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Urban Design Studio 1

WEST END REVIVAL PROJECT URBAN DESIGN REPORT


P32072

CONTENTS

URBAN DESIGN STUDIO 1

PROJECT BACKGROUND..........................................................................................................................................4

WEST END REVIVAL PROJECT URBAN DESIGN REPORT

VISION & OBJECTIVES............................................................................................................................................10

THE TEAM: JULIA BELL WAN AISYAH NUR WAN JEFRI PREM KOKANE CHERNG YU CHEN

EXISTING SITE EVALUATION..................................................................................................................................12 DESIGN APPROACH................................................................................................................................................14 REFLECTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................................44 REFERENCES..........................................................................................................................................................46


project background BRIEF Our brief for this report is as follows: Produce a framework for development that clearly articulates what we think should be done in the area based on best practice urban design. Work in groups to create a framework for the whole area based on careful analysis to produce a Master Plan, design explanation and feasibility strategy. Design and explain a mixed use scheme for the West of Oxford site in Oxford with the following characteristics: 1. responds to site context and conditions 2. is economically viable; 3. incorporates, as appropriate, existing uses and schedule of accommodation; 4. must acknowledge local and national planning policy requirements; 5. must be socially and environmentally sustain able; and 6. must create a distinctive and attractive sense of place. Design responses should show how we envisage this part of Oxford developing in a way that is sustainable, financially viable, that looks to the future as design, whilst learning positive lessons from the past. The emphasis will also be on creating a distinctive place that exemplifies best practice in dealing with the needs of the site and the context (environmentally, socially, and aesthetically). Deliver evidence that we have created a believable framework for developing a place that is attractive, viable and sustainable.

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purpose of report This report will explain the design process undertaken to create a Master Plan that revives the West End. Our aim is to deliver an environmentally, socially and economically viable new community that compliments and connects with Oxford.

INTRODUCTION The West End of Oxford is known for its underutilised land area and potential for infill development. Though it has flooding risk issues that need to be managed, Oxford City Council has identified it as a key area of regeneration and development. Located adjacent to the city centre, the West End forms the arrival space to the city, but does not uphold the reputation that Oxford has achieved. Oxford is known world wide for both its advanced academia and its rich history which has led to its diverse architectural qualities from different eras that must be protected and enhanced.

To address the complex issues within the site, our key proposals for the project are: • Redesigning Oxford Train Station and Frideswide Square as a pedestrian friendly gateway that meets the existing reputation of Oxford; • Reinvigorating Oxpens Road to deliver an activated, pedestrian friendly environment that meets local needs and is a destination in itself; • Developing the land to the west of Oxpens Road for residential and mixed use creating a self contained community; • Redesigning Cherwell College with a diverse mix of uses with active frontages to Oxpens Road and a public aspect to Castle Mill Stream; and • Retaining Oxpens Meadows as open space for flooding mitigation but also integrating into it shared community activities that enhance the natural environment and connect it back to the rest of Oxford.

Oxford City Council is now focusing on the West End as a key redevelopment area and has produced an action plan to ensure the area delivers an appropriate mix of uses and housing that the rest of Oxford is currently under pressure to provide. Our aim for this project is to produce a master plan that revives the West End and create a design that upholds and synergizes with Oxford but also creates its own identify and sense of place.

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CITY CENTRE

Figure 1. Regional Context

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Figure 2. Local Context

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project background site

Said Business School Oxford Railway Station Frideswide Square Car Park St Thomas the Martyr’s Church

Royal Mail Depot Oxford Business Park Oxford & Cherwell Valley College Coach Park Oxford Ice Rink

Figure 3. Site Context - Urban Spaces

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site google map with green and blue photos Worcester College Lake

Castle Mill Stream

Oxpens Meadow

Thames River

Figure 4. Site Context - Green & Blue

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project background NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK

Oxford Local Plan 2001 - 2016

west end action plan

“The National Planning Policy Framework sets out Governments planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. It provides the framwork for local goverment to produce their own distinctive local plans.” (Communities and Local Goverment, 2012)

The Local Plan sets out policies and proposal for the future development and land use of Oxford and was considered as part of the master plan proposal for the West End.

The West End Action Plan (WEAP) is “a Development Plan Document that forms part of Oxford’s Local Development Framework. It comprises the City Council’s policies and vision for the West End and how to achieve it. It’s aim is to guide the future development of West End to stimulate the renaissance of the area. It will also form the basis for determining all planning applications in the West End.” (Oxford City Council, 2008)

The NPPF consists of a series of policies that must be applied by Council’s through their local plans and policies. The policies in the NPPF that are relevant to our project, and that we have aimed to respond to are as follows: “1. Building a strong, competivie economy 2. Ensuring the vitality of the town centres 3. Promoting sustainable transport 4. Delivering a wide choice of high quality homes 5. Requiring good design 6. Promoting healthy communities 7. Protecting Green Belt Land 8. Managing the challenge of climate change, flooding and coastal change 9. Conserving and enhancing the natural environment 10. Conserving and enhancing the historic environment” (Communities and Local Government, 2012)

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The Local Plan: • “interprets National, Regional, and Strategic planning policies and to relate them to • Oxford; • sets a clear framework and policies against which planning applications in Oxford • can be assessed; • sets a clear framework for co-ordinating the provision of infrastructure and public • and private investment in Oxford; • brings planning issues before the public for debate; • sets clear objectives for the City Council to achieve, in terms of the development and improvement of the physical environment; • delivers the long-term vision for Oxford.” (Oxford City Council, 2005)

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CONSERVATION AREAS

Heritage Listed Buildings

Oxford City Council has designated specific conservation areas across Oxford which have “areas of special architectural or historical interest and are desirable to retain” (Oxford City Council, 2012). Any development proposals to Council that are within a conservation area must consider and respect the existing street setting of the conservation area (Oxford City Council, 2012).

