Two giant living walls constructed with over 50,000 plants have been unveiled in Sunderland city centre.

Sprawling across the north and south sides of the soon to open 650-space Farringdon Row multi-storey car park, the impressive walls span a staggering 6,000 sq ft.

Designed to drive down carbon emissions and mitigate pollution, the walls were designed by ANS Group and will provide a stunning new gateway to Riverside Sunderland.

Overlooking Galley’s Gill and the soon to be developed Eye Hospital, the walls feature over 51,000 plants in total, including Carex Pendula (for habitat and insects), Ulex Europass (for pollination) and Cotoneaster sue (for berries and birds), some of which are native to Britain and were carefully selected for their ability to thrive in the local climate.

Steve McIntyre, Urban Environmental Consultant at ANS, said: “We are incredibly proud to have played a part in the design of this project, which will not only see Riverside Sunderland bloom, but also play a huge role in helping the city achieve its ambitious low carbon ambitions.

“It is a perfect example of how development can be both aesthetically pleasing and sustainable and we have been blown away by the reception form the public so far. The project has been a real joy to be involved in.”

The new multi-storey car park is part of the transforming Riverside Sunderland development which, when complete, will see over 1 million sq ft of office space brought to market, a world-leading eye hospital and the construction of thousands of homes, significantly increasing the city centre population.

It is expected the car park, which will officially open to the public over the coming months, will operate outside of normal working hours to support the evening economy in the city centre and will operate through a combination of pre-paid permits and paid parking.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The living wall is yet another stunning addition to our city centre and we are absolutely thrilled to see it finally take shape.

“Standing atop Galley’s Gill, it will help the new car park blend perfectly into its natural surroundings while reducing emissions by, literally, breathing new life into the atmosphere.

“It will also serve as a gateway to Riverside Sunderland, showcasing our commitment to sustainability and green living, while reinforcing the message to residents and visitors alike that Sunderland really is a city fixated on becoming a city of the future.”

For more information on Riverside Sunderland, visit: https://www.riversidesunderland.com/