Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for May 7, 2018: Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)

May 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm


Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & TomsKensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)
London, UK
65,340 sf Greenroof

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: May 7, 2018

London’s iconic and beautiful 1938 Kensington Roof Gardens – and celebrity party venue – closed its doors to the public in early January.  Citing an ever changing London market and unpredictable market conditions, Virgin Limited Edition decided to close their doors.

As an English Heritage-designated Grade II Site added to the National Heritage List for England, the gardens will remain intact but who will maintain the site, with its four resident flamingos, is up in the air.  The historic Derry & Toms Roof Gardens was designed by Ralph Hancock, the same designer as the equally famous ‘Garden of the Nations’ of 1933-1935 atop the eleventh floor of the RCA building at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Also read the April 27, 2018 guest feature 37 Years After Opening to the Public, the Kensington Roof Gardens Has Closed Down by Pedro Dias here on Greenroofs.com for more info on this important urban greening project.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: @theroofgardens (Instagram account now closed).

Mini Description & Details

The Roof Gardens (formerly known as Derry and Toms Roof Gardens and the Kensington Roof Gardens) is a 6,000 m2 exotic urban oasis situated six floors up and 100 feet above Kensington High Street in London.  Closed as of January 2018, Virgin Limited Edition, the most recent leaseholder, was not able to reach an agreement with the freeholder about renewal of the lease.

Previously occupied and made famous by the Derry & Toms Department Store, The Roof Gardens has been owned by Sir Richard Branson since 1982.  Part of Virgin Limited Edition, they hosted a members’ club, a private function venue and the Babylon Restaurant on the seventh floor overlooking the gardens.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo: @theroofgardens

The Roof Gardens was open to the public during this time.  In 1936, Welsh landscape architect Ralph Hancock designed the roof garden.  Over a two-year period Hancock planted more than 500 species of plants and shrubs within 18-36” of growing media in the one and a half acre site.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

A plan of the roof gardens in a 1950s promotional pamphlet” – designed by Ralph Hancock – from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

L: “A Garden in the Sky” from Parks and Gardens UK; R: “A Spanish garden on a roof in London” from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

The Derry and Toms Roof Gardens opened in May 1938.  Queen Mary and other members of the British Royal family visited the roof gardens early after opening.  At the time, the roof garden was London and Europe’s largest intensive greenroof.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

“Queen Mary visiting the roof gardens” from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Flamingos in the Woodland Garden.  Photo: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

The three themed gardens include: the Spanish Garden, planted with palm trees with a court of fountains, as well as Moorish colonnades and vine-covered walkways; the formal Tudor Courtyard, which features Hancock’s trademark herringbone brickwork pathways and impressive Tudor-inspired arches; and the English Woodland Garden, with over 100 trees and a flowing stream with fish, ducks, and four resident flamingos.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photos: The Roof Gardens/Virgin.

More

Now closed after 37 years of one of London’s best-known nightlife scenes and event venues, plans for The Roof Gardens remain uncertain.

As an English Heritage-designated Grade II Site, the gardens will not be demolished but who will maintain the site is unknown.  London’s most famous and historic roof garden may still yet have a future as a secret garden in the sky.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Dave Walker’s Derry and Toms Roof Garden Postcard from the Trevor Bowen Estate from The Library Time Machine of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Kensington_roof_gardens_tent.jpg” by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Kensington_roof_gardens_window.JPG” by Tomhannen at English Wikipedia Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Year: 1938
Owner:
Virgin Limited Edition
Location:
London, England, UK
Building Type:
Commercial
Type:
Intensive
System:
Custom
Size:
65340 sq.ft.
Slope:
1%
Access:
Accessible, Private

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photos courtesy of Something Different London.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Commissioned by: Trevor Bowen, Barkers
Landscape Architect: Ralph Hancock
Architect: Bernard George
2008-2009 Restoration: Conservation Officer, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, English Heritage, Colwyn Foulkes and Randle Siddeley
The Roof Gardens Head Gardener: David Lewis

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

A Chilean Flamingo in the Kensington Roof Gardens. Kensington_roof_gardens_flamingo.jpg by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

All the Info:

View the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms)  project profile to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Greenroofs.com Project Week Kensington Roof Gardens Derry & Toms

Photo courtesy of Something Different London.

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms) Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week 5/07/18 video photo credits: Courtesy of Something Different London; Virgin Limited Edition; Dave Walker’s Derry and Toms Roof Garden Postcard, Trevor Bowen and Miss Diana Wynyard 1940s, and Spanish Garden from the Trevor Bowen Estate from The Library Time Machine of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Local Studies Library;  A Spanish garden on a roof in London,  A plan of the roof gardens in a 1950s promotional pamphlet, and Queen Mary visiting the roof gardens from the House of Fraser Archive at the University of Glasgow Library; @theroofgardens (Instagram account now closed); Derry’s Kensington, A Garden in the Sky, and Sun Pavilion Derry Gardens from Parks and Gardens UKDerry & Toms 26.JPG by Edwardx, Own work licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons; Kensington_roof_gardens_tent.jpg by flickr user Bryce Edwards CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons; and Kensington_roof_gardens_window.JPG by Tomhannen at English Wikipedia Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the Kensington Roof Gardens (The Roof Gardens, Derry & Toms) profile.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits Host

Don’t Miss the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31!

