Green Streets: Capco creates ‘vertical park’ in Covent Garden

Living walls have been growing in popularity amongst developers and planners for a while now, but mega-landlord Capco has taken the concept up a few levels with the creation of a 1,500 square foot “vertical park” in Covent Garden.

Working with living wall specialists Biotecture, the firm has covered a prominent building on the corner of Long Acre and James Street with 8,000 plants and 21 different species, and it looks rather grand.

Aside from the aesthetics, there’s plenty of other benefits too, as all that greenery will also refine the quality of the air, increase the area’s biodiversity, and capture pollution particles.

The plants – which will turn varying tones of green with red, pink and mauve throughout the year – have been chosen with biodiversity in mind, and should attract birds, bees and butterflies. The obvious challenge of watering will be taken care of by a drip irrigation system, running on up to 80% rainwater harvesting (dependent on the weather and season).

The project is part of a greening initiative to recreate the area’s heritage as a Flower Market, which has also seen 60-year-old apple trees and 100 flower crates and barrels installed on the Piazza.

Michelle McGrath, Director, Capco: “The introduction of a vertical park creates a world-class entrance to the Covent Garden estate and demonstrates our commitment to the greening of Covent Garden. The installation celebrates the heritage of the area as an orchard and Flower Market, and is a wonderful welcome to visitors of the estate.”

Tough new greening rules proposed by Sadiq Khan could see “living” buildings becoming far more of a common sight across the capital in years to come; read up on the potentially game-changing “Urban Greening Factor” here.