Opening the Orchard-Lisle Living Wall


I actually felt quite moved looking up at this great living thing. Disoriented even with the perspective, as it feels you are looking across a beautiful swirling natural landscape.

On Friday 14th June, we opened the Orchard-Lisle Living Wall, bringing to life a nondescript corner of the London Bridge area, but one that highlights everything that we are about: greening, better air, navigation, not to mention great and productive partnerships.   

The project developed out of a design brief to improve connections from Borough High Street, through the historic Inns and Yards, into Guy’s Hospital and Kings College London - the London Bridge Campus. This route is used, but underwhelming, and our work with Untitled Practice landscape architects really brought out the importance of connecting to the route from both ends to get more footfall. 

On the back of funding from the Mayor of London, we were able to deliver a project that highlighted routes that provide ‘better air’, in the knowledge that routes with little traffic in Central London expose you to about half the pollution to main roads.  So a healthy route into a hospital grounds makes sense. 

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity was a willing partner and wanted something really special to meet the greening ambitions of the campus, which itself is developing a transformative masterplan.

We commissioned Scotscape, well respected in the field, to deliver the wall. They provided a unique response to the brief, designing the first commercial wall with varied topography, which they created by using different sized plant ‘pockets’. These layers, on top of the selection of ‘sticky’ and ‘fury’ leaves, help capture the particulates in the air. There is a strong biodiversity function, with houses for bees, bats and birds, and 18 pollinator species to attract all kids of wildlife (73 species overall). And with rainwater recirculated into wall, and monitored and controlled remotely through sensors, it is both saving water and innovating.

Over the last couple of weeks it was fascinating to watch the wall going up – a transformation you can watch on this slideshow - and listening to the conversations of people walking past, tripping over as they look up.

“It’s a big green space that doesn’t take up any space”

“Why aren’t all walls green?”

I can’t wait to watch how it grows and develops, a whole ecosystem developing before our eyes.

Please take photos and tell us what wildlife you have spotted #OrchardLisleLivingWall