The design for the roof top park consists of a series of recycled wooden pallets arranged and modified into raised plant beds, free standing low green walls, seating and tables. In addition to the pallets, recycled car bodies are intended to be used as interesting, alternative tree planters, doubling as informal seating. The entire basis of the design is focused on adoptability with all elements of the park capable of being re-positioned by a fork lift to cater for future activities.
One of the biggest challenges of the project was trying to fill such a large space with such a small budget and for objects like the raised planters and seating to still have purpose instead of filling a void. Due to a quick turnaround, decisions were made decisively. The conclusion was to make the ‘park’ area smaller and more focused, tucking into the corner of the roof deck with the best views, most sunlight and comparatively good wind shelter which would protect people and planting alike.
Multiple factors influenced the design such as the location of the bar next to a water point, location of the aquaponics to receive adequate sunlight, thresholds, services, toilets, viewpoints, planting conditions, load bearing and availability of second hand materials and their properties.
During the design resolve stages many ideas and themes for the ‘park’ were played with, but ultimately the gritty urban qualities of the space are shaped by the fact that it is undeniably a car park. Instead of attempting to screen this we decided we could play with it through such ideas as second-hand retro cars planted with trees and herbs.
The layout of the park is designed to spread users evenly across the space with no specific focal area in which to gather in large numbers to prevent load bearing issues. The result is a network of ‘micro’ spaces that creates relaxed and sociable areas embraced by swathes of soft planting. A number of trees dotted along the boundary edge of the park help enclose the space, break up the horizontal lines and add comfort for users.
Footfall is largely directed between the existing lighting columns where the supporting cross beams are located with main through routes linking the café/bar, ‘Growup’ aquaponics, outdoor cinema and marquee/tent.
Approximate Map Location
Urban Space Management
Parks and gardens
Shortlisted for an LI Award 2015
900 to 1600m2
Groundwork London were appointed by Urban Space Management to design a roof top park that incorporates the Rooftop Cinema Club, GrowUp aquaponics and a bar serving food. The project was in part funded by the London Mayor's GLA pocket park schemes.
Greatford Garden Services, GGS (main contractor): Johnathan Lyon & Trevor Lyon (+ 2 x labourers) LLDCGLAChelsea Re-Use Rooftop film club Grow Up Urban Farms Stratford Renaissance PartnershipLondon Borough of Newham Groundwork London Landscape Design Services: Jane Everitt & Matthew Conlon PerryGroundwork London gardeners & Green teamCorporate Volunteers: Interserve
Access and transportation was an issue during construction. The small budget and restrictions on land ownership near-by prevented the use of a crane to lift to materials such as soil and timber onto the seventh floor. Instead the use of truck and trailer with foremen aided materials through the in-use car park. USM’s site at Trinity Buoy Wharf not far away was used as a temporary drop off area. The scheme is a fantastic example of the speed and impact of temporary projects, transforming a baron roof deck into a leafy urban park and social events hub. It is a real show case for mass collaborative working to achieve a common good to create something unique and different for the wellbeing of the public. Similar to the Southbank ‘model’, the project presents a case study for creating free public spaces that has financial opportunity also.
Plant Beds – Different themes were addressed within the planting scheme for the park, revolving around edible planting, ornamental beds, flowering perennials, structural planting and hardy species that can withstand wind, drought, waterlogging and full sun.