The subject site itself has no listed buildings within it. However, there are several listed buildings that lie just outside the subject site which include: • St Thomas Vicarage (Grade II); • Cooper’s Marmalade Factory (Grade II); • The Lodge (including front walls and gate (Grade II); and • The Church of St Thomas the Martyr (Grade II).

The Central Conservation area generally covers the area to the east of the site but does include one building on Osney lane which is within the subject site. The building located within the Central Conservation Area will not be impacted by the proposed master plan as the buildings within its general vicinity are proposed to be retained. The streetscape of Osney Lane will not be affected by the proposed master plan.

The Oxford Castle and its associated heritage features surrounding are also located directly to the east of the site.

Central Conversation Area

Scheduled Monument

As stated on the Oxford City Council website: “With more than twice the national average of grade I and II buildings in Oxford, few other cities contain more magnificent buildings within a relatively small area or can boast buildings spanning every major british architectural history dated back to the 11th century.” If applying for a listed building consent, Council (in consultation with English Heritage and others) are responsible for assessing the applications (Oxford City Council, 2012).

Project Site

Though the surrounding historical features are relevant to the proposed Master Plan and its formulation, no listed buildings will be impacted as part of its development. Osney Conservation Area

Figure 5. Site Context - Heritage & Conservation

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vision & objectives vision

OBJECTIVES

Our vision for the site is as follows:

Our objectives to achieve West End Revival are as follows:

To create not just a world class gateway to Oxford, but to also deliver a sustainable community where people want to stay. An area with its own sense of place and identity that is separate to but also synergizes with the city centre of Oxford. A diverse and sustainable urban and built form with an appropriate mix of land uses supported by a network of open spaces and a highly efficient public transport system.

• A socially inclusive environment that positively contributes to the fabric of Oxford City. • Richness and diversity in the urban form that allows people to connect and experience the environment. • An enhanced and celebrated existing natural, historical and cultural environment. • A socially and environmentally sustainable development • Develop a master plan that is economically viable • Promote sustainable mobility across and within the area • Set a benchmark for sustainable design for new developments in Oxford

Figure 6. Diagramatic Plan showing Visions and Objectives.

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responding to planning policy West End aCTION pLAN To deliver a Master Plan for the site that responds to the existing policy context, we have endeavored to work with Oxford City Council’s policies and implement the West End Action Plan’s key policies. The following table lists the policies that we have aimed to respond to.

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Policy

Response

Enhance the public realm in accordance with the design framework

The public realm will be enhanced via an appropriate mix of uses, reorientation of buildings and streetscape design for the pedestrian

Implement new cycle and pedestrian links

New cycle and pedestrian links are proposed to connect the site to its surrounds and blue and green features.

WE3 Redesign Streets and Junctions as required

The streets have been redesigned to include traffic calming, shared surfaces and pedestrianisation.

WE5 Deliver public spaces in line with the principles

High quality public spaces are proposed througout the site.

WE6 Improve Frideswide Square and railway station forecourt

Redesign fo the station and Frideswide Square are proposed to achieve a positive gateway entrance to Oxford.

WE7 Reorienate to Castle Mill Stream and create a link

New links and connections are proposed across Castle Mill Stream to connect the city back to the west.

WE8 Enhance Oxpens Field and implement flood compensation measures

Oxpens Field is to be enhanced as a community resource.

WE9 Consider the Thames and allow access for pedestrian and cyclists

Pedestrian and cyclist routes are proposed along the River Thames and Castle Mill Stream.

WE10 Respect the character and historic skyline of Oxford

The building heights and density of the proposed master plan will respect the historic skyline of Oxford.

WE14 Include a flood risk assessment if relevant

Flood mitigation measures are proposed within Oxpens Fields and within the design.

WE15 Achieve a balance of different sized homes

An appropriate mix of apartments and family houses are to be delivered to achieve a balance of differen sized homes.

WE16 Acheive 50% affordable house

The master plan allows for 50% affordable housing

WE20 Deliver an appropriate mix of use

The master plan provides an appropriate and diverse mix of uses in the right locations

WE21 Implement office accommodation

Office accommodation is proposed above retail along Oxpens Road

WE22 Implement public sector offices

A public sector office is proposed in the Royal Mail Building on Oxpens Road

WE23 Implement low scale retail

Local retail development is proposed along Oxpens Road with a small amount supporting the proposed residential area to the west of Oxpens Road

WE24 Implement cultural activity

Our Master Plan proposes an Arts Centre adjacent to the Ice Rink

WE26 Implement hotel accommodation

4-5 star hotel accommodation is proposed within the Train Station redevelopment

WE27 Implement conference facility

Conference facilities are proposed within the Train Station redevelopment

WE28 Retain land for leisure

Oxpens Field will be largely retained for leisure, community resources and other activities

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existing site evaluation s.w.o.t. analysis strengths

weaknesses

opportunities

threats

A large amount of the site is vacant which will make developing the site easier and therefore more viable.

