Friday, March 22, 2019

120 Fenchurch Street Roof Garden

London The Unfinished City
The view looking south.

Friday March 22, 2019.

Back in February, 2019, a new roof garden opened, in the City of London. Situated on the fifteenth floor of a newly designed building, it offers 360 degree views of the city and its environs.

Being only fifteen storeys tall, it is dwarfed by buildings like the Gherkin, Walkie-talkie and Scalpel, but it does offer unique views of these buildings. Even on the overcast morning that I visited, I could still see the Crystal Palace Transmitter, to the south, Canary Wharf, to the east and the BT Tower to the west. Obviously, much of the view to the north is obscured by the aforementioned skyscrapers.

The planted flower beds were still to fully bloom and the creeping vines have yet to fully take hold of the upright roof supports, while the water feature, which has small fountains in a raised channel, wasn't functioning. When all of these things come together, over the next few weeks, this will be one of the most pleasant public roof gardens in the City of London.

Access to the Roof Garden is via a lift in a spacious lobby, which has an art installation in the ceiling, which shows various garden scenes and sometimes links up to a camera, situated in the roof garden, that shows Tower Bridge.

Brief History

The building at 120 Fenchurch Street, known as Fen Court, was designed by Eric Parry Architects.

Containing retail space, offices, a restaurant (on the 14th floor) and a new public roof garden, the largest in London, currently.

London The Unfished City
Looking up at the Roof Garden.

The building has a unique footprint and architectural style that incorporates a massive lobby that links Fenchurch Street with Fenchurch Avenue. The lobby's ceiling has a video art installation, designed by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier. This ceiling shows various garden and forest scenes, but also links to a live-feed camera that shows views from The Garden, fifteen floors up.

The roof garden is free to the public and is sure to become a hot spot for those who want to sit high above the streets, surrounded by nature, on a warm summer afternoon.

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