Green Space For community integration
Regeneration Living walls revitalise Bracknell town centre
The Interview Lionel Fanshawe at terra firma
Planting Trends for the year ahead
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WELCOME Welcome to the February issue of FutureArc. In this issue we focus on the regeneration of Bracknell town centre which features one of the largest green walls in Europe and overseas, we take a look at a futuristic masterplan for a new district in Madrid. Be sure to check out our preview of a new event in the industry’s calendar – FutureScape Spring to be held at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Surrey, next month, if you haven’t already done so, it would be well worth registering to attend the event. This issue’s Property feature highlights the community beneﬁts of including green space in residential developments and the importance of providing public spaces for real social interaction is discussed in a new column by Maurizio Mucciola, director of London-based practice PiM.studio Architects. A special Portfolio section in this month’s issue showcases three striking award-winning projects, one of them in China, from the latest Landscape Institute Awards. In a planting focus, horticulturist Jamie Butterworth predicts some of the trends to look out for in the year ahead and Palmstead Nurseries discusses how multistem trees and shrubs can add a new dimension to landscape design. Special features on artiﬁcial grass and decking round oﬀ this issue. Here at FutureArc, we look forward to hearing all your news and if you have any interesting projects, please get in touch. Gill Langham Features editor firstname.lastname@example.org
FutureArc February 2019
The Elephant Park project in South London by Churchman Landscape Architects
multistem trees & shrubs
INTERNATIONAL NEWS futurescape spring
An exciting new event for the landscape industry
INTERNATIONAL NEWS SPECIAL Masterplan for North Madrid
A look at global issues
INTERVIEW Lionel Fanshawe at terra firma
A roundup of the latest industry news
opinion Maurizio Mucciola
The award-winning scheme by Nigel Dunnett and the Landscape Agency at the Barbican Estate
For community integration
REGENERATION Green spaces revitalise Bracknellâ€™s new retail and leisure development
BEECH GARDENS & THE HIGH WALK
QUARRY GARDEN An inspirational restoration project at Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, China
Easigrass highlights the benefits
Two city centre workspaces transformed
Predictions for 2019 from plantsman Jamie Butterworth
Adding a new dimension to design by Palmstead Nurseries
FutureArc February 2019
36 EDITORIAL Features Editor – Gill Langham email@example.com Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org
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Cover image ©Grant Associates
FutureArc February 2019
P6 News P10 FutureScape Spring Preview P11 International News Extra P14 Opinion: Romy Rawlings
NEWS Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park wins national landscape design award The Olympic legacy project in Sheﬃeld took the honours in the Landscape Architecture of the Year category at the 2018 AJ Architecture Awards. Held on 4 December at The Roundhouse, Camden, London, the Awards recognises excellence in UK architecture across a range of categories. Sheﬃeld Olympic Legacy Park beat oﬀ competition from projects including Sky TV’s Campus, the City of Glasgow College’s Landscape and Public Realm and the Canal Corridor at Kings Cross. Other high-proﬁle winners on the night included the BBC Television Centre and Bloomberg’s European Headquarters in London. The judges described the winning project as an imaginative piece of landscape-ﬁrst regeneration. The landscape and infrastructure work at Sheﬃeld
Olympic Legacy Park was undertaken by Henry Boot Construction, with a project team including Turner and Townsend, Arup, Ares Landscape Architects and Amey. The works were funded through Sheﬃeld City Region Infrastructure Fund and procured by Sheﬃeld City Council. Speaking about the award, Ben Handley, from Ares Landscape Architects, said: “Realising a project of this scale
and ambition has required collaboration from the start. The original masterplan for the park was established by Bond Bryan Architects working with Legacy Park Ltd. Creating a place that promotes health and wellbeing was a key requirement of the masterplan.” Sheﬃeld Olympic Legacy Park is a London 2012 Olympic Legacy Project for health and wellbeing research and learning. The four legacy themes from London 2012 are sport, local community, environment and economic regeneration. Each of these themes is being delivered on Sheﬃeld Olympic Legacy Park. www.ares.eu.com
Street Design Awards relaunches for 2019 The Street Design Awards has been relaunched by Local Government News magazine. Celebrating innovation and best practice in street design schemes across the UK, the awards are free to enter and are open to projects completed by, or on behalf of local authorities within the past two years. There are ﬁve categories of Street Design Award: • Urban green space
• Children’s play • Public lighting • Pedestrian environment • Highways Entrants will be judged on the overall design of the scheme, the quality and choice of materials used, and what the project has achieved within the set budget. The awards are supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, the Landscape
The Toﬀee Factory, Newcastle
Institute, Play England, and Highways magazine. The deadline for submissions is 28 February 2019. For more information and to enter visit: www.streetdesign.localgov.co.uk
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HASSELL reveals Panda Land design
NEWS Sydney’s Green Square Library and Plaza, designed by Stewart Hollenstein in association with Stewart Architecture, has won the Architectural Review Library Award 2018. The project was judged against libraries, and other ‘buildings for books’ from all over the world built since January 2013. The design of the library and plaza is the result of a 2012 international design competition and was unanimously chosen by the jury. Comprising a 3000sqm underground library, the project features a series of geometric shapes punched into the plaza. A circular sunken garden occupies the heart of the library and includes a space for outdoor reading, a children’s circle and a ‘story tree’. The entrance to the library is provided by a triangularshaped glass pavilion. A separate six-storey tower houses a double-height reading
Green Square Library and Plaza in Sydney wins global award
room, a computer lab, a black-box theatre, a music room and a bookable community space. Finally, a trapezium-shaped outdoor amphitheatre is also sunken into the plaza. Stewart Hollenstein’s approach to the project was to treat both the library and the plaza with equal importance. The design is an evolution of the traditional library typology, from a receptacle for books to a place that could host a variety of public uses. www.stewartarchitecture.com.au www.stewarthollenstein.com
An immersive Panda Trail across the southern Chinese city of Chengdu will tell the conservation story of China’s giant panda. Chengdu is in Sichuan Province, which constitutes the world’s most significant continuous area of panda habitat. It includes several UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites, including giant panda sanctuaries. HASSELL has been named as one of the successful practices in the Chengdu Panda Land competition to masterplan key sites across the city – all connected to the conservation, protection and education of China’s giant pandas. The HASSELL masterplan for these and other key sites defines a connecting tourism trail that emphasises various themes based on their context and target audience, and which builds on China’s conservation efforts. Three sites across Chengdu – Beihu, Dujiangyan and Longquan Mountain – are designated in the masterplan and are
critical to raising awareness of environmental challenges facing giant pandas, including habitat loss and livestock grazing. At Dujiangyan, visitors are envisioned as explorers rather than conventional tourists. People can immerse themselves in the natural landscape and wander through the valleys of a pandahabitat parkland, observation station and an eco-resort. In Beihu, the focus is on the surrounding communities, bringing them into the conservation efforts. Scientific research and cultural innovation centres will improve local education about the complex and intrinsic qualities of Chengdu’s endangered native species and their habitats. At Longquan Mountain, a landscape restoration strategy revegetates the degraded mountain areas. A new international education and learning venue and a nature park will connect the mountain to the new eastern edge of the city and a global market. The masterplan draws heavily on research into how people perceive and engage with wildlife. The Panda Land Master Plan is a collaboration between HASSELL and Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute, with specialist advice provided by Jon Coe. www.hassellstudio.com
Creative directors announced for 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has appointed Jillian Walliss, senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Kirsten Bauer, a director of Aspect Studios, and Cassandra Chilton, principal
FutureArc February 2019
at Rush Wright Associates, as the creative directorate for the International Festival of Landscape Architecture, Melbourne in 2019. The 2019 edition of the festival, themed The Square and the Park, proposes to investigate the two
landscape typologies of the title through the lens of contemporary landscape architectural concerns including design, politics, ecology and management. On behalf of the creative directorate team, Jillian Walliss
says: “Engaging with international, national and local perspectives, this festival will explore contemporary concerns of landscape architecture such as design, politics, ecology and management.” www.aila.org.au
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FUTURESCAPE SPRING An exciting new addition to the landscape industry’s calendar will take place on 12 March at Sandown Racecourse in Esher, Surrey. FutureScape Spring will feature the latest trends in technology, landscaping and business development. Here, Jim Wilkinson goes into detail about the event Where did the inspiration come from to launch the event? Since FutureScape was launched in the autumn of 2012, the show has just grown and grown in terms of number of exhibitors, number of visitors and number of live debates, seminars and special events. We had a lot of pressure from both visitors and suppliers in terms of having more time to get around to see all the exhibitors and new products so we conducted some research into the market and the over-riding impression was that
hosting another day at the start of the season would be better than extending the autumn FutureScape event to two days. We have taken the plunge this year and March 2019 will see our ﬁrst FutureScape Spring.
“THE OVER-RIDING IMPRESSION WAS THAT HOSTING ANOTHER DAY AT THE START OF THE SEASON WOULD BE BETTER THAN EXTENDING THE AUTUMN FUTURESCAPE EVENT TO TWO DAYS”
FutureArc February 2019
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How will FutureScape Spring differ from the autumn event? Firstly, it will be a little smaller, and the seminar programme is going to be split diﬀerently with a strong focus on soft landscaping, business development and how technology will aﬀect the overall landscaping industry in the future. Although the event will have a slightly diﬀerent focus, we chose the Esher venue again due its convenience – 25 minutes by train from central London, plenty of parking, an easy road network from the M25 and it works very well as a venue.
day-long conference covering everything from how to get planning permission right through to looking at hard/soft landscaping options. We will also be announcing the winners of the inaugural Pro Landscaper Podium Awards. Launched by FutureArc’s sister publication, Pro Landscaper, the awards highlight the excellent work currently at the forefront of the UK podium sector.
