Monday 16 January 2017

Heathrow passengers enjoy Garden Gate sanctuary in six-month trial

Published 10/10/2016 | 12:01

Passengers at Heathrow are being greeted by a garden installation (Heathrow Airport/PA)
Passengers at Heathrow are being greeted by a garden installation (Heathrow Airport/PA)

Airline passengers at the UK's busiest airport are being greeted by a garden installation designed to create a "sanctuary of rest".

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Ivy and Peace Lily are among the plants featured at Heathrow's Garden Gate.

The west London hub's strategy director, Emma Gilthorpe, said the project was part of efforts to "make our passengers' journeys better".

She went on: "Our passengers can enjoy a natural sanctuary of rest and relaxation as they make their way through the airport, with 1,680 plants ready to see them on their way."

Heathrow claimed it is the first of its kind at a UK airport and cited a number of studies which have found that plants can have a calming influence on people.

The installation at Gate 25 in Terminal 3 consists of seven vertical panels each containing 240 plants.

Each panel is fitted with a water reservoir and nutrient system to allow the plants to flourish.

If the six-month trial is successful it could be rolled out across the airport.

The Garden Gate was created by West Sussex-based firm Biotecture, which has installed similar green walls at sites across the UK as well as in the US and the Middle East.

Its work in London includes gardens at 20 Fenchurch Street - known as the Walkie Talkie tower - Edgware Road and Elephant & Castle Tube stations and MTV's UK headquarters.

Richard Sabin, director of Biotecture, said: " The Garden Gate at Heathrow is the latest, and perhaps most iconic, living wall representing the advancement of eco-technologies in the UK.

"The world's major cities are increasingly investing in green infrastructure, and the Garden Gate, both technically and ecologically, is cutting edge for its ease of installation, unique plant selection and LED lighting system.

"As the nexus of transit and technology, transportation hubs are ideal locations for green infrastructure to become an investment in public health and well-being."

Around 287,000 passengers travel through Gate 25 at Heathrow every year.

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