Located in the North Dock of London’s Docklands, between the HSBC tower at Canary Wharf and the residential neighbourhood of Poplar, this garden sits on top of a new Crossrail station (not yet open) and the development above it. The client wanted the garden to create an accessible new shared and open space that would work to unite Poplar and Canary Wharf.
The designers based their design on the idea of biophilia (love of natural things) providing a rare space where visitors can interact with nature at high level. The designers overcame the challenges of the depth and weight of soil and the overhead roof structure, turning them into a strength with a design that draws inspiration from the site’s historic use as a place for intrepid explorers in the late 18th Century to unload their exotic plant cargos. A series of reservoirs and staggered terraces at ground level recreate the flood capacity that had been displaced by the building.
Approximate Map Location
Gillespies, with support from Growth Industry
One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London
Canary Wharf Contractors
|Type of scheme|
Roof garden and flood alleviation
Highly commended LI Awards 2016
Value not disclosed
Roof Garden – 3526m2 (not including escalators at each end); Adam’s Place – 1925m2; Terraces – 536m2 and 342m2 (total – 878m2)
In 2008, Foster + Partners was commissioned to design a mixed-use scheme encompassing the over-ground elements of a new station for the Crossrail project at Canary Wharf. While the station below this development would be operational only in 2018, the shops, restaurants and roof garden were opened to the public in May 2015.
Since the dock was seen as an existing public open space, any new scheme that was built in its place had to include a significant open public amenity, which in this case was the rooftop garden designed by Gillespies. The client wanted to garden to create an accessible new shared and open space that would work to unite Poplar and Canary. The garden needed to be distinctive from the surrounding ground level parks seen across London.
Landscape practice: Gillespies, with support from Growth Industry; client: Canary Wharf Group; specialist planting consultant: Growth Industry; architect: Foster and Partners; collaborating architect: Adamson Associates; structural and M&E engineer: Arup; main contractor: Canary Wharf Contractors; landscape contractor: Blakedown Landscapes
The space can appear deceptively simple but this has been achieved through careful and collaborative integration of architecture, engineering, and landscape.