The Walls Are Alive

March 30, 2020
Peterborough, Ontario
Perkins and Will

Similar to the way in which the Columbus library embraces nature, Perkins and Will opted to include an indoor living wall at Trent University’s Bata Library in Peter-borough, Ontario.

Perkins and Will designed a 7-ft., 278-sq.-ft. LiveWall Indoor Living Wall System, which “unifies two adjacent seating areas to create an inviting open space, softens the center of the library’s interior and complements the tone of the cedar ceilings,” explains James Mallinson, B.Arch., OAA, LEED AP, project architect, Perkins and Will, Toronto.

The installation is a modular system which sets up a “vertical garden” mounted onto walls. Vertical furring tracks are attached onto the wall surface and protected by a waterproof membrane. Modular planter boxes—which are high-impact, UV-resistant, architectural quality moldings—slide into the rails along a specially designed slot, and separate liner inserts—which are removable and reusable plant containers that hold the growing medium and pre-grown nursery plants—are dropped into the planter boxes.

“The organic design mixes 380 plants, including both upright and billowing species that have a variety of leaf shapes, variegation and textures,” relates Sasha Liston, sales manager and research and development lead, Ginkgo Sustainability, Toronto.

In all, the system incorporates 150 LiveWall modular planters which are illuminated with a specialized white-light led grow bulb that provides the light spectrum and light nutrition plants need for healthy growth while giving off a pleasant white light similar to regular indoor lighting. An irrigation system uses drip stake assemblies, which inject water and fertilizer into the growing medium.