Holborn Viaduct Building Could Feature Europe's Largest Green Wall

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Holborn Viaduct Building Could Feature Europe's Largest Green Wall

This unusual hotel building could soon blossom on Holborn Viaduct. If built, the hotel would feature the largest green wall in Europe.

You will know the location if you've ever emerged from the Newgate end of City Thameslink station, to behold a godawful cream-and-brown 1960s office block directly opposite. Citicape House, as it is awkwardly called, has stood empty for years, awaiting development.

"The architectural crossbracing references the supporting beams of the public gallows, which once stood at this junction," a representative of the architects did not tell us.

These new plans, by Sheppard Robson, call for a 12-storey hotel whose entire facade is criss-crossed with greenery. The record-breaking wall would cover some 3,700 sq metres and contain around 400,000 plants. A rooftop viewing gallery would be open to the public.

The roof terrace — seemingly open to the public from sunrise.

It's hard not to be charmed at the idea. As Ian Visits notes, a living wall on this scale will be expensive to maintain, and a luxury hotel is more likely to succeed than a block of offices.

Ian also has details of the complex engineering needed below ground, to ensure the building does not interfere with the Thameslink tracks.

Spot the hotel.

The planning application is currently with the City of London for consideration.

Last Updated 29 October 2019