Review | The sky garden that isn’t

joshdesouza_crook_sky_garden

The public have been misled into thinking this will be an iconic garden for London – in reality it’s more of a playground for the corporate and rich.

The Sky Garden sits on top of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the City, nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie by many, the real name of the skyscraper is 20 Fenchurch Street, it’s a commercial building and that’s essentially what the Sky Garden is too.

Prior to its approval the developers announced they planned on building a free public garden for members of the public to enter a tropical world and take in the breath-taking views of our capital from 160 metres above sea level.

The Sky Garden still remains free for members of the public, but you have to book in advance for a time slot, turning it into a catch-22 situation.

This kind of takes away the charm of a garden, a place you where you should be free to explore or perhaps sit down and get stuck into a novel for hours.

There’s also shameful amount of seating in the greenery, a handful of wooden log seats to rest on if you planned on reading the your books weeks in advance (because that’s what the current wait is for a time slot to go there).

The garden is barely a garden: there are sections of plants that run parallel to cocktail terraces and high-end restaurants.

The claims of this being a public garden almost vanish once your reach the 37th floor – instead you feel like you’re in an airline’s members’ club in Heathrow or Singapore, which isn’t helped by the airport-style security checks before you enter.

The areas that cater for the corporate crowd take up the majority of the Sky Garden, perhaps this might have been expected sitting in the heart of the financial district.

The actual park and garden are so small that it kind of seems pointless, although the panoramic views of almost every corner of London make up for the lack of greenery, especially considering you’d be looking at £25 entry to go up the The Shard or The London Eye.

The distinctive shape of the tower and the reflecting lights on the building causing cars to burn has generated bad press, the lack of garden in the Sky Garden will also do the same.

The Sky Garden is definitely worth visiting, purely for the breathtaking views, but you’ll be left questioning why it didn’t completely do what it said on the tin.

 

Feature image by Josh De Souza Crook