The Crossrail station at Canary Wharf is topped by a public roof garden. The design for the garden evokes a ship laden with unusual and exotic specimens from around the globe – a nod to its maritime past. Under a transparent semi-permeable lattice canopy – open at the top to draw in light and natural irrigation – are hundreds of plants collectively representing and showcasing the many native countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company, which unloaded their wares where the station now sits.
The geographic location of the site – directly north of Greenwich – places the docks virtually on the Prime Meridian, dividing the western and eastern hemispheres. This positioning inspired the planting division of the gardens into two geographic zones. Plants from the Western hemisphere such as ferns and Sweet Gum are on the west side of the Meridian line, with Asian plants such as bamboos, magnolias and maples on the east side. The semi-permeable canopy structure enclosing the garden helped to create a localised microclimate allowing the use more sensitive and rare species of plants.
Landscape Architects: Gillespies
Architects: Fosters + Partners
Specialist Planting Consultancy: Growth Industry
Client: Canary Wharf Group