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. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. A photo of a visitor posing for a photo with Elvis in downtown Nashville
    Perspective

    Cities: Don’t Fall in the Branding Trap

    From Instagram stunts to Edison bulbs, why do so many cities’ marketing plans try to convince people that they’re exactly like somewhere else?

  3. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  4. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  5. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.