You don’t often hear about a wall being an object of desire, but that is exactly what Gitta Gschwendtner’s Animal Wall is for residents of all species in Cardiff Bay, UK. This 50-meter wall includes 1000 houses for birds and bats, and also acts as a textural and geometric sculptural divider between a residential development and a river front. Commissioned by Charles Church Developments, the wall took two-and-a-half years to construct, which is the same length of time it took to complete the housing that the wall shields.

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Now that the wall homes are ready for moving in, why are there no winged creatures settling? It turns out that birds and bats will not be ready to nest until the spring, so it is no worry that they are not inhabiting the Animal Wall just yet. When they are ready to pick their new home, a wide variety of bats, starlings, sparrows and blue and grey tits are expected to inhabit the wall. “But not everyone will come at the same time,” says Gschwendtner. “Instead there will be a constant turn-around of tenants.” The feathered friends will have four different sized woodcrete (a mixture of wood and concrete) homes to choose from.

This ecological project was commissioned by developers of the Century Wharf area of Cardiff Bay due to the increasing concern for the depletion of the natural bird habitat there. We love that these animals will have a posh new home come spring, and that the residents of Century Wharf can enjoy a stunning work of green architecture.

+ Gitta Gschwendtner

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