Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Words: Courtesy of The Plant Journal
Photography: The Plant Journal & Rucksack Magazine


A collaboration between Rucksack Magazine and The Plant Journal exploring one of London's newest urban gardens. 

Between the glass skyscrapers and sprawling concrete jungle of London’s Canary Wharf lies an urban oasis in the most unlikely of places. The Crossrail Place Roof Garden sits on top of what will be the brand new Canary Wharf Crossrail station which will open in 2018. 

Our visit took place on a chilly Saturday afternoon in January. The light was hazy but the sun shone strongly in the crisp blue sky, bathing the garden in a cool hue. The garden’s geographic location is almost directly on the meridian line, dividing Eastern and Western hemispheres and this is reflected in the design of the garden. We saw a number of different ferns from the West and bamboo and Japanese maple from the East. 

It was quiet as we meandered through the intertwining paths, we looked out of the pillow pocket windows to the city landscape beyond. The structure takes inspiration from ‘Wardian Cases’, an early type of protective case, similar to a terrarium, that was used to transport plants from exotic places back to London.

The surrounding area was once a major trading point and we really love how the story of the garden ties in with the rich heritage of this area of London. The geometric beams of the roof are made from sustainably sourced timber and open gaps allow the elements in to maintain a natural mini ecosystem.

We can’t wait to return during summer to see the garden at it’s best- trees in leaf and the flowers in bloom. Once this new development is finished and the Crossrail line is fully open, we can imagine how different this area will become. For now, it remains an oasis for many busy office workers seeking a few moments of calm among the mayhem of city life.