Former Ticket Office Windows – London Underground
St James’s Park – Belsize Park – Wood Green – Kilburn Park
Transport for London
As part of their station ambience programme, Transport for London’s Design and Communities team presented us with a brief to transform former ticket office windows into green and engaging spaces. Our solution was to create mirrored grow units that offer views into Tiny Parks.
Having embarked on the project in 2016 we’ve now grown the network. In July 2021 we refreshed 3 stations units as part of TfL’s ‘Welcome Back’ post covid campaign. It was wonderful to rediscover how the staff at the stations interact with and appreciate these Tiny Parks. In Wood Green station a staff member themes the units according to the seasons with additions such as hanging bulbs for Christmas or displaying their own artworks. Belsize Park features its own handmade bamboo leaf grasshopper donated by a passenger. Kilburn Park's units are lovingly taken care of by a dedicated member of staff. In October 2021 we refreshed the St James’s Park units where we’re showcasing spectacular succulents for the first time having fallen in love with them whilst working on our award-winning installation ‘Pharmacy of House Plants' for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September. In one window we mainly showcase Sansiveria and Aloe, in the other mostly Echeveria and Crassula.
So why create these Tiny Parks? Green infrastructure need not stop as you enter a building. Most urban dwellers spend 80% of their time indoors. The introduction of plants and the biophilia that comes with this can have a significant positive impact on those that live, work, and play in that space. It seems that even a glimpse of these little gardens can bring smiles to faces. Something to surprise and delight in a most unusual setting.
We now have 9 Tiny Parks in former London Underground ticket office windows. They can be found at:
St James’s Park x 2
Belsize Park x 1
Wood Green x 3
Kilburn Park x 3
We’re looking forward to growing our network of Tiny Parks on the London Underground in 2022. They remain ever popular with the staff and passengers. We believe this is a combination of their being a surprise to find in a former ticket office window and their tinyness makes them even more charming. Many of the plants we have on display can be recognised so hopefully, they inspire people to get one of their own. We see these windows as Biophilic portals, something to delight and brighten your journey.
As part of this work we are developing the concept for various public sector and commercial interior settings. Get in touch if you think have a space that we could develop.
Listen to Mak Gilchrist interviewed by James Wong for BBC Gardeners' Question Time.