Everything revolves around the new Café Kiosk in Love Square. It’s the most visible thing for people coming from outside Love Square, and it is what will bring people into the site all day, everyday.
It’s an essential part of the regeneration of this whole part of the city, bringing life and vitality to a neglected area. Many hundreds of people walk through and by Love Square and there is no reason for them to stop and stay. The Café will provide that reason. In good weather there is plenty of outdoor sitting and meeting space where people can take their drinks and food and enjoy them amongst the most beautiful wildflower gardens. And, equally importantly, it will generate income to contribute to the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of Love Square.
However, the most exciting thing about the café is that, like everything else in Love Square, it takes every opportunity to support the growth and use of wildflowers and native plants, and including a whole range of features that will be habitats in themselves. It is a true ‘Living Building’. The roof has a meadow green roof, full of colourful wildflowers. There will be a living wall of native climbing plants. And the building will have beautiful artworks on its outside walls that will become homes for a wide array of essential creatures: habitat panels and sculptures.
Love Square is all about being innovative and inspirational. It’s about design and art as well as ecology, and the café is a perfect embodiment of all that Love Square stands for.
The Grow Wild Cafe sits at the heart of Love Square, surrounded by the Wildflower landscape.
The building from Nigel Dunnett’s Gold Medal winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show, 2013. The building has a green roof with wildflowers and lots of habitat features, such as log piles. On the walls are ‘habitat panels’ and artworks that provide homes for valuable invertebrates. All these ideas feed into the design for the Love Square cafe, but in a way that is robust for a public space.
This green roof on a converted shipping container, in a demonstration ‘sustainable garden’ that Nigel Dunnett designed for the London Wetland Centre, has a very diverse meadow green roof that is a complete landscape or garden in itself. The same ideas will be used on the Love Square cafe. People coming to Love Square from the city centre will be able to see all the details of the meadow green roof because Love Square lies at the bottom of a short hill and people will be looking down onto the roof.
An early sketch for the area around the Love Square cafe, showing the generous seating space, surrounded by beautiful and colourful wildflower gardens. As well as the flowering meadow green roof, and the habitat and biodiversity artworks on the walls, the cafe will also have a living wall of native climbing plants.