London's Canary Wharf will be forever transformed after tomorrow, when the first Crossrail station is scheduled to open in the city's financial nucleus. Designed by Foster & Partners, the seven-story station is the first of 40 in a capital-wide network designed to connect east and west London by 2018. Four of the seven stories, collectively called Crossrail Place, will open tomorrow, including a beautiful rooftop garden populated with unique plant species that commemorate Britain's storied maritime history.
Although trains won’t run for another three years or so, Canary Wharf visitors will have a bounty of amenities to choose from while they wait, including shopping, leisure activities, restaurants and a cinema. But the crown jewel is a verdant rooftop garden designed by Gillespies, a landscape studio based in London.
The garden is protected by a 1,000-foot latticed timber awning filled in with ETFE cushions. These transparent UV-resistant cushions allow light to reach the plants, which are indigenous to many of the distant lands Britain visited during its many maritime exploits, and trap heat like a greenhouse during bitter winters.
Norman Foster says the new rooftop garden is designed to connect London from east to west, like the capital’s new rail network.
“It provides a welcoming public space between the residential neighbourhood of Poplar and the business district of Canary Wharf, demonstrating the role of infrastructure as the ‘urban glue’ that binds a city together,” he added.
In London? Get yourself down to Canary Wharf tomorrow for the grand opening.