Tower of London ‘Superbloom’ project for Grant Associates to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year

November 29, 2021
Bath landscape architecture practice Grant Associates is to help turn the Tower of London’s moat into a vibrant sea of more than 20m flowers to help celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.
The ‘Superbloom’ project, one of scores across the country to mark 70 years since the Queen came to the throne, will transform the moat into a permanent habitat for pollinators and seed-eating birds.

Grant Associates was chosen for the project by Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that manages the Tower of London, due to its wide experience of producing stunning architectural schemes across the globe for the past 21 years.
Earlier this year it won the Best Show Garden Award in its first appearance at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show for its Guangzhou Garden, which was rooted in Chinese design and philosophy.
It will undertake a collaborative role in designing the Superbloom’s overall visitor experience and technical design concept, including the sequencing of experiences and flowering effects as visitors move around the moat.
In recent years, the moat – built in the 13th century as part of the Tower’s defences and currently lawn – is best known for being the setting for two major commemorations of the centenary of the First World War – the 2014 ‘Poppies’ and 2018 ‘Flames’ installations.  
However, the space has had many uses in its long history, from housing a medieval orchard to a grazing ground for Victorian livestock and allotments during the Second World War. 
As recently as 1977, it was used to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee with a garden display. Superbloom will take inspiration from this long history, bringing nature back to the Tower’s urban landscape.   
After a year of extensive testing and planning, 20m carefully selected seeds will be sown in the moat in spring 2022, bringing a spectacular natural beauty to the feet of the Tower’s historic walls, which will continuously evolve from June to September, changing colours and patterns throughout the summer.  
The space will be open every day for visitors to explore the spectacle of the flowers close up.
Grant Associates founder and director Andrew Grant said: “The prospect of transforming the Tower of London moat from barren amenity grassland into a spectacle of nature was irresistible and we look forward to seeing this historic evolution unfold over the coming months. 
“This is set to be a highly significant transformation – one that will build on the moat’s legacy to create a nature-rich, sustainable landscape for the benefit of both biodiversity and the communities of the Tower, Tower Hamlets, London and all future visitors. 
“We anticipate this bold intervention will be a catalyst for many other transformational projects across the country, bringing colour and life to renew our urban neighbourhoods.”
Historic Royal Palaces public engagement director Tom O’Leary added: “We’re thrilled to be bringing some joy, colour and spectacle to the Tower in 2022, in celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. 
“Everyone at the Tower is looking forward to sharing the project with everyone as it develops – and hoping for some luck with the weather next spring! We hope that this thriving new landscape, surrounding London’s formidable fortress, will celebrate the power of nature to unite us all.”
Schoolchildren are being invited to take part in a major initiative to support the project by growing their own displays – created from a special palette of seeds – to bloom alongside the one at the Tower and learning about what gardens can do to improve sustainability and support ecology as part of that process.
Grant Associates, which also has an office in Singapore – where it helped create the city-state’s spectacular Gardens by the Bay – is also working on a major project in Melbourne, Australia, which will include the world’s tallest vertical garden, and a scheme in Sydney to transform a former industrial wasteland into a world-class, vibrant waterfront area.
Closer to home, it has also supported Bath’s Forest of Imagination community arts event, promoted the delicate ecology of Wessex Water’s operations centre on the city’s outskirts, and helped regenerate Bristol’s historic Harbourside as part of a £120m scheme for developer Crest Nicholson.

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