Vertical garden inventor Patrick Blanc has created a series of hanging gardens for Miami’s new Pérez Art Museum. Architects Herzog & de Meuron enlisted Blanc to create a site-specific vertical installation to engage visitors to the new museum. Blanc’s design comprises clusters of columns lined with lush plants and flowers that stretch up to the building’s overhanging roof.
Blanc first worked with Herzog & de Meuron in 2008, when he created a vertical garden wall for the CaixaForum arts center in Madrid. The gardens for the Pérez Art Museum are quite different, however. The museum is located on the water, so Blanc needed to create a system that could withstand strong winds, salt spray, rain and potential hurricanes. The façade also faces the direct sun.
Blanc resolved these challenges with hanging columns wrapped with plant life, rather than the flat vertical walls he customarily designs. The surfaces facing the building are covered with shade-loving plants, while the ocean-facing side is covered with plants that can withstand hours of direct sunlight. For the project, Blanc used 80 different species of plants to make a varied natural garden.
The hanging garden columns not only add an aesthetic punch of greenery to the façade, but also act as a natural air purifier and block heat. The gardens are fed with water from the roof, making for a self-sufficient system that gives the art museum a lovely green aesthetic.