Client King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (Argent LLP)
Lead architect/designer Townshend Landscapes Architects
Main contractor Argent LLP
Maintenance contractor Willerby Landscapes
Suppliers Applied Landscape Design, Deepdale Trees, Freeland Horticultural, Kelways Plants, Waterscapes
A vibrant new city quarter is being transformed from underused industrial wasteland. The King’s Cross development possesses a sense of consistency and unity, while allowing the designers to express their own style and personality. The public squares and gardens come in all shapes and sizes and Willerby Landscapes has been working on the site since 2009.
The scope of works has continued to grow to include the installation of hard and soft landscaping. Handyside Gardens, Lewis Cubitt Park, the Kings Pond landscaping, Pancras Square and roof garden, the Plimsoll Building roof garden and Gasholder Park involved more than 440 different plant species.
"The scale of this project is impressive, with 67 acres of underused industrial wasteland in central London now regenerated, creating a vibrant area of homes, offices, shops and public open spaces," said the judges. "The landscaping works carried out by the contractor to public areas demanded the full range of landscaping disciplines. Areas including Granary Square, Lewis Cubitt Park & Square, and Gasholder Square demonstrate the contractor’s outstanding workmanship. The challenging hard landscaping works are faultless. Lawn areas have been laid with precision. The vision of the landscape architects involved in designing this public realm scheme has been well served by the contractor, who has implemented every aspect with precision and craftsmanship.
"The hugely successful transformation of King’s Cross — a previously derelict industrial wasteland in central London — into a vibrant, stunning, mixed-use development is in no small part down to the achievements of the landscape contractor, Willerby Landscapes. From the outset, Willerby’s excellent rapport with the client and determination to create beautiful public open spaces across the 67-acre site have resulted in an exemplar of what can be achieved when outstanding client liaison and project management combine with horticultural knowledge and landscaping expertise.
Image: ©John Sturrock
"From the construction and planting of the Pancras Building roof garden to the expert installation of a Dan Pearson-designed planting palette in Corten steel raised planters in the Handyside Gardens, the contractor’s skill, horticultural expertise and attention to detail are clear to see. Many large semi-mature trees have been planted and nurtured by the contractor, including an 8.5-tonne oak in Battle Bridge Place believed to be one of the largest trees ever to be moved to and planted in an urban space.
"Turfed areas totalling 4,750sq m have been perfectly laid and, although now heavily trafficked, ongoing expert maintenance ensures they continue to provide an oasis of lush green. The sheer quality of the landscaping across this scheme is breathtaking and has played a major part in attracting high-profile tenants. Willerby has provided the industry with a masterclass in landscaping excellence and is a worthy winner of the 2016 BALI Grand Award."
Grand Award sponsor: Green-tech
Regeneration Scheme - over £500k sponsor: idverde UK