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 final stage of the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment has seen a third space opened to the public. Whistler Square, perpendicular to the central Mulberry Square, is home to a large reflection pool, inlaid at ground-level and mirroring both the commercial and residential buildings that surround the Square. Threading through the pool there are ribbons engraved into the stone, emphasising the transitional nature of the Square and the development as a whole.
This is not the first time The Fountain Workshop has provided water features for Chelsea Barracks. In 2016, we were invited to provide water feature services for the Chelsea Barracks Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Jo Thompson, who designed the Gold medal-winning garden, has also been invited back to the Chelsea Barracks development and is now the designer behind the many flowerbeds that our water features snake through. You can read more about the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden here.
- 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, Andy Brooks
“Calming, relaxing water features honestly make this a restful place to be – the acts of being by water, hearing the sound of water, seeing the movement of water have all been proven to have a positive effect on our mental health, triggering the release of those much-needed brain chemicals, as does looking at plants and trees. Fractal patterns in the forms of leaves are absorbing to our eyes and calm the mind… [Mulberry Square and Bourne Walk are] uplifting places to walk through on any day; when the sun is shining it’s unmissable.”
– Jo Thompson