Nestled in Hayes, within the Borough of Hillingdon, sits one of London’s largest green roofs and pocket roof parks covering approximately 0.2 hectares. Built on the site of The Old Vinyl Factory which was formerly owned by the British music company EMI, The Stylus Building was constructed to house residential and retail units whilst also adhering to stringent ecological standards.
The brief, set by Jefferson Shard Architects included the provision for three landscaped podiums set at first, second, and ninth floor heights integrated into the design. These outside spaces were designed to enhance the quality of life for the residents of the apartments by creating areas for children to play, decked seating areas, and social space. As well as impacting the lives of the human inhabitants, the environmental benefits for the local wildlife included a bio-diverse roof which houses further trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, sedums, and wildflower carpets to attract birds and insects, there are also bat boxes, sparrow boxes, and swift boxes.
When creating the spectacular multi-level green social spaces and gardens, Landscape Architects; Natural Dimensions, working with groundworks and civil engineering firm Foran Construction enlisted SureSet to install the permeable resin bound paving for the pathway areas.
As is often the case when designing hard landscaping surfaces for roof decks, our versatile base system SureCell was specified for use in the preparation of the paved areas. A combination of characteristics including;
A reduction of weight compared to bound base options,
The increased permeability to aid drainage,
Speed of installation to build up levels,
The relative ease of installation – given that materials were going to have to be moved up several stories make SureCell a staple in the repertoire of designers when planning roof decks.
The surface of the pathways was completed in resin bound paving utilising SureSet’s 6mm blend Norwegian Pearl laid at a 24mm depth. The material is laid at a slightly thicker depth of 24mm over the SureCell to increase the strength of the finished surface, but also to ensure the required contact between individual stones within the mix where some may be incorporated in the slightly more open surface before – this allows us to maintain the confidence in the combined build-up to uphold our 21 year guarantee which helps set us apart as a market leader in both commercial and residential projects.
Nick Atherton, of Landscape Architect’s Natural Dimensions said that there were a number of reasons why the combination of SureSet and SureCell was selected for this scheme, including
“The ability to trowel and fit it to the curved shapes of the design was a consideration during the design process and the bound gravel system was in my mind during the design process as a solution to the complex spatial requirements which avoided complicated cutting.”
Other factors involved when selecting the choice of paving for the communal areas were its appearance and the way it contrasted with the other materials used in texture and colour, permeability was also a key consideration, and the bound nature of the gravel meant that it complied with ‘wind lift’ and ‘fire resistance’ regulations which are paramount in rooftop settings such as this.
Nick also stated “the client feedback has been excellent. The scheme is very popular with the residents and the design was awarded the winner of the 2020 Northern Design Award for Best Commercial Landscape Design. It is due to be shortlisted for a number of other awards this year. I am happy to say that in terms of a practical solution to roof garden requirements, specific requirements to the complex spatial arrangement of this particular design, speed of installation the excellent aesthetics, and durability, it’s been a very valuable part of a high-quality scheme.”