The majority of the site has poor direct pedestrian connections back to the centre of Oxford

Turn the site back to its green and blue links

The rail authorities requirements for the redesign of the train station

The site is already supported by existing services, roads and public transport infrastructure

The railway line forms a hard barrier to the site and its impact will need to be considered in the design

The site is well connected by roads to the rest of Oxford city

The site is utilised for travelling through rather than staying

Retention of some of the existing buildings and uses will retain any character existing within the area and improve the economical viability of the project The sites existing open space and recreation areas can be retained and enhanced to deliver healthy people The rivers and streams strengthen the economical viability of the site forming a key feature and draw to investors

Increase permeability throughout the site by delivering a diverse block an plot structure Deliver a self sustaining new community

Flooding risk affecting how the site can be developed and its feasibility

Make the site a place to be rather than a thoroughfare

Community opposition to the site being developed in a certain way

The site consists of streets with inactive frontages leading to a poor public realm

Redesign the train station to create a gateway to Oxford

Difficulty meeting the Oxford City Councils policies and delivering an economically viable project

The site has limited character and a lack of community

Connect the site back to the city centre of Oxford

The value of the land and amount of land owners

Create an economically viable development

The impact the design may have on the existing Oxford city centre and its heritage

The site has a lot of underutilised land which has weakend the opportunity for social cohesion

The site is located only 10 minutes walking distance from the city centre

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Figure 7. Site Appraisal

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design approach master plan BREAKDOWN OF MASTER PLAN The master plan was developed from a detailed site analysis, SWOT review, development of a Vision and following, a series of design objectives and actions that implement the vision. The master plan was designed to consider its surrounding context, blue and green links, along with the existing heritage and built form associated with Oxford City.

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To achieve our Vision, our master plan delivers the following: • a redesign of Oxford Train Station and Frideswide Square to create a gateway to Oxford; • a mixed used development that delivers a self sustaining community and a place where people want to stay; • a public transport system that connects back into Oxford and enforces sustainable movement of people; • cycle and pedestrian links that connect the site to its surrounds and allow people to experience the environment; and • a network of open spaces that deliver healthy people.

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Master Plan Scale 1:2000

Figure 8. Proposed Masterplan

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LAND USE DESIGN OBJECTIVES A socially inclusive environment that positively contributes to the fabric of Oxford City. Develop a master plan that is economically viable.

Issue Currently, the West End of Oxford lacks an appropriate mix and amount of land uses to support a community. Due to the lack of diversity in the mix of uses, the West End is not a destination in itself, but rather, an area of Oxford that you pass through to reach your destination.

DESIGN ACTIONS Deliver a variety of land uses to cater to different and all needs. Encourage a vareity of choices, including a mix of compatible developments that work together to create viable spaces. Layer land uses to support development.

proposal To respond to the West End Action Plan and to ensure the West End is a place people want to stay, our proposal delivers a variety of land uses to cater for different and all needs. Our Master Plan proposes retail and mixed use development within the train station and along and within close proximity to Oxpens Road. This will be supported by a critical mass of people that will be living within the apartments and terrace houses located to the east and west of oxpens road.

The types of uses proposed along Oxpens road include retail (shops, restaurants, cafes, convenience store and newsagency), offices (mainly on second floors), new Council Offices and an arts centre. Cherwell College is also to have retail at the ground floor to Oxpens Road to activate the edges. The majority of the retail/mixed use proposed within the scheme is located along Oxpens as this will have both a high footfall and visibility from passing cars and cyclists (Barton et al, 2003).

Singular Residential

Multiple Residential

A mixed use area is also proposed to the west of Oxpens road with frontage to Oxpens Meadow. Cafes and restaurants were in mind for this area with apartments from the second storey onwards. Living above appropriate types of mixed use creates both a critical mass and convenience for those that live within them.

Social Housing

Mixed Use (Retail/Residential)

Mixed Use (Retail/Office)

Figure 9. Mixed Uses Diagram - Barton, Hugh et al, (2003)

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Figure 10. Diversity of Building Uses

Mixed Use (Education/Students Accommodation)

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Figure 11 & 12. Diagrams showing existing land use (left) and proposed land use (right).

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Green, blue & urban spaces DESIGN OBJECTIVES Deliver an enhanced and celebrated existing historical, natural and cultural environment.

DESIGN ACTIONS Retain valuable open spaces and reconnect back to blue and green links.

Issue The West End site is defined by its existing blue and green links. The site is bounded to the east by Castle Mill Stream and to the south by Oxpens Meadows and the River Thames. Currently, the West End site does not celebrate its blue and green links but rather turns its back on them. Cherwell College currently does not fully utilise Castle Mill Stream as an open space and link to the city but rather orientates its buildings and public spaces away from it. Oxpens Meadows is also not a clearly defined space and lacks clear entrance points.

approach Understanding the opportunities the green and blue links provide has led to our design objective of celebrating these existing features. We have master planned the site to allow pedestrians and cyclists to connect back to the river, stream and Oxford city centre. Important connections proposed in our scheme are as follows: • a north-south linear park connecting Oxpens Meadows to the Train Station; • an east-west connection through St Thomas Church back towards the city centre; and • a linear path and open space adjacent to Cherwell College and Castle Mill Stream connecting back to Oxford city.

Linear Park from Oxpens Meadows to Train Station Our design scheme proposes a linear park which will extend along the railway line from the train station and continue south along the edge of the River Thames connecting to existing pathways on the opposite side of the river and also to Oxpens Road. The components of the linear park are as follows: • shared permeable footpath for cyclists/ pedestrians; • seating, resting places and signage; • outdoor exercise equipment, sculptures, bike parking and playgrounds; • landscaping to connect people to nature and minimise the impact of the railway line; and • road and residential frontage for passive surveillance and safety.

