London could be home to “largest living wall in Europe” in efforts to increase biodiversity and capture pollution

London could soon be home to the “largest living wall in Europe” as well as a wildflower meadow on top of a 12-storey building, in efforts to increase biodiversity in the area and capture pollution.

The “largest living wall in Europe”, made up of 400,000 plants, is part of the proposed Citicape House hotel at a site on Holborn Viaduct, a traffic-heavy area close to St Paul’s Cathedral. The 382-room hotel will also include a rooftop gallery and a wildflower meadow on top of the building.

The completed wall would capture more than eight tonnes of carbon annually and produce six tonnes of oxygen, according to architecture firm Sheppard Robson, who say the building “will create an opportunity to broadcast fresh ideas about how the built environment can address pertinent issues such as air quality, climate change and air pollution”.

It is also expected that the living wall will significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter per year.

As self-sufficient vertical gardens, the roots of the living wall’s plants feed into a support fastened to the building’s wall, containing soil and a watering system.

Citicape House will contain a five-star hotel alongside a mix of offices, co-working and event spaces, a sky-bar, spa and ground-level restaurant.

A roof-top viewing gallery on the eleventh floor will be open to the public – featuring views overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Grade I listed Holy Sepulchre and the city skyine. At roof level, the greenery will continue to wrap around the building, with spaces designed for threatened native wildflower species to flourish.

It is intended that the building function as sustainably as possible. Renewable energy-sources including air-source heat-pumps will be used throughout the building and the windows will feature efficient glazing to minimise heat gain in the building.

Citicape House will also incorporate rainwater collection to irrigate the green wall and reduce stress on the site’s existing infrastructure.

Images source: Sheppard Robson

Sheppard Robson

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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