Will there be any special events to look out for? We’re holding a special Podiums event which will comprise a
Register for free on the FutureScape website: www.futurescapeevent.com Show opening hours 9am-5pm
INTERNATIONAL NEWS EXTRA
GRANT ASSOCIATES’ MASTERPLAN FOR NEW DISTRICT IN MADRID
a new business and residential development proposed for north madrid will feature a network of green public spaces designed by landscape architects GRANT ASSOCIATES, connecting the city with the surrounding parkland and creating a strong sense of place and identitiy www.futurearc.co.uk
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masterplan by landscape architects Grant Associates and architects Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners to create a new business and residential district in north Madrid has won outline planning. The proposal for Madrid Castellana Norte aims to transform a 500ha tract of neglected land close to Chamartín railway station. Constituting the most significant regeneration plan for Madrid in more than 20 years, and one of the largest scale masterplans in Europe, the project also involves the renewal of the area’s transport infrastructure. Key to Grant Associates’ landscape strategy is the creation of a green corridor that will act as a spine for the whole district.
“THE EXACT DESIGN DETAIL FOR EACH PARK WILL CONSTITUTE A DISTINCT AND RECOGNISABLE SPACE, MIRRORING THE DIVERSE TOPOGRAPHY OF MADRID” The spine will be a continuation of ‘El Paseo de la Castellana’ – Madrid’s main thoroughfare and promenade. The idea is to restore a pedestrian character to this most northern stretch of Paseo de la Castellana and create a gateway to El Monte de El Pardo, a protected forest parkland lying a few kilometres north west beyond the city limits.
FutureArc February 2019
INTERNATIONAL NEWS EXTRA
wonderful mountainous parkland on its north west fringe.” And Ibrahim Diaz, senior associate at Grant Associates, says: “The landscape strategy is based on creating a succession of diﬀerent sensory experiences and public spaces rather than a single unique space. It should serve to create a strong sense of place and identity for the people who work, visit or live in this formerly overlooked part of one of Spain’s great cities.” www.grant-associates.uk.com www.rsh-p.com
“THE LANDSCAPE STRATEGY IS BASED ON CREATING A SUCCESSION OF DIFFERENT SENSORY EXPERIENCES AND PUBLIC SPACES RATHER THAN A SINGLE UNIQUE SPACE”
Images ©Grant Associates
New green parks will serve to link the diﬀerent neighbourhoods of the new district, as well as providing 15km of cycle paths. The parks will feature a variety of tree-like geometric canopy structures that oﬀer shade, shelter and visual interest. These ‘Fractal Trees’ will complement a series of water features that also aim to mitigate Madrid’s hot summer months. The parks will also break up the linearity of the masterplan by extending out from Paseo de la Castellana in a series of wave like formations, with larger green spaces at the core of the neighbourhoods, diﬀusing into smaller spaces towards their edges. The exact design detail for each park will constitute a distinct and recognisable space, mirroring the diverse topography of Madrid and its varied urban fabric. North Madrid’s existing, fragmented network of roads and railway lines will be replaced with a layout that integrates and uniﬁes transport systems. Chamartín station will become a transport hub with improved links to the city’s airport. The overall aim of the Madrid Castellana Norte masterplan is to create a model of 21st century urban sustainability with the ability to attract international investment to the district at the same time as being an attractive, green place for people to enjoy. Speaking about the project, Andrew Grant, founder and director at Grant Associates, says: “The design of Madrid Castellana Norte is all about improving people’s quality of life and boosting the connectivity of this part of the city. A network of green public spaces is fundamental to this vision. New parks will unify the diﬀerent elements of the new district, while connecting the city to the
FutureArc February 2019
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he year ahead promises to be full of celebration for our industry, with both the UK’s Landscape Institute and the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects marking their 90th anniversaries. An amazing coincidence for me, with a foot in both camps, and no doubt we’ll all have an opportunity to join a party and mark this momentous year! Continuing this Nordic theme, if you’re looking for work-related inspiration in September, you might consider a visit to Oslo to attend the IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) World Congress, Common Ground. Over three days, several key topics will be discussed: urban transformation, green mobility, healthy and beautiful landscapes, and community participation. While these are established principles for our sector, it will be a great opportunity to learn about up-to-date global approaches to these important areas of work for landscape professionals. The overarching theme of the Congress is making sustainable choices – and addressing the global challenges that relate to this blue planet that is our common ground. It seems there’s no escape from this particular issue. I firmly believe that landscape practitioners possess all the skills required to make a real difference to this particular area that requires urgent input right now – so how might we all contribute as individuals? I’ll be looking at this in more detail over the coming months… But for now I have to mention Brexit as it rushes up on us, with only a matter of weeks to go (in theory)! Like me, you may well be heartily sick of the subject, no matter which way you cast your vote. Being employed by a Scandinavian company with global scope, I’m obviously a ‘remainer’. And while I can see logic on both sides of the argument, I’m now deeply concerned about both the current situation and the likelihood of anyone being happy with the ultimate outcome. I’m reluctant to openly debate the topic as the ensuing discussions can rapidly become somewhat heated, but we have to consider our future outside the EU and unite as a profession if we’re to weather the worst of what’s to come. Without doubt Brexit will touch upon many aspects of our work. The full impact is, as yet, unknown and could vary in magnitude from
FutureArc February 2019
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OPINION ROMY RAWLINGS the new year brings new prospects as well as new challenges says Romy Rawlings, UK business development manager at Vestre and chair of the Diversity & Inclusion working group at the Landscape InstitutE minor irritations to catastrophic outcomes. And that seems to be the greatest problem – we simply don’t know… Are you making strategic contingency plans for what might come, or do you still feel unable to think beyond the latest May-related headline? It feels like many of us are ill prepared for the upheaval that must come, hard Brexit or not. Areas that we know could be affected include the following: • Environmental policy and law; agriculture; rural development funding; biosecurity; plant and plant product import/export • Employment of EU Nationals – throughout our sector, whether in design practices, suppliers/ growers, or on site • Various legislation eg Health & Safety • Landscape education – impact on FE/
HE courses due to lost funding and/or International students • Consumer confidence: projects postponed or cancelled due to concerns over finance, foreign investment • Currency fluctuations, import duty/tariffs, delays at ports/loss of frictionless trade • Increased supplier costs due to stockpiling that may occur due to the above Whatever the outcome, we face at least another two years of uncertainty, so buckle up and embrace the positives that may yet be on the horizon! South Gardens, Elephant Park (pictured below) – is the winning project of both the Design for a Small-Scale Development category and the Landscape Institute’s President’s Award in 2018. Designed by Churchman Landscape Architects and constructed by Gavin Jones, how could you not feel better passing through or looking over an area like this.
And BALI’s Principal Award winner – Rathbone Square. Designed by Gustafson Porter and Bowman and executed by Maylim, this stunning square provided some muchneeded respite from the heat last summer when I wandered in and spent a relaxed lunch hour there.
This is what we do – really well – so let’s celebrate such excellence as a like-minded community with the ambition to make great places, whatever our role and whatever the future may hold. I’m looking forward to being involved in some equally stunning projects this year and who knows, maybe a future award winner. On that I note, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!
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LIONEL FANSHAWE DIRECTOR, TERRA FIRMA
With experience in all areas of the landscape architecture industry, Lionel Fanshawe, director of Hampshirebased terra firma has built the company into one of the leading consultancies in the UK Could you tell us a little about your background? On leaving school I ﬁrst began training as a navigating oﬃcer in the merchant navy. I did it for a year and though I enjoyed it, felt this isn’t going to be me forever and needed a more creative outlet. So, I came out of that and thought long and hard. I got a portfolio together, got the place at university then deferred it and went travelling around the world and got that out of my system… to an extent!
P16 Interview Lionel Fanshawe, terra firma
P21 Green Space For community integration
P24 Regeneration Bracknell
What inspired you personally to become a landscape architect? It’s important to think both locally and globally, it comes with the territory – my father was in the Navy and my early childhood was spent as much overseas as it was at home here in the Hampshire countryside. If you’d asked him what he would have done if he hadn’t been in the Navy, he would have said a farmer, and I understand that. Both worlds may seem at odds but the interaction with nature is primal in both cases. The diﬀerences, variety and contradictions are what I ﬁnd most interesting in environments and indeed people. The fact one can deal with all this
on one ﬁeld of work is essentially what drew me to landscape architecture. It does give the variety I was looking for with the combination of art, the sciences and in some way trying to contribute to creating a better future. I think I did experience some kind of heightened awareness of my surroundings from living in such diverse environments. It was really pronounced arriving back from living in Bahrain to ﬁnd myself in such green surroundings with so much topography and seasonal change. How did your career progress? I studied at Leeds and part of my year out in industry was spent at the oﬃce of Robert Zion in the US. Zion and Breen’s work was largely in the civic realm and includes such gems as Paley Park in New York and the Cincinnati Waterfront and was always approached with
Interview Terra Firma.indd 16
monumental simplicity. Although now sadly passed on, Zion is still something of an invisible mentor for me and if I ever get stuck with a really difficult design situation, I think: ‘what would he have done?’ After Leeds I deliberately set out to work in both private practice and local government and was based in London both with François Goffinet’s International Landscape which was primarily dealing with estates and high-end gardens here and overseas, and then with Wandsworth Borough Council dealing largely with housing and urban regeneration. After that I did two years in New Zealand where I worked as project landscape architect for the 1990 Commonwealth Games Village. When I came back to this country aged 30 I did so intending to set up on my own, but with the world going into recession and with an approach from Charles Funke in Godalming, I instead took up a position there which was certainly for the best. They were involved with the big projects of the late 80s and early 90s – Broadgate, Chiswick Park and Stockley Park – as well as the iconic Petershill and Tittenhurst projects that I had specific responsibility for and went on to continue with terra firma. When did you set up terra firma and how has the company expanded to what it is today? terra firma was started by the late John Wigham, who had previously been the chief landscape architect for Portsmouth City Council. John started the company in 1985 and I joined him in 1996. He left in 2000, when he retired, though he came back for a year in 2006 to assist with starting the Dubai firm. Our expansion has been very measured and gradual in the UK and to be completely honest about it, with 16 staff we are over the number our own company vision set out as the maximum we’d ever want to be in one office. We like to pick and choose the best work we can and ensure variety. We particularly like challenges and the unusual. We set up a collaborative arrangement, tfLAB with some distinguished sole practitioners with whom we were regularly working to give a wider practice for them to bring projects to, based out of Alison Hainey’s Clerkenwell office which gives us a London base and I can see has huge potential for the future. We set up tfLT in Lithuania nearly five years ago with Ramune Sanderson who had worked with us for eight years and was returning to her native country. On the firm’s 30th birthday three years ago we had 30 staff across the four offices and had worked in 30 countries.
