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RAF Museum

On Paper

Design: 2019

A place to re-centre ourselves before going onto greater things.

In 2017 we were commissioned to create a garden that would be located at the RAF Museum in Hendon, North London. The original garden would be at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2019 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately the garden could not be created but the plans for relocating it to the RAF Museum were completed by us and these are what are shown.

The garden is a place to refocus, relax and engage within a space that inspires our ideas about flying, navigation and the sky. Traditional landscape concepts of seating, paths, plants and sculpture are included but designed in new, challenging and inspiring ways around this story.

Traditional British stone, sourced for its colours from different quarries is used to subtly reference the iconic RAF roundel within a sunken seating area. A path is created with new stone technology to flow through cloud-like planting, suspended over clearings, sapphire blue on the outside and oyster white on the inside. Here we can look down into deep waters, playing with scale so that we feel that we are almost looking from far away down onto an ocean, river or lake.

The path’s destination is a sculptural sky portal hewn into a rocky outcrop. The exterior reflects journeys and guidance systems through digital screen projection, texture and touch and we can also climb into the structure, lie back and simply watch the sky and the stars at night time.

Planting is the key element and reflects the different countries where the RAF have served using more unusual plants from a warmer climate that will capture the imagination of travel and distant places. These plants are suitable for a Southern British climate.