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UK’s highest tropical garden in a residential setting launches at landmark pinnacle

Landmark Pinnacle has unveiled the ‘Panoramic Sky Gardens’ occupying the entire 27th floor of the UK’s tallest residential tower. Over 3,500 plants have created a spectacular tropical garden and a space dedicated for children to play and be inspired into gardening.

The indoor garden embraces biophilia to ensure residents benefit from connecting with nature including wellness, productivity and socialising with other residents against a backdrop of London’s iconic Skylines of both East London and West London.

Chalegrove Properties, the developer of Landmark Pinnacle working with Squire and partners and Farrer Huxley evolved the vision for all the garden floors and rooftop fulfilling the amenity and open space needs for residents and successfully gaining planning for the scheme. Gillespies were appointed to realise the scheme’s pioneering and ambitious planting vision, working with Phil Griffiths, Director of Verdant Horticulture and former Head Horticulturalist at Kew Botanical Gardens. Their appointment follows the completion of the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, the ground-breaking publicly accessible indoor garden in London, which opened to the public in 2015 to global acclaim. The garden on the roof was designed by Farrer Huxley and Squire & Partners.

The ‘Panoramic Sky Gardens’ at Landmark Pinnacle encompasses over 6,350sq ft featuring a carefully curated and complex micro-climate, where plants are nurtured within an enclosed glass container. Occupying the entire 27th floor, the garden is split into an East and West side, each with its own character and layout:

  • With panoramic views over the City of London, the West facing London Square Garden is approximately 2,950 sq ft and features a series of lounge areas divided by gardens encompassing 1,288  plants ranging in size from low level creeping plants to large 2.5-metre high structural planting. The West Garden provides a calm space, with sofas and benches set around specially selected trees, shrubs and plants chosen to transform the space into a tropical oasis. Providing exceptional panoramic views across the River Thames and onto the London skyline, the West Garden also features a private relaxation area with lounge chairs, as well as a table tennis room.
  • With spectacular views over Canary Wharf and beyond, the East facing Sky Garden is approximately 3,400 sq ft and boasts 2,265 plants, creating a green and playable garden for residents. The garden is densely planted, much like a jungle, within raised, curved metal planters. A play trail running through the centre of the space will take twists and turns into and through the textural tropical and sub-tropical planting, allowing children to get close up to the forms and textures of the planting. Vertical planting in the form of trellis running up the walls and metal tunnels along the play trail also gives height to the planting, both planted with climbing plants suitable for the internal conditions.

Key features of The Panoramic Sky Gardens:

  • The gardens are designed to deliver a year-round, multi-sensory experience. Planting has been carefully considered to ensure it ignites all the senses, creating bursts of colour, texture, height and scents throughout the seasons, providing residents a dynamic and ever-changing experience. Ficus plants, such as figs, have been selected for their rubber-like, glossy leaves that stimulate the sense of touch, while more delicate plants with smaller leaves offer a different experience.
  •  Incorporates Stephanotis climbing plants with their fragrant flowers to fill the summer air with a beautiful, intense scent that will delight residents using the garden.
  • Planting has been sourced from a specialist indoor plant nursery based in the Netherlands. To deliver maximum impact, the plants have been sourced in larger sizes including Peace lilys, Spider plant and Swiss-cheese plant.
  • Innovative in its transformation of a standard floorplate into a thriving environment for plants, the space has the optimum balance of light, humidity and temperature thanks to embedded technology that can be controlled at the flick of a switch. This green oasis will offer residents sanctuary amongst the planting, and a playable landscape to help foster a greater awareness of the natural world and improve well-being.
  •  The indoor ecosystem will be supported and optimized by sophisticated technological systems, delivering innovations in plant care. This includes low-energy LED’s, light monitoring sensors, misters and airflow controls that are fed back into the BMS (Building Management System) – a computer-based control system installed in the building that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment. These features have been used to great effect at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens within their glass houses.

Embracing biophilic design

The gardens are just one of the innovative ways that nature is being woven into Landmark Pinnacle to enrich the wellbeing of residents. Landmark Pinnacle is leading the way in how biophilic design can address a deficiency of green spaces and interactions with nature that can be attributed to urban living. Biophilia is an innate affinity human beings have with the natural world. By applying biophilic design principles at Landmark Pinnacle, we can subconsciously reconnect people with nature, whether this be through direct experiences, such as plants and water, or indirect experiences, such as natural materials, lighting and organic forms.

The benefits of Biophilic design have been long recognised, but the importance of access to well-designed green spaces has been brought to the forefront by the pandemic. Landmark Pinnacle has brought the outside inside, offering residents a sustained, palpable connection with nature that they can enjoy all year round from the comfort of their own home.  

Rami Atallah, Director, Chalegrove Properties said: “The residential gardens are an aspirational amenity and we wanted to bring that here for the first time, whilst creating a truly unique indoor space within the UK’s tallest residential building. The need for accessible green spaces has become more important for people, especially following the pandemic. There is a limit to the amount of space that can be provided as roof terraces or rooftop gardens, so bringing that outdoor green space inside is the next step. This means that our green indoor spaces can be used come rain or shine.”

Michelle Bishop, Sales Manager at JLL, added: “Buyers are increasingly seeking out green spaces to strike the all important work life balance and improve their wellbeing. Landmark Pinnacle ticks all the boxes offering would-be residents with exclusive access to the gardens on the 27th floor, the UK’s highest tropical garden in a residential setting, and breathtaking West and East views of London’s iconic skyline.”

Noel Farrer, Director, Farrer Huxley and Landscape Institute Vice President said: “The new urban vision of large gardens throughout the building and on the roof was conceived during the early building design evolution as parks for amenity in close proximity to where people live and children can play. The delivery of this pioneering thinking is now emerging and chimes strongly with the growing need for people to live and be close to nature.”

Armel Mourgue, Partner, Gillespies said: Landmark Pinnacle pushes the boundary of urban living, where residential playspace and garden amenities are contained and distributed vertically through the tower. Our collaboration with Squire + Partners demonstrates that where land is at a premium, this new model of internal gardens on a large scale could be part of the solution for better, healthier lives at the centre of our cities. The controlled temperature, light and humidity generated within the gardens will create ideal tropical conditions where lush, green, exotic bold foliage will thrive even in winter, without the need for building a bespoke glasshouse. The result is a private haven where residents can comfortably relax, socialise and reconnect with nature all year round.”

Phil Griffiths, Director, Verdant Horticulture said: “It has been great to work with Gillespies on so many projects since our first collaboration on the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, but this is a landmark in more ways than one. We have created a permanent internal landscape that will flourish inside a residential tower where only natural light comes from the side elevation, which raises the bar in terms of overcoming plant issues and relying on artificial light. We hope that this project can demonstrate a viable greener urban environment for our future residential and commercial spaces, which will be hugely beneficial for people living and working in these spaces.”

David Hill, Associate Director at Squire & Partners said: “Designed in collaboration with Farrer Huxley and Gillespies, the garden brings biophilia to the heart of the building. Shared spaces within large, vertical residential developments such as this encourage interaction between residents outside of their apartments, helping to foster a sense of community within the collective. As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged everyone to spend more time outdoors with an appreciation of the associated health and wellbeing benefits. Garden spaces such as these bring nature inside and help provide that valuable connection to green space in an urban context.”

The gardens are one of several amenity spaces available to all residents at Landmark Pinnacle including a gym, private cinema, private bars and dining rooms and London’s highest roof terrace in a residential setting on the 75th floor. 

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