The Architecture Ensemble

ST Annes Garden Soho

The charity Soho Green, St Annes Church, and the City of Westminster worked as co-clients upon this crucial public space project to reclaim St. Annes Garden for the community. For years the garden had been used as a drug dealing and rough sleeping space making it all but off-limits to much of the community, even during daylight hours, due to the large amounts of dangerous detritus being left behind.

The aim of the project was to provide the garden with the means to prevent anti-social use, especially at night when the space could be secured behind a purpose designed screen. The screen would serve both as a striking visual feature as well as an enabling work to allow follow-on community projects to be carried out within a protected garden.

We were commissioned to masterplan the garden, which is also a plague burial ground, and to carry-out the various sub-projects called The Wall of Light, The Artshed, and The Gardener's Shed. These projects were carried out in collaboration with London-based artists Elaine Duigenan and Varvara Shavrova, engineers Buro Happold and King Shaw Associates, and makers Anchor Welding, Simon Henderson Ltd., Gordon Cowley, Inwood Developments, and Timberwright's Andrew Trotman. As a separate project Soho Green commissioned a furniture designer/maker, David Colwell, to design and make a central component to the masterplan of the garden - The Big Table.