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01 June 2009

Dramatic Roof Garden Tops Famous London Theatre

A new state of the art community roof garden on top of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre will be opened on Thursday June the 11th.  Designed by award winning landscape architects, Adam White and Andrée Davies, the garden fits in perfectly with the Lyric’s own community-involvement programme and for those living in the Ashcroft housing estate right next door, will be a much needed green retreat in a heavily built up part of London.  

The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and environmental charity Groundwork London are behind the remarkable garden, developed from a sketch on a paper napkin into a living, breathing oasis of subtle lighting, sustainable timber decking, low planters, seating, shrubs and trees. 

The garden also boasts a bespoke 6 metre high pergola canopy visible from Hammersmith tube station. The planting has been completed with the support of the Groundwork Green Team; a project helping the long term unemployed learn horticultural skills and children from the local primary school. Residents from the near by Ashcroft Estate have agreed to become ‘Garden Guardians’ providing hands on to help keep it in tip-top condition. 

The roof garden has been paid for jointly by the theatre, local businesses through HammersmithLondon and Marks & Spencer.  The project is one of 38 green community facilities supported by M&S through the Greener Living Spaces programme, with profits* raised from the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags.  The life of the project has been captured on film and is currently showing in the Marks & Spencer store on King Street, Hammersmith.


Adam White, Principal Landscape Architect for Groundwork London and co designer for the garden, says,

 “following the success of our RHS Gold Medal and BBC People Choice award we had little time to recover before embarking on our next challenge to design a bespoke roof terrace garden in Hammersmith. Over the past 8 months Andrée and I have been busy working with the Lyric theatre to ensure the project successfully creates a unique green oasis in the concrete jungle of Hammersmith.

Delivery has not been without challenges; through wind, rain, snow and thankfully some sunshine the contractors from Visible Changes Ltd have used more than 16 tonnes of topsoil, 15 tonnes of timber, 22,000 nails, 27,000 decking screws, 56 drill bits, 20kg of wood glue, 19 litres of Danish oil, 2 tonnes of sheet steel, 130 metres of steel wire, 12,000 timber plugs and planted 750 shrubs and 3 mature eucalyptus trees along with constructing and erecting the bespoke 6 metre high laminated timber canopy. All lifted onto the terrace from 25 feet below in the Lyric Square.”


Jessica Hepburn, Lyric Theatre, Executive Director, says,

“The roof garden will provide a green space for everyone in Hammersmith to enjoy, both day and night. The garden is part of our commitment to making Hammersmith a fantastic place to live, work and relax as well as providing a great night out for theatre goers”



From left to right: Andree Davies, Jessica Hepburn and Adam White at the launch of the Lyric Theatre Roof Garden 11/06/09


Contact details

For further information contact:

For The Lyric Hammersmith

Jenny Paton, Press & PR Manager, The Lyric Hammersmith

T:  020 8741 6826



For Groundwork

Lucy Millson-Watkins, Marketing Officer, Groundwork London


E: Lucy.Millson-


Garry Campbell, PR Assistant, Groundwork UK

T:  0121 237 5811



Adam White CMLI, Principal Landscape Architect, Groundwork London




Notes to editors

The Lyric Hammersmith is West London’s largest theatre and one of the capital’s most producing theatres.  It creates groundbreaking work and invites the most exciting and audacious artists from many different artistic disciplines to work together to tell stories that resonate with a modern, urban audience.  Alongside its work on stage it runs a pioneering programme of Creative Learning activities that give over 10,000 young people a year access to high quality arts provision, skills and qualifications. 


HammersmithLondon is responsible for delivering a business improvement district (BID) to Hammersmith. They are a business-led not-for-profit limited company established to represent the views of local businesses in Hammersmith town centre. They identify and deliver tangible initiatives to benefit local businesses and improve their environment.


Marks & Spencer

*1.85p from each single use food carrier.

The national carrier bag charge is a major step towards M&S’ Plan A commitments to aim to reduce carrier bag usage by a third and send no waste to landfill from its operations by 2012. Plan A, M&S’ business-wide, £200 million ‘eco-plan’, was launched in January 2007.

The 5p charge does not apply to mini food bags and horticultural bags which will be available free of charge on request.

The charge has helped to reduce carrier bag usage by 200,000,000 and raised £800,000 since its launch in May 2008.

See for more information.