The Water Gardens

Location London, United Kingdom
Services Civil engineering
Sector Lifestyle
Client The Church Commissioners for England
Architect Refolo Landscape Architects Ltd
Imagery © Refolo Landscape Architects Ltd

Gary Marshall

T +44 (0)191 213 1515

The Water Gardens is a development of luxury flats over a basement parking area in West London. The design is based on several rectangular pools which are arranged with rocks, fountains and aquatic planting. Between the pools there are raised deck walkways allowing views across the gardens.

This ‘reimagined’ area involved refurbishment and upgrades to the existing pools, and full waterproofing to allow a self-storage company to occupy the basement car park below with confidence in water not leaking from the podium level above.

As part of the refurbishment works a more efficient and sustainable drainage system which reuses surface water was implemented. Rainwater falling within the development is now harvested and stored on the podium level in shallow attenuation tanks to be used in both maintaining water levels in the ponds and irrigating planting.

Working with the landscape architect and design team, Cundall’s civil engineering team designed surface levels, surface water drainage and below ground modular storage attenuation system. Levels were redesigned to direct runoff from the pedestrian areas into a system of surface water channels incorporated into the scheme. The channels then discharge to the attenuation tanks for re-use. To prevent flooding high level overflow discharges to the sewer have been incorporated for when the system is full.

One challenging aspect of this refurbishment is the public realm spaces and the restricted construction depth of the ground above the structural deck where the storage tanks are located. Due to the limitations the team have had to maximise the space available through planning and designing the modular storage systems to balance maximum efficiency of storage against capacity, robustness and constructability of the system.


The Water Gardens has been named joint winner of the small scale retrofit category at the susdrain SuDS Awards 2020.