Collaborating with British designer Tom Dixon and horticulturist Alys Fowler, the team were asked to design a public space that suitably reflected the theme of the Marks Barfield buildings as two pebbles with water flowing between (the O2 pedestrians being the flowing water) as well as the layers of history of the area, having once been a huge market garden that fed London and an industrial gasworks site.
The solution was a landform mimicking the Thames mudflats as though sculpted by water. Alys was very keen for people to go wherever they pleased, make dens and forage berries.
Tom Dixon embellished the scheme with industrially inspired structures, such as a smokery and amphitheatre. Tom Hoblyn designed all of the hard and soft landscaping working with an excellent team of consultants, including Charlotte Harris and Tim O’Hare. “It was one of the most stressful but rewarding projects I have ever been involved with. Seeing the thousands of people spill out from the O2 after a concert and filter their way through the landscape was quite remarkable”.