Greenworks supplies H&M on Gustav Adolf’s square in the middle of Malmö with greenery. Nature moves inside at Sweden’s third largest city, and Hennes & Mauritz gets a unique indoor environment that distinguishes it from all other clothing stores.
– The idea was to create a living wall that is more than just a green wall, Jens Öqvist explains, landscape engineer at Greenworks. The intention was to create a vertical garden with a three-dimensional depth that captures contrasts and soft shapes.
The living wall serves as a backscene of the two escalators that link the floors together and becomes an eyecatcher in a world of clothes. At 60 square meters there are 18 different plant species. Jens, who also has an background in industrial economics, points to a number of parameters in addition to the more artistic and aesthetic aspects.
– We must place the right plant at the right place, we must ensure that they get enough light, that the moisture levels are right, that the maintenance works and that different plants are combined in the best way. It is also a matter of predicting how the plant wall changes over time, we are working with a living material where the shapes are constantly changing.
– Instead of placing a plant species in each field, we have this time mixed two to three in each field. The principle is that four-fifths of the fields consist of mat-forming plant species and the remaining fifth with outwardly growing plant species.
Round leaf peperomia and aglaonema work well together, as well as hawaiian schefflera and satin pothos. Narrow-leaved wax plant is preferably placed above a couple of spider plants and boston fern along with monstera.
However, some plants do not fit well together. Jens Öqvist mentions baby’s tears together with the spider plant, it tends to cover the former who needs a lot of light. Narrow-leaved wax plant should not be planted under upward growing plants like the ti plant and hawaiian schefflera. And just as Jens emphasizes, plant walls are constantly changing.
Instead of a fixed and ready-made interior architecture that in most clothing stores plays a subordinate role, the plant walls are a living element that changes appearance over time and tempts for new visits. H&M’s store staff comments
– It’s sweet, it feels good with living plants, says Emily and folds some clothes at the checkout.
– We get many compliments from our customers; the living wall gives the store something extra.
– H&M’s logo was a challenge. It required about fifty special brackets and lighting, and the plants around it had to be plants that did not grow to much out from the wall. On the other hand, climbing plants like the golden pothos can over time make a very special effect.
– Our customer wanted color shades like green and silver, we also tried to get a little red colors down in the right corner with some red Aglaonema ’Crete’ inside a green carpet of round leaf peperomia. We also get the same contrast with round leaf peperomia together with aglaonema ‘Silver Queen Compact’. The contrasts largely relate to how foliage and plant growth are combined on the living wall.
– We have two types of maintenance. We have an ongoing service where we refill nutrition, do visual inspection from the ground level, coarse cleaning of the gutter, adjustment of irrigation intervals and more. The other is a service action which is a more extensive service, which means that we use a lift to trim, polish and analyze the plant landscape and sometimes replace individual plants. During the first year, we have up to five service actions, because we want to act proactive, and after the first year it will be three service actions per year.
H&M’s plant wall in the store at Gustav Adolf’s square in Malmö was developed by Greenworks. The construction started in the autumn of 2018 and the wall was completely completed in February 2019. Among Greenworks’ well-known plant walls is Biomedicum, Karolinska Institutet. At the end of the summer, a 120-square-meter living wall will be inaugurated at Örebro University Hospital. An outdoor living wall will also be built on Storgatan 1 at Östermalmstorg in the middle of Stockholm.