Gabion Walls


Gabion walls (from Italian gabbione meaning “big cage”) have been used for thousands of years, dating all the way back to the medieval era where they were constructed as military fortifications.  Back then, they were cages made from wicker and filled with earth.  These days, they are constructed with large steel galvanised baskets and filled with stone, rocks, brick or concrete matter.

Civil engineers have used gabions for many years to stabalise areas along motor ways, water ways and slopes against erosion.   In the world of landscaping, gabions provide an attractive, creative and cost effective solution for retaining walls and garden landscape design.

There are many benefits to using gabions in landscaping.  They can support an earth wall, stabalise the soil, prevent erosion, allow for water drainage, create a low cost, low footprint retaining wall and much more! Below we have detailed some of their wonderful advantages.

Lake Flato Architects
Lake Flako Architecture | Christy Ten Eyck Landscaping | Bill Timmerman Photography

Advantages of using gabion walls: 

• Economy: Wire mesh gabions are less expensive than most construction materials. You can use a number of differing materials for stone fill including waste materials such as crushed concrete in place of stone.

• Strength & endurance: Gabion walls resist breakage and separation due to the flexibility of their wire mesh construction. They can endure years of wear through water erosion. The galvanised wire used in the mesh resists corrosion and rust (unless you select a cor-ten steel which will provide a rust finish). Gabion efficiency, rather than decreasing with age, actually increases. Silt and vegetation will collect within the gaps to form a naturally permanent structure, no, or minimal foundation is required.

• Aesthetics: They can provide not only a useful but beautiful focal point to your landscape, using natural materials to complement surroundings.

• Permeability: Spaces in the stone fill provide excellent permeability, eliminating the need for a drainage system and preventing pressure which will displace and crack concrete structures.

• Long lasting and environmentally friendly


The below image is of a recent VDB Gardens gabion construction:

*Keep an eye out on our social pages for images of the finished project with plant cover

Gabion Wall VDB Gardens

VDB Gardens | Melbourne | Templestowe

Take a look at some global and national gabion examples to inspire:


Nico van der Meulen Architects | Photo by Barend Roberts and David Ross | South Africa

Gabion Wall with plants

Terrain Seattle Co | USA

Gabion Walls - Banyon-Tree-Design-Studio_Magnolia-Residence

Banyon Tree Design Studio | USA

Gabion Walls Banksia-Design-Group

Banksia Design Group | NSW

Gabion Walls Platform-5-Architects

Platform 5 Architects, UK | Photo: Adam Williams

Gabion walls can be used for purposes other than retaining…
Below are some creative examples:

Gabion walls - Letter box

Webb & Brown-Neaves, WA | Photo: Joel Barbitta at DMAX

Gabion Walls - Water Fountain

Studio H Landscape Architecture | USA

Gabion walls - bench seats

ALSinc | Jody Brown | USA