Innovative Greening Of Indoor Environments

24 February 2016

Paul Garlick of Mobilane explains the latest options for indoor plants, and looks at a recent innovative interior living wall installation at Pinkmans Bakery, Bristol.

With customers expecting ever more interesting and high quality experiences when dining or purchasing food, one of the growing trends for businesses looking to deliver something different is the use of living elements – plants – in innovative ways. However, getting the balance right is the challenge. How do you introduce plants into a retail or eating environment in a way that is effective, yet unobtrusive and low maintenance?

Established by London bakers Steven Whibley and Troels Bendix, Pinkmans Bakery in Bristol’s fashionable Park Street is a fully licensed bakery and cafe, serving breads, pizza, coffee and cakes for takeout as well as eating in, throughout the daytime and evening. The bakery has an open kitchen and a wood fired oven.

Plants are a big feature of the interior design of the establishment. As well as a wide selection of hanging plants and strategically and cleverly placed pots, Pinkmans Bakery also features a 2 square metre LivePanel internal living wall recessed into a wall in the dining area and incorporating a pink neon ‘P’ nestling within the plants.

The system was installed by Just Plants of Bristol, and as Adam Bristowe explains, “Pinkmans Bakery is a very exciting project. The ethos is all about natural food and connecting with the environment, while the experience for shoppers and diners is interesting. It’s all about producing beautiful bread in a lovely environment, and the liberal inclusion of plants helps to make that experience a unique one.

“Finding the right places to incorporate the hanging plants and the wall has taken some doing, but we are delighted by the finished effect and the response of customers.

“We’ve noticed a growing trend where new and younger architects are increasingly incorporating plants in their designs in interesting ways and in projects and environments where you traditionally would not expect to see them. Not only do plants make an interior environment look fantastic, but they add a strong contemporary feel and deliver a range of sustainability and wellbeing benefits.”

The secret to this successful interior living wall installation is that LivePanel is a modular living wall system. The modules have a specially developed substrate designed to enable the plants to establish and thrive, and the feeding of the plants with water and nutrients is ensured by an integrated irrigation and drainage system. This helps to ensure the system is low maintenance. And with a wide selection of plants which can be used within the system, LivePanel allows for a lot of creative freedom in the design. Plants can even be changed to suit the seasons or even mood.

As well as creating an interesting and relaxing ambiance, interior plants deliver well understood health and wellbeing benefits, as well as proven productivity benefits. These benefits are the reason plants are enjoying a renaissance in offices and other workplaces. Interior living walls take the concept further by incorporating substantial amounts of plants, but without taking up valuable floor space as potted plants would. And of course for the business which takes seriously its commitment to sustainability, nothing says ‘green’ quite like plants.