One of the most stunning aspects of the new SFMOMA is a living wall comprising some 19,440 plants, all California native species, that lines a second-story courtyard along the eastern side of the new part of the museum. As CBS 5 shows us in the video above, the living wall is a massive feat of engineering and vertical gardening, and adds an element of dynamic, organic life to a museum space that might otherwise feel cold and monolithic.
Horticulturalist David Brenner speaks to the station about the design and construction process, which involves huge sheets of porous felt made out of recycled plastic bottles. The wall is equipped with multiple moisture sensors, and is precisely irrigated with a drip system, using all recycled water.
The vision for the wall, of course, came from Snøhetta, the Norwegian architects responsible for the new addition to the museum who saw the courtyard and plant life as a pleasant break for visitors touring the now huge museum. It was a prominent feature in the early renderings, and now, it's become a reality.
As we talked about recently, the new SFMOMA is basically triple its original size, and now boasts 20,000 more square feet of gallery space than New York's MoMA.
The museum swings back open on May 14, and, naturally, tickets for opening day have sold out.