Precedent Studies The linear park proposed within the master plan is loosely based on Superkilen in Copenhagen. “Superkilen is a large linear park in Copenhagen which aims to reflect the diversity of the local people with it features taken from around the world. It has 3 defined areas which have many different elements including play equipment, sculptures, sports facilities, bike lanes and other cultural facilities.” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nd)

Figure 13 & 14. Superkilen, Copenhagen

It is intended that the linear park will not only connect the site to the south, east and west but it will also connect to the train station and through the Church of St Thomas the Martyr grounds and onwards towards the city centre. A cafe and open space are also proposed where the linear park meets the train station precinct. This will create a gateway for movement towards the river. Castle Mill Stream Open Space and Pedestrian Link Our design scheme proposes to enhance the natural environment of Castle Mill Stream via the implementation of open space and a linear trail down the southern boundary of Cherwell College. The aim of the link is to create connections both back to the city centre and through to Oxpens Meadows. This space is proposed to be utilised by students of the college, residents within and surrounding the college and any others wanting to connect through to the city. It will also create an additional open space buffer if flooding occurs along Castle Mill Stream.

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Figure 15 & 16. Plans showing existing (left) and proposed new green/blue links and key urban spaces (right).

Castle Mill Stream Open Space and Pedestrian Link

Figure 17. Sectional Perspective of Linear Park from Oxpens Meadows to Railway Station

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building heights & density DESIGN OBJECTIVES Deliver a socially inclusive environment that postively contributes to the fabric of Oxford. Deliver a master plan that is economically viable.

DESIGN ACTIONS Deliver a variety of land uses to cater to different and all needs.

Issue

PROPOSAL

The West End is currently undertilised with vast areas of vacant land and a low density of uses that has led to it being identified as an area of regeneration in Oxford. The area to the west of Oxpens Road consists of a large amount of vacant land, with buildings varying in height from 1 to 4 storeys. Cherwell College and surrounding buildings consist of buildings with heights varying from 2 to 4 storeys. Land to the north west of Osney Lane consists of a large car park which reduces the walkable catchment of the train station. The existing train station is 2 storeys and the Said Business School is 4 storeys.

To deliver a economically feasibility development, our master plan proposes increasing the building heights and density across the site without negatively impacting the existing built form of Oxford. The development area to the west of Oxpens Road is to consist of a mix of terrace houses, apartments and mixed use development with building heights ranging between 2 and 4 storeys. A graduated approach to density and building heights has been applied with 2 storey lower density housing to the east moving up to a higher intensity of 3 to 4 storeys the closer the blocks are to Oxpens Road (Barton, 2003). The block closest to the train station will also include 3-4 storey apartment buildings to increase the walkable catchment around the train station.

Cherwell College is to consist of building heights that range from 2 to 4 storeys. The residential apartments proposed within the College are to be 3-4 storeys to match the building height and density of the existing apartments directly to the north. Oxpens Road is to consist of building heights that range from 2-4 storeys which will enclose the street and deliver a local high street environment. The train station precinct will consist of a 3 storey carpark sleeved by retail, 3 storey train station and 4 storey hotel and conference centre which replicates the existing building height of the Said Business School to the east.

OXPENS ROAD

MIXED USE

SOCIAL HOUSING

APARTMENTS

TOWNHOUSES

Gradual increase in building heights and density towards Oxpens Road through different residential and mixed use uses.

Figure 17. Section A.

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215 units per hectare 220 units per hectare A 345 units per hectare A 140 units per hectare 150 units per hectare 240 units per hectare

Figure 18 & 19. Existing building heights plan (left) and new building heights plan (right)

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BLOCKS DESIGN OBJECTIVES Richness and diversity in the urban form that allows people to connect and experience the environment. Deliver a master plan that is economically viable.

Issue

Approach

Currently, the site lacks permeability and generally does not deliver a quality public realm. The contributing factors to this are the large undeveloped tracts of land and lack of definition between private and public spaces.

A key aspect of our design rationale was to deliver a grid layout that allows for optimum movement of people. Further to this, we wanted to deliver an appropriate balance of private and public spaces into our design. As described by Bentley et al (1985), “designing a permeable block layout is key to delivering an environment that allows people a choice of access�. As part of the master planning process, we firstly located existing street connections around the site and designed our blocks and streets to form a continuation of them (Bentley et al, 1985).

DESIGN ACTIONS Maintain a balance of built form and open space to support existing and new communities through implementation of grid layout to reduce isolation.

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Perimeter blocks have been implemented into the design as they deliver a high density of housing without having to increase the building heights to an inappropriate scale (Barton, 2003). The finer grain, higher density perimeter blocks are located close to Oxpens Road to deliver a critical mass of people to support its function as a local high street By implementing the perimeter block design, private open space is located at the back and public open space is located at the front. This increases the level of activity in the public space and minimises the potential for the creation of unsafe places with poor passive surveillance.

0m

/80

-12

0m

Figure 20. View of Cherwell College from Oxpens Road Cherwell College does not clearly define its private and public spaces and is not visibly permeable to the pedestrian (Bentley et al, 1985). Oxpens Road generally consists of larger buildings with limited windows and entrances facing onto the street creating an unfriendly environment.

Figure 21. Diagram of Perimeter Block. We developed a grid layout for the site with block sizes ranging from 50m by 70m to 80m by 120m. The block sizes are designed to allow people a choice of access and ensure visual and physical permeability (Bentley et al, 1985).

