After one of the two Parisian stores of
The Grande Epicerie de Paris
, Tracer Urban Nature, a specialist in green walls, continues to appeal to luxury professionals. The Dijon company has just delivered two walls for the Christian Dior store on the Champs-Elysées and is preparing to supply a vegetable composition for couturier Dolce Gabbana, Avenue Montaigne. More than 300 projects across France have been in place since 2005 when François-Xavier Jacquinet, its CEO, embarked on this activity.
The bellflowers of the walls, rhizomatous perennial geranium or the least honeysuckle with box leaves and other euphorbia, which he names in Latin, have no secret for him. He can also explain by the menu how to bend sheet metal or manufacture gabions, angles, smooth and various fixings. His know-how is, it is true, to combine metal support, earthy substrate and plants to design and install green walls.
Too cramped in his former premises, the leader, who claims the title of number one sector in France, has seen big. He offered for 1.45 million the former site of
the automotive supplier TRW
in the Dijon agglomeration. "We were terribly short of space, because with the exception of plants, we integrate all the fabrications necessary for our know-how, that's why these 22,000 square meters covered are a bargain"explains the leader. Tracer Urban Nature employs 28 people and has a turnover of 4.2 million euros. The company collaborates with 50 "vivaciers" or horticulturists, to whom it pre-purchases the plants.
It was after three years of developing the substrate and the technique to hold the plants on a vertical support that its first walls flourished, in 2008, on behalf of local authorities and public bodies. The clientele then expanded to include shopping centers, hotels, industrial premises and commercial property developers. "Thanks to the evolution of technology, we also monitor a hundred sites remotely by managing their water supply, five minutes a day in summer and watering once a week in winter"concludes François-Xavier Jacquinet.