Crossrail Place Roof Garden
The futuristic Crossrail Place Roof Garden opened its doors to the public in April 2015 and is the top level of the structure the – affectionately named – ‘Giant Robot’.
The tropical roof garden and leisure complex (it can host an audience of 50 for live entertainment) was designed by Forster + Partners, who also designed Canary Wharf icons like the tube station and HSBC Tower.
Canary Wharf Group stress it draws on the area’s heritage and is a community hub, easy to be cynical about this but I would recommend a walk around. It’s a great addition to the area.
Many of the plants here are native to the West Indies, a reference to the West India Company. Their dock was on this spot between 1802 and 1980. You can find out more about their history by visiting the Museum of London Docklands.
The garden also lies almost exactly on the meridian line, with plants originating from the Northern hemisphere to the West of the meridian line, and vice versa.
Much like the Sky Garden’s ‘public park’, this won’t ever be a fully relaxed environment. So despite it being a lovely escape for the worker bees at Canary Wharf lunchtime (especially in warm weather) if you look up, there’s only so long you can cling to this illusion of an oasis:
A Park for All Seasons?
A little update from February 2018, when London is experiencing a snow storm unparalleled in recent memory, I couldn’t help showing these glorious photos of the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in the snow…
I loved the bizarre scenes of the exotic palms covered in a layer of snow!
So which do you prefer? Summer or Winter?!