In the July 2019 issue of Pro Landscaper on pages 84-85 we looked at Europe’s largest living wall that was underway to be installed. McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford has revealed its £90 million expansion, delivered by green infrastructure company, Biotecture, and McLaren Construction is now complete.
The £1.5 million living wall, which measures 25,000 square feet and features 120,000 plants, reduces air pollution and aids biodiversity. Spanning the walls of the new entrance promenade, walkways and many of the 50 new stores, the vertical gardens make this one of the world’s greenest shopping centres.
Richard Sabin, Managing Director of Biotecture, commented:
“It’s wonderful to see nature having such a prominent role in the shopping centre’s expansion. Not only will the living walls enhance the ambience for visitors, they will improve air quality and biodiversity.”
Throughout the construction phase, nearby wildlife was protected to create a ‘biodiversity net gain’. Working closely with the Environment Agency, the project team developed a plan to protect the nearby stream dynamics during the construction works. Endangered species were relocated and then released back into the new habitats around the outlet during the summer of 2019.
Jay Newman, Managing Director, McLaren South, said:
“Living walls are proven to help uplift people’s mood, reduce air pollution and aid biodiversity – this installation creates a calming atmosphere at the focal point of the new shopping space, with beautiful vertical gardens covering the walls and providing new habitats for local wildlife.”
“The overall design of this project has created an outstanding, environmentally friendly retail destination in a great location. We are proud to have been a part of McArthurGlen’s vision for modern shopping in Kent.”