Interview Terra Firma.indd 17
2 How would you describe the company ethos? terra firma is a practice that is very much about people both those we design for and those with whom we work. We have staff members at all levels from diverse backgrounds, there is a nurturing atmosphere and we are continually looking to self-improve. The firm has a family ethos which has become stronger as the years have gone by. The company was deliberately not named after an individual, deliberately does not have a house style and as already mentioned, is deliberately the size it is. We are specialist landscape architects and not multi-disciplinary in order to retain size and focus but bring in regular specialist subconsultants – heritage, soils, arboriculture and ecology – as needed. Again, it assists diversity and variety in approach. We make sure to be involved in the wider issues and encourage and actively support individuals in Landscape Institute involvement, design panels, going into schools, local community groups, even international initiatives.
“THE DIFFERENCES, VARIETY AND CONTRADICTIONS ARE WHAT I FIND MOST INTERESTING IN ENVIRONMENTS AND INDEED PEOPLE”
1 Hampshire Corporate Park, Chandlers Ford 2 Petershill, City of London with CFA 3 Al Fanr restaurant, Abu Dhabi
FutureArc February 2019
Is there a type of project that the company specialises in? The company has a hugely diverse workload and we hope, expertise; something perhaps to do with the location in a rural market town on the Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex border but within easy reach of London. Our work is as much urban as it is rural. We tend to pull work from every sector; town and country from large-scale capacity studies, assessments and masterplans down to detailed townscape interventions and gardens with everything in between. Generally, our work is in the south east, but we have current projects throughout England, Scotland and Wales and some framework clients such as NATS will take us countrywide. We also have current projects overseas from the UK office as well as the offshoot offices in London, Dubai and Lithuania, yet always try to act locally. Being based in Petersfield we were embedded in the South Downs National Park since its inception; from the involvement of all our directors on the Design Panel at one time or other, the firm continues to undertake work for the authority in a supporting role to planning officers and on the other side (so to speak) I wouldn’t be surprised if we may have been involved in more applications than any other practice of whatever discipline. If there’s a strapline to our work, it’s: ‘green infrastructure with a sense of place’ because it is the latter point that we really need to reinforce when working in such a variety of locations. I think it is often missing in schemes.
4 Is there a project that you are particularly proud of or that you would say stands out? I think the one that others probably stands out is Petershill because of where it is, en route between the Millennium bridge and St Paul’s and I think it’s stood the test of time well. I am afraid it does not do much for green infrastructure, but it is about sense of place, movement and connections and done in
FutureArc February 2019
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a way befitting the monumental simplicity I alluded to in Robert Zion’s work. No accident there but it had to resolve a lot with complex levels and multidirectional use, not to mention allowing the correct headrooms and build ups below for parking beneath. I would sometimes point at the smaller projects, such as the three national memorial projects; one being the Falklands Islands Memorial Chapel at Pangbourne, another the Leonard Cheshire Memorial Garden at Le Court and the other, the Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden in Woking. These all carry a lot of thought and subliminal messages within their designs and I believe each makes a special place of reflection. A lot of subtlety can be in the detail of a particular use of levels or type of material. Just by selecting a different kind of tree you can give a totally different feel to a place. The honey locusts at the Falklands Memorial give an ethereal roof of light, dappled shade and movement aiding the space’s reflective qualities in a specific way, while nodding to the tree forms of the Savanna. The birches at Woking pay homage to the surrounding heathland but provide the height that frames the spaces, but this will change in nature as they grow and it’s foreseeing that for the years to come that is as much of the art of what we all do. I have never had a problem envisaging things in 3D and so often this is done at night lying awake in bed and walking through a space that was beginning to present problems earlier in the day.
“THE MOST ACTIVE SECTORS CONTINUE TO BE EDUCATION AND RESIDENTIAL WITH A HUGE VARIETY IN WHAT THESE PROJECTS ENTAIL”
Could you talk us through any current projects underway? While the largest scale exercises we are undertaking are the district-wide capacity studies we have been doing for the likes of Test Valley, East Hants and Chichester, our largest current development projects would be the new football stadium and associated retail park, residential development, hotel and training ground at Southend; the continuation of the HORIBA-MIRA technology park, the automobile industry’s extraordinary research hub in the Midlands and a massive leisure and retail related waterfront development at Southampton.
The most active sectors continue to be education and residential with a huge variety in what these projects entail. We’ve also noticed that the percentage of our work that involves roof gardens now is quite significant. I think we worked it out that almost 10% of our UK schemes and about 80% of our Dubai schemes involve roof garden technology. How do you think landscape architecture has changed since you started out? I think it certainly has become a discipline that’s far less about the aesthetic and more about providing the multiplicity of green infrastructure and addressing environmental and social issues. The profession is certainly bigger and better known but there is still a long way to go. Landscape is embedded in our planning system and yet planning authorities themselves are losing their landscape architects. The need to educate people about what we do is still as pronounced as it ever was. What advice would you give to young people looking to become landscape architects? I would first tell them about its huge variety of opportunity and how it is such a positive instrument for change. It is a very real vocational career. One can work almost anywhere in the world. One of the biggest joys is working with a team, I’m not someone who could ever have been a sole practitioner, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it and would have been far lesser for it. And we do learn from our youngsters as much as they hopefully learn from us. I’ve loved it and I still love it as much now and probably even more so as time goes on because
Interview Terra Firma.indd 19
7 you start building a body of work. One thing I say to people when starting though is: ‘you’re going to be impatient’. If you’re like me when you get your first job, you’re going to be thinking when is it going to hit the ground? Then it goes into delay and the planning system here takes forever in this country. But once the projects start hitting the ground and then your next one comes along, you start building up the flow. Finally, what is the next step for the company? We have a succession plan in place with a gradual handover to current associate directors Robyn Butcher and Alison Galbraith. I would like to see it as a sustainable company and I would like to think it will still always have the same ethos. We are a very close-knit team, but we’ve got to be careful. With 16 members of staff and not being multidisciplinary, we can’t take every job that comes along, we need to keep some containment on it. We have been through some recessions when we’ve had to downsize a bit, not radically though. But I think the company will change. I’d like to think it became more front-ended, we’re doing larger masterplans, more capacity studies and environmental work, but I wouldn’t want that to overtake design and delivery. I don’t see us opening new offices, but we always welcome work in new areas. It’s never been busier, and you wonder whether Brexit’s going to do something, but touch wood, at the moment it’s really extraordinary how much new stuff is coming in and it’s from every field possible.
8 4 Maggie’s Centre, Swansea (with Kim Wilkie) 5 Early Alshamsi terra firma work in UAE 6 Social housing regeneration, Portsea 7 i360 plaza, Brighton (with Fiona Atkinson) 8 Curzon Street, Mayfair
terra firma The terra firma Consultancy is a leading UK company of chartered landscape architects established in 1985, which has gone on to work worldwide across a spectrum of Urban and Landscape Design Consultancy services. Based in Petersfield and with satellite offices in London, Dubai and Vilnius, terra firma’s work spans the globe but never without a personal touch. W: www.terrafirmaconsultancy.com
FutureArc February 2019
“THE MODEL EVERYONE TRIES TO REPLICATE IS THE ‘BILBAO EFFECT’ FOLLOWING THE OPENING OF THE HUGELY SUCCESSFUL GEHRY-DESIGNED GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM”
FutureArc February 2019
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and industries that are now only a memory of the past, are very keen to invest in culture in the hope that this will boost tourism and create employment opportunities. The model everyone
OPINION MAURIZIO MUCCIOLA New FutureArc columnist Maurizio Mucciola, director of Londonbased practice PiM.studio Architects, discusses how museums should aim to be public spaces for real social interaction tries to replicate is the ‘Bilbao eﬀect’ following the opening of the hugely successful Gehrydesigned Guggenheim Museum. Building an iconic museum is clearly not enough to replicate a project, the success of which was necessarily a combination of many diﬀerent factors. Nonetheless, the fact that public money is invested, and big cultural projects are being built not only in the usual big cities such as London, New York, Paris is an important and positive step showing that everyone and every place should beneﬁt from the presence of a high quality cultural oﬀering. While the beneﬁts that a world class museum can bring to a small city, such as an economic boost and increased employment are certainly important, it is also critical that the new cultural oﬀer is not only aimed at attracting high numbers
n recent decades museum visitors all around the world have increased almost constantly year after year. Despite some signs of slowed or negative growth in visitor numbers from time to time (the Louvre in 2016 following terrorists attacks in the city on the previous year and UK state funded museums recently), every year millions and millions of tourists and visitors continue entering through the doors of museums and blockbuster exhibitions. Just last year a record 10.2 million visitors was reached by the Louvre. New museums are built every year and everywhere from New York to Doha, Shanghai, Moscow and many other places, with an interesting recent tendency for world renowned museums to open outposts in smaller cities. The Pompidou Metz opened in 2010, the Louvre Lens opened in 2012, and more recently the V&A Dundee opened on the banks of the river Tay in the Scottish city in September 2018. Many small to medium sized cities in a bid to reinvent their identity and boost their economy, which previously relied on production
of visitors, but also makes the local population proud of their place and forms part of the new identity of their city. If museums are able to redeﬁne the identity of a place, then these large cultural institutions have the responsibility to go beyond being mere showrooms for major exhibitions and create a new type of public space for social interaction where people can feel at ease. The idea of museum as public space is very important for our times, and this should be applied both outside and inside museums with the public non-gallery spaces being designed to encourage social interaction and for everyone to enjoy. Museums and other similar cultural institutions should be places where visitors go and return not just to visit an exhibition, but also to enjoy their time with friends and families, perhaps just to go for a coﬀee or to sit and read a book without even visiting the galleries – places for cultural and social interaction.
