Now, we’re well aware that if you’re looking for green space in Stratford, London – there’s no shortage. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hylands Park, Wanstead Park – they’re within easy reach of Stratford. Look beyond Stratford, however, and you’ll find that green space in cities is often hard to find. Green areas were, for a long time, far down local authorities’ priority lists. But here at Lendlease, Sustainability has been a firm consideration since our conception. The Hothouse is testament to that, bringing something a little bit different, that provokes thought and provides an escape for our visitors, residents and those who work in our buildings.
The Hothouse was designed by a partnership between Studio Weave and Tom Massey Studio for London Design Festival 2020. As a stable environment, the conditions within the Hothouse can be controlled to suit the species of plant within. Step inside and you’ll find an abundance of exotic produce growing. And whilst we all know what an avocado is, are you aware of where or how it grows, or even what an avocado tree looks like? Now you can find out.
Growing plants in controlled environments is something that may become increasingly more common again, thanks to climate change. And whilst here in the UK we’re well known for growing our root vegetables and hardier fruits, we’re now starting to grow more exotic fruit, veg and legumes, like chickpeas, lentils and citrus fruits, thanks to this very method. In fact, the nearby, historic Lee Valley Corridor once had more than 1,300 acres of greenhouses, where, then considered, exotic fruits like cucumbers and grapes were grown for 1930s Britain. All of the above bring with them astounding environmental benefits, increasing our nation’s biodiversity and minimising importation of fresh produce from abroad.
While you’re standing inside the Hothouse, pay some consideration to this: scientists believe that by 2050, the produce you see in front of you, may be able to be grown outside in the UK. That’s because, due to global warming, the UK’s climate might then rival cities like Melbourne, Australia and San Jose, California.
Last year ITV visited the Hothouse, you can view the video here. If you’ve yet to visit our unusual green space in Stratford, London – find the Hothouse at Redman Place, IQL, E20 1QJ. Or learn more about our neighbouring green spaces in Stratford. You can visit The Hothouse anytime until September 2022.