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Figure 22 & 23. Diagrams showing existing (left) and new figure ground (right) with public and private realm.

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Connections and mobility DESIGN OBJECTIVES Promote sustainable mobility across and within the site

DESIGN ACTIONS Develop a road hierachy that connects people and delivers communities. Improvement of public transportation connectivity.

Precedent Studies

Issue

Approach

Our approach to the proposed hierarchy was based upon a precedent study called Vauban located in Freiburg, Germany. The site is a former barracks owned by the City of Freiburg. “A master plan was commissioned for the site with the objective of creating a new neighbourhood for 5000 people based on car free, low energy principles” (DAC & CITIES, 2012). To reach their vision of 50% of households being car free, they utilised the principles of filtered permeability. (DAC & CITIES, 2012)

Currently, the West End largely focuses on the movement of cars rather than pedestrians and cyclists. This has led to it being a thoroughfare rather than a place to visit.

To deliver a sustainable and walkable community within the West End, we propose to implement a road hierarchy that supports it. Our aim is to create places and spaces that aren’t interrupted by vehicles travelling at high speeds.

Enhanced pedestrian and bicycle accessibility to reduce car dependence.

The road hierarchy proposed is based on the principle of filtered permeability (Melia, nd). The road hierarchy proposed within the master plan ensures the heavy traffic is kept out of the proposed residential area. This leaves the inner section of the residential area with smaller, local roads with higher priority given to pedestrians and cyclists.

Figure 24. Aerial View of Vauban

Figure 26. Diagram showing Intention in Reliance of Mode of Transportation.

Figure 25. Circulation Diagram in Vauban

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Improved Coverage of Public Transportation

Addition of Off-road Cyclist Routes

Higher Pedestrian Links Permeability

Figure 27. Proposed road hierachy system within site.

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Figure 28. Proposed Enhancement in Public Transportation Network, Bicycle Routes and Pedestrian Networks.

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Figure 29 & 30. Existing public transportation network (left) and proposed public transportation network (right).

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Issue

APPROACH

Currently, the site includes the Oxford Train Station which is an inter-modal transport hub that services commuters and connects well to Oxford City Centre and other areas.

It is intended that the site will be integrated into the existing public transport network. Residents will have a number of sustainable transport options which will reduce the use of vehicles as the dominant mode of transport.

However, the public transport system currently does not service Oxpens Road appropriately with no bus stops currently existing.

The proposed network will ensure all residents are within 400 metres walking distance of public transport. New bus stops are proposed along Oxpens Road to service the proposed education and cultural facilities along with the new residential

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cycling routes

Figure 31 & 32. Existing cycling route network (left) and proposed cycling route network (right).

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Issue

APPROACH

Currently, cycling routes exist along the main arterial roads within the site. However, the site does not provide enough off-road cyclist routes that connect directly back to the city or to the existing blue and green links.

Our master plan proposes additional off-road cycling routes to connect the cyclist back to blue and green links and to also deliver more direct and safe routes. The additional cyclist routes proposed include a north south shared pathway from the train station travelling south along the railway line to Oxpens Meadows. The route will also connect back up to Oxpens Road and along Castle Mill Stream adjacent to Cherwell College and back to the city centre. The route has been located to link into the existing footbridge over the rail way line which will be redesigned to allow cyclists to utilise it. The route also connects to existing pathways to the south of Oxpens Meadows across the River Thames.

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plot distribution DESIGN OBJECTIVES

APPROACH

Richness and diversity in the urban form that allows people to connect and experience the environment.

Our Master Plan proposes the introduction of a range of plot sizes and differing densities to create richness and diversity in the urban form. This action has been based on precedent examples from Vauban Germany.

DESIGN ACTIONS To deliver a range of plot sizes at differing densities for a mix of uses to create diversity in the streetscape.

Precedent Studies Based on these models, our Master Plan proposes the introduction of small plots with their design managed in the following 3 ways: “1. Allocation of plots to small/ private builders 2. design guidelines that enable a diversity in building shapes and facade treatments 3. Participation from residents in the planning process to influence the design of facades, colours and density. “(Sperling, ND)

We have based the plot diversity proposed within our master plan on two case studies which include Vauban, Germany and Steigereland, Amsterdam. Both projects implement incredibly diverse facades “by implementing self-build practice whereby private individuals, or groups develop single plots together with small developers and architects. It brings the private individual to the front of the design process.“ (Sperling, ND)

The aim of this design action is to deliver an urban form where apartments/ flats have their own individuality creating diversity in the streetscape.

Figure 33. Block with diversity in plot distributions.

Figure 34. Collages of facade showing elevational intention through implementation of variety in plot sizes and densities.

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Figure 35 & 36. Facades resulted through plot diversity

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Figure 37. Magnified master plan showing practice of plot diversity.

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OXPENS ROAD DESIGN OBJECTIVES

Issue

Approach To create a local high street where people want to stay, we implemented a finer grain of plots that allows for smaller scale businesses that are adaptable in the future should the use change. The mix of uses fronting Oxpens Road is also proposed to include upper floor uses including offices and residential.

Deliver a socially inclusive environment that positvely contributes to the fabric of Oxford City.

DESIGN ACTIONS

S

RO AD

Existing Land Use

RO AD

Existing Active Frontage Whilst undertaking our site analysis, it was identified that Oxpens Road has a poor public realm due to the orientation and size of the blocks that line it. It is currently not a place people want to stay but rather a thoroughfare for vehicles.