ABOUT Maurizio Mucciola Maurizio is fascinated by the relationship between city, architecture and public places, and is passionate about rethinking the way these interact. He explored this question in his work as lead architect for V&A Dundee, a dramatic building which draws people to the waterfront, revitalises the idea of public space, and blurs the boundaries between a building and its surroundings. Before setting up PiM. studio with Maria-Chiara Piccinelli in 2016, Maurizio worked with Kengo Kuma & Associates in Tokyo, Edinburgh and Paris, with OMA/Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, and with Jeffrey Inaba at C-Lab in New York. He also collaborates with the London School of Architecture, co-leading one of the LSA Design Think Tanks: “Emerging Tools – designing, building and making in the 21st century”, and he’s a “RIBA student mentor” at Central Saint Martin – UAL. W: www.pim.studio
FOR COMMUNITY INTEGRATION
new housing brings positive and welcome benefits for a community when green space forms a major part of the scheme
he numbers are staggering. Whether you listen to the Chancellor, who reckons the UK needs 300,000 new homes a year, or the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which says we risk running short of 335,000 aﬀordable properties by 2022, there’s little doubt that this country needs to build more housing—fast. The prospect of unbridled development, however, sends shivers down the collective spines of many communities across the UK, who worry new housing schemes may blight the landscape, erode the identity of their villages (or neighbourhoods) and overload local roads and services. Enter green space. A strong, open, communityoriented landscaping strategy can not only assuage some of these fears but even help generate genuine enthusiasm for new residential schemes. “New developments that include public open space are often a way to help win over communities,” explains Christina Ballands, a new-build sale specialist at Cheﬃns estate agents in Cambridge. “Particularly
DEVELOPMENTS THAT INCLUDE PUBLIC OPEN SPACE ˿ “NEW ARE OFTEN A WAY TO HELP WIN OVER COMMUNITIES”
FutureArc February 2019 21
“A STRONG, OPEN, COMMUNITYORIENTED LANDSCAPING STRATEGY CAN NOT ONLY ASSUAGE SOME OF THESE FEARS BUT EVEN HELP GENERATE GENUINE ENTHUSIASM FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL SCHEMES”
3 1L andscaping at Oakley Orchards ©Simon Jones & Associates 2 Shared green space at The Wintles 3 Wembley Playpark 4 View of Oakley Orchards ©Simon Jones & Associates 5 The Light Maze at Wembley Park ©Chris Winter 6 The Light Maze ©Chris Winter 7 Housing at The Wintles 8 Green space at The Wintles
in edge-of-village schemes, the inclusion of an area for all local residents to enjoy can help to increase the development’s popularity, as well as ingratiating the new community with the existing one.” Looking back at the many projects she has marketed over the years, Christina finds that play areas, wildflower meadows, cycle lanes and biodiversity schemes are among the most successful tools for community integration. They bring new and old residents together, lower the impact on traffic and the environment, and, above all, ensure that local people get to enjoy the benefits – and not just suffer the drawbacks – of new development. “These spaces improve general attitudes towards new housing schemes, with local communities feeling that the developers are giving back,” Christina explains. As an example, she quotes Northstowe, a sustainable new town situated at the Oakington
FutureArc February 2019
Airfield, a former Royal Air Force station between Cambridge and Huntington, in Cambridgeshire. In a bid to create a 'mixed and balanced community' that integrates well with its surroundings, Northstowe’s developers – primarily Gallagher Estates, which has been involved in the project for some 20 years and has been the force behind the first stage of the project, but also Barratt Homes, Bloor Homes, Bovis Homes, Linden Homes and Taylor Wimpey, all of which are building properties on site – set out to deliver an array of formal and informal recreation spaces. Once complete, Northstowe will encompass a wide range of nature trails, cycle lanes and green corridors, a sustainable drainage system of ponds and open swales and, along the eastern boundary, a new Water Park that will help boost biodiversity by providing the perfect habitat for wetland wildlife and vegetation. It will also have innovative, “landscape-led” play areas, designed by Randall Thorp, which will make the most of natural materials and features such as logs, boulders and plants, to create an imaginative, inclusive environment for children of all ages and abilities. All this not only makes for an easy transition from the built environment to the Cambridgeshire farmland beyond but also helps promote a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle for both local residents and neighbouring villages. “The addition of these environmental schemes was essential, as the new community will, when complete, include more than 10,000 new homes and will have a significant impact on the local area,” Christina explains. Now, the combination of green space and new services spanning from schools and GP services to shops and farmers’ markets will ensure that the wider South Cambridgeshire area can genuinely benefit from the development. Creating open spaces that works for both new and existing residents alike has long been a cornerstone of the Village Makers’ approach to development. The company, which was born as an antidote to the “soulless housing estates” of the 1990s, strives to build vibrant, sustainable, people-centric neighbourhoods that don’t just fit in with but truly belong to the village
or town of which they become a part. So green spaces at the Village Makers’ sites – whether greens, gardens or allotments – are designed to create community spirit. However, cautions design director Bob Tomlinson, there is no single recipe for a great space, as local preferences and habits determine what is or isn’t successful. As an example, he says, people in England may enjoy “a little pub on the corner next to the green or a nice sunny spot that doesn’t have too many cars – but in Timbuktu it may be completely different.” And even within England, there are differeneces says Tomlinson. For example he finds that for Essex, it is different from Shropshire where the Village Makers built both their prototype scheme, Bells Court, and their first development, The Wintles, or Devon, or Scotland. “In Essex, you seem to find that the streets are wider, people feel better with open spaces in that sense. And you may find that some parts of Essex differ from other parts,” he says. So, at the Village Makers’ latest project, Oakley Orchard, in Great Oakley, near Manningtree, in Essex, the fruit-tree-studded landscaping pays homage to the area’s orchard farming tradition, while encouraging social interaction with four communal greens, an adventure playground and a herb garden designed by organic gardener Jekka McVicar. Delivering spaces that bring communities together is a view that resonates with Quintain, the developers behind the regeneration of Wembley Park, in north London. They devoted 42 of the site’s 85 acres to public realm and gardens, which draw people from the entire borough and beyond. “The most popular piece of public space we have delivered is the playpark opposite London Designer Outlet,” says the company’s head of corporate communications, Harriet Pask. “It is always busy with children, from those at local schools to those visiting the shopping centre. Communities from all over Brent have enjoyed it.” Similarly, she continues: “the square outside the SSE Arena Wembley has been transformed using fountains and enlivenment to welcome people all year round.” Last Christmas, for example, Arena Square became home to Fata Morgana, an ‘alternative’ tree where 160 ribbons, made of the same material used for advertising banners and strung inside a steel box, formed the outline of five trees, while the steps connecting the square to Wembley Stadium
5 were taken over by Love, Love, Love, a dazzling art installation by London-based design and art studio, Committee. This was part of the development’s first Xmasbox event, which also saw a striking Light Maze installed in nearby Market Square.
“PLAY AREAS, WILDFLOWER MEADOWS, CYCLE LANES AND BIODIVERSITY SCHEMES ARE AMONG THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TOOLS FOR COMMUNITY INTEGRATION” In summer, by contrast, the space outside the Arena – suitably equipped with a large screen and deckchairs – turns into a hugely popular open-air living room, where locals come to enjoy screenings of live Wimbledon matches or Bollywood films. “We were overwhelmed by the positive response we had from visitors from all over Brent at our Bollywood screening and look forward to watching how the public realm is used and enjoyed as the development matures,” says Harriet. However, she cautions, there is one proviso to consider. Green space only helps cement communities if it has been well conceived to last over the years. “Developers must think of the long term – the practical longterm use of the public realm must be at the forefront of their mind from the very first design stage.”
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ne of the UK’s largest urban regeneration schemes, The Lexicon Bracknell, a £240m retail and leisure town centre development in Berkshire, includes one of the largest green walls in Europe. In the wider context, around £768m is being invested in the regeneration of Bracknell Forest Borough, encompassing the town centre and neighbouring areas. The regenerated town centre now consists of one million square feet of retail, casual dining and leisure, including the existing Princess Square shopping centre. Landscape architects Gillespies delivered a signiﬁcant public realm together with a series of contemporary green landscaped spaces for the ﬂagship development.
a radical regeneration of a retail and leisure development in bracknell has created a vibrant and welcoming town centre destination, featuring one of the largest green walls in europe
“A KEY CONCEPT FOR THE SCHEME AND PUBLIC REALM DESIGN HAS BEEN THE ‘GREENING OF BRACKNELL’”
FutureArc February 2019
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Designed by BDP and Chapman Taylor for Bracknell Regeneration Partnership, a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and Schroder UK Real Estate Fund, along with Bracknell Forest Council, The Lexicon oﬀers a mix of high-quality shops, restaurants and green landscaped spaces, set within a pedestrian-friendly environment. The success of the regeneration of Bracknell relies largely
3 on a well-designed public realm with a focus on improving the permeability and connectivity between the existing Princess Square and the new development. Gillespies was commissioned by the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership to radically reconﬁgure and regenerate the dated townscape into a vibrant, welcoming environment. The company’s designs consist of a network of high-quality interconnected open and closed pedestrian-friendly streets and new and improved gateways to the town centre, as well as a series of green landscaped town squares. The town squares are distinct from the streets, oﬀering ample seating opportunities to encourage visitors to gather, relax and socialise, together with enough space to accommodate organised events. A uniﬁed palette of materials, at the forefront of contemporary design, has been carefully selected to transform the town centre. The streets are enhanced through high-quality natural stone paving, planting and street furniture, and are lined with semi-mature trees.
