This is a new pocket park that came into existence as part of the redevelopment of Trans World House, a dreary 1960s office block that used to be on this corner of the Old Street roundabout.
The Old Street Yard development was completed in 2017 and consists of a new build 16 storey office building (known as the White Collar Factory), and a group of five lower rise mixed-use buildings, combining new build with refurbishment.
The new pocket park sits between the two clusters creating a pathway that never existed before.
The original plans were for a space more akin to a plain courtyard and passageway, with a small grassy lawn in the square. This was later changed to retain a smaller lawn, but also put in a more interesting row of raised planting with integrated seating areas.
The box hedging does a good job of protecting the planting in the centre from being sat on, as would inevitably happen otherwise. It’s the subtle touches that elevate the finished product though. Rather than having the planter wall line up with the paving, there’s a thin line of gravel all the way around.
The wooden benches match neatly with the bronzed wall and the concrete tops are nicely finished off. The tables are a bit of a let down alas, but a modest one.
The overall effect is a pocket park, with lots of seating for the local office workers, so rather more of a design that is seating with planting, than planting with seating, but if you like prim and proper gardens, it’s a very neat example of one.
I’ll pedantically note the fact that this is Old Street Yard, but actually links City Road to Mallow Street, and the building next to it, the White Collar Factory is officially 1 Old Street Yard, but occupies the site of 100 City Road, with an entrance on City Road. But Old Street is a more fashionable location these days, so branding wins over geography.