RAF 100 Sky Garden
Commemoration, celebration, inspiration
In 2016 we were commissioned by the Royal Air Force to create a garden to commemorate, celebrate and inspire for the centenary of the service at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Unfortunately due to lack of funding the garden was not created but we have it here to show you what can be created to inspire people through gardens.
The RAF100 Sky 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 it’s colours from different quarries is used to subtly reference the iconic RAF roundel. A path is created with new British stone technology to flow through cloud-like planting, suspended over cloud-like 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 a sea or lake.
The path’s destination is a sculptural sky portal hewn into a rocky outcrop. The exterior reflects journeys and guidance systems, possibly through digital screen projection or texture and touch, but we can also climb into the structure, lie back and simply watch the sky and the stars at nighttime.
For the planting we wanted to reflect 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 would be suitable for a Southern British climate.