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The project has been developed utilising a rich warm palette of materials including brick, timber, feature perforated aluminium, coloured glazing and gold/silver coloured copper cladding. A green vision A key concept for the scheme and public realm design has been the ‘greening of Bracknell’ to transform the character of the existing town. BDP’s vision is not restricted to greenery in the sense of vegetation but extends to the overall scheme palette and juxtaposition through building blocks and urban design initiatives. The use of timber and the dot matrix bracken leaf pattern used on glass canopies are examples of this and the wider understanding of ‘greening’. The green screen system is formed of evergreen ivy, typically Hedera helix Woerner, planted in troughs which has been pre-grown onto the framework. This is then ﬁxed onto the facade. Ivy is robust, drought tolerant and vigorous so ideal for this application as it requires very little maintenance compared to other more complex
4 1 2 3 4
Entrance to the Lexicon Bracknell Green landscaping enlivens facades Paving design by artist Kerry Lemon Planting softens the hard lines of modern materials
FutureArc February 2019 25
living wall systems. The ecological benefits include habitat creation for birds and invertebrates while berries provide winter food for birds. Living wall systems such as this have proven to improve local air quality. The green screens provide an ever-changing backdrop to The Lexicon through the seasons as colours and densities provide an ‘active backdrop’ within the community.
“THE GREEN SCREENS PROVIDE AN EVER-CHANGING BACKDROP TO THE LEXICON THROUGH THE SEASONS” As a variation, live panels are also used and provide increased variety and flexibility of plant species. Plants are in individual irrigated sections and allow unlimited combinations and colour schemes. Artwork Gillespies collaborated with local artist Kerry Lemon, to incorporate art into the public realm. Kerry’s collection of bespoke nature-inspired brass artworks and light projections add an element of interest and drama to the public realm, as well as establishing a unique sense of place. Kerry was commissioned by Artscape Management for the Artist in a Design Team role. This involved collaborating with the clients, architects,
FutureArc February 2019
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5 landscape architects, wayfinding, fabricators and construction teams to determine location, theme and material. Kerry then embarked on a sixth month period of researching Bracknell’s natural environment to develop the designs. Her research showed that there are two types of soil in Bracknell – clay in the north and a more acidic soil in the south. Using the high street as a virtual divide, 36 plants were chosen that reflect the different areas of the Borough. Drawings of these plants were turned into wooden and then brass templates, and then inlaid in dark granite paving slabs to create a floral nature trail that runs through The Lexicon. The project also features five large benches, each in the shape of a birch leaf. Sculpted insects made from solid brass have been inlaid in each of the benches. Kerry’s work was all inspired by the flora and fauna of the area. New street lighting and signage completed the improvements, creating a relaxed daytime environment and a safe, vibrant and picturesque 6 experience at night.
5T he impressive green wall provides a living backdrop ©David Barbour 6 One of the benches designed by artist Kerry Lemon ©Kerry Lemon All other photographs ©John Sturrock/Gillespies
Gillespies Gillespies is a leading UK and international masterplanning, landscape and urban design firm, with a reputation built on creative design and a track record for delivering high quality projects. Implemented projects include designs for major new developments and high-profile public realm schemes worldwide. W: www.gillespies.co.uk
BDP BDP is an international interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, and engineers. We work closely with users, clients and the community to create special places for living, working, shopping, culture and learning across the world. W: www.bdp.com
Kerry Lemon Working in metals, stones, glass, casting and vitreous enamel, Kerry’s public art and architecture projects Including strategies, sculptures, lighting, paving, cladding, street furniture, gates, hoardings, weather vanes, way markers and tiles. W: www.kerrylemon.co.uk
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P28 South Gardens Churchman Landscape Architects
P32 Beech Gardens & The High Walk Nigel Dunnett & The Landscape Agency
P36 Quarry Garden Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute
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SOUTH GARDENS ELEPHANT PARK, LONDON Churchman Landscape Architects
he winner of the 2018 Landscape Institute President’s Award, Churchman Landscape Architects South Gardens project, forms part of the new Elephant Park in south London. Delivering the first 360 new homes of Lendlease’s Elephant Park masterplan, to replace the former Heygate Estate, the project provides a case study of the residential landscape as urban sanctuary. An inventive mix of property types was created, making the scheme feel like a collection of homes in a small village. These new homes each have a garden, terrace or balcony surrounded by inclusive and accessible green spaces. Sustainability is at the heart of the project and the aim is for it to be the UK’s first Climate Positive development. It also reflects a trend in London over recent years for major residential development, especially the regeneration of estates that for various reasons have failed to fulfil their function as safe, healthy or inclusive homes and communities. Providing an inclusive and ecologically rich environment, Churchman’s philosophy has placed the community, wellness and ecology at its heart. The courtyards link into healthy new streets, encouraging strolling and places to pause through lushly planted gardens with opportunities to forage fruit or grow fresh food. Opportunities for creative play for under-five’s weaves through the courtyards and the planting responds accordingly. Biodiverse green roofs have been designed to mimic locally rare habitat with maximised species diversity and the green wall climbers provide multiple benefits to microclimate and wildlife.
two communal roof terraces and 11 green roofs. Starting from the principles set out in the approved masterplan, they undertook concept design and engagement with key stakeholders and the local community. This extensive and imaginative stakeholder and community engagement included ‘walk and talk’ events and design workshops, which helped to shape the project. The design South Gardens provides an attractive sanctuary in Zone 1 London – one which responds sensitively to the surrounding architecture and its designated setting. Churchman created a variety of conditions within their planting designs for the courtyards and green roofs, aimed at being resilient to climate change. Strategies for insect, bird and bat habitats are embedded covertly into buildings or as sculptural objects.
Project South Gardens, Elephant Park Client Lendlease Build time (Landscape) September 2016 – June 2017 Size of project 0.68 ha Project value Courtyards and communal roof areas £1.7m; Green roofs £250k Architect Maccreanor Lavington Structural/civil engineer Robert Bird Group M+E Engineer TUVSUD Arboriculture Treeworks Environmental Practice Ecologist Gary Grant Ecology RSK Contractor Lendlease Landscape contractor Gavin Jones
The brief Churchman’s brief was to design the residential amenity areas, including three communal courtyards,
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FutureArc February 2019
The benefit of SUDS has been incorporated by the introduction of rain gardens and lessons have been taken from permaculture techniques by planting nitrogen-fixing trees and companion plants near productive fruit trees. Planting design The planting design was based on native species and wildlife friendly plants that offer fruit, nectar, pollen and shelter. Churchman’s aim was to maximise biodiversity at all levels and to encourage invertebrates, birds and bats. The palette was carefully composed to extend seasonality with a wide range of plant species ensuring that it offers good visual amenity throughout the year but also provides resilience for the future pressures of climate change and the threat of new pests and diseases. In the courtyards the planting contains nearly 48 different varieties of trees and large shrubs and 27 different varieties of climber. A total of 11 hedge species are included in single and mixed species groupings which provide privacy to the rear gardens. Ground cover, herbaceous and bulb planting consisted of more than 40 mixes each carefully attuned to differing conditions of light, shade, exposure and moisture and comprise more than 100 species of herbaceous, bulbs, ferns and grasses. The layered three-dimensional approach extends below the ground as the ‘rhizosphere’ – soil and subsoil layers were carefully designed and managed as the most crucial resource to the landscape. High performance manufactured soils that balance moisture retention and drainage, are especially important in rain garden SUDS features, where rainwater flows into sunken areas planted with moisture tolerant species such as alder and birch and ground flora such as ferns – ramsons, dropwort and iris. Nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs including honey locust and comfrey extract nitrogen from the atmosphere and fix it into root nodules where, via symbiotic bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, which provides a natural fertiliser to nearby fruiting trees such as apple, pear, cherry and quince, helping them to develop healthy crops of fruit. Churchman worked closely with the landscape contractors Gavin Jones in fine-tuning the arrangement of trees, shrubs and boulders. Large areas of the herbaceous planting were set out by hand.
FutureArc February 2019
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Roofscape and habitat design The roofscape covers an area of just under 0.5ha in total which is more than the ground landscape so Churchman promoted its potential to be maximised as an amenity and ecological resource. Two accessible roof gardens are provided for residents, one joins the residents’ room on the 16th floor of the tower and another offers 40 raised bed allotments each with integral toolboxes. A mixture of climbing plants grow up into a large pergola which will attract insects to pollinate home-grown plants. Residents have access to harvested rain water for irrigation and a gardener’s store for bulky items. The Biodiversity Ecology Nature (BEN) brief requires biodiverse green roofs on all available roof areas and Churchman became guardians of this part of the brief.
The green roof design is based on varied depths of substrate and the planting consists of more than 50 different plant species that replicate lowland heath and acid grassland ecotypes. These are locally rare and priority habitats in the London Biodivesity Action Plan and it is hoped these plantings will encourage insects and rare birds. The flowering season is extended by using subshrubs such as heather. Various substrate mulches are used to lower pH (pine bark) and create varied conditions (brick, flints, pebbles, south facing sandy banks etc.) for plants and/or invertebrates. Bat and bird boxes are integrated into the buildings and a minimum 10m2 of insect habitat is provided for each of the plots. These are distributed around the courtyards as free-standing features, hung from existing trees or placed on the green roofs.
