The site is located in one of the most popular meeting places in London, the heart of West End. The client is a leading training provider – Free2Learn with sites all over the UK.
The client’s brief required a multi-functional and flexible space. Place where people can meet, attend events as well as relax. We incorporated a spot for a coffee shop, meeting pods for private meetings and informal seating areas with movable furniture. The whole space was designed with creativity in mind. With carefully chosen colours that will bring feeling of calm and inspiration to those who use it. Thanks to unique sculptural elements anyone who decides to step in will be invited into a Forest right in the middle of Urban setting.
The Design Approach: Crown Shyness
In some tree species a phenomenon called ‘Crown Shyness’ can be observed. Meaning that fully stocked and mature trees do not touch each other. Instead, they form a channel-like gaps between canopies. The exact physiological basis of crown shyness is not certain. However there are some hypotheses explaining the possible reasons. One of them says that interdigitation of canopy branches leads to ‘reciprocal pruning’ of adjacent trees. The other, that the trees in windy areas suffer physical damage as they collide with each other. As the result of abrasions and collisions, there is an induced crown shyness response. This natural wonder inspired us to create a unique design language. Language that will allow to create spaces to bring people together as well as give them opportunity to find a quiet space to separate and disconnect. The unique vertical and horizontal shapes found in a ‘shy’ forest will define the space in terms of function as well as form. We also looked into the seasonal change of colours that occurs in the forest environment. We decided to bring it indoors by different types of textures as well as lighting.
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CGLA are an award winning team of Landscape Architects, Garden Designers Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here