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S

RO AD

Proposed Land Use

N PE OX

N PE OX

S

N PE OX

N PE OX

Redesign and reorientate blocks and plots to public spaces and reactivate Oxpens Road.

S

The uses proposed along Oxpens Road will have “a high incidence of entrances and visibility through windows� (Barton et al, 2003). Uses such as shops, cafes, hairdressers and professional offices would be supported along Oxpens Road. The intention of this redesign is to create Oxpens Road as the local high street of the West End supporting the high density residential proposed to the west. It will be a place to stay and socialise.

RO AD

New Active Frontage One of our key design actions is to activate the edges of Oxpens Road. Our approach was to redesign Oxpens Road to deliver a local high street with a quality public realm.

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Figure 38 & 39. Sectional diagram of existing (above) and proposed streetscape of Oxpens Road

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Figure 40. Aerial perspective of proposed development along Oxpens

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OXFORD & CHERWELL VALLEY COLLEGE DESIGN OBJECTIVES

Issue

One of our key actions as part of this project was redesigning Cherwell College to deliver learning through social interaction. Cherwell College currently does not have a street presence to Oxpens Road. The buildings are generally orientated away from the street leading to limited active frontages. There is limited definition within the site of private and public spaces. The College also turns its back on Castle Mill Stream which is a strong feature within the site that should be enhanced. The College also creates a barrier to connecting back into Oxford City to the east.

Approach

Deliver a socially inclusive environment that positvely contributes to the fabric of Oxford City.

DESIGN ACTIONS Redesign and reoirentation of buildings to deliver learning through social interaction.

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Existing Land Use

Proposed Land Use

Existing Active Frontage

New Active Frontage

Our proposal for Cherwell College is a complete redesign and reorientation. The main components are as follows: • a new pedestrian link across Castle Mill Stream that connects the College to the city. • open space and a linear link along the Castle Mill Stream frontage for flooding mitigation and to create a public space that can be utilised by students, residents and others in the community • residential apartments on the site to increase the economic viability of the college • student accommodation • retail on the ground floor of the college buildings which will showcase the work the students are undertaking and activate Oxpens Road. • shared surfaces throughout the college allow pedestrians and cyclists priority • retention of mature trees lining the college along Oxpens Road.

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Figure 41. Section of proposed redevelopment of Oxford & Cherwell Valley College

Figure 42. Aerial perspective of proposed redevelopment of Oxford & Cherwell Valley College.

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HOME-ZONEs DESIGN OBJECTIVES Richness and diversity in the urban form that allows people to connect and experience the environment.

DESIGN ACTIONS Introduction of home-zones to reduce car ownership and create spaces that deliver healthy people.

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APPROACH Our master plan proposes the introduction of a home zone into the master plan in an area to the west of Oxpens Road. The Department of Transport (2007) describes home zones as residential streets for people rather than just cars. We have based our home zone idea on precedent studies and pilot schemes taken from Leeds, Manchester and Plymouth in the United Kingdom along with Vauban, Germany. The aim of introducing the home zone into the Master Plan is to create a built environment where residents feel some kind ownership in the space outside their home (Barton et al, 2003). Based on the principles of home zones, this area of the master plan will: • include shared surfaces to reduce car speeds and create a pedestrian friendly environment; • have vehicle speeds restricted to a maximum 15mph (Barton et al, 2003); • be idenfiable as a home zone through paving, street width and signage; • deliver spaces where people can meet casually outside their dwellings especially when living in higher density houses; and • deliver a road heirarchy around the home zone that supports the movement of cars around this area rather than through it.

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Precedent Studies Our idea for the implementation of home zones is based on schemes from Leeds and Plymouth (United Kingdom) and Vauban, Germany. The examples include pedestrianisation of streets with shared surfaces and lower vehicle speeds.

Figure 45 & 46. Precedent studies of home-zones at Leeds (above) and Plymouth (below).

Figure 43. Sectional perspective of proposed home-zones.

Figure 44. Sectional diagram showing shared public space within home-zones.

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oxpens meadow DESIGN OBJECTIVES Richness and diversity in the urban form that allows people to connect and experience the environment. An enhanced and celebrated existing natural, historical and cultural environment.

DESIGN ACTIONS Retain valuable open spaces and buildings and reconnect back to green and blue links.

Issue

Approach

Oxpens Meadows is a large piece of open space within the southern portion of the site. It includes an indoor ice rink which is also located within the north eastern corner. As the ice rink faces onto Oxpens Road, it has inactive sides that face onto Oxpens Meadows. From Oxpens Road, the entrance to Oxpens Meadows is not clearly defined nor is the open space connected back to the city or the train station.

As we view Oxpens Meadows as an asset to the West End community and surrounds, our proposal for the area is to retain the balance of it for open space and flooding mitigation. However, to meet our design action of reconnecting back to the River Thames through the introduction of a better public realm, we propose that a portion of the open space is developed as a community resource. This is to include a communal vegetable patch, gardens and a cafĂŠ on the river serving local produce. This will invite locals to connect back to the environment and the river. We also propose that the space around the ice rink is utilised by temporary structures for events and festivals. This will help to activate the edges at certain times. Our intention is that the ice rink itself will remain as is at this stage. However, our master plan design includes an additional road frontage to the north of the ice rink, which allows for change in the future.

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Figure 47. Sectional diagram showing proposal around Oxford Ice Rink.

