sustainable landscape design
for people, nature and climate

The Francis Crick Institute


The Francis Crick Institute is a new, cutting edge scientific research centre recently completed in Kings Cross.

Elaine worked with London Wildlife Trust (LWT), the Crick Institute community engagement team and the local community towards designing a dynamic garden design in the front of the main building that is open 24/7 for the local community and institute staff and visitors to enjoy. As well as a restful area the plants provide habitat for wildlife and absorb rain water and Co2.

The Strategic Masterplan

The garden has a series of rounded spaces that are slightly offset from one another in a linked chain of themed planting with different textures, forms and scents. These are positioned along a gently curving pathway combining to soften the dramatic geometry of the Francis Crick building.

It is quite a complex planting scheme that was split into several drawings by their planting theme.

One of the Planting Plans

There were around 2000 plants specified in the design, which can take some time and organisation to source and coordinate their transport, storage and delivery and to co-ordinate this with the construction team as well as the site development infrastructure in general.

Hundreds of plants on site ready for planting
Planting for colour, texture and form
Planting for colour, texture and form

An irrigation scheme was specified by the site construction team to manage future watering requirements.

Work in progress
Plenty of colour and nectar for insects
Soon the gardens were filling in nicely
Soon the gardens were filling in nicely
Over time the gardens have established well
A peaceful place to sit in the city