Biotecture wins major industry award for Canary Wharf living walls

Biotecture, a leader in UK living wall design, installation and maintenance, is celebrating winning a BALI National Landscape Award for the Canary Wharf estate Greening Phase One.

The extensive urban greening project was selected as a winner in the Exterior Living Wall Category in what the judges said was a ‘phenomenally’ high standard of entries in this year’s award.

Biotecture delivered PlantBox living walls in prominent locations across the Canary Wharf estate in 2021. They are now helping to enrich the public realm and contribute to Canary Wharf Group’s (CWG) ambitious sustainability goals.

The judges commended Biotecture for; ‘A green initiative worthy of support. A committed contractor coupled with a client willing to experiment.’ They go on to say ‘The modular living wall system has some science behind it and fulfils the client’s brief’.

In a nod to the science, the BALI judging panel recognised how the Biotecture living walls are helping to improve air quality, attenuate rainwater and increase biodiversity for residents, commuters, workers and visitors to the area.

CWG originally appointed landscape architect Gillespies to create an urban greening framework at Canary Wharf, which involved them working in collaboration with Biotecture and Willerby Landscapes. Biotecture proposed the PlantBox living wall system because it is freestanding, stackable and modular and only requires restraint fixings. This meant that it was able to deliver a big impact within a short timeframe; the first living wall was installed just eight weeks after the initial Biotecture visit to Canary Wharf.

Richard Sabin, Managing Director at Biotecture said; “Winning a National Landscape Award is hugely significant because it helps us highlight the benefits of adding greenery and biodiversity into the urban realm. These benefits are hugely significant to people living and working in the Canary Wharf area, although it is the aesthetic appeal of the living walls that people notice first!”

John Melmoe, chair of the judging panel, commented on this year’s entries: “The most difficult element of any project to deliver is the final 5%. It is this small difference that separates average schemes from great ones. During the review and deliberation process, we often comment on the elusive and, in many cases critical last 5%. It was self-evident that Biotecture’s exterior living wall at Canary Wharf met this criterion and we congratulate the company on their win.”

He added: “From the number of entries and client’s reactions over the years, the kudos of receiving a National Landscape Award remains highly respected within the industry. This year’s entries continue to showcase the complex and diverse nature of our industry, with some truly exemplary projects.”

The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has over 1800 members included 900 which are Accredited. They comprise landscape contractors, landscape architects, garden designers and suppliers.

The National Landscape Awards encourage all its members to continually strive for excellence and promote their outstanding work beyond the industry.

Richard Sabin added: “We have a passion for biophilic design and green infrastructure and it is great to see all this coming together at Canary Wharf. The additional green spaces really enhance biodiversity, improve wellbeing and create enlivened spaces for everyone to benefit from. It is doubly satisfying to know that it has been recognised in this year’s BALI Awards.”

Paul Griffiths, Landscape Manager, Canary Wharf Group, said: “All works by Biotecture were completed in a professional and timely manner and we are extremely pleased with the final results and we have had so much positive feedback from colleagues’ and Tenants’. Thanks for a great job.”

Biotecture is the UK’s leading living wall company and this year is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

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