Precedent Studies Collingwood Children’s Farm We have based our idea for the communal vegetable patch and café on the Collingwood Children’s Farm (CCF). The CCF is located 5km north of Melbourne City Centre on the Yarra River. “It is a not-for-profit community resource that includes a communal vegetable garden, gardens, paddocks with animals and a cafe on the river serving local produce. It enables local children to learn how to care for animals and provides open space for those living with small or no back yards. Its philosophies include perma culture, landcare and organic farming.” (The Collingwood Children’s Farm, 2012).

Figure 48. Aerial perspective of proposed development at Oxpens Meadow.

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Figure 49, 50 & 51. Images of Collingwood Children’s Farm.

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oxford railway station & frideswide square DESIGN OBJECTIVES A socially inclusive environment that positively contributes to the fabric of Oxford City.

DESIGN ACTIONS Redesign Oxford Railway Station and Frideswide Square to create a gateway that put the pedestrian first.

Issue

Approach

For many travellers and commuters, the train station is the first entry point to oxford. Through an analysis of the site however, the train station does not currently uphold the reputation held by the rest of Oxford

Based on our understanding of the weaknesses of the existing train station, we are proposing to deliver a world class redesign that is accessible to everyone and puts the pedestrian first. As bike riding is a strong feature in Oxford, we want the train station to emulate this. The components of the redesign are as follows:

The station is poorly designed and is of low architectural quality. The bus stops located outside the station and at Frideswide Square have a poor public realm. The pedestrian movements around the station are disconnected. The bike parking available is convenient but could be enhanced.

TRAIN STATION

Figure 52. Bubble diagram showing contextual analysis around Oxford Railway Station. Oxford Train Station is to be redesigned to extend over both sides of Botley Road. It will be accessed from both sides of Botley Road, however the main access to the station will be at the corner of Beckett St and Botley Road. The station is to include an appropriate mix of retail to activate space and make it more economically viable. It is also proposed that the northern end of the train station is connected to a hotel and conference centre. The existing car parking along the railway line will be relocated to the corner of Beckett Street and Osney Lane. This will be a multi-storey car park sleeved by retail. The existing bus stops will be relocated to the under croft of the train station building on Beckett Street. It is proposed that the buses will be re-routed to extend up Botley Road, along Hollybush Road and Osney Lane and into Beckett Street to the station. Beckett Street will be widened as required for buses. Bike parking is to be located both inside the train station and adjacent to the entrance. We propose a bike hangar is installed delivering a unique and prominent feature to the station. FRIDESWIDE SQUARE Frideswide Square currently does not serve its purpose as a public space and is not utilised to its full extent. Our proposal is to close Park End Street between Holly Bush Row and Beckett Street and extend the square to meet the footpath on the south. This will create an urban square where cafes and their outdoor areas can spill out onto it.

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Precedent Studies We have based our idea for the bike hangar on an example from Seoul. Designed by Manifesto Architecture, the bike hangar is attached to the side or front of the building, which allows more room for pedestrians below (Manifesto Architects, 2013).

Figure 54. Bike Hanger by Urban Manifesto.

Figure 53. Aerial perspective of proposed redevelopment of Oxford Railway Station.

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flood management DESIGN OBJECTIVES A socially and environmentally sustainable development.

DESIGN ACTIONS

Issue

Approach

The location of the site and its boundaries surrounded by waterways means that it has a high flood risk potential which will need to be dealt with carefully through design. To meet the requirements of the West End Action Plan and the Environment Agency, our proposal for the West End must no make flood risk worse.

To manage flooding within the site and surrounds, we have left the Oxpens Meadows as open space. This will help to alleviate flooding with a large amount of permeable surface retained.

Consideration of floodrisk for new development.

Further more we propose some additional flooding management practices which include • retaining open space within Oxpens Meadows that can flood; • planting trees along and within oxpens Meadows to reduce the flow of water; • utilising permeable pavements to increase absorption and reduce runoff (Tudor, 2009); and • requring the installation of tanks and greenery on roofs to capture water before it enters the stormwater system and overloads it. (Tudor, 2009)

Figure 56. Falk, 2011

Figure 57. Stormwater Treatment Enviroments, CCL (2010)

Figure 54. Floodrisk around West End Oxford

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Figure 55. Flood management practices (Paul, 2013)

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energy efficiency DESIGN OBJECTIVES A socially and environmentally sustainable development. Set a benchmark for sustainable design for new developments in Oxford.

APPROACH The Shadow pattern here shows the placement of housing plots being fairly North-South permits sunlight into the backyard of every plot. The building heights as mentioned before, increases from the railway lines towards the Oxpens road, and since the Oxpens road built facade is not that consistent, sunlight is permitted into the site very prominently.

DESIGN ACTIONS Manipulate orientation, building heights and distance to manage energy use and modify the microclimate.

Figure 58, 59, 60 & 61. Shadow analysis at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. The open structure of the Cherwell college also permits sunlight throughout the day and very few spots where sunlight is not given access to. The tapering of Frideswide square allows the retails to invade the pedestrian path and informally push the pedestrians to use the extended foot space which has sunlight access all throughout the day. The shadow pattern sow how the spaces around the new Railway station and frideswide square are permeable for sunlight

Figure 62, 63, 64 & 65. Shadow analysis at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm.

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fEASIBILITY DESIGN OBJECTIVES Develop a master plan that is economically viable.

DESIGN ACTIONS Ensure the mix of uses and density proposed delivers a feasible development.

