The balconies in the apartment have planters, built-in benches, and even fountains.

‘Vegitecture’ is the unfortunate term Capella Garcia Arquitectura have coined to describe their striking vertical garden project in Barcelona. Completed last March, the massive 21-meter green wall is grafted onto the narrow end of a corner residential block and consists entirely of galvanized steel scaffolding that visually anchors the complex to the ground and boulevard beyond.

The prefabricated steel components were assembled on site independent of the adjacent building wall and configured into a stack of platform gardens, each of which has space for planters, built-in benches, and even fountains.

A series of internal staircases burrow upwards through the metal decks, connecting the ground and top floors without compromising the structure’s form in the way that exterior stairs – typical of vertical gardens – would have done. An integrated pulley system simplifies circulation and transport of materials up and down the scaffolding, shrinking maintenance costs that could bankrupt similar-scale ventures. Additionally, an automated drip irrigation system monitors the garden’s water consumption through controlled draining and fertilizer issued at programmed doses and intervals.

The living facade adds a vibrant touch to the neighborhood, while promoting a sustainable, green sensibility that’s compatible with our present cities. It’s effectiveness outweighs aesthetics, of course, acting as a vehicle for environmental change that simultaneously generates oxygen, absorbs CO2, insulates the neighboring apartments, and dampens street noise.

Green side-wall by Capella Garcia Arquitectura; All photos courtesy the architects via Domus

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    'Game of Thrones' Tourists Are Besieging Dubrovnik

    The medieval city in Croatia is having a geek-culture moment as the setting for King’s Landing in the HBO series (not to mention the new Star Wars movie). But not everyone appreciates all the attention.

  2. Equity

    The Working Class That Wasn't

    The most common jobs for workers without college degrees have never been industrial.

  3. Environment

    The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

    The book Third Coast Atlas seeks to illuminate the Great Lakes—America’s “third coast”—through maps, plans, photos, and more.

  4. Life

    How A Bid for Amazon HQ2 Got Tangled Up in a Fight for LGBTQ Rights

    Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been stalled for four years amid fears it will deter economic investment. Will Amazon finally kill it?

  5. Videos

    5 Ways to Seriously Battle Traffic

    So long as cars are among us, road pricing, ramp meters, and diamond-shaped intersections can mitigate horrendous commutes, a new video explains.