Installed in 2009, The Athenaeum’s Living Wall has quickly become a symbol of the hotel. The garden begins at street level and reaches all the way to the 10th floor. It provides a subtle nod to the verdant splendour of Green Park just across the road, as well as being an important haven of biodiversity for London. More importantly, it was an idea that the hotel owners simply fell in love with and wanted to have at The Athenaeum.
The Living Wall was created by Patrick Blanc, an award-winning French artist and botanist. Blanc spent years studying the way that numerous wild plants naturally grow on vertical rock faces and trees. As a result, he has perfected a technique that enables urban plants to grow vertically without the need for soil.
Blanc has installed more than 140 vertical gardens for institutions all over the world, including the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and the 21st Century of Contemporary Art museum in Kanazawa, Japan. The Living Wall at The Athenaeum is Blanc’s first installation in the UK. The garden is made up of a mixture of native and exotic plants in a secure structure that juts away from the building. It’s nothing short of botanical architecture, and emblematic of the way The Athenaeum embraces innovation, imagination and individuality.