9 Awards • President’s Award at the Landscape Institute Awards 2018 – Design for Small Scale Development Award • Winner – Housing Design Awards • Best Landscape Architecture Practice for Commercial Housing – Horticulture Week Awards 2018 • Winner – RIBA London Award • Commended for sustainability – New London Architecture Awards • ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’ – Construction News Awards • Supreme winner – Brick Awards 2017 1 Amelanchier, quince, redcurrants, wild strawberry and fennel in the forage garden 2 Timber playdeck weaves around existing plane trees 3 Rooftop allotment beds with seat/toolboxes 4 Insect Hotel integrated in the courtyards 5 Play is integrated throughout the courtyards 6 The matrix of paths, planting and open glades create an urban forest 7 Tomatoes, courgettes, petunia and dahlias in the allotment 8 Work in progress, 10 weeks apart 9 Insect Hotel suspended in the plane tree Images 1-7: ©Churchman Landscape Architects Image 8: ©James Brookes
Churchman Landscape Architects
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Churchman Landscape Architects aim to create sustainable, resilient landscapes that meet people’s present needs and those of the future. The company aim to challenge traditional landscape thinking by allowing the unique qualities of a site to speak while looking to the future and harnessing the latest technologies for greater effect and efficiencies. W: www.churchmanla.co.uk
FutureArc February 2019
BEECH GARDENS AND THE HIGH WALK
BARBICAN CENTRE, LONDON
Nigel Dunnett & The Landscape Agency
FutureArc February 2019
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he Beech Gardens and High Walk project, which forms part of the Barbican Estate, was the winner of the Planting Design, Horticulture and Strategic Ecology Award at this year’s Landscape Institute Awards and subsequently also the winner of the prestigious Fellows’ Award. The award is chosen by the Fellows of the Landscape Institute for the most outstanding project from all the awards entrants and this year placed emphasis on wellbeing and projects that create healthy places. Beech Gardens was laid out in the 1970s as part of the new city quarter called The Barbican, the area of London that had been most devastated by World War Two bombing. The project sets a new precedent for the adaptation and retro-fitting of post-war housing developments. Offering residents seasonal change, visual delight and wellbeing benefits, the scheme is much needed in this dense, urban, inner-city environment. Climate change projections suggest an increased frequency of extreme hot and dry summers in the future and the scheme aims to create a landscape that is climated-adapted. The planting design for the Barbican project has its origins in almost two decades of research in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Professor Nigel Dunnett first undertook trials of green roof plants in 2001 and the results from this work led to the development of new plant mixes for low-irrigation and publicly accessible green roofs and roof gardens. These mixes have been used in a wide range of real projects, and the longterm monitoring of their performance has led to further refinement. Speaking about the award, Nigel says: “The plant mixes used in The Barbican are the direct result of research undertaken in the Department of Landscape Architecture, and their recognition by this award from the UK body for landscape architects is a wonderful expression of how landscape architecture research can have a major impact on real practice. “The project sends an important message that an ‘everyday’ landscape that focuses on integrating nature and greening at every opportunity into a very challenging and hostile urban environment is seen as a precedent for creating healthy places.” Background The Barbican is Europe’s largest cultural, arts and conference venue, and a residential estate housing 4,000 people. An icon of ‘Brutalist’ architecture, it was a utopian vision of a new urban
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3 village, with shops and cultural facilities on the doorstep of residents in the heart of London, with all vehicles, roads and car parks underground, leaving the open spaces, plazas and gardens free for people to use. Like many open spaces in high-density urban developments, the development includes roof gardens, ‘podium landscapes’, and ‘landscapes above structure’, even though they may appear to be firmly rooted on the ground. A requirement to re-waterproof part of the Barbican podium in 2015 presented an exciting opportunity to rethink completely what a roof garden could be, and to explore how these spaces could be made more sustainable and ecologically valuable. Previously the plantings were traditional in nature, consisting of large trees, shrubs, lawns and seasonal bedding plants. Although green and lush, this was sustained through an automatic irrigation system, using drinkable mains water. A key consideration for the new scheme was that The City of London Corporation, the local authority that manages
Design Nigel Dunnett Technical support and project management: The Landscape Agency Client City of London Corporation Plant supply Palmstead Nurseries Green roof materials and specification of growing medium ZinCo Hard landscape contractor Volker Laser
FutureArc February 2019
the spaces, wished to no longer rely on such irrigation systems, partly because of the potential for water-use restrictions and shortages in Central London as a result of future droughts. This is therefore a pioneering example of a ‘climate-change-adapted’ landscape. Moving from a traditional ‘municipal’ landscape with simple planting of ground-cover plants in large monocultural blocks, rigorous cultivation of bare soil between plants, and neatly trimmed lawns, to a highly naturalistic scheme with no lawns, mixed and diverse plantings, no desire for bare soil, an encouraging of a dynamic, self-sustaining character, was hugely challenging. An analysis of sun, shade and shadow was the starting point for the design, and this resulted in three main planting zones: open sunny and exposed; areas receiving shade at some point in the day; and mainly shaded areas. The possible depth of growing medium was also a determining factor. Most of the site would support a maximum depth of 300–350mm (suitable for perennials and grasses), but some enabled greater depths for trees and shrubs. A typical free draining green roof substrate was the planting medium.
5 The reference point for the new scheme was therefore an ecologically equivalent wild plant community: the Steppe. Steppe grasslands occur naturally in continental climates with hot dry summers and cold winters, with thin soils, and contain a huge diversity of grasses, bulbs and flowering plants. At the Barbican, three main types of planting were used: a) ‘steppe meadow’ plantings for full sun and relatively shallow soil depths (consisting of bulbs, perennials and grasses only); b) ‘shrub-steppe’ type plantings on relatively deeper substrate depths where woody plants but could be used, but with a similar mix of perennials and grasses; and c) woodland and woodland edge in the shadier, cooler parts of the site. These shadier areas included a lot of white flowers to bring light into the darker aspects.
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6 The design concept was to create continuous ‘waves of colour’ that erupt across the site from spring until autumn as new layers continually emerge and over-top the fading earlier flowering plants, all within an evergreen matrix of grasses and structural perennials. Also to have these layers or waves being composed of just two or three key species at any one time and repeating this over the entire area to deliver large-scale drama, while the intimacy of the mixes and combinations gives visual delight at the smaller scale. It makes an everchanging scene, all held together by tight structural framework of anchor plants and framing plants. Overall, the new scheme has resulted in a 70% reduction in water use – some hand watering is possible in very dry periods. There has been no increase in the total amount of maintenance time required, even though these are vastly more complex plantings compared to previous schemes. And a new gardening group of around 20 residents has formed, who work alongside the main gardeners every Friday morning to help with routine maintenance, but also to do some of the more detailed elements of ‘garden craft’ that is not possible with the main garden teams.
1 H ot summer colours of Kniphofia, Achillea and Crocosmia 2 Purple Alliums and white Lychnis add shape and interest in late spring 3 Miscanthus and Amelanchier provide striking silver and warm gold hues in the autumn 4 Summer view of Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ 5 A summer stroll through the Beech Gardens 6 Flourishing Amelanchier and Euphorbia characias in spring 7 A winter view of Euphorbia characias Photographs ©Nigel Dunnett
Nigel Dunnett Nigel Dunnett is professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield and is one of the world’s leading voices on innovative approaches to planting design. He is a plantsman, designer and pioneer of the new ecological approach to planting gardens and public spaces. His work revolves around the integration of ecology and horticulture to achieve lowinput, high-impact landscapes that are dynamic, diverse, and tuned to nature. W: www.nigeldunnett.com
THE LANDSCAPE AGENCY W: www.landscapeagency.co.uk
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SHANGHAI BOTANICAL GARDEN, CHINA Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute
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International portfolio Quarry Garden.indd 36
project in Shanghai took a fresh approach to quarry restoration that could be applied both in China and worldwide. The Quarry Garden in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden was the winner of the Dame Sylvia Crowe Award in the Landscape Institute Awards 2018. Located at the core of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Chenshan Hill is a rare scenic spot in the suburbs of Shanghai, with a long and rich history. Quarrying began at the site at the beginning of the last century and continued until the 1980s. In 2007, with the construction of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources approved funding for comprehensive environmental management of the quarry. Inspired by the concept of Taohuayuan â€“ a textual archetype landscape in Chinese culture â€“ the lead team employed modern design methods to create a series of attractions, transforming a scarred landscape into an attractive re-naturalised environment. It not only considers recreation but also the ecological restoration of its location. The use of materials, such as natural stone, and the consideration of the orography, facilitates the integration of the work. Integrating well with the adjacent botanical garden, the essential character of the quarry was maintained but it now has a functional and user-friendly design.
Project brief After the hill body was mined, the west quarry of Quarry Garden (4.3ha) was excavated, leaving a deep pool; height differences between the hill and the water creating a high aesthetic value. The design takes the experience of immersive landscape and human history as the starting point, and the “Taohuayuan” (an ideal paradigm of oriental natural landscape) as the driving force in the landscape remodelling to represent it by modern design methods. Design highlights include a steel chute like pathway, a plank road, a ‘thin strip of sky’, a pontoon and a tunnel, re-establishing the connection between human beings and natural wasteland. It also features a waterfall, a water tower and terrain to improve the micro-climate, form different habitat types, and fully integrate ecological restoration with landscape construction. After the completion of this project, the gradually recovering ecological environment of the pit and introduction of exotic plants will not only increase the biodiversity in the area, but also form a theme garden featuring beautiful scenery, rich colours and distinct seasons.
Role of landscape professionals Landscape professionals played important roles in the coordination of this project. They interpreted the Fourth Nature for the client and also organised the route taken by tourists to minimise risks. During construction, the design was modified by combining the construction drawings and models with the site and sample sections.
