Nature Reigns Creating a Wildlife Haven
Regeneration Clapham Park, London
Interview Churchman Thornhill Finch
Decking Transforming Rockliffe Hall
DESIGN TANK PHOTO MATTEO GASTEL
Bloc Design: Atle Tveit & Lars TornÃ¸e
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WELCOME Welcome to the June/July issue of FutureArc. Firstly, we would like to announce the launch of a new conference by Eljays44 – the media business which publishes FutureArc and Pro Landscaper magazines, and hosts the industry-leading FutureScape event. The one-day event designed to look at the future of commercial landscaping, Future Landscape Conference London 2019, is expected to appeal to landscape architects, planners, property developers and landscapers. In this issue, we review the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Landscape Institute Festival of Ideas: Transforming Landscape, Challenging Boundaries – part of the London Festival of Architecture and one of the events to mark the Institute’s 90th birthday celebrations. Elsewhere in the magazine, we have a look at a £1.6bn regeneration programme in Lambeth that integrates architecture and landscape. This issue’s Property piece features a developer focusing on nature preservation. Our regular columnists discuss topics including vertical urban farming and steps in industry to address gender inequality. In the Portfolio section, we highlight two projects in London and one in South Africa. The spotlight is on clay pavers in our Materials section, and we also feature the ﬁrst of a three-part series focusing on soils. We round oﬀ with special articles on tree planting and decking. At FutureArc, we always look forward to hearing all your news, so if you have any interesting projects, please send details. Hope you ﬁnd this issue of interest…
Gill Langham Features editor firstname.lastname@example.org
FutureArc June/July 2019
A soil for all seasons
Festival of ideas Tackling industry challenges
FUTURE LANDSCAPE CONFERENCE
RHS CHELSEA REVIEW
Shanghai Nature Preserve
A look at the LI’s success
FutureArc June/July 2019
Where nature reigns supreme OPINION Maurizio Mucciola and Maria-Chiara Piccinelli of PiM.Studio Architects
REGENERATION Clapham Park Housing Estate, Lambeth
Aberfeldy New Village A rejuvenated residential community in East London with a focus on sustainability
BROMPTON CEMETERY Restoring the historic cemetery while protecting features from the 19th century
Creating wildlife havens with Habitat First
The sector’s new conference
INTERVIEW Chris Churchman of Churchman Thornhill Finch
battery park Cape Town’s new urban park, combining respect for the past with regard for the future
Wienerberger create communal courtyards with clay paving
Civic Trees take on urban tree planting
The first of a three-part series from Tim O’Hare
Transforming Rockliffe Hall with Trex products
Proludic’s bespoke designs
57 EDITORIAL Features Editor – Gill Langham email@example.com Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION Subeditor – Katrina Roy email@example.com Subeditor – Sam Seaton firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Kara Thomas, Kirsty Turek
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Cover image ©Habitat First Group
FutureArc June/July 2019
P6 News P8 Festival of Ideas P9 Future Landscape Conference P12 RHS Chelsea Flower Show review P14 International News special P16 Opinion: Romy Rawlings
NEWS Work begins on £1bn regeneration of Ford factory site The £1bn regeneration of Beam Park, the former Ford factory site in East London, is underway. Leading UK home builder, Countryside, and housing association, L&Q, are working in partnership on the major regeneration scheme. A groundbreaking ceremony, attended by James Murray, London’s deputy mayor for housing and residential development, marked the start of construction. The scheme will transform this now derelict site, into a vibrant destination, spanning 29ha (71.7 acres). It is one of three regeneration schemes in London delivering 3,000 homes, and providing 50% aﬀordable housing. It is the second-largest housing scheme in the UK, gaining planning permission in 2018. This equates to 1,513 aﬀordable homes, which will be provided by L&Q. The ﬁrst phase of the development will deliver 640 new homes and community facilities,
like the Beam Park railway station, which will be framed by a high-quality Station Square. The square will contain a medical centre, serving the new residents and up to 7,000 people in the surrounding area. The Beam Park station is located on the C2C line, and will enhance the area’s direct links into Central London.
