Themes of fire, water and air will reflect power station’s past

Battersea roof garden designs
Andy Sturgeon reveals Battersea roof garden designs

Andy Sturgeon Landscape and Garden Design has revealed its designs for three new roof gardens for London’s iconic Battersea Power Station.

The practice is working as a consultant to design, environment and sustainability consultancy, LDA Design, the lead landscape architect on the first and second phases of the development.

The roof gardens are part of the £750m redevelopment of the 39-acre architectural landmark. Together they form a two-and-a-half-acre Garden of the Elements, ‘referencing fire, water and air’, in a bid ‘to embody the original use of the power station’.
The newly named Switch House East garden will have strong architectural qualities, explains Andy Sturgeon, with huge Corten steel fins (representing fire), wide lawns and mounded planting. Terraced belvederes at either end of the garden will enable residents and office occupiers from inside the power station to enjoy far reaching views over London.
Switch House West will house a slender garden stretching 120 metres along a fluid, organic path to create a meandering green ‘riverine route’, representing ‘the water element’ and connecting the site to its riverside setting.
An ethereal ‘garden in the sky’,  with the largest glass atrium in London, will be created in the new Boiler House Square, crowning the building between its four huge chimneys. This will be accessed exclusively from a series of luxury apartments, ‘where cloud-like planting representative of air will be set among vast dishes of shallow reflective water’.
The gardens have been designed to offer flexible green spaces and will combine expansive communal gardens and more private, intimate spaces. Where they are open to both residents and office occupiers alike the spaces will include adaptable pavilions, intimate seating areas, a petanque court and open pergolas.
Materials have been chosen to reflect and enhance the building’s architectural heritage and will incorporate recycled brick and steel elements from the original power station, alongside material such as bespoke concrete paving.
Differing planting styles will give the gardens  distinct atmospheres and enhance the intimate ‘gardenesque’ quality of the entire space, says Andy Sturgeon. ‘Mounded planting has been used throughout to contribute to the architectural quality of the space and make the gardens feel open and less contained while contrasting raised planters and tall grasses simultaneously immerse the visitor amongst the planting.’
The planting palette has been designed to offer year-round interest and will include a mix of evergreens, Mediterranean and more exotic species, ‘made possible by London’s unique microclimate’.
The roof gardens are part of the second development phase which will see the creation of a new park and public realm connecting it to the Thames riverside promenade, a new sunken piazza at the southern entrance to Gilbert Scott’s power station and the creation of a reflecting pool around its base.

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