How the New Dundee Waterfront Gardens were Designed

The Slessor Gardens, in the main parkland of Dundee’s new central waterfront area, is 10,738sqm in size and designed to be a multi-functional space with the capacity to host large events.

The team at Optimised Environments focused on developing an area which people could interact with and explore.  The design of the space began with the team looking into the influences that Dundee has had on the world. The impact on Medical Science, the fruit farming and jam industry and the trade routes which took Dundee around the world. The overall design had a focus on history, allowing visitors to uncover the story of Dundee as they wander through the gardens.

Nick Tolley, one of the lead designers on the project, highlighted that marrying the hard landscaping with the planting is always the key to success. The team work with contemporary materials alongside more traditional methods, allowing them to explore natural systems and forms as well as geometric patterns, which all feeds into the overall look of the space.

4 small plots are located to the east and 4 are located to the west sides of the central grassed area. These plots are to contain a series of themed gardens with the others destined to become pavilions and a children’s play area. Four gardens are themed to reflect Dundee’s historic global connections: The Baltic States, Caribbean, Asia and the Americas and a further four reflect key local connections and industries: The Natural Sciences, Health, Food production and Literature. The formation of these Gardens was completed in June and July 2016.

The WoodBlocX Landscaping team working with Nick and Optimised Environment came up with a series of planters that would allow them to showcase the edible and medical gardens. The large planters built for the edible garden have 3 separate sections allowing for a variety of soil conditions to be created, and give the planting the best possible base. Our team were able to take the planters from design to delivery in only a matter of weeks helping to keep the project on track and on time.