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Vertical forest with thousands of plants coming to Barcelona

CaixaForum's 20th anniversary “gift” to the city spanning 500m2 will be installed by the end of the year

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16 May 2022 04:08 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

A 500 m² vertical forest with thousands of plants will soon be coming to Barcelona. 

CaixaForum will transform the old wall of the Metallurgy Palace, part of Fira Montjuïc congress hall beside the arts center, into a vertical garden in the middle of the city. 

Leaning on the dividing wall in front of the 'La pèrgola' restaurant, the new green space will include 22,000 plants from 40 different species and 15 suspended trees of nine varieties. 

The project is CaixaForum's "gift" to the city of Barcelona to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The installation will cost €1 million, not including maintenance costs. Costs will be reduced, however, thanks to a rainwater collection system that will irrigate the vertical garden. 

The Caixa Foundation presented the vertical forest project on Monday, with plans to inaugurate the urban garden by the end of the year. 

The installation follows in the footsteps of other pioneering vertical forest projects across the world such as 'Il bosco verticale' which can be found on two skyscrapers in Milan, as well as the CaixaForum’s own vertical forest next to its arts center in Madrid. 

Barcelona’s vertical garden will be able to boast a series of suspended trees that no other such project has. 

The vertical forest has the approval of Fira Barcelona and Barcelona City Council, as it is in line with the council's plans to develop vertical gardens on around 30 partition walls in the coming years.

4 tons of weight

Despite being attached to the old wall of the Fira Montjuïc congress hall, the structure is an autonomous body that will not support the 4 tons of vegetation on the building. 

The 15 trees will all be either native to or adapted to the climate of the Catalan capital, therefore the choices are not only ornamental but also environmental. Among them, there will be olive, pomegranate, and carob trees. 

They will have a height of approximately 170cm and will be secured in place with root fixation techniques typical of planting trees on a garden roof. Vertical strips of mesh will also support the plants. In addition, CaixaForum has designed an artistic solution that realistically emulates the roots of these trees, just above the real roots.

With the aim of optimizing the water and natural resources that the facility will consume, maintenance will be based on the consumption of rainwater and the use of irrigation water. There will be 13 tanks to store water, with the self-sufficiency of irrigation of up to 15 days, and up to 7 days during the driest months of the summer.

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  • CaixaForum's plans for the vertical forest that will be installed beside the arts center in Barcelona (image from Caixa Foundation)

  • CaixaForum's plans for the vertical forest that will be installed beside the arts center in Barcelona (image from Caixa Foundation)

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