John Lewis Roof Garden

Project Type: Commercial Roof Terrace
Completed in less than 3 weeks during November 2019, this commercial roof garden on the 5th floor of the John Lewis Store in Southampton is a landscaping triumph.
Complete makeover for underused space in the city

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.

Logistics and the elements

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.

The weather was particularly difficult - no surprise for the UK in winter time but with deadlines looming, there could be no excuses. 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.

Organising deliveries and logistics

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.


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