My own pictures are of a vertical garden Blanc created for the façade of the men's department of the Parisian department store Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville or BHV in the Rue de la Verrerie. Created only in 2007, it is already a bit overgrown, testament to how happy the plants are in their somewhat unusual home. Paris has many wonderful installations by Blanc, among them the impressive front of the Musée du quai Branly next to the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately it was already too dark to take pictures when I passed by that particular building and I did not have time to seek out any of Blanc's other gardens in the City of Lights, so these are the only pictures of Parisian vertical gardens I ended up with. Hopefully I will be able to see more on future visits to the city...and perhaps Blanc's designs are also gaining popularity on this side of the Atlantic and will become part of American cityscapes. Some of his works may apparently be seen already in New York City, Charlotte, and Los Angeles...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Summer Travels - Part 9: A Vertical Garden in Paris
I have been intrigued by Patrick Blanc's murs végétaux ever since coming across his gorgeous coffee table book The Vertical Garden (http://www.amazon.com/Vertical-Garden-Nature-City/dp/0393732592) sometime last winter when, surrounded on a daily basis by urban gray and wintry slush, I was desperately craving foliage. Since then I have been in awe of his creations, which sprout lushly from walls both inside and outside in places as different in terms of climate as Bangkok, Madrid, and Brussels. What really amazes me is how well these horticultural creations integrate visually into various environments and how they strike a balance between nature and artificiality. For a stunning gallery of Blanc's gardens as well as information on the science and technology behind the green walls and Blanc's own academic background as a botanist, you can visit his website at http://www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com/.