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Park Hall | Stoke-on-Trent

Competition for RHS 5th Garden

Novell Tullett's competition entry for the creation of a Fifth RHS garden in Stoke-On-Trent with visitor centre by Ryder Architects The garden aimed to be a catalyst for change for the city, bringing new economic growth with increased visitor numbers, and the potential for a dynamic switch towards healthier lifestyles and attitudes.

We worked on the concept and masterplan to a tight deadline. Stoke’s internationally famous pottery designs, such as Wedgwood, Spode, Burleigh and Moorcroft inspired a series of show gardens loosely disposed around a visitor hub placed in the topographical centre of the sloping, south west facing site.

Between the formal gardens and the city, a Grow Cook Eat hub was proposed to create an important interface between the RHS and the people of Stoke. At its heart was a great potager – an exemplar walled kitchen garden linked to a series of glass houses for more exotic produce. A sweep of public allotments would allow residents to be inspired and motivated to cultivate their own fruit and vegetables.

The wider site was characterised by acid soil and already established heathland, a mosaic of heather and gorse, orchid studded meadows and loose woodland, which was used to form a natural framework for the garden.

Key features

  • Place specific, large scale, complex gardens embedded in naturalistic setting
  • Community interface and out of hours access to allotments and grow cook eat facilities 
  • Potential catalyst for tourism, growth and new start for Stoke 

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