December 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Greenroofs.com’s 4th biennial web-based Virtual Summit is ending on December 31, 2017 ~ why not spend some of your down time during the holidays catching up with some of our industry’s most valued and interesting greenroof and greenwall colleagues?

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

The 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Comes to a Close Soon

If you haven’t registered yet for the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, now’s the time!

Presented by Greenroofs.com, our Virtual Summits only take place every other year.  Held completely online, these marquee innovation events run on demand with live social media events – and for 2017, our Virtual Summit comes to a close on December 31, 2017.

Special Discounted Pricing Through the End of the Year

Register through December 31, 2017 at the 50% off discounted rate of only $25:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

The Virtual Summit Mission

The Mission of the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture is to inform, share, and create a global social media experience online for learning and networking via the power of the Internet.

In addition to increasing awareness of our living architecture market and industry, the Virtual Summit 2017 is an interactive platform for idea interchange through a combination of environmentally forward videos from keynote speakers, individual & collaborative offerings, and expert panel sessions along with social media happenings.

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

Highlighting Excellence and Lessons Learned in Green Living Architecture

Come watch a host of fellow influencers from around the world: 40 presenters from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Iran, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, UK, and the U.S.

Experience some of the latest projects and developments in vegetated building envelopes worldwide, and learn about avant-garde architects, landscape architects, designers, educators, and leaders of government who have captured the essence of living with nature.

Our 2017 Renowned Keynotes:

Greenroofs.com Press New 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Website

  • Trailblazing green architect, graphic and industrial designer Emilio Ambasz, designer of the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan and the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation in Venice, among numerous others;
  • Noted botanist and researcher Patrick Blanc, PhD, inventor of the Vertical Garden, or Le Mur Végétal, whose over 250 biodiverse designs include the One Central Park in Sydney and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris;
  • Educational, affordable local food systems, and workforce development innovator Stephen Ritz, responsible for the new National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in South Bronx and founder of the Green Bronx Machine;
  • Industry leader Joanne Rodriguez, CSI, CDT, LEED AP, with two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies.

Round #1 Speakers

Watch and learn from our 4 awesome Keynotes and 27 esteemed Speakers from Round #1 who explore current trends in living architecture, classroom food literacy, certified student workforce training, sustainable stormwater design, rooftop urban ag and more, from the micro-scale of dwellings to the macro-scale of cities.

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

Round #2 Speakers

…PLUS our 10 brand new Short Videos (under 10 minutes) from 9 new colleagues, firms, and organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the U.S.:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

See the entire Agenda to learn more about each video check out all of our 40 wonderful Speakers and their widely varied 36 talks – short, medium, and long!

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

Industry Support

Additionally, we must thank our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and living architecture/green infrastructure Organization Partners who have supported our work in 2017:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31
See What the Rest of Us Are Doing and Support Our Work

Come and hear perspectives from a truly diverse and wide range of professionals – at your leisure, but only for the next two and a half weeks! If you haven’t joined us yet, take advantage of the 50% off special registration rate now through the end of year.

Support our work, learn about new projects, happenings, and people – and connect with your fellow green infrastructure colleagues from across the planet.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017!2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Ending on December 31

2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Round #2 is Open with Special Discounted Pricing!

October 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

The 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit Round #2

If you haven’t registered yet for the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, Round #2 is now open – and the time is now! Highlighting excellence and lessons learned in green living architecture, the 4th biennial web-based Virtual Summit is the living architecture industry’s marquee innovation event that only takes place every other year.

Presented by Greenroofs.com, the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit runs on demand with live social media events through December 31, 2017.

Special Discounted Pricing Through the End of the Year

Register through December 31, 2017 at the 50% off discounted rate of only $25:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

Round #1 Speakers

Watch and learn from our 4 awesome Keynotes and 27 esteemed Speakers from Round #1…

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

L to R: Emilio Ambasz; Patrick Blanc; Stephen Ritz; and Joanne Rodriguez

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

Round #2 Speakers

…PLUS our 10 brand new Short Videos (under 10 minutes) from 9 new colleagues, firms, and organizations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands, and the U.S.:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

An International Line-Up

Now we have 16 countries across 5 continents represented from Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, North America, and South America.  Come and hear perspectives from a truly diverse and wide range of professionals – at your leisure.

See the entire Agenda to learn more about each video check out all of our 40 wonderful Speakers and their 36 talks – short, medium, and long!

Industry Support

Additionally, we must thank our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and living architecture/green infrastructure Organization Partners who support our work:

2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing
Learn, Network, and Support Our Work

If you haven’t joined us yet, take advantage of the 50% off special registration rate now through the end of year.