Phase one will include a new linear park, just north of the site, which will include play areas for children, and serve as a community space. The ﬁrst homes will be ready in 2020, and the development is due to be completed by 2022. When the masterplan is ﬁnished in 2030, Beam Park will deliver an additional school, retail spaces, a gym, a nursery, community facilities, and more.
Around 44% of the development has been allocated for publicly accessible green space, including a three-hectare central park by the River Beam. The masterplan was produced by award-winning Patel Taylor Architects, while BPTW and Pollard Thomas Edwards worked on the plans for the ﬁrst phase. Robert Wilkinson, managing director for Partnerships South (East), Countryside, said: “This site has an incredible history, and we’re looking forward to using our extensive track record in regeneration with L&Q, to bring this next chapter to life ensuring the legacy is captured while embracing modernity.” www.pateltaylor.co.uk www.lqgroup.org.uk www.countrysideproperties.com
New appointments at LDA Design LDA Design has appointed Mike Foster as the new managing director for the next three years and Alex Herbert as the new head of planning. A landscape architect by profession, Mike has more than 30 years’ experience in consultancy, joining LDA Design in 2001. His expertise is in masterplanning and landscape
design for complex, largescale mixed-use and residential developments and for nationally signiﬁcant infrastructure projects. Mike has been helping to steer the company’s recent growth, including the launch of a new studio in Manchester, and has also been developing LDA Design’s business culture in preparation for LDA Design’s
transition to employee ownership. Following his appointment, Alex Herbert hopes to grow the practice’s planning oﬀer in infrastructure, energy, major mixeduse development and regeneration. www.lda-design.co.uk
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Transformation works of the Athletes’ Village, Stratford
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Panel discussion on ‘Challenging Boundaries’
A launch party was held at the Last Drop Terrace
special event was held by the Landscape Institute (LI) to celebrate the creativity and impact of landscape, while addressing the industry’s future. Held on Friday 7 June and Saturday 8 June at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, the Festival of Ideas was part of the LI’s 90th birthday celebrations. Part of the London Festival of Architecture, the event explored the role of the landscape professional, and showcased the ways in which people, place and nature interact. Topics discussed under the banner ‘Transforming Landscape, Challenging Boundaries’ included climate change, digital technology, community engagement and other challenges facing the landscape profession. Other key themes included public health and wellbeing, the value of the natural environment, nature as a means of escape in the modern city, and how landscape transcends boundaries to connect communities. A launch party was held at the Last Drop Terrace on Friday 7 June, and the following day
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Adam White, president of the LI addressing the audience
Dan Cook, CEO of the Landscape Institute
Photographs ©Paul Upward/Landscape Institute
Prof. Rainer Stange, president of the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects (NLA)
FESTIVAL OF IDEAS Landscape Institute event tackles challenges facing the industry
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comprised a mixture of seminars and activities held at the Olympic site. Morning sessions oﬀered interactive workshops and themed walking and boating tours. This was followed by a landscape forum involving panel discussions with speakers from from around the globe. Speakers included: Andrew Harland (LDA Design - who led the team that designed and delivered the Olympic Park), Dr Phil Askew (Peabody), and Prof Rainer Stange (president of the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects). Andrew, now designing the landscape for the Park’s new East Bank, spoke about how (by re-imaging and reconnecting East London) diﬀerent boundaries are being overcome. Prof Stange shared news of the Oslo Parks Scheme.