Project Quarry Garden in Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden Build time 10 months Size of project 43,000m2 Client Yonghong Hu, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, China Landscape architects Beijing Tsinghua Urban Planning & Design Institute Lead designer Yufan Zhu
Awards • 2011: BALI National Award • 2012: ASLA Honour Award • 2013: China Beijing 17th Excellent Engineering Design Municipal Public Works Design • 2013: China National Excellent Engineering Survey and Design Industry Award Garden Landscape • 2016: China Landscape Architecture Society Science and Technology Progress Award • 2018: Landscape Institute Awards shortlist and Dame Sylvia Crowe Award
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For example, while planning the Thin Strip of Sky feature, radar tests showed up two internal cracks on the quarry face. To ensure construction safety, a crack close to the deep pool was selected for blasting to shape the feature. During the construction process, it almost collapsed at 70% depth, so manual removal was then necessary. For the tunnel and cave construction, a geological survey highlighted vulnerable sections in the rock mass and the tunnel direction was planned out after repeated rerouting. The Mirror Lake was designed with planting beds at both ends to aid drainage. Significance Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden is one of the supporting projects of Shanghai World Expo. As its most important theme garden, Quarry Garden has become a new landmark of Shanghai City. This project has won many high-profile awards in the industry and has extensive influence at home and abroad. After longterm rapid urbanisation and continuous large-scale construction, China has become the world’s largest stone producer and consumer. This has led to the creation of a large number of quarries and quarry wastelands. Repair and renovation of these areas has become one of the important issues in urban and rural construction. In this project, the design respects the site’s characteristics and applies the philosophy of minimum intervention to continue or update and transform the historical value of the wasteland into a new attraction.
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5 Concept innovation: cognitive level of wasteland Nature repaired after human destruction is called the Fourth Nature. In this project, rather than covering up such “trauma”, it is regarded as a kind of fortune and gives tourists an expansive and authentic landscape experience by implanting the construction system into the quarry wasteland. The design applies the method of minimum intervention – combining the original features of the site with the newly placed objects, showing respect for the natural and historical context. Full combination of ecological restoration and landscape design Combined with landscape remodelling, the Quarry Garden Project follows a comprehensive and multi-level ecological restoration method system. Various strategies such as secondary excavation, topographical dressing, soil cover planting (terrain modelling), water body nourishment (waterfall, mirror lake, etc.) are rationally applied in the ecological restoration process of different pit parts. Rather than use time-consuming methods that involve a lot of resources and disregard natural laws, the project achieves natural effects of ecological restoration through landscape design. Technological innovation Due to the complex site conditions, some difficult design techniques and construction techniques were applied in this project including 3D laser scanning and 3D digital technology, 3D modelling and spatial analysis technology and radar survey technology.
1 A steel pathway winds across the water linking one side of the site to the other 2 The pathway offers dramatic views of the original quarry and landscape 3 Sheltered by a wall of Corten steel a simple stone staircase leads visitors to the water’s edge 4 Hard landscaping mimics the surrounding natural environment 5 Sheltered pathways and steps lead in and out of the landscape 6 A Corten steel viewing box offers spectacular vistas of the site Photographs ©Chen Yao
Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Planning and Design Institute was established in 1993 (formerly Beijing Tsinghua Urban Planning and Design Institute). Based at Tsinghua University, the company combines urban planning engineering practice and scientific research and education. W: www.thupdi.com
01386 750585 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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MATERIALS P40 Artificial grass Easigrass
P43 Decking Two city case studies
P47 Planting Trends for 2019
P50 Multistem trees & shrubs Palmstead Nurseries
ARTIFICIAL GRASS award-winning Easigrass supplies and installs high-quality natural-look artificial grass suited to a range of commercial and domestic settings
dvances in artiﬁcial grass and plant technology have created new opportunities for green scape design, particularly in spaces where real ﬂora and fauna struggles to grow or thrive. Ultra-realistic in look and feel, high quality synthetic grass and ﬂoral products oﬀer a stylish, practical, low maintenance surface and property design solution.
Leading supplier and installer Easigrass – winner of Gold and Silver medals at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show – works with the highest grades of grass to develop its range, which is designed for use in many applications from small to large-scale domestic and commercial installations. The Easigrass grass range is fully porous and UV stabilised and is suitable for placement on soil, tarmac, concrete and decking, both indoors and outdoors. Artiﬁcial grass is versatile and can be installed for use in any sized space, from small shady areas to children’s play areas, balconies and large roof terraces. As an alternative to a natural grass lawn, synthetic turf also oﬀers the appeal of being an allweather surface which requires little maintenance. No mud, mess, mowing, watering or weeding, perfect for pets, child’s play, the elderly and those with mobility disabilities. And thanks to the commitment to technology development of high-end suppliers such as Easigrass, choosing a quality grass also means there’s no need to compromise on the authentic lush green lawn look. Recognising potential in the domestic market, Easigrass managing director Anthony Gallagher was
MAIN BENEFITS • Quality artificial grass is fully porous and UV stabilised and is designed and tested to withstand the toughest of weather conditions • Synthetic turf is versatile and adaptable to a variety of outdoor and indoor applications and suitable for placement on soil, tarmac, concrete and decking • High-end suppliers such as Easigrass offer a range of grass suitable for specific applications • For optimum performance, stability and durability, Easigrass recommends installations are carried out by a team of specialists who can also offer bespoke solutions in terms of drainage, levelling, and base pad layers • Quality grass is durable, and if adequately installed and maintained has the potential to last for up to 20 years
the ﬁrst in the UK to oﬀer a more authentic naturallook synthetic lawn with the introduction of a deadgrass inﬁll. This has since led to a number of design awards for Easigrass, particularly for the brand’s premium, soft-to-the-touch grass, RHS medal-
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FOCUS ON winning Easi-Mayfair and Easi-Chelsea products. But it’s not all about the aesthetics. Easigrass has developed advanced technology grass for speciﬁc application use for domestic and commercial customers. Research and development into pile heights, yarn ﬁbre shape and stiﬀness, and even the hues of a grass, have helped identify performance of each product design for speciﬁc applications. For darker, shaded areas, the more vibrant green colours of products such as Easi-Belgravia add lift. While C-shaped yarns, such as the Easi-Kensington design, are beneﬁcial for high footfall garden and leisure areas as the ﬁbres remain more upright and require less brushing. The Easi-Holland Park range is designed for heavy traﬃc commercial areas, such as schools, colleges and nurseries as its ﬁbres are particularly hardwearing. For ultimate high crush resistance (HCR), Easigrass launched the Easi-Specialised grass, which is a popular choice for commercial rooftops and balconies. Easigrass has even developed a grass for pet owners: Easi-K9 is designed to prevent moisture retention that leads to unpleasant urine odour build-up. The base layer options and ﬁbre stabilising inﬁll options are also high-tech to ensure optimum surface performance. There are shockpad base systems for child play installation, and base panels for placement on surfaces that require eﬃcient drainage, such as rooftops and balconies. In terms of inﬁll products, Easigrass oﬀers ZeoFill, an environmentally sustainable, high-performing inﬁll product, which naturally reduces odour build-up. Developed from 100 per cent organic non-toxic volcanic ash minerals, ZeoFill works to neutralise pet urine odour and stabilise ﬁbres in artiﬁcial lawns.
LE MERIDIEN HOTEL, LONDON
he newly launched specialised grass range by Easigrass was the surface of choice for the recent makeover of Le Meridien Hotel’s large outdoor terrace area, which overlooks the Mayfair end of Piccadilly Circus. The contemporary and stylish 121m2 green space oﬀers guests an impressive outdoor seating area in which to relax that also complements the hotel’s Regency-era architecture.
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Anthony Gallagher, managing director of Easigrass, says: “Easigrass has successfully delivered contemporary and stylish solutions for the hospitality sector all over the world. Large areas that are currently overlooked can easily be transformed into green garden spaces, where customers can relax and enjoy their surroundings.” Recognised as one of the landmark hotels in Piccadilly Circus, Le Meridien
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offers striking interior and exterior designs throughout. This includes a glasshouse style restaurant, from which the new Easigrass designed balcony can be accessed by hotel guests. The Easi-Specialised grass range was selected to complete the terrace installation, as it is designed for heavy foot traffic areas with its low crush, yarnstabilising technology and short pile height of 23mm. A hardwearing and durable grass, Easi-Specialised is perfect for roof terrace applications as it can be fitted on any concrete, tarmac or decking surface to create an uplifting green space. The grass was placed on the newly launched Easi-Panel base pads, which offer advanced drainage capability for artificial turf installation. The18mm base pads have been uniquely designed to protect all existing tiles and structures and can be adapted for almost any installation. Following on from the terrace makeover, the Easigrass specialist team was also commissioned to install an Easi-Wall feature within the hotelâ€™s main restaurant area. Handcrafted in Surrey, Easi-Wall is the latest innovative garden design to be launched by the company.
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Easigrass As one of the largest UK suppliers of artificial grass, Easigrass supply and install a wide range of award-winning natural-look grass products to suit a variety of applications including lawns, childrenâ€™s play areas, pet-friendly gardens, balconies, roof terraces, courtyards, sports areas and commercial footfall spaces. W: www.easigrass.com
DECKING TWO CITY CENTRE WORKSPACES TRANSFORMED
an attractive rooftop terrace featuring decking from ALFRESCO FLOORS offers scope for outdoor meetings, staff relaxation and corporate entertainment
cannon street, London
striking exterior roof terrace with views of St Paul’s Cathedral has been developed using decking products by Alfresco Floors. The high-end new build commercial oﬃce premises at 2–6 Cannon Street in the City of London have created 14,416m² of oﬃce accommodation. Alfresco Floors was commissioned by Frosts Landscape Construction to supply and install the GRAD decking and rail systems, which were supported by the Buzon DPH pedestal system for the roof top scheme. The installation was challenging as it had to be carried out around powder-coated steel planters located in the middle of the roof terrace. Kebony timber decked steps and ramps were also part of the overall terrace design. The ﬁnished outdoor space in Cannon Street, designed by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, provides oﬃce workers with an attractive rooftop terrace, perfect for a lunchtime break, al fresco meetings or after-work drinks.
