Flora • noun
: plant, bacterial, or fungal life
Felt • verb
: to have one's sensibilities markedly affected by
Buildings Become Alive
To create a middle ground between the living and the non-living;
Where nature can integrate into our modern way of life;
The delightful orchestration of invention and nature.
Clean Urban Possibilities
Buildings covered in foliage, a natural way to both cool and retain heat.
Cities awash in gardens providing both beauty and food. Plants everywhere, removing toxins and pumping oxygen.
That's the vision behind Florafelt. Even the most dense, crowded metropolis provides countless surfaces for greenery and sustainable systems.
At Florafelt, we believe human ingenuity will solve the world's problems. We want to cover the earth in green.
Inspired by Nature
The inspiration for Florafelt came from cliffs and rock walls in nature, lush with foliage adapted for the immediate environment. After studying problematic stapled and slit-and-plant systems, we overcame the architectural challenge of replicating nature by using Florafelt pockets that make it easy to replant and rearrange. The secure design and forgiving medium provides an instant living wall, and allows easy replacement with plants better suited to the specific environment. It's even sturdy enough to grow trees!
Efficiency by Design
Stapled, aquaponic living walls leave swathes of dead plants high above, that are difficult to replace. Slit systems require messy and intensive work. With Plants on Walls and Florafelt, simply lift problem plants from their pockets and replace them with new varieties that will thrive. In a short while, your living wall will make a dramatic, eco-friendly, and breathtaking statement.
Simplicity is Forever
The Florafelt system provides the most easy and affordable vertical living wall, for everyone from high-end designers to the home gardening enthusiast. With a bit of planning for light and water, a Florafelt living wall will thrive for decades if not centuries.
Chris Bribach Visionary Architecture
Inventing the Future
Chris Bribach, inventor of the Florafelt System received a 5 year bachelor's degree from SCI-ARC in 1992. The school was located blocks from Frank Gehry's office, where ideas for an organic future were just beginning to blossom.
I was excited about organic ideas in architecture and created chaos sculptures made from many pieces of building elements connected in a free-form structure. I assembled the pieces in what seemed chaotic designs, but the goal was to create a redundantly efficient organic space frame. Similar to how a bird builds a nest, I wanted the assembly to become a process that organically helped create the scope and shape. On the human scale, I created what I called ‘performance architecture’ where the audience would create their own experience resulting in a structure.
The act of creating space with the materials at hand, quickly and efficiently, is how ancient people built dwellings. Nomadic communities living in harmony with their environment for thousands of years used very little to build comfortable homes. By passing down this knowledge, a rich architecture evolved that was sensitive to the environment and made efficient use of local materials.
The massive industrial urban centers of today are plagued with paved and roofed surfaces that require enormous amounts of energy to create and maintain. I wondered why buildings can’t be covered with living foliage to cool interiors, prevent decay and even grow food.
In 2008 I turned to the work of the visionary artist Patric Blanc who began growing vertically in the 1970s using his home fish aquarium. Replicating the natural growth along cliffs and sloping surfaces, he created beautiful vertical gardens using nutrient water that flows over synthetic felt. Excited by the potential, I explored the slit-and-staple method Patric offered in his book, The Vertical Garden, where he removes almost all the soil when planting. It quickly became clear that a mastery of botany would be required to provide proper water and nutrients hydroponically. Finding this far too difficult for the rest of us, I simplified the concept by pleating the felt and stapling it to a lightweight non-toxic plastic board to create easily plantable pockets. I wrote and was granted a patent for the ‘Vertical Garden Panel’ filed Sep. 2, 2010.
I am committed to the use of sustainable manufacturing methods that I learned from William McDonough's book, Cradle To Cradle, so I worked with manufacturers to develop a synthetic growing medium I called Florafelt. Made from recycled plastic water bottles, it is food-safe and will not only last indefinitely but can be re-melted to create other products.
Florafelt Living Wall Systems are proudly made in the USA from materials also made in the USA. Our team assembles planters and systems for customers throughout the world. There's nothing like the joy you feel when you fill a wall with plants.