Big Gardens for Small Spaces

All photos courtesy Horticus Living.

Having a large collection of plants is amazing, but it can get a little crowded with our floor space disappearing pretty quickly. This is particularly true for city dwellers.

43 percent of Londoners live in a flat, the most of any region in the UK, promoting the move of our gardening skills to our balconies and our living rooms. With the mean average UK one-bedroom home being 46 square meters ( or 495 square feet), according to Riba, space is one of the issues these horticulturalists face.

By focusing on a desire to nurture carefully grown fauna, UK company Horticus Living has rethought the living wall, made it more flexible, and kept the practice of cultivation while keeping a minimalistic lifestyle.

Horticus is a modular living wall system that can grow in keeping with your botanical demands. You choose the size and layout according to your preference and it doesn’t have to be all plants either. Use an empty planter for mementoes or select from pods with different functions.

You can grow your living wall at your own pace. There is no need to get a lot of plants straight away to have the impact.

Horticus Living’s small kit consists of 1 powder coated steel frame and 3 terracotta planters and can add a touch of jungle to a bathroom, bring fresh herbs to a kitchen and a sense of calm to a living room. Planters are made from terracotta and can be lifted in and out of the frame. Even better, the planters can be watered from above through a grid of watering holes.

The combination of powder coated frame with terracotta brings a natural feel to interiors while offering a fantastic contrast to the greenery.

In today’s market, the demand for unique luxury residential amenities has never been more important. For those who live in ever-growing urban jungles across the nation, buyers want to have everything they could ever need right at their fingertips while enjoying the cityscapes surroundings.

With this in mind, this residential community is taking luxury amenities to new heights. Positioned seven stories above the bustling city of Baltimore, the custom sky park at 414 Light Street features an elevated amenity-laden lifestyle — with everything from a pet spa and pet park to a 16-foot outdoor dual-sided movie theater.

 

Developed by Questar Properties, 414 Light Street is a 44-story tower of 394 luxury residences and is the tallest residential tower to stand in the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. Featuring hospitality-inspired services and amenities, the apartment tower includes 40,000-square-feet of outdoor and indoor amenity space.

“We were looking to do something unique and distinguishing,” says developer and owner Stephen M. Gorn, CEO of Questar Properties. “We really like what we’ve done here. We’re truly creating a new standard of luxury, which is a blend between a five-star resort, five-star hotel and a luxury, residential building.”

 

The sky park offers multipurpose activity lawns, Al fresco kitchen and dining, community and resident gardens, a skyline terrace with a pool and cabanas, and an urban bosque with bi-monthly harvesting.

 

There are also several outdoor seating areas, all offering sweeping views of the city. While some offer privacy and seclusion, much of the space is also curated with entertainment in mind — boasting activities such as pool tables and televisions.

Indoor amenities include a fireside retreat room, game room, media room, entertainment kitchen and bar, yoga and meditation room, club-caliber fitness room and business lounge.

“The combination of unique amenities is really my favorite part about 414 Light Street,” Gorn says. “The sky park was inspired by this desire to create a full living experience, and to serve this market that was really underserved.”

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, Oceanwide Plaza is following a similar trend. As the largest mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles, Oceanwide Plaza comprises three towers and boasts a 100-foot high, 2-acre sky park outfitted with 2 dog parks, a basketball court, lawns, a running track and swimming pool.

According to Gorn, the expansive design process took around six to nine months, and the project took more than 3 years from start to finish.

 

From the exterior to the interior, the team was very mindful of design. “We really wanted to create a design that appealed to a diverse demographic palette, from millennials to baby boomers and everything in between,” Gorn says.

 

Questar Properties worked in collaboration with landscape architect Wolff Landscape, and architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz. “We got together and we really challenged each other to do something creative. We wanted to do something that was very dynamic and creative,” Gorn says.

A new trend is emerging in new developments — less artwork, more greenery.

By Alyssa Gautieri

Photo courtesy of Redundant Pixel

Developers are beginning to replace artwork in lobbies with viewing atrium gardens and living green walls. Ridding lobbies of traditional artwork, developers are instead creating art in the form of greenery and landscape. Greenery is a fresh, new way to the grab attention of residents upon entry.
Here are some properties that are embracing this emerging trend:

525W52

With an atrium that extends from the second floor lobby to the cellar, this property in Hell’s Kitchen is welcoming residents with a unique, beautiful view. Inspired by Japanese Gardens and designed by Future Green Studio, this atrium features a green wall and a lush viewing garden with pre-historic plants.

Photo courtesy of Moso Studio

507 West Chelsea

This beautiful property combines nature with design motifs of the High Line to create a welcoming first impression. Designed by Ismael Leyva Architects, the development’s living green wall adds a pop of color and natural element to the lobby.

Photo courtesy of Ismael Leyva Architects

Citizen360

360 East 89th Street has plans to create a green wall — an idea by Clodagh, the building’s interior designer — behind a burnished-steel and oak reception desk. An scupper that splashes water into a pool and stepped slabs of limestone will create a garden-like feeling in the lobby.

Photo courtesy of Redundant Pixel

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