Alumnus leads students in creation of medal winning Chelsea Flower Show garden 

Sheffield architecture and landscape students have worked with Zap Architecture and esteemed landscape designer Diarmuid Gavin on the delivery of an exhibit as part of the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show which took place from 24-28 May.

Chelsea Flower Show garden created by Sheffield alumnus and students

The project architect on the garden was Sheffield Alumnus Pol Gallagher, Creative Director of ZAP Architecture. Pol worked closely with designer Diarmuid Gavin on what was to be the most ambitious garden to adorn the Chelsea flower show. ‘The British Eccentrics Garden’ was sponsored by Harrods and inspired by Heath Robinson.

“This garden will tantalise and excite even the most sceptical and conservative viewer. Expect children to fall in love with the magic of this garden and ‘adults to become children’ for a prolonged period of disbelief as they watch this quintessentially subdued “British” traditional garden gain an animated human personality full of architectural surprises.”

Pol approached the School to ask for students from our dual architecture and landscape degree to help with the final days of installing the garden at Chelsea, understanding the unique knowledge and skills that the students could bring. Four year 2 students travelled to the show and spent 3 days working on the garden.

Howard Evans, Director of the course, said

“Working on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to be a part of creating one of the most high profile gardens at this year’s event. The project has been the perfect opportunity for the dual students to work with both architect and landscape designer to create an ambitious 'Heath Robinson' inspired garden. The students have thoroughly enjoyed an intensive three days of making and planting in the rush to get ready for this week's grand opening.”

Student Samuel Morley said

“Last Thursday, the four of us were invited down to Chelsea to assist in the last few days of preparation for the RHS Flower Show. We weren’t really sure what to expect initially but knew that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. As soon as we arrived at the show, we were warmly welcomed by Diarmuid Gavin and Pol Gallagher along with the rest of the team. We were fully engaged with the project and spent three full days working on the garden, sometimes long into the night. It was a real pleasure to understand how a show garden operates; we all got our hands dirty with the planting and even had our own design influence. The outcome is a very different kind of landscape – it was a hugely enjoyable scheme and we hope the team’s efforts are rewarded by the judges!”

Pol Gallagher gained his RIBA Part 2 in Sheffield and has worked for Hopkins Architects, Grimshaw Architects and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects. Pol has previously worked in San Francisco, Donegal and Glasgow and regularly exhibits his drawings in the UK and Ireland. His practice, ZAP Architecture, is a high end design collaborative blurring the boundaries between art and architecture.

Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. Once Britain's largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), it is still the most prestigious.

The team behind the 'British Eccentrics Garden'

Sheffield students involved in creating the garden

Sheffield students involved in creating the garden

Click here for more Latest News