Speaking at the event, Dan Cook CEO of the Landscape Institute, explained how the concept of an ‘ideas festival’ was developed following discussions with the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects about the IFLA World Congress that will be held 18-20 September. “We thought in the spirit of co-operation and in the spirit of joint working globally with our international partners, perhaps we might not have a regular conference of our own this year and do some diﬀerent things, and not run anything in competition with the IFLA World Congress.” Following consultation with members, it was decided to have an interactive daytime festival. “We wanted it to be forward-looking, and we wanted it to be more inclusive and familyfriendly. We also wanted to have diverse voices to help shape and inform what we do next as a profession,” he added. Dan also explained how the theme of the conference had been to ‘pay homage to the past, but was also looking at where we could go in the future’. www.landscapeinstitute.org
London 2019 TomorrowĘźs Urban Spaces 17 October 2019 Kings Place, North London
www.prolandscapermagazine.com/future-landscape FLC Pages.indd 9
We are delighted to launch this important new conference for the commercial landscaping sector. There are a lot of big changes taking place, with design and landscaping playing a greater role in improving the quality of green spaces. There is also landscaping’s emergent role in society and the potential benefits to the health and wellbeing of our population. With a range of quality speakers, this conference will challenge, debate and question some of these vital issues. - Jim Wilkinson, managing director of Eljays44
Seminar Programme 8:30
Arrival, registration, coffee & tea
Jim Wilkinson, Eljays44
Peter Massini, Greater London Authority
10:30 – 11:30
Simon Ward, Atkins | Jaquelin Clay, JFA Environmental Planning
11:40 – 13:00
Dr Phil Askew, Peabody | Adrian Judd, PRP Architects
Keynote speaker introduction Session 1: Urban Design & Planning
Session 2: Designing Communal Spaces (Build to let) Session 3: R evolutionising Soils & Landscaping
14:00 – 15:30
Tim O’Hare, Tim O’Hare Associates
15:40 – 17:00
Paul French, fabrik | Chris Churchman, Churchman Thornhill Finch | Chris Bridgman, Bridgman & Bridgman
(Soils and soft landscaping)
Session 4: Greening the Skies (Podiums)
17:00 – 17:30
Adrian Judd PRP Architects
Paul French fabrik
Simon Ward Atkins
Churchman Thornhill Finch
JFA Environmental Planning
Dr Phil Askew
Greater London Authority
More to follow
Tim O’Hare Associates
www.prolandscapermagazine.com/future-landscape FLC Pages.indd 10
The Future Landscape Conference London 2019 is a brand new conference for the commercial landscaping sector. It will be hosted by Eljays44, the producers of FutureArc, Pro Landscaper and hosts of the industry-leading FutureScape events. The conference will explore current trends and prepare the sector for whatĘźs ahead.
Why? Delegates will hear the views of top, trusted names from major companies in the world of planning, landscape architecture, property development, commercial landscape contracting and architecture. You will be able to enter the discussion, share views and learn about the future of the market. It is also a great opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry.
How? Email email@example.com, or call 01903 777570 to register your interest in this event. Alternatively, visit www.prolandscapermagazine.com/ future-landscape for further info.
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RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW REVIEW T LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE member gardens impress rhs Chelsea Flower Show judges
his year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show winners included members of the Landscape Institute (LI), representing the profession across the board. Every Best in Show accolade for garden design and every RHS Gold Medal in the Show Garden category went to a project involving LI members, along with two Silver Medals at the show.
Best in Show/Gold Medal winners The M&G Garden Designer: Andy Sturgeon Best in Show (Show Gardens) Gold Medal (Show Gardens)
Facebook: Beyond the Screen Designer: Joe Perkins Best in Show (Space to Grow Gardens) Gold Medal (Space to Grow Gardens) Family Monsters Garden Designer: Alistair Bayford Best in Show (Artisan Gardens) Gold Medal (Artisan Gardens)
The Manchester Garden by Exterior Architecture
RHS Back to Nature Garden
Alistair Bayford in the Family Monsters Garden
LI celebrates 90th anniversary at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The Landscape Institute (LI) began celebrating its 90th birthday at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The event took place in the RHS Back to Nature Garden, which was co-designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White, the current president of the LI. Attendees included past and present leaders of the landscape profession, leaders from the wider industry, related sectors and organisations with which the LI collaborates. Leading members of the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects (NLA), which shares the same landmark 90th anniversary this year, Yngvar Hegrenes, IFLA-delegate for the NLA with Adam White were also present.
