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Saying that botanist Patrick Blanc is dedicated to his work would be a bit of an understatement. A more fitting description of the 61-year-old Parisian would be that he lives with his work–and we mean that quite literally. His home on the outskirts of Paris is its own ecosystem, full of plants, fish, and turtles. It was designed with the help of architect Gilles Ebersolt.

The house, which looks unremarkable from the outside, has an interior fitted with vertical gardens on the walls. The gardens are made from metal frames covered in PVC and anti-rot felt. The felt is kept damp by way of an irrigation system, which allows the plants to grow right on the wall. Blanc has worked on creating and installing these gardens for many years, and they can be found in public and private buildings around the world.

Blanc”s home, which he shares with partner Pascal Heni, features plants wrapping around three of the four walls in the central courtyard. The courtyard opens up into the kitchen, dining room, and study. The study is really noteworthy, as the floor is actually the top of an enormous, 20,000-liter fish tank, which is home to fish, plants, and turtles. It”s heated year-round, so it also serves as a floor heater.

The study, where the floor is an immense heated fish tank.

The study, where the floor is an immense heated fish tank.

While it all seems like a massive undertaking, Blanc says the architecture of the house wasn”t changed that much. He was more interested in creating the ecosystem inside. “I like to reintegrate nature where one least expects it,” he says. He”s also not opposed to using artificial, modern materials in his home. He says that by using materials that are not biodegradable, plants can have a home that won”t fall apart after a few years. “It allows biology to install itself and last,” he explains.

Three of the four walls in the open-design courtyard are covered in plants.

Three of the four walls in the open-design courtyard are covered in plants.

(via Oddity Central)

Blanc sees his vertical gardens as the future of how humans interact with nature and plants, especially as space becomes more and more valuable with growing populations and shrinking natural spaces. It”s an ideal solution for nature appreciation and even food production in urban areas. “The plant wall has a real future for the well-being of people living in cities,” Blanc insists. “We live in an era where human activity is overwhelming. I think we can reconcile nature and man to a much greater degree. People become much more sensitive to nature when they suddenly see a plant wall in the Metro. It calls out to them much more than plants in a garden.”

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