Lambeth’s garden shelves

Lambeth’s garden shelves

London, England


type: competition

client: public

area: -

Conservatories appeared in England around the 17th century. They were large structures made of glass for the display of plants. Our proposal is a “glass façade” enclosing the site next to the Garden Museum, with a second, lower glass façade on the inner side. Plants introduced in the pavilion look as if they are beautifully displayed on very large glass shelves. The peculiar space between the two layers of glass, while not being a proper greenhouse, will enjoy an environment slightly diff erent from its surroundings.

Both the area between the two façades and the area outside, adjacent to the inner layer, can be used as horticultural work space and as rest space. Not only plants, but the work itself, the intermediate steps before public plantings are completed, become visible as one element of the landscape, arousing interest and awareness from visitors and the community.

These “big shelves” become a light, airy visual landmark for Lambeth and for the museum, especially when approaching the site from Lambeth Bridge. The glass layers create new sceneries when looking both towards and from the Garden Museum. When seen from afar, it looks like plants are fl oating in the air. The pavilion can be regarded both as an addition to the museum, becoming part of its program and guiding people to the new proposed entrance through the churchyard wall, and an iconic element for Lambeth Green. Its glass becomes a new lens through which we can look at this historical area, and newly born sceneries show the way to a future made of new relationships between people, plants and the city.