FutureArc June/July 2019
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Gold Medal winners The Morgan Stanley Garden Designer and contractor: Chris Beardshaw Gold Medal (Show Gardens) The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden Designer: Mark Gregory Gold Medal (Show Gardens) The Resilience Garden Designer: Sarah Eberle Gold Medal (Show Gardens) Silver Medal winners The Dubai Majlis Garden Designer: Thomas Hoblyn Silver-gilt Medal (Show Gardens) The Manchester Garden Designer: Exterior Architecture Silver Medal (Space to Grow Gardens) Full list of winners: www.rhs.org.uk
In association with:
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS EXTRA
RESTORING BIODIVERSITY Award-winning Shanghai nature PReserve to HOST and rescue endangered species in its awe-inspiring, STATE-OF-THE-ART complex
nnead Architects has been announced winner of an international design competition for the Shanghai Yangtze River Estuary Chinese Sturgeon Nature Preserve. Led by Ennead’s design partner, Thomas Wong, and in partnership with Andropogon Landscape Architects, the project’s aim is to rescue critically endangered species and restore biodiversity to a habitat aﬀected by pollution, all while raising public awareness. At the mouth of the Yangtze River, on an island set within a 17.5ha landscape, the building comprises of a dual-function aquarium and research facility. The aim is to repopulate
FutureArc June/July 2019
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the dwindling numbers of Chinese Sturgeon and Finless Porpoise, and engage the public with ecological conservation. What’s there? The complex boasts a series of interior and exterior pools for breeding and raising both species, as well as facilities dedicated to research and reintegration to the natural habitat. The immersive aquarium and exhibit experience also bring visitors into direct contact with the centre’s activities. This proposed design features dramatic undulating forms that reﬂect ripples of the river, and the distinctive landscape of Upper Yangtze.
The curving, wooden structural ribs radiate around the central spine that joins the three wings of the building. The design integrates a cross-laminated timber structural system, geothermal heating and cooling loops, local ﬂora constructed wetlands and waterborne plants. The landscape design reconstructs the shoreline system and the variety of ecoregions throughout the Yangtze River basin, establishing a critical balance between land and aquatic habitats. Suspended walkways and viewing areas surround the campus and allow visitors to immerse in a natural setting, away from the dense urban core of Shanghai. www.ennead.com www.andropogon.com
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“IT’S CRITICAL THAT EVERYONE IN THE SECTOR RECOGNISES WE NEED TO DO MORE TO ENCOURAGE WOMEN TO STAY AND PROGRESS WITHIN THEIR CHOSEN CAREER” demanding a more balanced work life balance, improved support of their mental health, time off for paternity leave, and so on – initiatives that would support us all, and especially women in the workforce. In terms of practical help in the pursuit of equality, one key area is access to good and affordable childcare. In an attempt to ease the
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OPINION ROMY RAWLINGS Here, Romy Rawlings, looks at what those working in the industry can do to address gender inequality and bias in the sector burden of childcare on working parents, more enlightened businesses – such as those in Nordic territories – are now supporting this through lengthier paternity leave, flexible working, and similar initiatives. Here in the UK, childcare can take up to a third of a family’s income (reportedly amongst the highest in the world) and, for some UK parents, the cost of childcare can be higher than their mortgage payments. In Sweden, there’s a very different situation where childcare is freely available, state subsidised and generally costs no more than a couple of hundred pounds each month (it’s means tested and capped). While this clearly isn’t a situation that the landscape sector can change on its own – we can perhaps all lobby for similar improvements to provide a more equitable basis for working parents. Many businesses, that have recognised that they could do better in terms of retention, are now purposefully addressing this issue through
great initiatives such as mentoring/coaching women in senior positions to provide support, offering training on unconscious bias, and proactively tracking progress through their recruitment and promotion systems. However, the built environment sector has always been, and remains, a male-dominated zone. In just one generation, the old rules have been overturned, and there is a need to adjust to female bricklayers, crane operators, electricians, landscape contractors and the like. But how many women in these roles do you know? When there are few women visible in traditionally male jobs – whether they’re the only female plumber on a construction site, or one of the few women on the board of a large organisation – it’s time to properly recognise and support their achievement. The problem is that many women resist being highlighted in this way because they just want to get on with their work. There are, however, many ways that this visibility can be raised – ensuring speakers on panels are at least 50:50 female to male (as the Landscape Institute did at their 2018 conference); celebrating successful
nlike many associated professions in the built environment sector – including landscape contracting, engineering, and project management – there seems to be little problem attracting women into landscape architecture. In fact, student intake at universities is dominated by women. So, if we consider the three main aspects of diversity: recruitment, retention, and recognition, that’s the first box ticked! Retaining women starts to become increasingly tricky as they progress through a career that often seems harder to navigate over time. Childcare costs and availability, oversight during promotions (often due to unconscious bias among the senior – generally male – leadership team), and maybe even conscious bias. Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s a thing, much as few would be willing to admit it! While we’re on the subject, please just address the gender pay gap – whether you are forced to publish your own figures, or not! I urge you to read into this as a new round of data has been published. There can be no good reason for this situation to prevail in the UK, in 2019, and it’s one simple way of ensuring equality is being considered in a tangible and meaningful way (particularly for those women affected!). In her book, ‘Work Like a Woman’, Mary Portas believes that it will be the next generation of employees – to some extent Millennials and, even more so, Generation Z – that overhaul the way we work. They (like many women, and probably a fair few men) are generally
career stories through initiatives such as International Women’s Day; being a mentor for schoolchildren and students in further and higher education where an opportunity arises, are just a few examples. It is critical that everyone in our sector recognises the need to do more to encourage women to stay and progress within their chosen career, whatever and wherever it is. We are currently facing a real crisis in terms of staffing within the built environment and we simply can’t afford to ignore ranks of skilled people that are choosing to leave or being ‘forced out’ of their profession through lifestyle ‘choices’, often based around their decision to also have a family.
