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Project Background

Designed by AFL Architects and built by Vinci Construction, the new tiered car park for The Christie Hospital in Manchester was designed to provide “a softened approach to the adjacent residential area”.  We worked alongside Maple Sunscreening to deliver the living façade elements in addition to their rainscreen cladding system.

Featured Solutions

  • Viritopia Living Wall System (Exterior)

Size:     430m²

PM capture:     559kg per year

Project Drivers

Social Impact


tiered car park with timber and plant facade

40,000 plants

This involved over 40,000 plants on the car park façade, covering 430 square metres.  The planted façade was interspersed with vertical timber fins by Maple, creating a very natural but modern finish and allowing better breathability.

plants growing on a timber car park facade

Evergreen with flowers

As for the planting design, the option our client went for was an evergreen backdrop with varying green shades provided in part by the Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’, dotted with flowering plants and herbs such as Garden Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and woodland strawberry (Frageria vesca).  This means a pleasing aesthetic all-year-round, and subtle changes throughout the seasons.

tiered car park with a timber facade and green walls and cars

Three aspects to the design

Designing for three aspects, East, South and West, we focused on creating a continuous aesthetic (so no jarring differences in the plant design as you move around the car park) but with plants that would suit the different levels of sun and shade.

plants growing on a timber car park facade

North facing green walls

Whilst there are no living walls facing North, this is not due to it not being possible!  In fact, this is one of the myths of integrating living walls.  With the correct plant palette and irrigation levels, a North-facing living wall can thrive, like this one at United Caps Production Facility.

evergreen living wall on a commercial building in a car park