Living Green Walls recently celebrated its sixth birthday. Ironically, this milestone has fallen in the middle of a global pandemic, causing the team to really stop and reflect not only on what has happened in the last few months, but to celebrate all that has happened in the short six years that they have been together. I sat down with Living Green Walls director, Sean, to reflect on what the last few years have meant for him:
What inspired you to start Living Green Walls?
My biggest inspiration was the environmental impact that living walls have in cities. Environmental concerns have been on my radar for years, and this was a way that I believed WE could make an impact – by reintroducing and riving plant life, with an aim to restore building and city space. At the time, living walls were very new to South Africa and there was an opportunity to aid designers, professionals and home owners with a reliable and tangible greening option, we grabbed the opportunity. It has been an awesome journey!
What is your favourite part of installing living walls?
There are so many things I love! Not only have we designed some beautiful features that have really transformed interior and exterior spaces, but we have also been pare of creating an entirely new industry with reliable options that design / building professionals feel confident to use to green spaces.
What has been your favourite project?
That is a tough one! If I had to pick, I would say the living wall we have done at The Greenhouse Café at Rosemary Hill in Gauteng. The architecture of the space is absolutely exquisite, and the living wall adds a soft finish that brings the wedding hall and function room to life. Good architecture compliments living walls and good living walls compliment good architecture.
What project has required the most creativity, either in design or installation?
We recently received a brief to do a hanging garden for a home in Johannesburg. The desire was for the hanging garden to be suspended on a building that is 12m high, and for it to incorporate a green roof as well as a green façade (a steel trellis structure). The three elements worked really well together and it came off beautifully.
What has been the toughest part of the last six years?
I think, along with many people around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the toughest things we have faced. We care deeply for both our clients and our teams and so it has been very tough to watch their businesses feel the heat, as well as deal with the impact that the virus has had on the livelihood of our staff and their families. One thing I have always upheld through any crisis we have been through is that these blocks are a space for creativity and faith to meet and from that, time and time again, we have seen new opportunities arise. We remain in the thick of this difficult season, but we are confident that by remaining true to what we know and adapting to the new normal we can grow and not just survive.
What do you see the next few years holding for Living Green Walls?
We have some really exciting ventures and discoveries in the future – you’re going to need to watch this space!