Ever-trendy luxury brand Louis Vuitton got a green makeover – right on the façade of their stores. “Topiade”, designed by Gregory Polletta and Sung Jang of iGNITIATE, is a verdant vertical garden of living greenery planted onto the front and side walls of flagship LV stores in the shapes of the company’s iconic monogram logo elements. Hopefully copy cats will follow suit, creating knock off living walls around the globe.
In 2006, Gregory and Sung created the Topiade facade, which is an innovative redesign of existing stores without any major construction or costs of renovation. TOPIADE is a living, green, moveable “overlay facade” capable of mimicking virtually any pattern for display on specially constructed Louis Vuitton stores facades. The project encompasses 3D scanning, image overlays, image projection, and a fully articulated moving pin design with live green plants inspired by the brand’s French luxury and craftsmanship. iGNITIATE wanted to create a design element that reflected the brand’s vitality and living heritage – and a living façade sounded like the perfect way to capture that essence.
The designs for the living walls vary from singular topiary logo groupings to a full network of modular patterns, similar to the patterns of their handbags, but made from living plants. The effect of the full-wall living façade also evokes historical French gardens, once more tying it back to Louis Vuitton’s branding. The Topiade is mostly self sufficient, installed with a water net just behind the green modules, which also includes a feeding and irrigation system that maintains the wall. A gardener is hired sporadically to trim the growing plants, but is otherwise not needed.
Using a living wall for the façade of a luxury brand could have the same trickle down affect that its wares do, influencing knock off living walls to sprout up in more retail to discount stores.