David Adjaye’s Sunken House and an almond tree

[By James Hobbs in London] We recently followed a street tree walk around our local streets from Paul Wood’s enlightening book London’s Street Trees. It was a bit of an epiphany to realise what an urban arboretum we have been walking under all these years: the route took in strawberry trees, tulip trees, dawn redwoods, Persian ironwoods, juneberries, wild service and Japanese pagoda trees, among others. Hackney, the borough of central London we live in, has alone planted more than 1,000 street trees since 2018.

This almond tree (you won’t recognise it from my drawing) grows on the pavement outside David Adjaye’s Sunken House. Adjaye’s designs include the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, and the Mole House, just around the corner from the Sunken House, which was once owned by the Hackney Mole Man, who spent years tunnelling under the house with unfortunate consequences. I wrote about it on the Urban Sketchers blog a few years ago when the house was still a ruin.

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