Humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, regardless of the physical or geographical conditions in which we find ourselves. As we become increasingly detached from the wilderness, we develop means and strategies to bring nature back into our daily lives, even if only for a few moments.
There are many ways of domesticating nature, as seen throughout the history of mankind, through fascinating structures that challenge technical limitations, such as vertical indoor gardens.
Some say that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were the first-ever vertical gardens in history. According to one legend, a king erected an ascending series of tiered gardens, supported by stone pillars and platforms containing a wide variety of plants, creating a pensile paradise that resembled a large green mountain, all to gratify his queen, who was fond of a mountainous landscape. Whether this is true or not, the point is that the desire to domesticate nature has always been a part of man's imagination in many different ways.
Today, when we talk about vertical gardens, what comes to mind is nothing like the majestic Wonders of the Ancient World but rather a reflection of our present lifestyles and our relationship with nature.
The lack of space is a major issue of our times, and vertical indoor gardens have taken on an important role in providing natural environments, even in very small spaces. Also known as green walls, these structures are relatively small but still contribute to temperature-controlled environments, increasing humidity and reducing noise pollution, not to mention the impacts on psychological well-being caused by proximity to nature.
However, as landscape architect Laura Rotter from the office Giz de Terra points out, despite being extremely elegant solutions with great visual and biophilic impact on interior environments, vertical gardens require special care to ensure durability and functionality.
According to the architect, automatic irrigation is essential because it ensures the ideal amount of water, taking into account the garden's specific requirements. A green wall without an irrigation system needs to be watered almost daily and could be a bad investment in the event of damage due to over or under-watering. A detailed study of the local conditions is essential, including seasonal changes and other factors such as exposure to sunlight, air currents, temperature, humidity, access for maintenance, among others. As suggested by the term itself, domesticating requires special care, given that plants are very different from static materials. They have specific needs that must be respected to ensure healthy and long-lasting growth.
With this in mind, we have selected below different types of contemporary projects that use vertical indoor gardens as part of their design, proving that every effort towards being closer to nature is worth it, regardless of the scale.
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