Tower of London

Green by design

An intelligent scheme to swap grey with green at the Tower of London


We worked with Stanton Williams Architects to create a sensitive green intervention at the world-famous Tower of London. Our vision centred around a new visitor centre, designed to enhance the experience at this historic Royal Palace.

Two areas raised particular challenges in the landscape. The first was a striking flight of gently shelving, richly-planted green ‘steps’. With a southerly aspect and a shallow depth of soil, it’s a design that could have required regular irrigation. Our solution was smarter and more sustainable - a bespoke system of capillary matting to soak up rainwater, ensuring the viability of the planting without the need for watering.

With precious archeology buried beneath the surface, our second focus was to find an innovative method to plant new trees - while also protecting the site’s hidden heritage. Our bespoke tree trench was the answer - an intelligent design that protects the archaeology, supports the healthy establishment of the trees, while also future-proofing the new paving.

Following our work with Stanton Williams, we were commissioned independently by the Tower to design a small garden space adjacent to the Moat. We rejuvenated the previous ornamental planting with an indigenous scheme of low shrubs and feathery native herbaceous plants.

All are understated interventions which add up to a gentle and intelligent greening that subtly enhances the visitor experience.

 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)
 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)

“We don’t believe in making grand gestures unless the landscape dictates it. Subtlety and restraint can be powerful design tools – when applied right.