Deploying Living Walls as Kinetic Facades

This paper explores ideas for integrating moveable exterior living walls with the facades of high-rise buildings to enhance urban ecosystems while contributing opportunities for personal interaction with the natural world. Rethinking the typical static nature of living walls, kinetic green walls convey a dynamic aesthetic that provides multiple potential benefits including habitat, passive cooling and opportunity for personal expressions in dense urban environments. This article proposes prototypes of kinetic green walls and suggests their expanded application to the ultra-urban built environment. It offers a preliminary typology, presents a moveable green wall system prototype installed in an urban university setting in Seattle, and demonstrates how the kinetic qualities afford flexible operational, educational, and aesthetic functions. Reflecting upon the challenges and solutions for the built project, this article identifies essential considerations for designing and constructing moveable living walls, illustrated through photographs, construction details and diagrams of new kinetic living wall applications.