Beyond Adornment - IAC's Living Wall in the Arid Urban Environment of Los Angeles
Draping 11,000 plants over an existing six-story building, Rana Creek and Rios Clemente Hale Studios created a living wall to revitalize the IAC Headquarters in Hollywood, CA. Suspended at an angle from the building face, the living wall grows along the structure, transitioning from vertical to horizontal, forming a dramatic canopy at the building entrance.
Seeking to create a new urban ecology, the living wall provides a breath of fresh air for pedestrians on the iconic Sunset Strip, and creates habitat opportunities and other resources for regional birds and pollinators. With an understanding of how essential it was to create meaningful links to the local ecology, the planting design prioritized species native to Southern California which can be found in the hills and canyons of Los Angeles.
Vertical troughs are attached to a white brick façade at their highest point and protrude as much as 14' feet at the second floor, creating a garden awning. The grid structure allows light to stream through, while the lines of the lattice create shade down below.
Located in an area of Los Angeles that was once wetland, the building had regular flooding issues in its subterranean garage. As a result of utilizing this resource for irrigation, zero potable water is used and roughly 100,000 gallons are saved per year.
Judges praised this project for its striking visuals, and prominence in a highly visible setting. They also praised the project for having overcome a variety of technical and environmental challenges in designing this project.