London's Office Rooftop Gardens

May 4 2016

Darren Best

London has a number of office buildings and skyscrapers such as The Walkie Talkie building that boasts fantastic rooftop gardens. In the commercial property industry, a key principal when setting up a business is differentiation; and can often lead to the success of a business. Having a roof garden has its perks and can certainly add competitive advantages to other businesses who do not have the ability to install a rooftop garden. Even if the garden is not visible from the ground, the likes of Time Out will no doubt publicise an office’s rooftop garden as a point of interest. A roof garden can spark attention and create a local buzz around the area. The majority of rooftop gardens in London are open to the public and therefore add a stream of revenue to a city business. A garden of any sort; whether it be in your back garden or rooftop will add curb appeal and can instantly turn an office building that was once unnoticed into a tourist landmark! bevis-marks-building-feature Photo credit: 6 Bevis Marks

So what exactly can you do with an office rooftop garden? Here are some of the features yours can include:

  • Decorated with chairs, tables, sun-loungers
  • Excellent area for business meetings and to entertain clients in an informal and lavish environment
  • Restaurants and bars can be established to add vast business benefits
  • Grow fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers
  • Valuable usable space that reduces noise
  • Event venues e.g. Christmas parties, private events and corporate parties

6 Bevis Marks

If you buy or rent a house you typically want a garden. Is it not unreasonable to expect a garden or terrace for your office where you spend most of your time? A space that provides an alternative to the typically sealed, air conditioned environment of a modern office and an option to escape from your workstation at lunch to eat a sandwich or just to think, breathe fresh air and enjoy the view. Bevis-Marks-Tim-Soar Photo credit: One Angel Lane Photography Tim Soar Fletcher Priest are the architects for 6 Bevis Marks, designing the public and private spaces in and around the building. All of their recent office building designs incorporate significant gardens and terraces which play an essential part in improving the working and social environment. It can be difficult to convince a client to move chillers to potentially lettable areas of a building and replace this valuable space with shrubs and trees. However, from a commercial viewpoint, terraces are increasingly seen as an attractor for tenants and office space adjacent to terraces typically achieve headline rents in London. Bevis-Marks-Robert-Leslie Photo credit: Photographer Robert Leslie Fletcher Priest has also built 25,000 sq. ft. gardens for Nomura’s HQ, which have been converted into allotments and bee hives and a large terrace with its own barbeque is dedicated to evening entertainment.  In speculative office developments, the design space is protected and accessible for all office levels. There are numerous studies claiming that more contact with nature can increase productivity and motivation and reduce absenteeism and stress.

80 Fenchurch Street

80 Fenchurch Street's development is underway and will be home to a high-spec, 240,000 sq. ft. office building. 80 Fenchurch Street will unveil the largest number of roof gardens in the City; with five landscaped terrace roof gardens, providing unrivalled views of London’s skyline. 80-fenchurch-rooftop-garden-2 Photo credit: Knight Frank The development is managed by Partners Group, a Swiss Private Equity firm. The building is set to be 14-storey high and Marick Real Estate director Patrick Going has commented: ‘We are delighted this exciting project is now underway and the initial response to the enhanced scheme from tenants has been highly encouraging.’ The building is set to cost around £200million and will be completed in the first quarter of 2018. The purpose of 80 Fenchurch Street is to ‘materially improve both tenants’ and clients’ experience of the building’ as you step onto the exceptional terraces from level 10 and above.' 80-fenchurch-rooftop-garden Photo credit: Knight Frank

Sky garden

155 metres above street level, sits The Sky Garden; the rooftop garden at 20 Fenchurch Street. Its motto ‘a garden in the sky’, brags a stunning selection of trees, flowers and breath-taking views. The Sky Garden spans three floors and has some of the most uninterrupted views of London; with The Shard directly in sight. The garden is a truly unique space that is a vibrant place of leisure, open to the public. Sky-Garden Sky-Garden Photo credits: Both images credited to Rhubarb

Kensington roof gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens is a beautiful and exotic roof garden covering 1.5 acres on top of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street. The rooftop gardens are 100 feet above the ground and is split into three themed gardens. The roof garden was for a long time, the largest rooftop garden in the whole of Europe, until one was built on the shopping mall Emporia in 2012 in Sweden. The garden, like others in London cannot be viewed from the ground and is accessible from Derry Street, through a door marked ‘99’. the-roof-gardens-spanishgarden Photo credit: Virgin Limited Edition (Kensington Roof Gardens)

The three themed gardens are as follows:

  • Spanish Garden – it is Moorish styled and based on the Alhambra in Spain. It features fountains, vine-covered walkways and Chusan palms.
  • Tudor Style Garden – the garden exhibits secret corners, hideouts, archways and hanging wisteria roses, lilies and lavender. The garden oozes a summer scent.
  • English Woodland Garden – there are 100 species of trees, stream and a pond that’s home to pintail ducks and four flamingos called Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks. There are also 30 different species of trees.
the-roof-gardens-spanishgarden-night Photo credit: Virgin Limited Edition (Kensington Roof Gardens)

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