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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Green Walls, SoCal Style #2 - Au Natural

  A local pub is even more "Cozy" with a vine wall.
In a continuing look at green facades and green walls in Los Angeles, I had to include the tried and trued method of just letting nature do its thing.  Vine-covered walls (or masonry walls on which self-climbing vines have attached themselves to) have been a long-loved part of LA for many years, and they come in many different forms based on the type of vine used, maintenance practices employed, and overall project type.

Much like plant-use in a traditional landscape, plant selection and horticultural practices dictate different aesthetic outcomes, presenting interesting opportunities for reworking building facades and little-used spaces into greener niches of the urban fabric.  Vine walls soften what would otherwise be a painted or barren masonry wall, and, when used en masse, can transform an entire building into a green shell of Algerian Ivy or Creeping Fig.  Each transformation is unique and compelling, providing texture, varied colors, and graphic qualities to urban form.. While vine walls require time to fill in, that time provides a strength to their character because it engenders a sense of time, history, and perhaps even a touch of romanticism.  You know this plant has been here for awhile, which in a place of constant change like LA, is meaningful.  What is also great about vine walls in LA is how varied the types of establishments are that have embraced them.  Whether a 5-star restaurant or a local dive bar, or whether in Beverly Hills or Culver City, vine walls flourish.   Here are a few images of some different vine walls near my house in LA, with more sure to come.    
  The sheared green facade creates a clean, architectural look.
  Another wall transformed through the mass and void of the creeping vine.
   Full vines provide screening and a softer, more naturalistic look.

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