Inventory Site Record

Reflection Garden at 25 Cannon Street, including Rooftop Garden (City of London)

Brief Description

The Reflection Garden at 25 Cannon Street was designed by landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith and opened on 7 July 2022. It replaced an earlier garden, which had comprised an area of lawn with a perimeter path surrounded by shrubbery and trees. An earlier post-war building was demolished and replaced in 2000, itself substantially refurbished and replaced in 2020 by the current office building. The new public garden has a reflection pool as its focal point, which mirrors the sky and the dome of St Paul's Cathedral. On top of the new building is a private rooftop garden planted in raised beds, using herbaceous plants and grasses.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
25 Cannon Street Garden
Site location:
Cannon Street / Watling Street / New Change
Type of site:
Public Gardens, Private Garden
City of London
Open to public?
Opening times:
public garden: unrestricted. Rooftop garden: private (opened for London Open Gardens in 2023) Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in the past.
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: St Pauls (Central); Bus:
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. https://www.pembroke.com/news/pembroke-achieves-planning-consent-to-transform-25-cannon-street-gardens/

Full Site Description

This was once close to the site of St John the Evangelist Church, destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt. Following severe bomb damage in the area during WWII, the site was built over with the Bank of America House in 1952. When the 5-storey neo-classical office building, 25 Cannon Street, was built in [1990], the private garden area was laid out in 2000 by Robert Myers Associates. Although private, the garden was open to the public and had a large lawn, surrounded by shrubbery and trees, bounded by stone walls. On the external north wall of the garden is a monument with a bronze bust of Admiral Arthur Phillip that commemorates the discovery and fixing of the site of Sydney, Australia on 23 January 1788 and the formal founding of Australia on 26 January. Two sides of the stone monument have bronze plaques showing HMS Supply arriving in the bay, and the formal founding of Sydney by the officers on board. The bust was originally installed on a wall at St Mildred’s Church in 1932, but the church was destroyed in WW2. The bust and plaques were later re-erected as a free standing monument in 1968.

The neo-classical building of 2000 was substantially refurbished in 2020  by architects Buckley Grey Yeoman in a development by real estate company Pembroke, and provides high-quality office space, with the majority of the space assigned to global law firm Dechert. In line with the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy, sustainability was central to 25 Cannon Street’s redesign: 'The building will be able to operate on renewable power and targets the highest energy efficiency rating, while embodied carbon emissions were reduced throughout the construction process. Thanks to the public garden and new roof terrace, the Urban Greening Factor has been raised from 0.29 to 0.49.' (Press Release) 

Planning permission for a new public garden was granted to Pembroke in 2000, and the Reflection Garden opened on 7 July 2022. It is located opposite St Paul’s Cathedral (q.v.), on the site of the earlier garden fronting 25 Cannon Street. The new garden has a large oval reflection pool as its focal point, that mirrors the sky and surrounding buildings, most significantly the come of St Paul's, in its water. The project was a collaboration between the City of London Corporation, Pembroke and landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith, who worked with water feature specialist Andrew Ewing. Existing trees were retained while new shrubs and understory planting give round-year interest and ground coverage. The design incorporates seasonal planting that will respond to changing climate conditions and flowering species, with bird and bat boxes and insect hotels to improve biodiversity.

On the rooftop of 25 Cannon Street a small private garden has been created, planted in contemporary raised beds, Overlooking St Paul's Cathedral, this rooftop space is planted in contemporary raised beds and demonstrates the versatility of a corporate urban space, using many herbaceous plants and grasses. The high level urban greening forms part of the City’s biodiversity green corridor, which stretches from the Barbican gardens in the north to the river in the south. It showcases the importance not only of creating beautiful planted spaces, but also of providing essential habitats for wildlife within our City buildings.

Sources consulted:

https://www.tomstuartsmith.co.uk/projects/25-cannon-street; Ian Visits posts: https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/londons-pocket-parks-25-cannon-street-ec4-redux-57089/ ; London Open Gardens, 2023: https://londongardenstrust.org/log2023/gardens/CannonSt.html

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Site management:
1950s; 2000; 2022
Tom Stuart-Smith (2022)
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Reflection Garden at 25 Cannon Street, including Rooftop Garden

Reflection Garden, 25 Cannon Street, September 2023. Photograph Sally Williams

Reflection Garden, 25 Cannon Street, September 2023. Photograph Sally Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.