After many years of working with Derby College we were asked to design indoor planting schemes for three of the college’s main campuses, creating displays that complemented the unique characteristics of each building.
One such campus was the historic Roundhouse, the world’s first and oldest surviving railway roundhouse, dating back to the 1830s.
The building still boasts many original features, such as tracks, metalwork and wooden beams. Now a Technical and Professional Skills College, it is a busy hub for students.
We planted four large Ficus lyrata (better known as the Fiddle Leaf Fig) in dark anthracite containers, both to tie in with the metalwork and contrast against the warmer tones of the wood.
In the connecting Health and Social Care building, Caryota palms, Pleomele reflexa, Scindapsus plants and a large Bulnesia arborea tree were used to bring life to common areas.
At the Joseph Wright Centre, balconies in a variety of pastel shades look onto a tall atrium in the centre. At its base, there is a breakout space which we made more welcoming with large Kentia palms in oxblood-coloured Classico planters, which stood out against the soft-hued balconies above.
The contemporary, glass-clad Stephenson Building required planting which matched the angular structure.
In the vast reception area, we positioned three large cube planters in descending sizes. The largest houses a Ficus lyrata, in the middle container are a cluster of four Sansevierias, while the smallest has an unusual red variegated Ficus elastica ‘Belize’.
Research has proven that having indoor plants in learning environments improves a range of brain functions associated with studying, including concentration and creative thinking. They can also lower stress levels. So, besides improving the overall look and feel of the buildings, the arrival of new planting around Derby College’s campuses will offer manifold benefits to its students.