Willow Street



Context/ Shoreditch, in East London: historically a centre for textiles & furniture production, and more recently new creative industries combined with existing neighbourhoods, with a rapidly increasing concentration of new bars and restaurants, all in close proximity to the City. On the Willow Street site, (comprised of a 1970s light industrial building and ramped car park), a new hotel development has been proposed, designed by Ron Arad Architects. 

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External Landscape Proposals/ To mitigate and enhance the impact of the new building proposals, provision included for significant new wildlife habitat & private/ public outside spaces : 5 horizontal and vertical layers of potential landscape, with street interface.  A new public pocket park at street level (East Garden) proposed to replace the existing car park, and protect the only existing tree.  The development also proposes to enhance the biodiversity of the site by incorporating planting and nesting places on the roof, cascading balconies, walls, and in the Public Garden at street level. The proposals for the green sedum roof are supplemented with bird and bat boxes.  On the balconies, walls, and in the new East Public Garden: contrasting south (sun) and north (shade) elevations are to be enhanced by appropriate planting of fragrant herbs, native shrubs and climbers. Irrigation and water strategy: a combination of rainwater storage tank and permeable paving at street level to substantially provide for the watering requirements of proposed planting layers.


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Plan Key/

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1  East Public Garden/  2  the  planted balconies/  3  planting along Willow Street /  4  green roof (solar panels + planting) / 5 vertical wall planting on Blackall Street


East Public Garden/  A new public space proposed for urban Shoreditch.  Conceived as a garden extracted from the building, making the building also appear to be extracted from the street.  In the proposals the existing tree is protected and incorporated, providing a mature canopy for the proposed new public space.  The proposed new surface of granite setts and yorkstone slabs responds both to functional requirements for a robust surface, and also to the vernacular character of the surrounding ‘post industrial’ context of Shoreditch. The permeable arrangement and build ups of the new paving allows surface water to filter into the new planting, and creates green lines within the paving that bleed the garden into its surroundings. Using the same materials and a careful working of levels, the new space proposes to extend and seamlessly integrate with the public pavement, to maximise the potential of new and fully open/ accessible public space in a neighbourhood that has very minimal provision.   





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Willow Sarl Corp   Client /  Ron Arad Architects   Architect /  remapp   Landscape Architect /  Capita Symonds   Structural & Civil Engineers / Hoare Lea   M&E London Borough of Hackney   Planning Authority/


2012 – 2013/   design progressed to planning approval + tender.