Copyright Natural Habitats 2016

Stephen Marr Green Wall Reconfigured

Stephen Marr Green Wall Reconfigured


Three years since its original installation,New Zealand’s first green wall at the Stephen Marr Salon has been reconfigured. Jericho Cleary discusses how the versatility afforded by green walls can add signifcant value for clients, allowing for the accomodation of changing desires and circumstances.

Vertical gardens certainly offer an array of benefits to both commercial and residential clients alike. The obvious environmental and aesthetic contributions aside, the simple versatility inherent in the design of Natural Habitats’ green walls is an underrated means by which they can provide significant value to clients.

The extent of versatility and flexibility afforded by a green wall has been clearly brought to light by the recent reconfiguration of the Stephen Marr green wall at The Department Store, Takapuna. Originally installed in 2009, the double-sided wall is 10 meters long by 2 meters high and boasts well over 1,000 individual plants. The concept behind this breathtaking piece of artwork was simple – divide the upper level of the salon as to provide unique spaces that could be used for presentations such as fashion shows. The installation of wall not only fulfilled its physical purpose but also proved to be a powerful branding exercise, with the salon being named the “best concept store in the world” by the respected international publication Monocle Magazine in 2010.

Three years on, the green wall continues to receive both praise and admiration. Recently however, the desire to extend retail areas led to the decision to relocate three of the wall’s ten panels, effectively creating two green walls. Due to the technology used by Natural Habitats to construct its green walls, this desire was easily accommodated and proved to be a straightforward yet outstandingly effective exercise for Stephen Marr. The reconfigured wall provides a significant point of difference for the salon; it demands the attention not only of those unfamiliar with the green wall but also of those who have become familiar with its presence.

At Natural Habitats, we use specialist technology that allows us to cater each green wall to the design and practical needs of each client. Each panel is a self-contained unit consisting of a lightweight frame with its own irrigation manifold. The lightweight frame supports the lightweight manufactured media designed for engineers’ comfort in weight loading designs. The self-contained nature of each panel and the care taken to develop lightweight materials underpins the versatility of our green walls.

The versatility provided by green walls can provide a significant return on investment when utilised – in the case of Stephen Marr, reconfiguring the green wall accommodated a changing commercial focus and provided a significant means of generating brand attention as a natural by-product. Such reconfiguration goals can lend relevance to residential clients who may be moving house and wish to take their investment with them, or commercial clients who wish to regenerate brand attention or to change the function of the green wall.

By Jericho Cleary