Eco Brooklyn recently took on a new project for Area Yoga. This is Area Yoga’s second location which is right in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. The space consists of a large studio, two massage rooms, and a reception area.

When designing the yoga studio, there were two ledges that would only collect dust if we didn’t find a purpose for them. We chose to create living walls. The space is on a diagonal so we couldn’t approach it as a complete vertical garden but neither was it a flat green roof. As a living wall and green roof installer this was a new challenge for us. We are combining techniques we use from experience and creating a new process for an interior living wall.

The living wall shown above is 33’ x 5’ so making a space to contain the plants would be costly due to the structural needs. We chose to approach it as if it were a green roof. The existing structural support has a moisture retention mat, drainage barrier, and a filter fleece. These three items are extremely important because they prevent any potential water damage as well as allow drainage.

The growing medium for the plants is placed on top of this but since the space is sloped we needed a way to retain the soil. None of the available market solutions were a good fit so we decided to build our own soil retention solution. It is stainless steel tension wires traveling horizontally every 3″ with mosquito netting intertwined to create personal pockets for each plant.

Approaching the living wall this way has the best of both horizontal and vertical living wall installations. It is easy to fix common problems like clogged drains or leaks. There is more space for soil which improves plant growth and health.

We also installed fluorescent lights that provide some light to the plants. This is by no means a growing light, but it will help the growth of low light plants while creating a display for the customer. The challenge here was to install the lights without deterring from the intricate old molding. We didn’t want modern and traditional to clash. We addressed this challenge by boxing the lights so they blend into the ceiling.

The spaces which contain the living wall instantly bring the room to life. The traditional molding and plants create a relaxed but high end ambiance that fits in perfectly in Brooklyn Heights. Since it is a yoga studio, we wanted to find a peaceful, minimalist approach while still highlighting the a beautiful historic space. The living wall does just that.

Stay tuned for more posts once the plants arrive!