This Shoreditch based pocket park sits in front of the Nobu Hotel, and is relatively new, being added when the hotel was built in 2017 and sits on top of what had been a service ramp to an underground car park.

It’s also very different from what was planned, which would have been a gently sloping lawn with some planting and lots of seating, but the plans were changed later on. The approved design gave us the level square that exists today and a basement space beside it which is used for a restaurant.

The plans had called for a much greener garden than we have today, with the gravel beds filled in with plants. Somehow that never happened, or the plans were changed without a planning record.

That said, the shabby state of the concrete walls aside, the use of gravel beds is not entirely out of keeping with the local area, and seems to work well with a Japanese owned hotel and restaurant.

The staggered back balconies and protruding beams give the end of the building a slightly unfinished appearance which also lets more light down to the pocket park area as it’s surrounded by moderately tall dark buildings on the other sides.

I would have preferred more green, but the current design is not out of character. It could do with a damn good clean and weeding though, and some of the fallen masonry repaired.

At the moment it looks rather shabby, which is a pity as it has the potential to be a really smart Japanese inspired garden that would add a lot of character to the area.


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