ROLE: Landscape Architects – Concept to Completion
LOCATIONS: Stratford, London
CLIENT: Urban Space Management Ltd
Design Concept & Objectives
Roof East is a pioneering high-rise urban park, located on top of a five storey car park in the heart of Stratford overlooking Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It incorporates a bar and kitchen with seating and tables, an open air cinema zone, an aquaponics greenhouse and games that are integrated into the roof’s design, including giant skittles.
Groundwork was commissioned to design a rooftop park that brought together these disparate components into one coherent space. The design and implementation of the rooftop presented multiple challenges, including possible strong winds, dry conditions and delivery limitations due to vehicle height and weight restrictions of the car park building.
A central design theme of this unconventional bespoke rooftop park is the contrast of the stark concrete surface of the roof with colourful, soft luscious planting, creating a harmonious, visually interesting space. Much of the seating, raised planters and green walls were created using reclaimed wooden pallets and timber decking salvaged from the nearby Olympic Village.
The defining features, a nod to the park’s former use, are three vintage sports cars which are planted with trees and a variety of sensory planting.
A proportion of the planting was also donated by RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibitors, through Groundwork’s Chelsea REUSE scheme, and was planted by Groundwork’s Green Team of horticulture trainees and volunteers from Interserve. The planting scheme includes hardy lavender, rosemary and medlar, silver birch and field maple trees.
A complementary lighting scheme helps bring the park to life after dark, extending the use of the space into the evenings so that visitors can enjoy the space throughout the year.
Roof East is a much loved public open space; a high rise oasis above the bustling streets and shops below. With spectacular views across London and a host of events and activities taking place over the warmer months, this has become a truly unique destination for locals and visitors alike.
Roof East has been supported by Urban Space Management Ltd, GLA Pocket Park Fund, The Stratford Renaissance Partnership, Groundwork London and London Borough of Newham.