99 Bishopsgate London
99 Bishopsgate provides 26 floors of high specification office accommodation totalling 340,000 sq ft in the heart of the City of London. With its dramatic glazed facades and commanding presence, 99 Bishopsgate is a landmark building at the centre of Europe’s financial capital.
The client's brief was to transform the existing Level 5 podium into a series of sky gardens, accessible to tenants and visitors throughout the year, by day or night. A new meeting place for informal events, relaxation and social interaction. A landscape that celebrates the charm of a quintessential London garden and a series of garden rooms which would allow visitors a unique view of the City of London skyline.
A particular challenge was the limited access to the roof areas for construction and significant restrictions on the structural loading limits of the existing level 5 podium concrete slab.
Access to the existing window cleaning trackways and building plant rooms had to be maintained at all times, together with the provision of improved roof edge enclosure, for the safety of visitors and to reduce the exposure to unwanted windy conditions to all the external podium areas.
The combination of manufactured lightweight soil and minimum soil depths to all areas allowed the introduction of stainless steel edged broad manicured lawns, a perimeter parterre of box hedging and a selection of white flowering specimen multistem Amelanchier, Prunus and Crataegus spp.
A pleached avenue of box headed Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam) was planted in the western garden, directly above structural columns within the building, to provide additional shelter and screening of the existing plant room facilities from key views from within the offices.
The planting design builds on a colour theme of green, white, mauve and blue, with the extensive use of English lavender combined with a robust vocabulary of evergreen shrubs and groundcovers. In the ground floor courtyard giant evergreen bamboo have been planted, to be seen by all visitors arriving at the main entrance lobby, inspired by the bamboo gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
A fully automatic irrigation system ensures all year round aftercare, together with outdoor lighting for dramatic after dark animation and surprise. The western gardens have been designed to feature art in the landscape with a series of contemporary sculptures by Ellis O’Connell, up lit at night .