Off the back of its recent Plants At Work Awards wins for design, installation, and maintenance (the latest in a string of recognitions, including top scoops from GCUC and the European Interior Landscaping Organisation), Uncommon Liverpool Street has been very much at the front of our minds. A coworking space with a biophilic twist, the space boasts meeting rooms, communal spaces, and a rooftop terrace, all jam-packed with beautiful, healthy plants.
When we initially sat down with the client, they were clear that they wanted dense planting coverage both inside and out. Sam, our Design and Development consultant, was all too eager to get to work devising a scheme that would be both practical to maintain and attractive to look at, all while offering the host of health and wellbeing benefits inherent to such luscious planting.
A dream client to work with, Uncommon were innovative in their outlook, ambitious in their scope, and always ready for a creative challenge. Working alongside their team, Sam advised on plant species that would thrive in every setting – from desktops to ceilings, bespoke joinery planters to vertical green walls.
In addition to some 700 plants, Sam set about finding the perfect centrepiece for Uncommon’s cafe area – a six metre tree that would span the building’s seventh and eighth floors. Together with Uncommon Sam decided on a Ficus alii, handpicked from our nursery in Holland where it had been growing for around 25 years. This beautiful species did provide some logistical concerns, however – weighing around 500kg, it wasn’t going to be an easy task to migrate it to its new home above London’s bustling Liverpool Street Station. It was time for some creative thinking. With the help of our talented team of growers and installs experts, the tree was pruned, wrapped, and shipped to London. Once there, the tree was unloaded into a temporary pot and placed under supplementary lighting to help it acclimatise to its new environment (a very important step). Then, we enlisted a crane to help us airlift the Ficus onto the eighth floor, before deploying a team of 20 workers to lower the tree safely into its new home. It takes a village to raise a six metre tall, 500kg child (or Ficus alii), after all.
Overall, Uncommon Liverpool Street is one of our finest achievements to date and certainly worthy of its many accolades! Bringing together design expertise and our innate knowledge of planting and aftercare, it’s a site we’re exceptionally proud of.