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FEATURES P18 Interview Chris Churchman at Churchman Thornhill Finch
P22 Habitat First Creating wildlife havens within the built environment
P28 Opinion The rise of vertical urban farming in cities
P30 Regeneration Clapham Park, Lambeth
CHRIS CHURCHMAN CHURCHMAN THORNHILL FINCH founded more than 25 years ago, and renowned for its high-quality designs and attention to detail, Churchman Landscape Architects has recently rebranded to become churchman thornhill finch. Chris churchman shares his insights for the practice going forward When did you set up the company and how has it expanded to what it is today? The company was founded by myself in 1993 following 10 years with my previous employer, the architectural practice HLM. Following a deep recession in the early nineties HLM went through diﬃcult ﬁnancial circumstances. I elected to accept an oﬀer of redundancy and then set up by myself as Churchman Landscape Architects. In the ﬁrst year the company was just myself working out of my bedroom and then after a year I got an oﬃce and after around 18 months or so my ﬁrst employee. We started out in south west London and then moved up to central London and have been in the Kennington oﬃce for about six months. The Bristol oﬃce opened three years ago. We now have 25 employees, with eight members of staﬀ in Bristol and the rest in London.
What was the thinking behind the renaming of the company? Churchman Thornhill Finch is a multi-ownership company, so renaming it was a conscious decision to help reinforce this status and also to pave the way for its success in the future, when I may no longer be at its helm. We thought long and hard about the new name – we didn’t want to call it something completely anonymous. Is there a type of project that the company specialises in? There isn’t a Churchman project type, we don’t really want that to be the case either. I’d rather people thought we could do most things. We do design with a capital ‘D’. There’s a lot of research and science behind our designs. At times landscape architects have been guilty of appearing superﬁcial in terms of their designs. People might joke that they don’t really know their plants and while that certainly was the case in the past, I think knowledge has improved now. I think the technical knowledge amongst landscape architects, historically, has not been that thorough, and as a practice we always try to apply a great degree of technical rigour. On the South Gardens project, for example, we developed a strategy of creating heathland typology on all the roofs, and we’ve been commissioned to write a handbook for Lendlease for all the roof gardens
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on their residential developments. Also, a lot of our water features don’t have conventional filtration, they are naturally filtered. Carlton Drive was the first, but we’ve completed quite a few more since then. It’s a much more benign system than the conventional pond system. Another subject that interests us is the ability of planting to remove pollution from the atmosphere. How would you describe the company ethos? I think it is attention to detail married with an inventiveness. We would never select a product straight from a catalogue, such as a bench for example. We usually find that if you design it yourself it doesn’t come in any more expensive and it’s 10 times better quality. One of the things we enjoy is having strong relationships with specialist companies and suppliers. For instance, stone suppliers such as Michael Heap at CED, or for furniture, a company called Bramhall 1840 fabricate bespoke pieces for us. What inspired you personally to become a landscape architect? Perhaps I’m slightly unusual in that it’s all I’ve ever done. I first heard about the profession, aged 16 when I was still at school. It was the early 1970s and there were quite a few post-war developments in evidence. For instance, new towns were springing up, and the Green Belt was forming in a big way. Accordingly, there was quite an interest in the landscape of new communities and the Landscape Institute started to become more recognised. It was actually my mum who heard about the work of landscape architecture on Woman’s Hour on the radio and encouraged me to get into it. At the time I’d got into gardening, but I also enjoyed design and was into the arts as well as science. That crossover between both disciplines appealed to me. I did some research and there was a book, which had quite an influence on me, called ‘New Lives, New Landscapes’ by Nan Fairbrother – setting out strategies about different ways of landscaping.
