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Southampton Roof Garden

04/02/2020 - Case Studies and Inspiration

Imagine creating a leisure garden on top of a busy high street store. That's exactly what ALS Customer Unique Projects Devon were asked to do on behalf of John Lewis.

The garden was designed by Adam Knibb Architects in collaboration with the Leckford Estate. A previously uninspiring and underused roof terrace was reimagined to create a vibrant outdoor space. The refurbished roof garden is a fine example of contemporary landscape architecture and offers an inviting space where staff and customers can unwind and socialise whatever the weather.

The garden build was scheduled to go ahead during November and needed to be finished to meet a tight deadline.

Richard and the Arbour Landscape Solutions Team were asked to collaborate with Ben Browning and his team to source products and organise their delivery schedules. The logistics of delivering heavy, bulky materials to a 5th floor site in a city centre might seem a little daunting to some. Not The Landscape Industry Specialist Richard Bickler.
Always ready for a challenge, Richard swung into action, finding samples, sourcing and recommending products and talking to specialist delivery services.

Despite battling appalling weather conditions, dark evenings and an "interesting" journey to work every day,  Ben's team of landscapers have done a fantastic job of work. The project came in on time and on budget - no mean feat.

Judge the results for yourself.

John Lewis Southampton Roof Garden before its makeoverSouthampton Roof Garden following 2019 makeover

The challenges of building the John Lewis Roof Garden

Logistics. In this case a picture paints a thousand words. Whilst there were no problems with the structural integrity of the site, getting materials from ground level to five floors up involved careful planning.

Deliveries were made to a central point and when most of the materials were in one place they were transshipped to the site. Our major challenge was that our vehicles would need to block the entrance to the car park for quite a few hours. Naturally, we didn't want to clash with shoppers, and so we sneaked in under cover of darkness.

crane lifting landscaping materials to roof garden
landscaping materials being lifted onto roof by crane
Not all products travelled by crane. Some involved a lot more manpower. Here's a 6m long handrail being carried to the roof via the instore escalator.

roof garden handrail being carried through John Lewis Store

Battling The Elements

Every landscaper on this earth knows how the weather plays a big part in meeting deadlines. Not only were the Unique Projects Team working to a very tight schedule, they were at the mercy of the elements. Conditions on a 5th floor roof are a little more extreme than on the ground. When it's cold at ground level - its even colder 5 floors up. Luckily, there is a decent wind break around the terrace but nothing could alter the fact that in Southampton in November, it's dark by 4.30 pm.

workmen installing decking boards by floodlights

Materials for the Southampton Roof Garden

Arbour Landscape Solutions are very proud to have supplied materials to this prestigious project. Not only that, the architects, clients and contractors were a joy to work with. Sourcing supplies and helping with logistics for this roofgarden makeover didn't feel like work at all.
Lets take a look at some of the products that were used.....

X-Tech Cladding

Ceramic cladding tiles
The architects chose X-Tech Cladding in two contrasting colours.
Light Volcanic Rust and Corten
Click here for more details.

Naturally, these beautiful tiles weren't going to stick themselves to the wall, and so Arbour Landscape Solutions also supplied Biogel Tile Adhesive and Fugalite Epoxy Grout

Porcelain Paving

Those beautiful pavers are from our extensive range of porcelain paving.  For this project, the architects chose Smooth Grey and Steel Grey colourways.

grey porcelain pavers on roof terrace garden

Composite Decking Boards

Composite decking boards in Rustic Walnut colourway
Bath Solid Composite Decking in Rustic Walnut

Self Binding Dust

This self-binding dust is part of the range of aggregates.  For the roof garden we chose Summer Gold Also available are Sunset Red, Steel Grey, Light Grey and Granite Dust.

Eagle- eyed readers will also have spotted the Oak Sleepers

Pricing Landscaping Materials for Your Own Project

Project Manager Ben Browning clearly had a difficult job on his hands, what with managing the workforce, battling with the elements and being under pressure to get this scheme finished on time. He opted to reducing his workload by delegating to The Landscape Industry Specialist. AKA our very own Richard Bickler. Richard took a good look at the architects' design and specifications and sourced the exact products needed. Working closely with manufacturers, Richard ensured that products were delivered in good time so that there would be no delays on site. He also got involved with the logistics and the physical process of getting the goods up onto the roof. "Office Hours" is not a term that applies to Arbour Landscape Solutions - This fellow thinks nothing of working at all hours of the day or night! If you need help sourcing materials or pricing a job, Richard is your man.

New DIY Pricing Tool

To help busy architects, landscape contractors and garden designers to choose materials and build budgets, The Landscape Industry Specialist has developed an online DIY pricing tool. It's only available to trade customers - in other words your clients cannot see your actual costs. Better still, it's available 24/7 and offers a tidy 5% discount on your first order.  More details in this article 

Find out more about Richard Bickler's DIY Pricing Tool