London Cityscapes 2013

Background to specification

Following the launch of Cityscapes in 2012, London’s urban garden festival returned with another imaginative project to stimulate visitors and residents. A show garden from the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show would be rematerialized, remixed into four new gardens in the same way as a song might be remixed by different producers.

For his remix, RHS Gold medal winning designer Matthew Childs decided to create and plant out large-scale circular beds raised high at different angles. Like his Best Show Garden for Hampton Court Palace, his design was inspired by the principle that water is life and needs to be recovered, and he researched the culverts market for the best products to work with.

Key criteria

The finished garden would take centre stage in the courtyard of the iconic OXO Tower Wharf, right on the Thames near Blackfriars Bridge on London’s South Bank. The plants used would come from top UK design duo Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam, whose highly acclaimed Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden won an impressive Silver-Gilt at Chelsea.

Matthew saw at once that Tubosider could not only supply any diameter and length of culvert he needed, but could also easily to cut and form its products to his requirements – sculpted structures forming giant planters, formed from individually  shaped pipes in diameters of 2600 to 1000mm.

Solution & benefits

Installing the whole garden at OXO Tower Wharf then took just two days, right on time for its September opening. As Matthew said himself, “The culverts worked a treat and make magnificent giant planters!”

His Urban Remix Garden is one of four unique installations for Cityscapes 2013, which aims to bring a creative new approach to the way urban parks and gardens are designed. A fifth and final garden appeared at the RHS London Shades of Autumn Show.

Cityscapes Director Darryl Moore says the feedback has been tremendous – “The courtyard is in such a visible location, seen by discerning commuters, residents and visitors, so they are delighted to see what was just grey paving transformed by such a bold and imaginative creation.”