recent placement in one of our current interventions, today we dig a little deeper into the vertical gardens and their origin.

The story goes back to the early 90’s when the famous French architect, Jean Nouvel, designed the Cartier foundation building, located on Boulevard Raspall in the Parisian district of Montparnasse, applying vertical gardens on the facades.

At that time, architecturally it was a very new fact. However the origin of this practice and correct operation we owe it to another ideologist. We’re talking about Patrick Blanc, a French botanist. Patrick made different trips in his youth through the Amazon rainforest and East Asia, where he was able to observe closely the vegetation and the way of adapting to the environment.

So, do the plants need soil for their survival? Surely this was the big question that Patrick Blanc asked himself when he set out to investigate something more on the subject. It was then that he began his studies in tropical botany completing a thesis on the adaptation of vegetation in the tropics, with which he was awarded by the French Academy of Sciences in 1993. During those years and later, Blanc developed the concept of garden vertical.

The answer to that question was clearly not. For plants water and its minerals are essential, the soil, no. His vision and experience have given him an infinity of architectural projects in which vegetation is included in forms and places that nobody could have imagined; facades, walls and interior vertical panels for example.

The system basically consists of a chassis that form a metallic structure to be able to hang up. In this way a new layer is created and we keep it safe the original wall, because it is possible that the roots end up damaging this, as it has happened in historic buildings and temples in a natural way.

The structure is nourished by a plant peat where all the roots go. This peat is rich enough, so that with the help of water and its minerals together with sunlight, they can grow in a correct way.

At MolinsDesign, we have been offering for some time the placement of these colorful vertical gardens in our projects, provided that space and conditions are met. We do it thanks to the help and the hand of Verdtical.

There are numerous examples of emblematic buildings that have nature integrated into their walls, such as the Grand Palais in Paris, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, the lobby of the Ícon hotel in Hong Kong, or a little closer, the CaixaForum de Madrid.