2 Following an undergraduate course at Leeds Met, I took a year out, then transferred to Manchester for my diploma course. What are your design inspirations? It’s man’s imprint on nature that influences me, so I spend quite a lot of time in the countryside just looking around at the patterns of nature. I also find inspiration from travelling. In the last few years we’ve been to Australia, Japan and India and then hopefully this year it will be a trip to the Rockies. I am learning Japanese and trying to develop a blog about English gardens, written in Japanese. I have always built things for myself, and I still do a certain amount of this at home and at work. In the early days of the company, for instance when an interest in living walls was beginning in the UK, we installed various trial panels in one of our offices. How did your career progress? My first job was for Liverpool City Council just before the Toxteth riots. One of our sites was located at the main battleground and I was there for 18 months. After that, I went to the Middle East for around two years, then I came back and joined HLM Architects in London, where I ran the company’s landscape group and became a main board director. It was a good grounding and I wouldn’t probably be doing what I’m doing now if I hadn’t had 3 those 10 years with them.
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“IF YOU GIVE PEOPLE A QUALITY ENVIRONMENT, THEY’LL RESPOND TO IT, THEY’LL DWELL IN IT, THEY’LL SPEND MORE MONEY IN IT, THEY’LL USE IT, THEY’LL ENJOY IT”
4 1 Birmingham University ©Tim Cornbill 2 Carlton Drive ©Guy Montagu-Pollock 3 Caledonian University ©Neale Smith 4 Thames Path ©Ben Luxmoore
FutureArc June/July 2019
Residential was another big area of work for us. We still have some residential schemes coming through, but rather than being in central London they tend to go out more to the suburbs. On the caring side, we worked on St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford and then Thames Hospice. A lot of the work we do has been about transforming areas that are quite deprived and run down. South Gardens, on the former Heygate Estate, was a 1970s concrete modernist construction but has now been replaced by modern apartment blocks.
“THERE’S A LOT OF RESEARCH AND SCIENCE BEHIND OUR DESIGNS”
So, there were good experiences, good opportunities, and a good learning curve, but it was always at the back of my mind that I wanted to run my own business. Has it been a smooth process? No, I think setting up or running a business is never smooth. It’s unpredictable, so you just have to manage that process. For the first 10 years we had various growth spurts – work would dry up, take off again and then dry up again – in a constant cycle. In the end, you become a bit thick-skinned. Are you still quite hands on in the business? Yes, I can still be found on site visits with a spirit level and a tape measure. Last December, I was monitoring one of my sites from India on a webcam. I’d log in each day and do a virtual site visit. There are three directors now: myself, Andrew Thornhill who’s been with us for 12 years, and David Finch, who came from Grants, is the third director. All three of us still go out on sites, we still do the nursery visits for trees, we still guide all the projects. There are very few projects where we’re not involved on a daily basis.
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What has been the company’s focus over the last few years? Higher education has probably been one of our biggest markets. A lot of universities went through a phase where they were spending significant amounts on development programmes but most of those projects have now finished so I can’t see that being the biggest area of work for us in the future.
