London Blossom Garden
Meet the Design Team
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
25th September 2021
London Design Festival, London Legacy Development Corp
The Edible Bus Stop collaborated with Davies White Landscape Architects to design The London Blossom Garden - a living Covid memorial in the Olympic Park. On 25th September 2021, for the London Design Festival, we hosted a design tour of the site. This offered the opportunity to discover our collective design process & layers of meaning held within it. We were joined by Junior Phips and Flee Jones, two of the local artisans who co-designed the bespoke benches with us.
Our design presents a mixture of 33 semi-mature blossom trees, a variety of pollinator-friendly herbaceous perennials and wildflower bands set within a species-rich lawn. Responding to the brief, we designed a sustainably produced pathway to increase accessibility into and through the space, providing three inclusively designed seating areas each adjacent to a blossom ring, for visitors to rest and reflect.
The Edible Bus Stop (EBS) and DW worked closely with the London Legacy Development Corporation’s Design Principal for Landscape and Public Realm, the Olympic Park’s Park Services Manager and idverde the Parks Contractor, to ensure the design fitted within the existing framework for park design, accessibility, and biodiversity.
A central path is a key feature of the design to ease accessibility to the site. For this element, we combined concrete stamped with woodgrain, interspersed with bands of Greenheart reclaimed tropical timber as well as bands of concrete mixed with a high amount of visible marble aggregate to create tonal breaks. The reclaimed tropical timber can also be found within the batons of the benches. This ensures the path and benches share a family of material components. Local artisans - led by Junior Phipps of Conscious Forms, working with Flee Jones of Felicity Jones Metalwork and Dan Gritten - Cabinet Maker and Woodworker, co-designed the benches with Mak Gilchrist of the EBS.
All the wood utilised in the benches is FSC certified reclaimed tropical timber originating from sites within London, including fenders from the Olympic Parks lock. The design fits within the existing Biodiversity Action Plan for the park, and despite the additional hard landscaped elements needed to maximise accessibility, there is overall net biodiversity gain due to the increase and enhancement of existing perennials, extra species-rich lawn, plus the addition of the 33 semi-mature blossom trees.