Living Wall as Art

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May 1, 2020

Urban Ecotones, an interior living wall installation in Oakland, CA, in 2019 became the first living wall to meet the requirements of public art status by a U.S. city. The wall, by David Brenner, founder and principal of Habitat Horticulture, is a 19- x 34-ft. living wall at 601 City Center that is now a part of the city’s permanent public art collection. It features more than 25 colorful plant species. The 600,000-sq.-ft. commercial building is in the heart of Oakland. Brenner was also officially recognized as an artist by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for “The Living Wall,” the largest such installation currently in the U.S.

In 2014, the city adopted a requirement that 1 percent of nonresidential private development project costs be allocated “for freely accessible public art on site, or within the public right of way.”