London 2011- construction planned for 2012 - planning approved
In this project for a garden extension in Hackney, London, we propose to raise the ground level to that of the upper ground floor. It is defined by 4 planters build of London stock bricks. Seen from the upper ground floor, a new strata has been created, aligned with the garden walls.
The largest contains the extension per se and is covered by a wild flower meadow growing in a thick layer of soil to create natural growing conditions and reduce the maintenance needs to a minimum. A large skylight in the middle of the supporting concrete slab will light this space brightly. Through this opening, the meadow above will appear, bloom and dry before being cut at the end of the summer. The yearly rhythm of the seasons will change the space and the quality of light. This slab is left visible internally and will be given a reflective surface.
Three other planters, each contain a tree, form a varied space for a lower garden. These trees will be chosen for the aesthetic quality of their branches, foilage and flowers as seen from below, in transparency with the sunlight behind.
The design also provides for a system of sustainable rain water treatment. Collected from the roofs of the original building, the water is directed to a rainwater tank. This overflows into one of the planters where a tree that enjoys humid conditions will be planted. From this, the water overflows in a gravelled level where water can seep slowly into the ground to replenish the water table. Excess water is then channelled in a rill to form a cascade before going into the drain. The whole garden is a fountain operated by the weather.