Watch a fascinating timelapse video of the construction of Crossrail Place roof garden at Canary Wharf
Opening today (1 May), the Foster + Partners-designed Crossrail Place sits above the new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf. It is the first retail and public realm space to be created as part of the Crossrail network.
Surrounded by water, the scheme in North Dock is reached via a ramp from the south. The station concourse and platforms are on the lower two levels, with the shops and leisure facilities on the four levels above.
Atop of the structure sits a new 4,160m² roof garden. Designed by London-based landscape architect Gillespies, the garden will be open to the public, and provide space for the local community and schools, and includes a performance space.
The garden lies almost exactly on the Meridian line and plants and shrubs have been selected from places where the ships that docked at Canary Wharf returned from. The plants have been arranged so that those from the Western hemisphere are planted on that side of the Meridian line, with those from the Eastern hemisphere on the opposite side.
Foster said: “Crossrail is an important investment in infrastructure that will have benefits not only in the short term, but also for future generations. The social magnets of shopping, bars, restaurant and a public garden are also part of an enlightened partnership between the public and private domains. The building is conceived to mediate between the adjoining worlds of Canary Wharf and the local community – with its different materials and the emphasis on a softer expression and warmer materials.”
Stephen Richards, Partner at Gillespies said: “The opportunity to create such a large and unique roof garden in what will become a new destination for London was both a privilege and a challenge for our team. The design of the garden responds both to the architectural language of the roof and the history of the dock in the creation of an innovative and sheltered planting environment. The highly distinctive space will offer visitors intimate contact with an abundance of nature and a totally new vantage point from which to look out across the water and the surrounding area.”
Gaps in the semi-open 310-metre-long ETFE and timber lattice roof will accommodate the tallest trees in the garden, creating a unique microclimate for the garden below.
Canary Wharf Crossrail Station is one of nine new stations being constructed as part of the government’s £15.9 billion Crossrail project linking Maidenhead and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Woods. It is the largest on the route and will be the first to open. Trains will service the station from 2018.
Other members of the design team are Tony Meadows Associates, Adamson Associates, Arup Engineering, and Growth Industry.