Brown Hart Gardens was built in 1906 above the old Duke Street electricity substation. Architect Sir Stanley Peach covered the substation with a 950 sq m roof, a domed gazebo and steps at either end.
The deck has been resurfaced with French Villebois Limestone, and the drainage system redesigned to drain water to a new perimeter channel offering greater protection for the substation below. A new water feature, designed by Andrew Ewing, is situated in one of the garden’s original stone seats. Trees and plants have been planted at the perimeter in special planters that are also power units and contain lights illuminating the deck. The planters and seats in the middle of the deck can be moved around into a variety of configurations allowing flexible planting schemes to add interest to the gardens through the seasons.
A 50-seater café has been put in at the western end of the gardens. Its design blends into the existing features and landscape. The north, south and east elevations of the café are all glazed panels which can slide back in warm weather. To minimise the amount of plant needed, the glazing itself acts as the heating system for the café. A new glazed lift and access staircase makes the gardens fully inclusive.
We have also completed significant public realm work on Duke Street, on which Brown Hart Gardens is located. Our public realm improvement scheme across our London estate supports our aim to create better places for people to live, work and visit.