Project Name: Battersea Power Station
Client: Andy Sturgeon Design
Location: Wandsworth, London
Built between 1929 and 1939, the Battersea Power Station was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the same visionary architect who gave the UK its iconic red telephone box. Despite becoming one of London’s most recognisable buildings and the star of numerous films and TV shows throughout the post-war decades, the power station began to decline in the 1970s, finally being decommissioned in 1983.
The years that immediately followed saw the London icon fall into disrepair with various development plans put forward but never coming to fruition. That was until 2012, when the Battersea Power Station Development Company was formed and plans to transform the site into a mixed-use development with residential, commercial and retail space were announced.
The first phase was completed in 2017, with phase two completed in 2022. The results have been nothing short of spectacular. The landmark returned to its position as one of London’s architectural jewels, featuring stylish surroundings and stunningly beautiful open spaces in which to work, rest and play.
Leading UK Garden designer, Andy Sturgeon Design, was commissioned to develop 2 acres as part of the second development phase. Deepdale Trees Ltd was invited by the appointed landscape contractor, Willerby Landscapes Ltd, to supply a diverse range of tree species that would enhance the landscape, support biodiversity and sustainability in both communal garden areas and courtyard gardens.
The varieties supplied by Deepdale Trees Ltd were selected specifically for the environment the roof gardens would create. Combined, these species contributed to the creation of the largest rooftop forest in London.
Pinus nigra Austriaca were carefully situated at either end of the roof to slow the wind and create a better environment for the rest of the roof top gardens. There are no obvious boundaries or fences on the residential gardens, instead, Phillyrea angustifolia and Fagus sylvatica clipped into topiary domes were used to make boundaries of foliage. Amongst the evergreens, which include Phillyrea, Osmanthus, Arbutus and Pinus, there are cloud pruned Parrotia persica and feathered form Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine.’ During the autumnal months, these varieties provide contrast with deep golden and fiery red hues echoing the flame shaped Carpinus.
The variety of tree and shrub species has transformed the open spaces surrounding the rooftop apartments into a thriving environment that enhances the beauty and appeal of the iconic landmark, contrasting with the original industrial features. The careful selection of plants, grown to the highest quality standards, has ensured that the gardens will thrive for years to come, providing a natural habitat for wildlife and a beautiful landscape for visitors to enjoy.
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