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reflections and conclusions The aim of Studio 1 was to design and explain a mixed use scheme for the West End. Following a rigorous process of analysis, our design was then presented to a panel to gain feedback and to progress the project forward. The following comments were received from the presentation: • include a private/ public spaces plan • explain key aspects of the SWOT • run economic feasibility analysis • ensure pedestrian links through blocks are overlooked • redesign of Cherwell College to smaller blocks • reinforce link between train station and linear park to encourage movement towards the link • increase residential density around train station • consider flooding and how Oxpens Meadows can be utilised

Following feedback received, we revised the Master Plan to include a private and public spaces plan. We also undertook a feasibility analysis and further worked up the linear park design to enforce its importance within the proposed scheme. We increased the residential density around the train station and further refined the blocks within Cherwell College. A key aspect of feedback that still needs to be responded to includes redesigning the residential blocks to remove the laneways that are not currently overlooked. Key issues as a group that we have identified that still need to be addressed are as follows: • plot sizes and the feasibility of flats designed within each • how we can manage the ice rink in the future and its interface with the surrounds • whether any further flooding mitigation will be required apart from the soft engineering • the accuracy of the feasibility and its further refinement moving forward.

Our Group has produced a master plan for the West End that meets the aims within the brief and implements the design vision developed for the site. The design delivers a redesigned train station and Frideswide Square that upholds the reputation of Oxford. The redesigned train station focuses on delivering a mixed use outcome that is economically viable, highly pedestrianised and responds to Oxfords cycling character. The existing bus routes have been re-routed to allow a smooth transition for pedestrians into the station. Open space and linkages have been a key theme throughout the master planning process. Pedestrian and cycling connections both on and off road have been delivered connecting the site to the north, south, east, west and back to the city. Implementation of a mix of densities of houses along with mixed use has delivered a sustainable community that is supported by Oxpens Road that will function as a local high street. Cherwell College has been redesigned and reorientated to allow permeability and connections to the city centre. We believe that the final master plan meets the key aims of the brief and and is an economically viable outcome for the site. Our next steps from here are refinement of specific areas of the master plan to achieve the overall vision, objectives and design actions outlined.

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REFERENCEs Barton, Hugh et al (2003) Shaping Neighbourhoods (A Guide for Health, Sustainability and Vitality), Spon Press; Abingdon Bentley, Ian (1985) “Responsive Environments: A Manual for Urban Designers” Tarbatt, Jonathan (2012) “The Plot (Designing Diversity in the Built Environment: a manual for architects and urban designers”, RIBA Publishing; London Walton, David et al (2007) “Graphics for Urban Design”, Thomas and Telford Publishing: London Department for Transport (2007) “Manual For Streets”, Thomas and Telford Publishing; London Urban Design Associates (2003) “The Urban Design Handbook” (no place) (no publisher) Oxford City Council (2008) “West End Area Action Plan 2007-2016, Vol 1” Planning Policy Team; Oxford Oxford City Council (2008) “West End Area Action Plan 2007- 2016, Vol 2” Planning Policy Team; Oxford Communities and Local Government (2012) “National Planning Policy Framework” Crown; London Oxford City Council (2005) “Oxford Local Plan 2001-2016” The Collingwood Children’s Farm (2012) At: http://www.farm.org.au/about Paul, Zach (2013), “Earth Gauge: Put the Rainwater to Work”, Cranbrook Institute of Science Zach Paul (2013) At: http://www.connectmidmissouri.com/weather/story.aspx?id=907332#.UmoVbBb5ndk Falk, Tyler (2011) “How can Smart Planning Help Cities to adapt to Climate Change?” Smart Planet (roof top garden image) At: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/cities/how-can-smart-planning-help-cities-adapt-to-climatechange/215 Tudor, George, “Flood Solutions – Soft Engineering Strategies” (2009) At: http://www.slideshare.net/tudorgeog/flood-solutions-soft-engineering-strategies Stormwater Treatment Environments, LLC (2010) (permeable pavement) At: http://stegreensmarts.com/success_stories.html Oxford City Council (2012) At: http://www.oxford.gov.uk/PageRender/decP/Conservation_areas_occw.htm English Heritage Register (nd) At: http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/mapsearch.aspx Rudi (2002) “Successful Streets: are Home Zones the Answer?” At: http://www.rudi.net/node/17129 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (nd) “superkilen celebrates diversity in copenhagen” At: http://denmark.dk/en/lifestyle/architecture/superkilen-celebrates-diversity-in-copenhagen/ Melia, Steve (nd) “Neighbourhoods should be made permeable for walking and cycling – but not for cars” At: http://stevemelia.co.uk/ltt.htm Manifesto Architects (2008-2013) “Bike Hangar” At: http://www.archdaily.com/125832/ Melia, Steve (2006) “On the Road to Sustainability: Transport and Carefree Living in Freiburg” At: http://www.stevemelia.co.uk/vauban.htm

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Delleske, Andreas (2013) “Vauban District Website” At: http://www.vauban.de/info/abstract.html Commission for Architecture and the Built Form (2011) “Widespread community involvement in the planning and development of the Vauban district has helped it to become a sustainable and flourishing neighbourhood” At: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http://www.cabe.org.uk/case-studies/Vauban Sperling, Cersten (nd) “Freiburg – Vauban” At: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http:/www.cabe.org.uk/files/udss2008-carstensperling.pdf Architecture and Design Scotland (nd) “Delivering Better Places: Visual Case Study 7” At: www.ads.org.uk/download/7802-

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