Does the company get involved in international projects? Historically, we have not been involved in a lot of international work, but fingers crossed we are about to land a big urban design scheme in Eastern Europe. We’re also working on a university project in Jordan. Are there any stand-out projects that you are particularly proud of? The National Maritime Museum, featuring two impressive water features, was the first project for which we won an award from the Landscape Institute. It was also the first scheme where the landscape vision became reality and the museum itself is such a fine place in its own right. It transformed the way people access the museum and increased its profile significantly. Financially it wasn’t a huge project, but I think if you asked people what our best scheme is to date they would refer to Greenwich. We’re also really pleased with the outcome at Birmingham University. The quality of workmanship and materials has been incredibly high and that will, again, move us on to the next level. The other project would be South Gardens, which received the President’s Award from the Landscape Institute for the quality of its design and the commitment of the client and contractor – the secret to all good design. Rathbone Market, which was one of Andrew’s designs, was also well received within the industry. Can you talk us through any current projects that are underway? The Birmingham University masterplan is a huge project and at £15m is one of the most expensive landscape schemes in the UK. David Finch is working from the Bristol office on the Britannia mixed use scheme in Hackney. It is a regeneration project and includes a leisure centre, school and residential. Another big project is one of the government’s new town developments on the edge of Harlow involving 10,000 homes.
What do you think are the key challenges facing the industry? There is a real shortage of both UK school leavers going into landscape and of landscape architects. Environmental awareness is now so embedded in the younger sector of society, so why they don’t choose landscape which would seem to be a natural home for them, I just do not know.
7 Do you think Brexit will affect the market? I’m sure it will affect the industry and, to be honest, it has already taken its toll. There’s no doubt that last year the market was incredibly overheated. We had our busiest year ever, but from Christmas 2018 there has been a real slowing down. In terms of enquiries, they’re still coming through and we have won some and lost some potential new projects. There’s a definite squeeze on prices, which is symptomatic of a lot of people not having enough work or not having a full order book. I think everybody across the construction industry is finding it difficult to get new orders when people are currently unable to make decisions. If there’s a positive outcome, then whether all the people we’ve submitted quotations to suddenly turn around and say they are ready to progress, then there will be a sudden and massive overheating of the industry again. If we get a chaotic exit then no one will have anything, so there is no certainty whatsoever.
for society. Fortunately, most people subscribe to the view that we can’t go on doing what we’re doing. From that perspective I think there is a real role for landscape architects. If you think about construction projects that define our time, the three projects I would mention are, the High Line in New York, Gardens in the Bay in Singapore, and the Bosco Verticale in Milan. Those projects are the touchstone and I’m sure there’ll be more of them. There is a great love for structures that integrate with nature. For example, if you go back to the start of my career it was 20 years after I qualified before I got to use natural stone on any project because the budgets were prohibitive. Now you wouldn’t think of using anything other than natural stone. There’s been a shift in people’s understanding of what the value is to them of their quality of environment. Developers now don’t question that if they spend a decent sum on the environment they will get pay back tenfold through tenants or through their users. It’s a commonly accepted proposition now that if you give people a quality environment, they’ll respond to it, they’ll dwell in it, they’ll spend more money in it, they’ll use it, they’ll enjoy it. Finally, what is the next step for the company? Following the rebranding, we’re not looking for growth for the sake of it. The company is quite a good size because we can compete for big projects, but I think if we get too big it would take on a very different structure, and become a very different practice, so I don’t think anyone at the moment has got the appetite for that.
“WE USUALLY FIND THAT IF YOU DESIGN IT YOURSELF IT DOESN’T COME IN ANY MORE EXPENSIVE AND IT’S 10 TIMES BETTER”
5 N ational Maritime Museum ©Ben Luxmoore 6 South Gardens ©Allan Pollok-Morris 7 Birmingham University ©Pedro Fernandes 8 Rathbone Market ©Tim Crocker
Churchman Thornhill Finch Churchman Thornhill Finch aims to create sustainable, resilient landscapes that meet people’s present needs and those of the future. The company aims to challenge traditional landscape thinking by allowing the unique qualities of a site to speak, while looking to the future and harnessing the latest technologies for greater effect and efficiencies. W: www.churchmanthornhillfinch.co.uk
Do you feel that architects have a good understanding of what landscape architects do? Some do and some don’t. If they’re good architects, if they’re good designers then they understand the role that we play and they’re open to our suggestions. I think the bad ones are the ones who think they know it all anyway and don’t need our input. What advice would you give to someone looking to become a landscape architect? I think it is a very good time for landscape architects. The environment is throwing up some real challenges
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FutureArc June/July 2019
WHERE NATURE REIGNS SUPREME
At Habitat First sites, a landscape-led approach turns developments into wildlife havens
“OUR HOUSES ARE COMPLETELY IMMERSED IN NATURE AND THIS HAS A GREAT BENEFIT ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING” 22
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haven for otters, moorhens and foxes, the Lower Mill Estate in Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire, is a natural refuge for wildlife. Dr Phoebe Carter, chief ecologist at Lower Mill’s developers, Habitat First Group, believes when companies have the right approach to green infrastructure, nature preservation and the built environment can be combined successfully. Lower Mill alone is home to six species of protected bats, otters, water voles and great crested newts, as well as nightingales, a variety of water birds,
dragonﬂies and damselﬂies. Gloucestershire’s only known breeding population of brown hairstreak butterﬂies also lives here, as well as the largest house-martin colony in the UK. Habitat First has been spearheading development and wildlife restoration ever since Jeremy Paxton (businessman, helicopter-rescue pioneer and waterskiing champion) bought the former Lower Mill quarry 21 years ago. “He worked with the local council and Natural England, and they decided to focus on re- building with nature in mind,” says Phoebe.
