RIBA appoints designer for roof terraces

Naturalistic planting and living walls will feature in a overhaul of three central London roof terraces, following the appointment of Dan Pearson Studio.

The company has been chosen as the winner in a competition to find a designer to remodel the public roof terraces at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) headquarters.

The studio's senior landscape designer Heidi Harvey will lead the project team, which will also include Dan Pearson and two further designers.

Dan Pearson Studio manager Huw Morgan said it would be a case of "all hands on deck" to get the scheme ready in time for its opening in May.

"The idea is to make it a planting scheme with year-round interest," added Morgan. "We are most likely looking at native planting."

The competition attracted 57 expressions of interest from designers worldwide.

Four firms were shortlisted and attended an interview with a panel consisting of RIBA house architect Martin Pascoe, deputy venue manager Lisa Lightfoot, Knox Bhavan Architects partner Sasha Bhavan and Project Orange director Christopher Ash.

Ash said: "The competition drew a fascinating range of responses across disciplines and included architectural, landscape and installation-based proposals.

"In this context, it was felt that the winning proposal, incorporating sophisticated planting strategies and living walls, would provide a beautiful counterpoint to the architecture of the building and significantly enhance and enrich the experience of the terraces."

The aim of the competition was to find a designer who could create simple, sustainable architectural garden terraces that will enhance the Grade II*-listed building, which was designed by George Grey Wornum.

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