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Frosts Landscape Construction - Commercial landscaping specialists

Network Rail Headquarters

Quadrant, Milton Keynes

The new Network Rail Headquarters in Milton Keynes included soft landscaping, forming banks, tree and shrub planting, grass seeding and turfing, and stone gabions. The soft landscaping also encompassed the Internal planting (see separate case study).

The site was previously the home of the national Hockey Stadium, which was demolished to make way for the new buildings & grounds.  The design by Landscape Architect Quartet Design took account of the warmer east side and the cooler west side of the site so the choosing of the plants was critical to its success.  Scope of works included:

• 450mm of quality topsoil
• 34 trees (Advance Heavy Standard)
• 25 trees (Extra Heavy Standard)
• 330 Buxus hedging
• 70m linear metres Cotswold Stone Gabions
• 240 Lonicera pileata
• 50 Tilia platyphllos Espalier
• Turfing

Around the perimeter of the site on the east & west elevations, the design called for the ground levels to be raised from the surrounding public footpath by 1.2m back down to the datum level created by the building.  The outside retention was created by using the Tensartech® GreenSlope system.  This is essentially, as the name suggests, a living green retainer constructed using steel, geogrid mesh, soil and planting (Lonicera pileata). 

The other sides of the embankment were supported by bespoke Cotswold stone filled gabion baskets, which were made to suit the trapezoidal slope.  All this work was supported at the ends with special stone art features provided by the client.

The planting included a row of Tilia platyphllos espalier trees.  The heads of which were supported by a ‘trellis’ system constructed using stainless steel poles with strained wire, which allowed the branches to be placed in the growing position.

Other construction challenges on this site included the installation of reinforced grass areas/roadway which had to have the appearance of a soft landscape, but which could be used by both fire appliances accessing the building should there be an emergency, and for maintenance equipment (e.g. elevated platforms). 

Other interesting items on this site were the construction of raised areas which were to be used by future employees to grow vegetables and was known as The Allotment Garden. Opposite this on the east side was a recreational space with benches etc. around planted areas sectionalised using Buxus hedging all set at angles.  The Taxus hedging was also used to add definition and style to the entrance areas interacting with the stone ‘Art work’ supplied by the Client.

Project details

Jun 2012 - Sep 2012
Main Contractor
Bam Construction
Landscape Architect
Quartet Design