The Round Pond – Kensington Gardens…
Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, are one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. It is shared between the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, lying within western central London and covers an area of 270 acres. The open spaces of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James’s Park together form an almost continuous open green space in the otherwise densely populated heart of London between Kensington and Westminster.
Within Kensington Gardens lies The Round Pond, originally commissioned by George II in 1730. The Pond, although not actually round, can be seen directly from Kensington Palace, flanked all around by mature trees, access to other areas and most northerly, the Broadwalk.
Starting in January 2014, a large scale renovation project began, to restore the Pond to its former glory in accordance with the original 1734 design by Charles Bridgeman (see below). Bridgeman’s vision included sharp edges creating a contrast with the water, presented on a plateau to be viewed from the Palace, and by its occupants in the most decadent manner. During the 18th and 19th century, other designs have changed the landscape of the Pond and surrounding Gardens, however it was felt that restoring the original Bridgeman design would be most appropriate.
Restoration works included repairing of the edges of the Pond, resurfacing, and the re-positioning of the central path from the Broadwalk, in exchange for two narrower paths either side of the existing, in line with Bridgeman’s original design. Other works have included provision for improved water quality, seating areas, and life guarding facilities.
As part of the restoration, HMS were commissioned by LDA Design and Blakedown Landscapes to surface dress the parameter of the Pond, and the newly appointed access paths using Decra™Stone resin bonded surface dressing. After a preliminary site meeting it was decided that the surfacing would be dressed off with a 1-3mm Amber Gold aggregate, chosen for its classic, natural finish to compliment this historic and prestigious site.
Works began in October 2014, and with special attention paid to the location remaining open to the public at all times, took just under three weeks to complete the 5,000 square meters of Decra™Stone surface dressing. The light and natural colour of the Amber Gold is a stark contrast to the blue-grey of the water and creates a stunningly aesthetic finish.