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GPW: Hotel Ushüaia Low-Tech Vertical Garden

on June 28, 2011 at 10:21 pm under Project of the Week: 6/20/11
Hotel Ushüaia Low-Tech Vertical Garden
Ibiza, Spain
3,735 sf. Greenwall

Year: 2011
Owner: Hotel Ushüaia
Location: Ibiza, Spain
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 3,735 sq.ft.  
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

The newest vertical garden project from the young Spanish firm Urbanarbolismo was completed on May 20, 2011, in collaboration with Alijardín and Alicante forestal. Situated in the Hotel Ushüaia de Ibiza, the four panel eco.bin greenwall acts as a sound barrier between the open air disco located in the hotel’s central courtyard and the neighboring guest rooms. The unique garden wall system consists of rows of ceramic terracotta containers whose circular openings are individually filled with growing medium and planted.

Each interconnected planted ceramic, with its own substrate and vegetation, works together to create this sound-absorbent garden space. Keeping in account the climatic characteristics of the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, the designers have selected a variety of crassula, euphorbia, echeveria, aeonium, kalanchoe, sedum and sedeveria which can adapt to these conditions. In comparison to complex automated vertical gardening systems, this type requires a more personalized maintenance regime, yet the designers feel this low-tech typology option also offers more people a greater possibility of having a vertical garden of their own.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect & Designer: Urbanarbolismo
Greenwall System: eco.bin
Construction: Urbanarbolismo + Alicante forestal + Alijardín

Additional Info

In Spanish, “Urbanarbolismo” literally means “UrbanTreeism” – wow, it sounds very tree huggerish yet obviously on a larger, urban scale – and that’s part of the philosophy of this design/build architect-led group of designers.  They believe there is no division between urban and natural: Urban development should not only create a space for us; we should ameliorate previous ecosystems and if they were not present, we should find ways to recreate them.  Known for a handful of previous local greenroofs and greenwalls, founding principal Jordi Serramia Ruiz tells us that this is their first project utilizing their new greenwall system called “eco.bin.”

The design of the plant-filled ceramic greenwall allows for  curvaceous, undulating, and sweeping vistas, creating a sense of dizzying vertigo with colorful succulents – nonetheless  beautiful and eco-friendly while cleansing the air and providing a sound barrier to boot.  You have to admit that along with their own resident mega-ants, seen above crawling up the stark white stucco walls, the Hotel Ushüaia Low-Tech Vertical Garden  is truly unique!  And strategically placed accent lighting highlights the spiky leaves of the succulent vegetative  structures seen poking through their ceramic plant holes.

Developed by Urbanarbolismo as a way to make vegetated walls affordable to most people, four separate panels help define the intimate space, including  a smaller living wall greeting people the entrance from the outside of the hotel below:

Once you plant the wall, you’re set, and the low-maintenance drip-irrigation watering system also keeps it low-tech, especially since they’re designed to tilt towards each interior cell, thereby retaining water at the bottom for future use.

The design appears to be avant-guard in its execution while promising to be easy and low-tech.  Seeing how this one-month old greenwall is brand-spanking new, let’s see how it develops and fares over time.  If you visit this gorgeous party island of Ibiza and get to the popular Hotel Ushüaia, send us some photos to share!

Read more, in Spanish, at Urbanarbolismo’s May 30, 2011  blog post: Jardín vertical low-tech en Ibiza. Urbanarbolismo.

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click  here to see more information about this project in  The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours  here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.