February 6, 2020

Q&A Series: John Davies Landscape

Edition: 
#02
Who: 
John Davies
Director
 at 
John Davies Landscape
Role: 
Landscape Design
How do you work with the other key partners on the project- where do you fit?

Tailors Corner represents an on-going collaboration between John Davies Landscape and GPAD London on diverse projects. GPAD are great to work with as their teams offer a high degree of creativity making collaboration an exciting prospect. On this occasion, GPAD came to me with an outline concept for the roof terrace areas which I developed into a workable scheme. Completing detailed planting plans, sourcing trees and plants, specifying soils and then overseeing installation are all tasks in progress.

What is unique about this particular build/renovation/design etc?

It’s wonderful to see commercial schemes investing more and more in green infrastructure and acknowledging the desperate need for urban greening in our cities. So often our scope of work is limited by the pre-imposed restrictions of maximum weight allowances. However, not for the first time, GPAD have ensured that the structural integrity of the top floors will allow for a really good topsoil depth so that we can plant trees as well as herbaceous material.

What's most exciting for you about working on Tailors Corner?

The idea that we are making a real garden on a roof, not just a terrace with a few planters and furniture. We are offering a significant moment of biodiversity within an urban city centre with a planting scheme hopefully strong and immersive enough to evoke an emotional response. As greening progresses, these islands of biodiversity should be able to link up more and more to create green corridors for wildlife. It’s so exciting to be a part of this process.

How do you think buildings like this can make our daily working lives better?

The link between Nature and Well-being is well-documented and known to improve both our physical and mental health. We are of the land and through the association of memory, the landscape reminds us of who we are and where we come from. Introducing a garden into a work environment offers a pleasant location for a coffee break, lunch, one to one meeting or even a quiet moment of meditation. More importantly, it also re-connects us with Nature and brings us to ourselves. How could that not have a positive impact on productivity?

 

Why do you think there is a shift towards a more relaxed workspace, without compromising team productivity?

As a society we are now much more enlightened, understanding the negative impact of stress and also how it can be countered. We understand how the experience of Nature and even better how meditation within that natural context can combat the stresses of modern life and therefore be of benefit within the working environment.

What challenges have you seen/faced on this project?

Ensuring that the planting will be robust enough to survive exposure to the harsher weather conditions experienced at height. For instance, I know from walking in Wales that the last trees to be found before moving above the tree line are our native hawthorn. What better tree with it’s spring flower and Autumn berry to grace a roof garden with its presence!

What aspects of work on Tailors Corner are you looking to take onto a future project?

I read recently that according to the 2016 State of Nature report,  in terms of “biodiversity intactness” the UK ranks 29th out of the 218 participating countries. Within this context, making roof gardens that really focus on increasing biodiversity is a tiny but still hugely important contribution which I look forward to repeating as much as possible over the coming years.

What do you think is unique about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a great cultural hub for the north of England, home to the wonderful Opera North and Northern Ballet. It’s a great city, with a fantastic University, offering cultural diversity and also of course, sporting prowess. It’s a “one football club” city which whilst not unique in itself, does contribute to the passionate following afforded to the massive club that is Leeds United who are currently on the threshold of a return to the premier league. They are on the verge of massive investment too which couldn’t do anything but help Leeds as a city.

What's on the horizon for you, your team or company?  

We are currently working on the feasibility / planning for a similar style of development with GPAD in central London. Hopefully there will be many more! Our first roof garden with GPAD, Stylus, Old Street recently won a BALI award for its construction. We’re also proud to announce that it has recently won the Commercial Outdoor Space award as well as the prestigious Grand Award, at the Society of Garden Designers Awards 2020!

We are also looking forward to seeing projects realised this year in London, the Home counties and also as far afield as Basel, Switzerland.

_

Read more about the Society of Garden Designers award here.

Follow John Davies Landscape on social media @johndavieslandscape


February 6, 2020

Q&A Series: John Davies Landscape

Edition: 
#02
Who: 
John Davies
Director
Role: 
Landscape Design
How do you work with the other key partners on the project- where do you fit?

Tailors Corner represents an on-going collaboration between John Davies Landscape and GPAD London on diverse projects. GPAD are great to work with as their teams offer a high degree of creativity making collaboration an exciting prospect. On this occasion, GPAD came to me with an outline concept for the roof terrace areas which I developed into a workable scheme. Completing detailed planting plans, sourcing trees and plants, specifying soils and then overseeing installation are all tasks in progress.

What is unique about this particular build/renovation/design etc?

It’s wonderful to see commercial schemes investing more and more in green infrastructure and acknowledging the desperate need for urban greening in our cities. So often our scope of work is limited by the pre-imposed restrictions of maximum weight allowances. However, not for the first time, GPAD have ensured that the structural integrity of the top floors will allow for a really good topsoil depth so that we can plant trees as well as herbaceous material.

What's most exciting for you about working on Tailors Corner?

The idea that we are making a real garden on a roof, not just a terrace with a few planters and furniture. We are offering a significant moment of biodiversity within an urban city centre with a planting scheme hopefully strong and immersive enough to evoke an emotional response. As greening progresses, these islands of biodiversity should be able to link up more and more to create green corridors for wildlife. It’s so exciting to be a part of this process.

How do you think buildings like this can make our daily working lives better?

The link between Nature and Well-being is well-documented and known to improve both our physical and mental health. We are of the land and through the association of memory, the landscape reminds us of who we are and where we come from. Introducing a garden into a work environment offers a pleasant location for a coffee break, lunch, one to one meeting or even a quiet moment of meditation. More importantly, it also re-connects us with Nature and brings us to ourselves. How could that not have a positive impact on productivity?

 

Why do you think there is a shift towards a more relaxed workspace, without compromising team productivity?

As a society we are now much more enlightened, understanding the negative impact of stress and also how it can be countered. We understand how the experience of Nature and even better how meditation within that natural context can combat the stresses of modern life and therefore be of benefit within the working environment.

What challenges have you seen/faced on this project?

Ensuring that the planting will be robust enough to survive exposure to the harsher weather conditions experienced at height. For instance, I know from walking in Wales that the last trees to be found before moving above the tree line are our native hawthorn. What better tree with it’s spring flower and Autumn berry to grace a roof garden with its presence!

What aspects of work on Tailors Corner are you looking to take onto a future project?

I read recently that according to the 2016 State of Nature report,  in terms of “biodiversity intactness” the UK ranks 29th out of the 218 participating countries. Within this context, making roof gardens that really focus on increasing biodiversity is a tiny but still hugely important contribution which I look forward to repeating as much as possible over the coming years.

What do you think is unique about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a great cultural hub for the north of England, home to the wonderful Opera North and Northern Ballet. It’s a great city, with a fantastic University, offering cultural diversity and also of course, sporting prowess. It’s a “one football club” city which whilst not unique in itself, does contribute to the passionate following afforded to the massive club that is Leeds United who are currently on the threshold of a return to the premier league. They are on the verge of massive investment too which couldn’t do anything but help Leeds as a city.

What's on the horizon for you, your team or company?  

We are currently working on the feasibility / planning for a similar style of development with GPAD in central London. Hopefully there will be many more! Our first roof garden with GPAD, Stylus, Old Street recently won a BALI award for its construction. We’re also proud to announce that it has recently won the Commercial Outdoor Space award as well as the prestigious Grand Award, at the Society of Garden Designers Awards 2020!

We are also looking forward to seeing projects realised this year in London, the Home counties and also as far afield as Basel, Switzerland.

_

Read more about the Society of Garden Designers award here.

Follow John Davies Landscape on social media @johndavieslandscape