EDP were engaged to design three separate Living Roofs for the new ‘6 star’ Bulgari Hotel being built in London’s Knightsbridge. Set over three separate stories, the roofs offered differing challenges and Bulgari required a different design response to each.
On top of the ground floor, overlooked by adjacent rooms and neighbouring properties, this high end Italian fashion brand wanted to see an Italianate garden with strong geometry and utilising strongly aromatic plants. Significant consideration had to be given to maintenance requirements and watering, though Bulgari were happy to commit to an intensive management regime to achieve the appearance they desired.
On the 10th floor, Bulgari were committed to the establishment of a biodiverse flower meadow, complete with integrated log and rock piles to provide refuge for invertebrates. Specific bird and bat nesting opportunities were also integrated into the building fabric at this level, providing homes for common bat species, swifts and Peregrines.
On the 11th floor, which is not overlooked from close proximity, aesthetic considerations were reduced and a biodiverse ‘Brown’ roof produced, which comprised of crushed recycled aggregate, decorative gravels, logs and rock features. Within this, shallow depressions were designed to retain water following rainfall and thereby provide habitat opportunities for airborne insects reliant on water for egg-laying and which, in turn, offer a key food source for birds and bats in this heavily urbanised area.
The roofs, and the hotel, were completed in time to accommodate guests for the London 2012 Olympics.
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