Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio designs public garden

The Peninsula Garden in London’s Greenwich is the studio’s first outdoor project and has been inspired by the nautical and industrial history of the area.

An impression of how the garden will look

The Tom Dixon-headed interiors group Design Research Studio has been working on the design of a public garden in Greenwich.

It is Design Research Studios first outdoor project and the consultancy has collaborated with landscape gardeners Alys Fowler and Thomas Hoblyn.

The essence of the brief was “creating a garden rather than just another urban green space” according to Design Research Studio.

The Peninsula Garden design has been inspired by the nautical and industrial history of the area, which will also provide a “strong narrative and strong sense of place” and connect the layers of the consultancy says.

The narrative “describes the original forms of mud flats, the orchards, market gardens and industrial past,” it adds.

In addition to the open green spaces the seasonal garden will contain an amphitheater, inspired by both sea defences used near the mouth of the Thames and the geometry of the Giant’s Causeway, in Northern Ireland.

The amphitheatre will deliver a year-round programme of theatre, music, cinema and performance.

Meanwhile a market garden will abut Steve Parle’s new restaurant Craft London and provide fresh produce.

The choice of planting across the site is “native, wild and in places edible”. Apple varieties which would have grown on the Peninsula will be reintroduced.

Material palette and geometries across the garden reflect the site’s industrial past according to Design Research Studio which says: “A blackened timber smoke house which supplies Craft and a head gardeners office and store are clad to reference coal tar production, honeycomb sea defences provide inspiration for the amphitheatre and there are touches of copper throughout.”

Tom Dixon says: “The opportunity to work in the landscape, rather than within an architectural space has challenged us to think on a different scale and provided us with a new palette of materials that change with the season and are subject to the wind, rain and occasional British sunshine.

“The design of the garden peels back the layers of history, exposing the forms of the original mud flats, reintroducing apples from the market gardens and a palette of material from its industrial and nautical past.”

Design Research Studio was commissioned by developer Knight Dragon and the garden is due to open in early April.

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