With wellbeing at the core of its design, it is no surprise that plants are one of the key biophilic elements within The Spine.
Far from covering a purely aesthetic role, our plant installations contribute to establishing the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) new Northern home as one of the healthiest buildings in the world in several ways.
Firstly, they produce oxygen and improve air quality within the building, in line with the requirements to achieve WELL Platinum. They also create a happy and calm environment, helping our visitors, guests and colleagues to connect with nature every day and reduce stress levels.
Today, we are delighted to announce that our plant installations created by Urban Planters were awarded two golds at the prestigious Plants@work Awards.
The Plants@work Awards were introduced in 2004 to celebrate interior landscape excellence.
Despite its recent opening to the public, The Spine was shortlisted as a finalist in two categories at the Plants@work Awards, and scooped gold in both. Our GSky living walls and tropical forests won Best Project 2021: Design & Installation and were later awarded Gold Leaf for Design & Installation over £10,000.
The Spine boasts breath-taking and innovative plant installations, including two living walls and three vertical villages with indoor tropical forests.
Located by the reception area on the ground floor, the GSky living walls mimic the striking Voronoi pattern on the façade of The Spine. Voronoi patterns are extremely common in nature, and can be found in leaves, cells, human skin and animal fur.
Our architects used a mixture of specimens to achieve a variety of shades and textures, including Dracaena compacta, Asplenium antiquum and Aglaonema maria just to name a few.
Planting always was a key part of the very design of the building, instead of a later addition. This can be noticed in the three double-height floors that were created to host vertical villages containing oxygen-producing plants.
Our vertical villages can be found on the ground floor, floor 10 and floor 12 and include planting beds with integrated seating to allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature. The planting beds were built into the floor, a detail that strengthens the connection between the building and the natural element.
The goal of this design, which was created by Ed Gant at Oobe Architects, is to recreate a tropical-like forest.
The specimen used to achieve this effect include Veitchia meilli trees as large as 4.3 meters tall and large-leaved planting such as Alocasia macrrohiza and Philodendron imperial red.
Research shows that introducing plants in indoor environments can lead to a series of benefits for both physical and psychological wellbeing.
For example, plants have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety while also enhancing cognitive, creative and problem-solving skills, and concentration and productivity.
Combined with the direct access to natural light, filtered water and fresh, purified air, the presence of indoor planting makes The Spine the perfect location to host conferences, meetings, training days and exams.