The Future of Living Walls in Los Angeles

This living wall sits three stories above downtown Los Angeles as part of Gensler’s outdoor patio meeting space.

One of the things we love about working with living walls is finding something new to incorporate into our client projects. We’ve been big fans of preserved moss walls, and found a way to combine it with traditional living walls for the architecture firm Gensler’s Los Angeles location.

Gensler’s Los Angeles office is the first vertical urban creative campus in the downtown area at 500 South Figueroa Street. The campus is comprised of Gensler’s original three-level atrium building, which it outgrew a long time ago,  connected via a custom-designed bridge to the City National Bank tower next door where it is leasing several more floors of office space to accommodate its 600 employees.

Gensler asked Good Earth Plant Company to create a living wall for the “garden space” they created at one end of the bridge. The architects wanted one of the walls to look like an old garden shed overgrown by plants, not a boring and plain wall. Fantastic – just the kind of creative challenge we love!

Good Earth Plant Company combined preserved moss and traditional living wall plants for this unique custom project.

So we put preserved moss to work creating the look of older wood invaded by moss just like it would deep into the forest. Interspersed across the wall structure we installed real plants. Because the patio is open to the sky and high above the street, we chose hardy plants that can stand up to sun, wind, and pollution: ivy, spider plants, and ferns.

We wouldn’t normally put preserved moss outside, but the small space is provided with some protection. It’s a little bit of an experiment. This is how we push innovation forward. Our original green roof at Good Earth Plants was an experiment and it’s still going strong over a decade later. When we are fortunate to work with adventurous clients like Gensler, it’s possible to take some chances.

The bridge stretches 30 feet long and seven feet wide, constructed from transparent glass panels. It includes an open-air patio for outdoor meetings, which now includes our hybrid moss/living plant wall.

Another look at our project for Gensler’s redesigned workspace in Los Angeles. We love working with adventurous clients like Gensler!

While we love the results, what we live for is the client feedback. “The wall looks fabulous! We love our green wall!” was the reaction from Tina Rothermund, Gensler Los Angeles’ project manager. Thank you, Tina!

Gensler’s LEED Platinum workplace serves as a creative lab for architects, designers, planners and the community. It features flexible workspaces, a model shop, wellness rooms, an outdoor meeting patio, a family room with a bar for coffee and snacks, and a special events space.
Gensler hopes its project will serve as a model to landlords and tenants trying to transform corporate skyscrapers into engaging campuses. Gensler was named one of the best places to work and one of the “9 Companies We’re Excited About in ” by the human resources website Glassdoor. We can see why!