FutureArc February 2019
Speaking about the project, Mike Wilderink, managing director of Alfresco Floors, says: â€œWe were delighted to supply and install GRAD decking at this prestigious project.â€? Designed and manufactured in France, GRAD has been refining and improving its invisible fixings decking system since 1988. All decking materials are sourced exclusively from eco-responsible solutions and ethically managed forests making the GRAD deck boards both sustainable and eco-friendly. Alfresco Floors is the exclusive importer of GRAD technology in the UK. www.alfrescofloors.co.uk
FutureArc February 2019
EAST INDIA DOCKS, LONDON the warm natural look of MILLBOARD decking contrasts perfectly with the cool modern exterior of this communal waterside workspace
n award-winning £25m redevelopment project in the historic East India Docks features innovative decking solutions by Millboard. Studio RHE’s renovation of Capstan House was the winner of the Offsite ‘Commercial Project of the Year’ and provides an affordable ‘workplace of the future’ alongside coffee shops, restaurants, gym and public garden. The project, the second phase of a development called ‘Republic’, is backed by Trilogy Property and LaSalle Investment Management. When completed, the development will provide a total 6,0387m² of workspace.
Studio RHE’s project is flanked by relaxing communal areas and the central ‘public realm’ was designed to foster relaxation, creativity and collaborative working. The water garden features an oasis of trees, landscaped ponds and mixed seating. SHRE’s Joe Bamber explained that Millboard decking was used throughout the scheme “to give a warmer, natural touch to the water’s edge.” Speaking about the design concept, Millboard’s marketing manager Caroline Birdsall says: “We were thrilled to be part of such an important and iconic moment in London’s architectural history.
FutureArc February 2019
This has been one of our biggest projects ever, needing a total of 860m² of our Enhanced Grain decking. Our product will fit into the boardwalk concept beautifully and as it’s engineered to be slip resistant, it’ll be safe for the water garden visitors all year round.” Visitors can now relax on deckchairs, hold their meetings outdoors, or simply take a break among the tranquil water features, right in the heart of London’s newly conceptualised business district. The completion of phase two redefines the metropolitan working environment and has become a prime example of East London’s regeneration. Just a stone’s throw away from the O2 arena, ‘Republic’ encourages young businesses to position themselves in the up-and-coming East India Docks, just seconds away from the capital’s corporate centre of Canary Wharf. www.millboard.co.uk
FutureArc February 2019
TOP TRENDS FOR 2019 what does 2019 have in store for soft landscaping and planting? JAMIE BUTTERWORTH lists five of his top trends for the year ahead
rying to predict or second guess the trends for the year ahead is always diﬃcult. Anticipating what the next big thing in the world of planting design will be. What will be the plant of the season, that ‘must have’ planting combination or horticultural theme that sweeps through the nation? In 2018, we saw more ecological plantings, a sharper focus on plant sourcing and sustainable horticulture. With planting, trends tend to come and go in waves, but unlike the annual fashion shows, horticulture can take many years to change direction and for new fashions to become noticeable. This for me must be one of the things I love most about plants and gardens. Nothing is instant, nor is it meant to be. The time it takes a garden or landscape to mature, establish, develop and settle is part of the charm of the process and journey. This can take years, if not decades to happen. The closest tool we can use to foresee future trends is our exceptional catalogue of ﬂower shows, boasting the latest horticultural inspiration and combinations. But again, it can take several years for trends from shows such as RHS Chelsea to trickle down into the landscapes that we see being built around us, or perhaps, even not at all. Below are ﬁve of my top trends for soft landscaping and planting throughout 2019, what to keep an eye out for and what do include to stay ahead of the game. I have used a combination of what I anticipate may happen based on the progression of planting styles over the last few years, combined with a hopeful optimism of what I hope may happen and things I would like to see more of.
MORE PLANTS AND SOFT LANDSCAPING
An overriding theme I have seen gather momentum, and rightly so over the last few years is the increasing size of the soft landscaping on projects, with hard landscaping taking more of a back seat. Plants are used to provide the colour, structure, texture and story to projects. No longer are they an afterthought, but instead an integral component to the overall design, With the Landscape Institute now recognising planting design as a category at their annual awards, I expect to see much more of an emphasis on soft landscaping on major projects. Nigel Dunnett’s Barbican project (pages 32– 34) is a perfect example of how clever planting combinations can be used to calm and neutralise Brutalist architecture. Drifts of multi-seasonal interest can be used to add layers of colour throughout the year, creating an ever-changing landscape to entice more visitors.
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FutureArc February 2019
WILDLIFE PLANTING AND LAZY GARDENING
In recent years we have seen much more of push towards planting combinations designed to attract wildlife and pollinators into gardens. A shift away from the impeccably manicured gardens and formal spaces with millimetre precision and no room for nature to relax and breath. More informal, mixed plantings that are slightly more rugged and wild are becoming increasingly popular. Clients are becoming more acutely aware that a garden should be used at the forefront of the battle in protecting the natural world. The beauty of it is that as a happy side eﬀect, it results in less work in the garden, and instead more time to enjoy it. Leaving perennials to naturally die over the winter months to provide habitats for pollinators, leaving the lawn unmown to attract wildlife, leaving hedgerows for birds. Less work for us, better for wildlife – truly the best of both worlds.
GREEN LIVING SPACES
Our gardens are getting ever smaller, and yet our need and demand for green spaces could not be greater. For this reason, we must be increasingly clever with the plants we use and the way in which we use them. I see a continuing trend of using plants that give multiseasonal interest while maintaining a compact and manageable shape.
It is no secret that plants make people happy. We all know it, we have the pleasure of working with plants and gardens all day, every day. People who live on tree-lined streets live longer, people surrounded by green spaces live longer, people in hospitals with more greenery survive longer. It should come as no surprise that gardens are an incredible tool in improving people’s physical and mental health, and I think throughout 2019 we will continue to see the expansion of our green spaces as areas to which people can escape. By incorporating more edible and medicinal plants in our designs, we can help to make gardens much more than just ornamental spaces but inviting escapes that can provide calm and shelter in a world of chaos. Max Harriman’s 2018 show garden at RHS Tatton expertly demonstrated how a calming, green garden with a simple, reﬁned design can be used to escape the stresses of urban living. A densely planted, lush garden which allowed the foliage to do the talking, more of which we should see in the future.
BOLD PLANTING COMBINATIONS
Admittedly, this last prediction has more to do with hope than anticipation. For me a garden and landscape come to life when daring, bold and powerful colour combinations are used to dazzle and create the wow factor. Using plants to stop people in their tracks, grab their attention, inspire and captivate. Combinations such as this ﬁery Geum with the piercing blue Anchusa, as seen at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year are a perfect example of how using bright and cheerful planting can be a powerful tool in bringing gardens to life.
CALM IN CHAOS
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JAMIE BUTTERWORTH Plantsman and horticulturist Jamie Butterworth is the director of Butterworth Horticulture, a soft landscaping design and installation practice, operating throughout the home counties and London. Jamie is also an RHS ambassador and feature editor for Pro Landscaper. W: butterworthhorticulture.co.uk
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MULTISTEM TREES & SHRUBS ADDING A NEW DIMENSION TO DESIGN Geoff de la Cour-Baker, marketing and designer sales manager at Palmstead Nurseries, discusses how multistem trees and shrubs can add a new dimension to landscape design
ultistem trees and shrubs have been a planting staple for large domestic and commercial production for years, but over the last 10–15 years they have also become a mainstay of smaller domestic projects. This rise in popularity coupled with increased availability means that the multistem tree or shrub is here to stay and offering a wide range of choice to customers, coupled with the ability to hand select for projects has become paramount. The architectural value of a good multistem is key to many projects, enabling structure and form to be added and allowing under planting combinations to be used to bring added dimensions
“RISE IN POPULARITY COUPLED WITH INCREASED AVAILABILITY MEANS THAT THE MULTISTEM TREE OR SHRUB IS HERE TO STAY” to a scheme. They also lend themselves to being lit from underneath and can be chosen pre-trained or pruned to fit a number of different scenarios in a scheme, allowing more flexibility than traditionally grown trees or shrubs. Over the last 18 months, Palmstead Nurseries has worked with a number of well-respected suppliers in
FutureArc February 2019
the UK and northern and southern Europe to offer a range of multistem trees and shrubs that cater for any taste. Offering the ability to select and tag specimens is one of the most important aspects to consider when stocking this type of product so we have created an area of our nursery specifically to hold these items. As we also understand the importance of distance selling without losing the chance of being able to view the specimen, we post 360-degree videos and photos on our website. Where we have bought in multiples of one product type but we class each to be unique, we list them separately and post individual videos and photos so the exact specimen can be selected. When choosing a specimen multistem it is important to consider how the product will be delivered, how it will move from the delivery vehicle and how to transport it once delivered. Size and weight are important as well as asymmetrical form. We offer deliveries on our own lorries which are fitted with tail lifts and side curtains to allow for maximum ease of unloading. We also regularly hire lorries fitted with Hiabs to allow for large specimens to be unloaded via a crane system. If anyone is looking for a specific item and we do not have it in stock, we will use our extensive supply network to try and find what is required.
PALMSTEAD NURSERIES Palmstead Nurseries has been producing quality nursery stock for the landscape and amenities industry for more than 50 years. W: www.palmstead.co.uk
FutureArc February 2019
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