The revamped Arundel Square is home to one of the best-disguised green roofs in the capital.

Path to success: Arundel Square
Path to success: Arundel Square

It’s the culmination of five years’ work on the part of Islington Council, Remapp, Tim O’Hare Associates and Lindum Turf.

The council appointed Remapp to create a new design for the extended park and to project manage the whole scheme. The design needed to unify the existing section of the Victorian park with the new concrete deck or ‘green roof‘ section.

The concrete deck had been set at variable heights above the existing park levels, which created a problem when it came to unifying and integrating the old and new areas. “We couldn’t build up the soil levels on the existing park as this would have involved piling soil on top of the roots of the existing mature trees,” says Remapp’s Frances Christie. “We resolved the levels differences between the deck and the existing park interface by creating subtle earth modelling and retaining walls.”

Tim O’Hare Associates was appointed to research the possibilities of creating a specialised, lightweight soil and drainage system. The turf, at this point, did not exist. Nobody had grown a sward that could fulfil the demands of a green roof, extreme shade and the heavy wear of a public space, while at the same time demonstrating aesthetically pleasing characteristics. Stephen Fell of Lindum Turf was, therefore, appointed to devise a unique seed mixture.

In January 2010, The Landscape Group moved in to finally bring Remapp’s design to life. Arundel Square is now being enjoyed by local residents and passerby alike – something that brings Christie great satisfaction. “That’s what makes it all worthwhile,” she says, “the fact that it’s being so well used by a diverse number of people.”

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