Monday, August 10, 2009

A Living Green Wall - Portland's Hotel Modera

Hotel Modera 'Living Wall' - Portland Oregon
Living Wall Designed by Lango Hansen Landscape Architects working with Hoist Architecture

Referred to as mid-modern, Hotel Modera boasts a gracefully horizontal architectural style: The building resting with a comfortable elegance on its downtown Portland site.

An extensive renovation reinvented the property's ambiance, with earth tones adding warmth to the interior's hip, contemporary layout. The beautifully designed Nel Centro restaurant opened in May; its outdoor patio area integrated with Hotel Modera's courtyard. I found Nel Centro's food, wine and service consistently delicious and satisfying after enjoying a number of meals there.

The 13' vertical green wall at Hotel Modera lured me to book a visit.
The wall adorns a spacious public courtyard designed by Lango Hansen Landscape Architects, working with Hoist Architecture.
The resulting space is sleek and modern; comfortable and inviting.
Bringing order to the design: A central wooden walkway combined with a glass canopy; voluminous corten steel planters set apart by the material's rich rust-colored surface; and corten steel and orange glass cullet fireplaces arranged around the courtyard.

The Columbia River Gorge inspired the designers to incorporate native plants. The corten steel planks, set in the wall, reflect the color of stone seen in the Gorge area, while the wall's vegetation is meant to mimic the Gorge's textural vegetation.

Nine species of plants include evergreen huckleberry, coast strawberry, wood fern (Dryopteris expansa), and licorice fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza).

Sand filters storm water runoff at the bottom of the wall. At the pinnacle of the wall, conifers and deciduous trees are planted to conceal the top section of the garage ramp.
Link below to a trove of great Green Portland Destinations:


  1. Oh gosh...this has been on my "go see" list for awhile now! Why don't I get out more!!! Thank you for taking me there, now I really have to go see in person!

  2. That looks plant art! Splendid! Thanks for visiting me on blotanical! I haven't been on their site for a while and had a slew of messages! I'm now a follower of your blog. I hope to see you around, too. I changed my blog name and am now a DOT COM. I can be found at Hope to see you there!

  3. That is really beautiful and creative! I'll have to add this to my list of places to visit in Portland next time.

  4. It's a treat to see the greenery in an urban space up off the ground so that passersby can enjoy it. This wall looks particularly well done.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your explorations! :)

  5. Hi all,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. If you're fans of Patrick Blanc's green walls, as I am, it seems fitting for these vertical swaths of flora to at last be appearing on our own 'doorstep' - so to speak. Do let me know if you come upon green walls, roofs or new landscapes in your travels.

    Cheers, Alice

  6. The concept of a living wall is highly attractive and the execution here is wonderful.

  7. The wall of greenery, core ten and white tiles ( material ?) is fantastic as is the interior courtyard with its core ten planters, horizontal screening and decking.
    But the sad little aeonium that has seen better days in the hotel lobby is just comical, in an Italian spoof opera sort of way.
    If that is 'sculptural planting' then I have a graveyard of plants that is just one big huge sculpture . ( Why haven't I been "discovered !" )

  8. Hey DD,
    You caught me vacillating about deleting the lead pic of the Aeonium, but I simply couldn't help myself reading it as a pure line and texture in space rather than a critique of the plant. I love aeoniums - I grow aeoniums, but all my hortiholic tendencies were suspended here. It ain't dead, it's flowering ;-D