Re-green Notting Hill initiative to revive high street | Using pocket gardens

Notting Hill Gate is gaining a new ‘green’ installation featuring a series of colourful pocket gardens

In effort to bring nature into the city, the Re-green Notting Hill installation will introduce a series of sculpted pocket gardens to the high street. 

A design competition led by Kensington and Chelsea Council, along with the London Festival of Architecture, put a call out to the community to find innovative ways to connect with nature and improve city living. The winning submission, by local organisations George King Architects and non-profit garden design company Grow2Know, was chosen for its creativity and approach to sustainability. 

“It has the community at its core, improves air quality on the high street, and celebrates the diverse nature of the area through different plants and materials,” commented the judging panel. 

Re-green Notting Hill will feature a series of small, sculpted gardens designed with stimulating colours and patterns, inspired by Portobello Market. The shape of the gardens, formed out of upcycled industrial oil drums, gives a nod to Notting Hill Carnival’s tradition of upcycling discarded oil drums to create steel pans. 

“We are delighted that our design has been selected as the winner in this competition,” explained George King, Director at George King Architects. “We feel passionately about the important role public spaces play in our cities and the power of design to enrich people’s lives. Working closely with Grow2Know, we hope to create a positive and lasting transformation for Notting Hill Gate, its local community, and for many visitors.” 

The gardens will provide new community spaces, bringing nature, heritage, and local people together

There are plans to include planters, seating, and insect habitats, and with plenty of flexibility there’s an opportunity for members of the community to have some input and help shape the final design. It will create a new ‘destination’ not only for enjoyment, but also for learning, with information about the plants and their cultural significance to the diverse local community set to be included for young people and schools. 

Speaking about the new initiative, Councillor Josh Rendall, Lead Member for Local Economy and Employment said: “Notting Hill is a unique area with an eclectic style and is the perfect place for a vibrant new high street installation which is the first of its kind in the borough.”

“We’ve been committed to working with the local community and are gathering feedback from residents to make sure that the winning design will not only look amazing but will reflect everyone who lives, works and visits the area. This is just the first step of the Council finding innovative new ways to enhance our high streets for the future.” 

George King Architects and Grow2Know will receive funds of up to £100,000 from the Council to develop a fully costed, feasible design that will be installed in early 2023. Watch this space!

Upcycled planters and insect habitats will inspire biodiversity in the city

Find out more about the work of George King Architects and Grow2Know.

Read more of the latest sustainability news on enki, and read our interview with London Festival of Architecture Director, Rosa Rogina, as she talks about future urban development in the city.

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