Design & Build Kate Gould Sponsor New West End Co & Sir Simon Milton Foundation Theme Greening the West End
“Our design is a modern interpretation of the green space and architecture of a typical London square. Our sponsor, the New West End company, represents business interests around Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, and they wanted to create communal green space for tourists and locals to sit and enjoy.
“As a nod to London’s classical architecture, the walls are clad in Ashlar. For other structural elements we’re using a mix of high- tech materials including kinetic paving, which harnesses pedestrian footsteps to create energy, made by UK-company Pavegen. A pergola gives overhead privacy and a fountain introduces the soothing sound of water.
“There are lots of nooks and crannies where we show how it’s possible to green the side of buildings, using a palette of evergreen ferns to clothe window frames.
“The main border is bucolic and English in style, using peonies, roses, irises, lupins, hostas, gillenias, salvias and amsonia. The colours stand out well against the strong green backdrop. Shrubby sarcococca will bulk it out a bit, with grasses such as coppery Anemanthele lessoniana ‘Sirocco’ and Nassella tenuissima for softness. Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura tree) and Acer tataricum ginnala are pollution-tolerant ‘street’ trees that cope well with shade. We’re including low hedges in yew or euonymus and there’s an area of lawn, which is quite a bold departure for me.
“The main challenge is how to make the buildings stand up! With a Chelsea garden so many things can come and bite you.”