Early November 2010 is the date that new local charitable trust King's Cross Community Projects has firmly in its sights right now. That's the date they plan to make the final design decisions for the Wharfdale Road greenwall being designed by locally based RCA graduate sculptor Neil Ayling, Camden Garden Centre based Kew-trained plantsman Mike Jackson and award winning vertical landscape designer Marie Clarke.
Construction and installation will follow, to be completed by February 2010 with planting taking place between March and May (timetable according to individual plants preferences). Meanwhile, the trust continues the fundraising drive and is thinking about what kind of launch event they'd like to have in the summer – all ideas welcome!
The greenwall has been inspired by the King's Cross green corridor which includes London Wildlife Trust's Camley Street Natural Park, and by local environmental initiatives like John Ashwell's tree scheme in which over 150 trees have been planted in the north east section of King's Cross – John has attempted to extend the scheme into the Camden side of King's Cross, Thornhill Bridge Community Gardeners brilliant community gardens and Lisa Pontecorvo's wonderful Edward Square.
Locally based built asset consultancy E C Harris has adopted King's Cross Community Projects as one of three charities it will be supporting over the next year and beyond. At the launch of the E C Harris Community Challenge initiative yesterday the company's London HQ pledged a long term commitment to the local area aiming to make a sustainable, measurable difference. To date they have provided the project management team, quantity surveyor and buildings surveyor for the greenwall project, all at absolutely no cost.
Alan Conisbee, locally based structural engineer, is providing his time and expertise for free, as are all the trustees of King's Cross Community Projects and Marie Clarke our vertical landscape designer. Wall owner Complete Offices and land owner Places for People are providing the space for the wall whilst locally based planning law expert Sarah Youren is donating her time at considerably reduced cost. LB Islington is the main funder with Billy Reilly, landlord of The Driver having been our very first financial supporter.
Artist Neil Ayling is busy researching the area, gathering inspiration for his highly innovative design. So far Neil is considering using powder coated aluminium on which maybe printed full colour images as the main structure. His theme maybe 'Battlebridge', using the idea of bridging our split community to inform the design which may play with use of perspective to create depth of field in what would otherwise be quite a flat art installation. Integral lighting may turn out to be a component, hidden behind aspects of the sculpture to really highlight its texture. A tank to store rain water run-off, an irrigation system, safety and security requirements, deep pockets of soil for plant roots and seasonal changes to the plants are all challenges we've set for Neil's imagination!
We'll continue to keep you updated on this site. We'll also be delivering a leaflet to everyone living locally in the coming months to ask you for your support. Meanwhile, any ideas for design or for the launch in summer 2011 are most welcome! Email us here.