The Zone@Rosebank is home to the largest living wall in Africa

The Zone@Rosebank has introduced a vertical living wall that runs alongside News Café, Bombay Blues and RocoMamas on the ground floor of The Zone Boulevard, creating a standout piece of natural beauty.

The Zone Boulevard is part of the multi-million rand redevelopment to the Zone@Rosebank shopping centre that started in mid 2015. At 90m², the wall is the largest installation of its kind in Africa. This key architectural piece completes the concept of a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors within the high-street shopping ambience that centre is known for.

“With space at a premium in urban landscapes and open public gardens a luxury, creating a living wall is an excellent way to bring nature into the concrete jungle. Living walls enable us to reclaim our natural surroundings and restore balance between humans and nature,” says Soné Verster, landscape architect for Organic Space, creators of the living wall.

“Not all plants thrive in a wall environment and we had to consider this when designing the feature,” says Verster.

More than 30 plant species were used, including indigenous varieties such as the spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum. A felt pocket system was created to accommodate the soil, allowing for root growth and providing the required nutrients to the plants.

“The integrated water feature forms part of the circulation system that irrigates the plants. The water feature lends sound, texture and movement, and we’ve even seen the arrival of birds at the living wall,” says Wesley Scott, marketing manager of The Zone@Rosebank. “It also adds greatly to the ambience of the space where customers will be enjoying the outdoor seating in front of some of their favourite restaurants.”

While the living wall has abundant aesthetic features, it’s also of practical use. The plants filter the air and help get rid of emissions from passing cars.

“We wanted to help neutralise some of the harmful effects of the city life,” says Anton Bieber, portfolio manager for the Rosebank node at Old Mutual Property.

“And by introducing the living wall we were able to just that. The living wall also creates a perfect backdrop to the bustling atmosphere and has integrated The Zone Boulevard and The Zone@Rosebank with this beautiful living installation.”

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