Urban horticulture specialists Biotecture have partnered with London Heathrow Airport to create an indoor garden comprising 1,680 plants in Gate 25 at Terminal 3 (T3). The Garden Gate project will be trialled for six months at which point it may be implemented in further hold areas across the airport.
Biotecture installed seven Garden Walls in the hold room area, each measuring 1.8m (5.9ft) high and 2.4m (7.9ft) wide and containing 240 plants. Each plant panel is fitted with a water reservoir and nutrient system, which enables the wall to flourish for an extended period of time in an artificial environment.
The plant selection is largely based on research conducted by Dr Bill Wolverton on behalf of NASA to prove that plants, namely the English Ivy and the Peace Lily, absorbed the air around them and translocated it to their roots, where organisms turned some of the air particles into food for the plant. Various studies have also shown that plants have a psychological calming effect on humans.
Emma Gilthorpe, strategy director at London Heathrow Airport, said, “We are proud to have received our best ever passenger service scores to date this summer, but we are always keen to make our passengers’ journeys better. With our new Garden Gate, our passengers can enjoy a natural sanctuary of rest and relaxation as they make their way through the airport, with 1,680 plants ready to see them on their way.”
Richard Sabin, director of Biotecture, said, “The Garden Gate at Heathrow is the latest, and perhaps most iconic, living wall representing the advancement of eco-technologies in the UK. The world’s major cities are increasingly investing in green infrastructure, and the Garden Gate, both technically and ecologically, is cutting edge for its ease of installation, unique plant selection and LED lighting system. As the nexus of transit and technology, transportation hubs are ideal locations for green infrastructure to become an investment in public health and wellbeing.”