Kinley’s AluExcel 65mm Flexible and AluExcel 25mm Flexible aluminium edging was provided to London’s largest Crossrail station, currently under construction in Canary Wharf. The edging features in a landscaped tropical roof garden sitting on top of the six-storey station and leisure complex that extends below water level at West India Quay.

  • Crossrail is London’s new East-West rail link, due to be fully opened to the public in 2018
  • Built in the dock water area, Canary Wharf will be one of the largest Crossrail stations, delivering an estimated 32,000 passengers to Canary Wharf during peak morning hours
  • Trains will travel between Canary Wharf and Heathrow Airport in just 42 minutes
  • Canary Wharf station will house a 115,000 sq. ft. retail complex with a landscaped roof garden covered by a semi open-air lattice roof

About the project

Now one of London’s biggest sky gardens, Crossrail’s roof garden at Canary Wharf station sits two storeys above the waters of the North Dock of West India Quay. British architecture firm Foster + Partners designed the roof structure and cladding that houses the station’s leisure complex. Beneath the 310-metre hood style roof is the garden, featuring a number of exotic plants. Landscape architecture firm Gillespies, which previously designed the sloping garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, was chosen to lead the project. Kinley’s AluExcel was used around the roof garden paths to act as an edge between the resin bound hard surface areas and the plants.


Featured in Gillespies’ plans were several curved paths designed to lead visitors around the entire garden, ensuring they can view all of the unusual tropical plants housed in the space. This meant that path edging was required that would be strong enough to withstand increasing amounts of pedestrian traffic but also provide enough flexibility to fit the curved path. For this reason, Kinley’s AluExcel edging was selected by the client. As well as its flexible properties, installing AluExcel does not necessarily require concrete as a foundation or support. This was an additional benefit for the client, saving time on the project.

Having already selected 160 lengths of Kinley’s AluExcel 65mm flexible and 125 lengths of AluExcel 25mm edging during the planning stages, Gillespies supplied contractor firm Blakedown Landscapes with the exact specifications for the edging. Blakedown then ordered the edging to be ready for installation to ensure timely project completion. 

Kinley’s involvement

Kinley’s AluExcel edging provided several key benefits to the client. Firstly, as a lightweight aluminium, it is significantly stronger than competitor materials. These traditional methods of path edging typically use bulky concrete pin kerbs that waste valuable space in the planting area due to their size and the fact that they have to be bedded and supported with concrete. The pin kerbs are also much heavier; one person can lift only 1 metre. In comparison, 25 metres of AluExcel can be lifted at once. AluExcel is also a ‘green’ material that is made from recycled aluminium and is easily recyclable.

Work began on the £500 million project at Canary Wharf in 2009 and is due to be fully completed in 2018. The roof garden was the first stage of the building to be opened in 2015, three years ahead of schedule. 

Stuart Bowie, Director of Kinley, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the project at Canary Wharf. Roof gardens are a great way to add value to an often unused space and we are proud to see Kinley’s AluExcel edging featured in one of the most important transport links in the country.”

Stuart continues: “It’s important to us that we take an active role in projects and support our clients in any way we can. During the design and specification process, we met with Gillespies several times, supplying them with the necessary CAD drawings and data sheets. We also provided on-site support to Blakedown Landscapes as well as guidance and direction for successful installation of the AluExcel edging.”

To find out more about AluExcel and other Kinley products, please click here.

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