The Rubens at the Palace Hotel located in Victoria, just steps away from Buckingham Palace, has revealed their green side – a 350 square meter wall planted with 16 tons of soil and 10,000 plants to bring fresh air and biodiversity to the central London locale. The living wall is intended to attract pollinators year-round as well as help with the city-wide problem of urban flooding.
In London, many surfaces – such as roads and roofs – are completely sealed, so in bouts of heavy rain, the drains overflow because there is no place for the water to go. The green wall will harvest rainwater, storing it in tanks where it will be used to irrigate the plants. By storing the liquid – the tanks hold up to 10,000 gallons – the water has a chance to evaporate rather than flood. The wall of plants will also help a dense area by cleaning the air. Armando Raish, managing director of green walll company Treebox, who will be maintaining the site, explained:
The wall will help improve the respiratory health of the people who live and visit Victoria by absorbing pollutants, an important feature of the wall given the mounting evidence that shows just how harmful particulate matter can be to human health.
The Rubens at the Palace Hotel offered up its facade after the Victoria Business Improvement District (Victoria BID) conducted an audit seeking out spaces to make the area more green. Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels, of which the Rubens at the Palace is a part of, said:
We take the issue of sustainable tourism very seriously across the entire Red Carnation Hotel collection, and this wall will minimize the hotel’s impact on the environment and also improve the air quality and aesthetic in this part of London.
The permanent installation will have ferns, spring bulbs, winter geraniums, crocuses and other seasonal plants to bring bees, birds and butterflies to the area at all time of year.