Chelsea Barracks

A former military barracks is re-imagined as a high-end residential area, brimming with life and energy.

Just moments away from the site that hosts the Royal Horticultural Society’s world-famous annual celebration, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea Barracks has been redeveloped over recent years into a residential area. The floral theme has been particularly explored by landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman, with the area hosting a number of public gardens and floral spaces.

Mulberry Square houses a series of bursting flowerbeds that expand across the full length of the space. Winding through and between these flowerbeds, The Fountain Workshop has provided water channels that add to the wild meadow-like feel of the Square. The water channels reflect the multicoloured flowers and invite the Square’s inhabitants to absent-mindedly run their fingertips through the gently flow of the water.

At one end of Mulberry Square, an overflowing water table has been installed. Where the flowerbeds and water channels stops, this water features gives the impression that the Square does not. The water flows over the far edge of the stone, drawing the eye outwards toward Bourne Walk, where the Chelsea Barracks area continues.

Bourne Walk, which runs along the Southern edge of the Chelsea Barracks site, features a further water channel raised slightly above ground-level. This provides a serene parallel to the people who stroll along Bourne Walk on their way to home or work.

The next stage of the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment will see a third space opened to the public. Whistler Square, perpendicular to the central Mulberry Square, will be home to a large reflection pool, inlaid at ground-level and mirroring both the commercial and residential buildings that will surround the Square.

Project Facts

  • Location: Chelsea Barracks, London, UK
  • Client: Blu-3 working for Mace and Qatari Diar
  • Services: Design and build
  • Features: Water channels, water table, reflection pool
  • Partners: Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Squire and Partners, Arup
  • Photography: Ben Hampshire