Monday, 18 April 2016

New building

There seems to be a sudden rush of gardens built, or to be built, above ground.

In many urban areas this makes a deal of sense since ground space is not only scarce but valuable.

Planning permission has been granted for the latest Maggie's Centre, in Leeds, within an already densely built environment.

Photo courtesy of Heatherwick studios

The design brief to the Heatherwick studios 

was to create a "positive environment to calm minds and foster a sense of well being" and to provide "qualities of a garden with shared and private spaces". 

Photo courtesy of Heatherwick studios

These centres offer free support to anyone affected by cancer. Often outside space is important to enable this to be delivered and can be difficult to provide given the physical constraints of the site.

Photo courtesy of Heatherwick studios

Internal spaces, both private and shared, are also important to facilitate year round usage and plants are of proven mental health benefits.

Looking at these images, there seems to be lots of little spaces, tucked away to give maximum privacy, but also larger areas which encourage socialising.

Photo courtesy of Heatherwick studios

The buildings themselves remind me of ancient Arabic dwellings found in dry and arid desert regions. 
But I think the abundant injections of greenery both compliment and soften these organic exteriors.

I hope the gardens will provide the oasis of support needed and can't wait to see the fully built project. What a lovely and worthwhile scheme to be involved with.

Good luck to all concerned.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Peckham coal line

Not exactly a title to make you think of a garden, or even greenery and certainly not a green community space.

But how about this.

Following on the heels and success of the High Line comes a proposal to turn a disused elevated section of rail line in London - in Peckham to be precise - into a linear park. 

Image from

Perhaps not quite the same cachet and certainly not the same length or having as many opportunities as the New York one it is however commendable for a number of reasons. 

Not least that it will provide a desperately needed non concrete environment for locals to enjoy but that they are being involved right from the start. 

image from proposal

People have been encouraged to suggest uses and ideas for the project, volunteer practical skills and help and more importantly, to donate funds via crowd funding. 

Image from

Southwark council and the Mayor of London's fund have both promised £10k with Sustrans 
pitching in £7k but amazingly the project has already reached its funding target and is now moving forward.

Image from

So many congratulations to the initiators of the scheme. 

Let's hope it encourages other people around the country to look for similiar opportunities to provide city dwellers with green lungs.

Once completed I look forward to visiting, with real photos to show the line in all its glory. 
Until then conceptual computer generated images will have to suffice.