The first tree has been installed in the roof garden above Canary Wharf Crossrail station. The Magnolia was craned into position last week through the striking Foster + Partners-designed timber lattice roof.
The roof garden forms part of Canary Wharf Group’s five-storey retail and leisure development above the station, which opens to the public from May 2015.
The roof garden was designed by Gillespies and draws on the area’s heritage as a nineteenth-century trading hub. Many of the plants are native to countries visited by ships of the West India Dock Company, which unloaded their wares where the station now sits.
The unique roof is made of strengthened larch wood, aluminium louvers and plastic pillows pumped full of air, providing a similar effect to the Eden Project or the Beijing National Aquatic Centre. The roof is semi-open, allowing ventilation, and will harvest rainwater for irrigating the roof garden and supplying the building’s toilets.
From 2018 Crossrail will cut travel times across the capital; it will be possible to travel from Canary Wharf to Liverpool Street in six minutes, Paddington in 17 minutes and Heathrow in 39 minutes. Crossrail will also add resilience and capacity to the existing transport network and is encouraging regeneration along the route.