Lonely Planet Writer

Behold this strawberry, grass and flower-covered 'living wall' attached to scaffolding in London

Construction scaffolding is not known for being aesthetically pleasing, but a strawberry and flower-covered ‘living wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London is a welcome exception.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

The “Living Wall Lite” adorns the 262-foot-tall construction scaffold in front of the former St. Mark’s Church in Mayfair, which is being renovated into a retail and community space.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

It contains strawberry plants, grasses and wildflowers, and the designers say that it has the potential to reduce air pollution by up to 20% as well as reducing the visual impact of scaffolding on local residents.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

It’s the brainchild of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland together with global engineering and design consultancy Arup, in collaboration with Swedish plant wall specialists Green Fortune.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

Arup released a report in September highlighting the many benefits of living walls in urban spaces. According to the firm, such green facades can reduce air pollution by between 10 and 20%, absorb noise pollution, and help with a building’s temperature regulation.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

Speaking to Lonely Planet, Alistair Law, Arup façade engineer and the Living Wall Lite’s developer explained that this living wall was the first of its kind in the UK. As a result, there is an element of trial and error involved in honing the care that the wall needs, including watering, and it will be fitted with sensors to monitor its impact on noise, temperature and air pollution.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

Alistair says that the innovation is exciting as green spaces are increasingly under attack in cities high-density housing encroaches on them. as well as being more attractive visually, it has been proven that greenery provides the “lungs” of a city and encourages more outdoor activities such as cycling.

The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall' attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup
The “Living Wall Lite” is a strawberry, grass and flower-covered wall’ attached to the scaffolding on a former church in London. Image: Arup

“By introducing plants and flowers, we can create a more attractive and healthier environment for local residents, businesses and workers on site,” he says.