Support our work, learn about new projects, happenings, and people, and connect with your fellow green infrastructure colleagues from across the planet.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017!2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit Round #2 Special Pricing

Watch the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Video: “Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little

October 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

If you want to hear from two highly engaging, knowledgeable, and entertaining Englishmen with varied, self-trained backgrounds in birds, plants, ecology, and green infrastructure plus understand how to construct DIY low-impact living roofs, then you simply cannot miss watching “Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design above or on our VS2015 Virtual Summit 2015 playlist on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

It’s been over a year since we concluded our third Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, and as promised, we are now releasing the 23 videos from our 30+ international speakers to the general public.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Small Scale Green Roofs Gedge Little

Filmed in Essex and London, Dusty and John’s collaborative video “Small Scale Green Roofs” is an important step for those of us who have been thinking of building our own greenroof atop a smaller structure, perhaps a shed or shipping container, for example.  Between the two of them, they have extensive experience which they are very happy to share.

By illustration, John’s company has built over 70 timber grass/greenroofs and Dusty has been working in the field since 1997.  Now with over 36 years combined experience of building living roofs, they discuss the opportunities of greening up small roofs both old and new.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Small Scale Green Roofs Gedge Little

Their love of the subject is quite visible in this fun yet extremely informative video which also shows how to integrate animal biodiversity for invertebrates, pollinators, and others.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Small Scale Green Roofs Gedge Little

Having written extensively in print and online, their work provides an inspiration for individuals who want to make a contribution themselves and also for those people who don’t yet have the confidence to build on their own.  Their experiences resulted in the minutely detailed small greenroofs guide (2005 and then 2014 for the web-based guide), providing advice and confidence for DIYers, and workshops followed allowing homeowners and small building and landscape contractors some great practical, hands-on advice.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Small Scale Green Roofs Gedge Little

London, UK.  Dusty Gedge is a green roof campaigner and designer, who has actively promoted green roofs in the UK since 1997. He has designed a number of seminal roofs and helped develop the London Green Roof Policy. He is also the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB), and sits on the EU’s working group for the green Infrastructure and ecosystem services policy. His work in Europe over the last few years working on a Pan-European green roof course and he is currently advising on a project on green roofs, pollinators and solar power – Biosolar Roofs. Update: The Biosolar program has completed its research.

Dusty is co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011 and DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, among other publications. In 2004 Dusty co-founded Livingroofs.org, a non-profit organisation established to promote, advise upon and seek research into green roofs and similar structures within the context of urban and rural regeneration. With John Little he has written a small-scale green roof guide to help individuals, buildings and landscape contractors to construct small wildlife friendly green roofs. He is also a designer of green roofs and other green infrastructure through his consultancy. Dusty is also a regular speaker at conferences through UK, Europe and the world.

As a birdwatcher first and foremost he has always had a vision that good green infrastructure and green roofs should deliver for biodiversity as well other headline issues connected with cities and climate change adaptation.  Dusty also co-presented “Biosolar Roofs” with Nathalie Baumann at the 2015 Virtual Summit.

Essex, UK. John Little is a landscape contractor and designer. He is well known in the UK for his seminal work on social housing estates, transforming one estate from an amenity grassland desert to wildlife friendly and food growing paradise. He is also well known for his work on small scale green roofs both delivered through his company the Grassroof Company.

John is co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011 and DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, among other publications. With Dusty Gedge he has written a small-scale green roof guide to help individuals, buildings and landscape contractors to construct small wildlife friendly green roofs. Greenroofshelters is another of John’s companies that provides modular small green roofed buildings. The type of buildings that company designs and sells include binshelters, bike sheds and small green roofed freight container buildings. One of these featured in Nigel Dunnett’s award winning garden at the Chelsea Flower show back in 2011.

John’s garden has featured in many garden and horticulture magazines. Full of wildflowers and now home a plethora of bee habitat walls and green roofs, it is an oasis of biodiversity in the heart of Essex.

Read about “Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little video’s 5 Key Learning Objectives which I identified for participants of the Virtual Summit 2015.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Small Scale Green Roofs Gedge Little

We welcome your input and suggestions to make our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2017 more accessible, interactive, and a just better all around global social media experience!

~ Happy watching,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

~ Also enjoy these released videos available now from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design:

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones.

 “Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin.

“Urban and Social Needs of Green” by Marc Grañén.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” by Christine Thuring.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“The Great Green Roof Review” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Green Roofs to New Cities” Keynote by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by Dr. Bob Cameron.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings Panel Session with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.”

A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing by Elizabeth Hart.

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy! Dr. Ken Yeang Keynote Interview by Linda Velazquez.”

The Greenroofs.com 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015″ by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

Greenroofs.com’s VS2015 Opening Address from Linda Velazquez.”

Promos:

The Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Speakers.

Invitation to the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT 2015 teaser from Groncol.

Small Scale Green Roofs at the Virtual Summit by Dusty Gedge and John Little.