A new residential community in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, will be raised high above the street and wrapped in a huge living wall. Designed by MAD Architects, 8600 Wilshire will also feature a lush hidden garden for its residents. MAD says it will "coalesce nature and community into a living environment among high-density cities."

The planned 25,900 sq ft (2,406 sq m) development is described as a "hillside village." At street level, there will be conventional commercial units, but rising above them will be what appears to be a large floating plinth wrapped in greenery. On top of that, rising 60 ft (18 m) into the air, will sit picturesque white villas and trees.

There are 18 planned residential units in total, comprising three townhouses, five villas, two studios and eight condominiums. The properties will overlook the street on one side, but provide privacy on the other courtesy of an enclosed garden. This hidden elevated courtyard will feature native plantings and a canopy of trees. At its center, the design has a water feature that will flow into a secondary pool in the lobby below.

The large façade between the street-level commercial units and the raised residential community will be punctuated by windows, around which the living garden will be installed. Covering an area of around 5,000 sq ft (465 sq m), it will be planted with low-water-needs plants that are native to California, including several species of succulents and vines.

The living wall will be irrigated by an automated system that employs micro-drip emitters and sensors for 24/7 remote monitoring. This will ensure that water is used only when needed, maintaining efficiency and minimizing the amount of excess water used in the living wall at any time.

Any excess water will be captured in a specially-designed gutter system that will direct the run-off back into the pump system. A roof system that meeting the Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plan (SUSMP) requirements, a best practice system required locally to minimize the pollution of stormwater run-off from from new developments and redevelopment projects, will be used to irrigate the low-water-needs planted trees.

8600 Wilshire is expected to break ground this October.

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