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Located at 8600 Wilshire, Gardenhouse is the first residential development in the U.S. by Ma Yansong, founder of MAD Architects, who collaborated with Los Angeles-based Gruen Associates. The interiors were designed by Rottet Studio. “This is the first time that we are bringing the ‘Shanshui City’ design philosophy to North America,” Yansong says. “This approach which underlies my work is derived from the East Asian perception of a world that is imbued with a particular affinity for nature. This abbreviated manifesto on Shanshui philosophy combines the functionality of ur-ban density with the artistic idealization of natural landscape to com-pose a future city—one which maintains human spirit and emotion at its core.”

The unique character of this project, however, doesn’t stop there. In addition to its airy and contemporary apartments, penthouses and townhouses (ranging from $3.5 to $5.5 million and represented exclu-sively by Fredrik Eklund, Jenny Ting, and Anthony Barillo of Eklund | Gomes), Gardenhouse has the nation’s largest living art wall at 6,700 square feet. Created by Scott Hutcheon, founder of Seasons Landscap-ing, this element aims to connect people and nature in the heart of an urban environment. “The way the green wall is designed into the Gar-denhouse architecture puts it on center stage,” Hutcheon says. “The wall covers the entire façade, spanning two distinctly different micro-climates and sun aspects. Stanley is east-facing, getting a good amount of sun, and Wilshire is more north-facing, getting all shade.”

Defining the perfect vegetation was key to creating the wall, which comprises over 40,000 individual plants of 30 different varieties with an 8,000-gal-lon tank—making it the most water-efficient green wall system in the world. “For the Stanley side, we used a lot of succulents like jade, Cras-sula, dwarf carpet of stars and Aeonium as well as some sun-tolerant ferns,” Hutcheon describes. “For the Wilshire side, we chose a lot more tropical-style, larger leaf shade-tolerant material like Fatsia, Schefflera, ferns, Ficus decora, and spider plant.”

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