Gillespies-designed Crossrail Place rooftop garden opens

The retail space and rooftop garden at Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London opens on 1 May.

The 118km Crossrail east-west London rail link is scheduled to start operating in 2018. However, the retail space, restaurant and leisure facilities opened on 1 May.

Crossrail Place has a rooftop garden, designed by Gillespies, and community facility, semi-covered by a timber lattice roof, which allows air flow and natural irrigation to reach the plants on roof garden – described as the first of its kind in London.

Crossrail is a new rail line which will open in 2018 and run from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through 21 km of new twin-bore tunnels and seven new underground stations under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. In 2007 Canary Wharf Group agreed to build the new station at Canary Wharf on the South East leg of the Crossrail route for a fixed price of £500m and contribute 30 per cent of the cost.

Gillespies, which also designed the sloping garden 37 floors up on 20 Fenchurch Street, is working with Tony Meadows Associates, Adamson Associates, Growth Industry, Arup Engineering and Foster + Partners on the new public roof garden park. Blakedown Landscapes is the contractor on the project.

Canary Wharf will be one of the largest Crossrail stations. Like the nearby Canary Wharf Tube station, the new Crossrail station will be built in dock water area, in this case the North Dock of West India Quay. The station and proposed retail and park areas will be six storeys high.

The station box has been designed and constructed on behalf of Crossrail by Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canary Wharf Group plc. It has been built for a fixed price of £500m, of which CWG is contributing £150m.

The seven storey structure, whose design mimics the old clippers that would once docked at Canary Wharf, is over 300m long. Crossrail Place contains 10,000 sqm of retail and leisure space as well as a 4,160 sq m public garden. The station concourse and platforms occupy the bottom two levels and won’t open until 2018, with the four upper levels above contain the leisure offering.

Crossrail Place also includes Everyman Cinema, Sports Bar & Grill, Psycle London and The Big Easyand Bespoke Cycle.

Crossrail Place is located in the water of the North Dock at Canary Wharf and is reached via a long access ramp from the south. The ramp, which bisects the structure, sits almost exactly on the Meridian line. This has influenced the types of plants and shrubs in the roof garden, which are exotic species originating from places where the ships that docked at Canary Wharf returned from. The plants are arranged in such a way 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.

The roof garden is accessible until nightfall.


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