Gardens in the sky

At Wardian London, developer EcoWorld Ballymore is creating a luxurious living environment that brings green space within easy reach of every flat owner

At first sight, the two blocks that will make up EcoWorld Ballymore’s new Wardian London development appear to be yet another pair of luxury apartment buildings like those springing up all over the capital. But take a closer look at the developers’ vision for the riverside scheme and the difference is clear – rather than just another vast expanse of steel and glass, a passion for green space is at the heart of this development. The 624 new apartments, launched for sale in September, are contained within two high-end residential towers built just a stone’s throw from Canary Wharf. What sets Wardian London apart from neighbouring developments is that, arguably, its location – in the heart of London’s liveliest business district - isn’t its biggest selling point. What makes these apartments special is not only the extensive communal landscaping but the addition to each unit of an extensive, private ‘sky garden’. These balconies not only add an additional 37m2 to each flat, but they also provide residents with their own carefully designed green space high above the streets below.

The aim of EcoWorld Ballymore (a partnership between one of Malaysia’s leading property developers and Ballymore, which has extensive experience in the London property market) is to provide residents with what their marketing literature describes as, “a tranquil oasis…within the city”. To achieve this, as well as the residents’ sky gardens, Wardian London also boasts a rooftop observatory bar which will house London’s highest botanical gin garden; two restaurants and a 25 metre open air swimming pool set within tropical planting and landscaping. Residents and visitors approach Wardian across a new landscaped public plaza with sunken gardens “to immerse them in lush greenery on arrival”.



What’s in a name?

EcoWorld Ballymore’s Docklands development takes its name from the traditional ‘Wardian cases’ that were designed and built in East London in the 19th century to transport tea plants to India. These glazed boxes were used to protect plants that would otherwise die from exposure to the elements during long sea journeys. The problem frustrated botanists until the predecessor of the modern terrarium  - and allegedly the inspiration for the glass aquarium - was invented by Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward around 1829. Wardian cases were vital to the British Empire’s expansion into India, leading to the development of the East India Company - based in the docks of the same name -  enabling Great Britain to trade in exotic commodities such as tea and spices from across the world.

The developers’ intention is to pioneer the concept of what Ballymore UK’s MD John Mulryan describes as “outside-in living”; already seen in residential developments in other parts of the world such as Brisbane and Singapore. Atriums located throughout the two towers are filled with a wide range of plants and flowers from all over the world. Huw Morgan from landscape architect Camlins, who has been closely involved in the designs at Wardian says “Green space is one of the most sought after commodities in London and Wardian London capitalises on this with abundant planting of more than 100 different exotic species across the development. Creating hidden sanctuaries, inspired by Wardian cases, was of utmost importance in this project to deliver a tangible retreat from city living”.

As well as creating lush, green public spaces, Camlins has also created optional planting schemes for residents’ sky gardens, which will differ depending on the aspect, orientation and altitude of each apartment. The indoor planted areas have been carefully chosen to suit the conditions in which they are growing; additional light sources are being used where needed and a regular maintenance regime has been developed to keep an eye on pests. 

Ballymore’s property management strategy on all its developments is to continue to manage its own blocks after completion. A team of full-time gardeners will be responsible for maintaining all green space in the communal areas. For residents, the sky gardens offer the opportunity to enjoy their own private green space and to be creative with plants in a way that is not often possible for flat owners living 55 storeys above the ground.

The first residents at Wardian London are expected to move in during 2019.


Suites – from £395,000

One-bed apartment – from £525,000

Two-bed apartment – from £695,000

For more information, go to or call 0800 404 8855.