One Coleman Street Gardens is a small public space in the City of London creating a contemporary space as a relief from the hard surrounding streets. The garden contains a leafy grove of lush planting with areas for seating as well as lawn areas for use during the summer months.
Despite the fact that most of it runs along Basinghall Avenue, it’s actually part of the office block on the side road, hence the name, One Coleman Street Gardens.
As you might suspect from its name, Basinghall Avenue was once an actual avenue and it was post-war bomb site clearance that saw the alley converted into a road, and the burnt-out remains of the buildings on the site demolished.
The garden is fronted by two buildings, the old Girdlers’ Hall, and the modern egg-shaped Austral House, a recent replacement of a 1960s office block.
The garden itself is largely a lawn area, with an avenue of managed planting and some rather nice benches to sit on.
Multi-stemmed Amelanchier trees and Liquidambar form a delicate canopy over areas of seating. The planting understory consists predominantly of long grasses punctuated with subtle hues of dark purple and wine coloured flowers.
The lawn is complemented by dark granite coping and York stone paving, and the contrasting architectures of Girdlers’ Hall and Austral House. The concrete frames used to line the exterior of the building are an award winning design, and despite their shiny white appearance, are actually half made from Fly ash, a by-product from coal power stations and waste rock from china clay production.
Every cubic metre of this concrete saved one tonne of primary aggregate from being quarried and one tonne of waste from being tipped onto spoil heaps. It was short listed for the 2008 BCO Awards and won the 2007 Concrete Centre Award for Sustainability.
The design of the garden was by Townsend Landscape Architects.