The green tech design engineers and horticulturists at Urbanstrong have completed the installation of dual living walls – adjacent canvases of tropical flora – and an entryway canopy of abundant greenery at Rosé Wine Mansion, a two-story, 14-room immersive art and wine pop-up that opened July 12th at 445 Fifth Ave.
“Our goal with every project is to create an urban oasis that calms the mind and restores the senses,” explains Urbanstrong’s founder, Alan Cyril Burchell.
The end was accomplished to perfection at Rosé Wine Mansion notes Tyler Balliet, co-creator of the site with his partner, Morgan First. Balliet says, “We wanted to bring the ‘other New York,’ the lush and green part of the State, into the City. Urbanstrong has done that… Any time you’re around living plants it adds an element.”
That ‘element,’ notes Burchell, is called Biophilia, humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. The term explains the therapeutic mental and physiological effects derived from being in the presence of greenery, even if just for a moment. “Looking up from one’s desk to view a green wall in an office or school has been proven to simultaneously reduce stress and boost productivity and creativity,” says Burchell.
On the second floor, Burchell and team were asked to create living walls reminiscent of the bountiful greenery of New York State for a section entitled “Made in NY – Visit the Finger Lakes”. The living walls support low-light tropical plants, including Triostars and Prayer plants flecked or lined in pink in keeping with the rosé branding. Urbanstrong used modular pre-vegetated panels that were quickly installed in an almost Lego-like fashion. They are hydrated through a passive irrigation system: plant roots soak up moisture via a wicking mat that draws from gutter reservoirs which are manually filled every 4-5 weeks, eliminating the expenses of plumbing, drainage or electrical connections and allowing for maximum flexibility.
“We work with a range of living wall technologies which allows us to custom design every installation to meet our clients’ goals and budget,” explains Burchell.
On the ground floor, Urbanstrong designed the extended entry to Rosé Wine Mansion. Immediately upon arrival, visitors feel whisked away to Miami as they walk through a canopy-like portal flanked by palm and fig trees and Bird of Paradise plantings that stretch up to 14-feet high.
Morgan First notes, “Alan and his partner Kate Lodvikov have created energized worlds for people to interact with.”
Rosé Wine Mansion offers tours, activities ranging from wine-blending to wine-tasting, chandelier-swinging and a plethora of other Instagrammable photo-ops to visitors through October 7.
Urbanstrong’s team consists of green roof professionals; professional engineers; architects; horticulturists; general contractors; designers; solar engineers; and urban agriculture consultants. The group has installed and maintained hundreds of thousands of square feet of green building projects throughout the greater northeast over the past 10+ years at various sites including iconic landmarks, schools, offices, restaurants, condos, and brownstones. www.urbanstrong.com