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Client Background

Listed as one of the most polluted schools in London, St Mary's Primary School playground runs directly alongside a major six-lane road which results in the air pollution levels exceeding WHO's limits.  The headteacher was forced to reduce the children’s playtimes due to the very poor air quality having a noticeable effect on his student’s health.  One parent, Andrea Carnevali, decided to take action.

Featured Solutions

  • Viritopia Living Wall System (Exterior)

Size:     25m² - 150m²

Industry:     Education

Project Drivers



Air Quality

Lush Ornamental Living Wall At St Mary's Primary School, Chiswick, Improving Air Quality and Biodiversity

Starting the campaign

According to The Chiswick Magazine, "The idea for the Chiswick Oasis project first came about over a year ago when Andrea was watching his son playing outside in the playground at St Mary’s with the noise of the cars from the A4 ruining the moment.  It just so happens that Andrea’s realisation came just as local MP Ruth Cadbury tweeted about the issue of air pollution in Chiswick. 

Andrea Carnevalli Standing Beside One Of The Living Walls At St MAry's Primary School In Chiswick

The catalyst

Andrea invited the MP to head along to the school, she quickly accepted and this Andrea says was the catalyst for everything else.  Following months of research and successful campaigning including a host of celebrity endorsements, the group raised their target including receiving £32,000 from the Mayor of London as a result of crowdfunding on Spacehive."

The best solution

Viritopia worked with Andrea to form the best solution to the problem, creating a plant palette that most effectively reduced the levels of harmful pollutants in the school and playground.

Biodiverse Living Wall At Chiswick Oasis - St Mary's Primary School.


This was a not-for-profit design, supply and install, and the Viritopia specialist maintenance team will be keeping this in top condition free of charge for the next five years.

Opening Day!

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled the 400ft living wall (creating the 'Chiswick Oasis') at the launch on Saturday 29th June 2019, and you could feel the excitement in the air: the hard work and support from the parents and local MPs having created something so beautiful and impactful; the grand opening by the Mayor of London himself and the children celebrating their safer, healthier and interactive playground!  

Children Gather With Sadiq Khan And MPs To Unveil The Living Walls At St Mary's Primary School As Part of Chiswick Oasis Initiative

Education Pack

Inspired by the persistence and achievement on the part of the parents, local governors, influencers and MPs, we've created our own School Education Pack.  This allows us to spread awareness on the situation of poor air quality in and around schools and make the topic of air pollution and what can be done to improve it accessible to children.  Take a look here!

Monitoring the results

This report, put together by Arup, shows the whole process, including the results and findings post-implementation.

View report