Vong Phaonphanit and Claire Oboussier

Living Wall


Kings Cross Gas Holder

© Phaophanit and Oboussier Studio 2009

With AHMM Architects

Living Wall takes the form of a vertical garden incorporating multiple functions within the conserved Gas Holder. A curved planted wall, espousing the contour of the tower and contained within it, houses viewing pods and a viewing platform offering ‘windows’ or vistas onto the city beyond. Either by climbing the gently sloping ramp contained within it or by ascending by lift, the user can immerse him/herself in a genuine ‘urban forest’. The reverse facade of the Living Wall accommodates an abseiling wall, reintroducing a human choreography into the urban landscape.


The proposed use of ‘brumisation’ (a fine mist emitted from multiple nozzles) as the watering system for the planting scheme also creates a strong visual and sculptural presence for the Living Wall – it is envisaged that the entire green facade of the wall be periodically shrouded by a layer of mist/cloud.


We propose that the Living Wall also has a strong and distinctive night time identity to be created using a lighting scheme that is both subtle and intense and accentuates the sculptural qualities of the scheme – illuminated forest and illuminated wall of mist.


The Living Wall creates multiple opportunities for community engagement including the potential for collaborations with horticultural, environmental and wildlife specialists. It provides a pioneering community space within this area of inner city London with tangible and inspirational educational opportunities for the city as a whole and the world beyond. The proposed abseiling wall within the Living Wall is a commercial venture, offering an extraordinary and unmatched leisure facility within inner city London. At ground level the Living Wall provides an urban amphitheatre with a central revolving stage – a unique and versatile public performance space.


The Living Wall evolves and re-imagines social and cultural space and simultaneously creates an outstanding, landmark artwork.












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