Posts Taged living-walls

Chance Meeting of Patrick Blanc

Blanc is considered by most to be the father of the living wall

By Joe Zazzera, GRP, LEED AP ID+C |  February 15, 2011 |  topics: Patrick Blanc, Father of the Living, Living Walls, Vertical Walls


French botanist Patrick (Pah Treek) Blanc is considered by most to be the father of the living, vertical wall (although McRae Anderson built the Cleveland Zoo living wall around the same time). As early as 1988 he was designing living walls as art. In the early days, his designs were less about the environment and more about creating living artwork using a huge plant palette.

Last weekend my wife Karen and I had the opportunity to spend some time in San Francisco. Having completed a job in San Jose earlier in the week, we were looking forward to some overdue R&R together. Because living walls are always in my radar, I knew that Patrick Blanc had a new design being installed at the Drew School in Pacific Heights. I made note to attempt to see its progress sometime over the weekend.

When we arrived at the school, I proceeded with my normal living wall designer routine, taking photos from all angles, inspection of plant material, water systems and installation techniques. When I stepped across the street to take a few distance shots, I met the Drew school facility manager. I introduced myself and engaged in conversation about the wall and his part in the design, installation and construction. He was surprised that I knew so much about Patrick Blanc. Suddenly he said “well you know, Patrick is giving a lecture to the student body right now”? I said, excuse me? “Oh yes, he said, in fact if you would like to wait, I would be happy to introduce you to him”……

What are the odds? What timing…I got to spend about 20 minutes with Patrick Blanc discussing the 230 plus native species, watering systems, smart controllers, fertigators and his thoughts on recycled PVC. Luckily, his english was far better than my French. Click here to view the gallery.