The beautiful, bronze clad extension to London’s Garden Museum is settling into it’s surrounds already. What an inspiring design by Dow Jones Architects who were responsible for marrying a modern design with the heritage of St Mary’s church, next to Lambeth Palace. Together with Dan Pearson’s garden design the whole experience is both peaceful and vibrant, sociable and stimulating and most importantly, in modern day city life, it’s inclusive but not pushy.
I love this project. It’s full of promise in today’s pack em in and stack em high urban society. Even though it makes a statement when you see it, it’s respectful and sensitive to the heritage it’s attached to. Oasis is an obvious description, but it really is, and London needs more projects like this. The Museum’s great new space has an education programme / learning centre, great lectures, exhibitions, a fantastic cafe and restaurant, community projects and of course the church still houses the garden museum. The building has a social conscience. The highlight for me is the cloister design, the collaboration by Dow Jones with Dan Pearson where even on a fresh winter morning there is a tropical feel and you have the space to enjoy a quiet 5 minutes and sit in the light that shines through the building and the plants.
Landscape architect Christopher Bradley Hole designed the more formal gardens that work really well to create the transition from grand and busy, noisy road into the peaceful cloister. It all works beautifully and was fun to photograph. I really recommend a visit!