Jeremy’s children took over after he passed away in 2013, but the company’s philosophy remains the same. Pheobe explains it is “taking a quarry that was bare and barren, and turning it into a development that centres on nature. “It’s about focusing on it in a diﬀerent way, seeing wildlife less as the enemy and more as something to be valued and enjoyed.” So, while historically developers would have considered great crested newts as an inconvenience, Habitat First sees it diﬀerently. “We have great crested newts on our site, so we have kept the ponds they are in, built new ones, made a big buﬀer zone of suitable terrestrial habitats around them - and that’s a protected area, right in the heart of our development.” This means Habitat First creates green spaces that work ﬁrst and foremost from a conservation perspective. “All our developments are very much landscape-led.”
“HABITAT FIRST CREATES GREEN SPACES THAT WORK FIRST AND FOREMOST FROM A CONSERVATION PERSPECTIVE” With “a good team of landscapers” the company ensures every site is in keeping with its natural context, and that every species it plants is native and, where possible, of local provenance. “If you build within the character area, you are naturally going to create places that will attract the wildlife that’s already there.” Lower Mill, a water-rich corner of the Cotswolds countryside, encompasses two sites of special scientiﬁc interest (SSSI) and “tends to naturally take on beautiful things” thanks to self-seeding trees such as birch and willow. The company has focused on developing “as many reedbeds as possible” to beneﬁt water birds, and planting native species between the houses to support wildlife numbers. They are now introducing blackthorn “right in the heart of the development” because that’s where brown hairstreak butterﬂies like to lay eggs.
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3 How they’re making a difference Habitat First’s strategy is designed to respond to the changing needs of the local environment. With the country facing a decline in pollinators, the company is now introducing new wildﬂower meadows at Lower Mill, in a bid to improve the habitat for bees and butterﬂies. “We realised we could aﬀord to turn some of our amenity grassland into wildﬂower areas,” Phoebe says. “Some we are creating from scratch by stripping the soil back and seeding with wildﬂowers, in others we are just reducing the nutrient level of the ground—that really improves things for wildlife. Your development isn’t going to stay the same— it is a living system and you adapt to the changes. Green infrastructure assets must be maintained, upgraded and repaired when necessary to ensure they continue to attract and enhance wildlife.” This same vision is driving the renaissance of a very diﬀerent landscape at Silverlake, a former quarry spanning several hundred acres near Dorchester, in Dorset. It includes part of the Warmwell Heath SSSI— a heathland mire system that needs particular care—and counts 10 protected species of bats, plus great crested newts, otter, dormice, nightjar, woodlark, Dartford warblers and the rare smooth snake. With lowland heathland fast disappearing, planning and managing Silverlake’s green space is complex. “It’s quite an eﬀort trying to ﬁnd a donor heathland site that we can take heather oﬀ to spread,
1 Lower Mill Estate 2 Otter at the Lower Mill Estate 3 Spinney Lake Habitat House
Dr Phoebe Carter
while making sure we’re doing all this at the right time of the year and managing wildlife sensitively. Keeping it local “Our planting consists of things you’d naturally find, such as foxgloves around the houses. We can’t plant wildflower meadows here, so it’s less colour-rich [than Lower Mill], but everybody is buying into the fact that we are creating a rich and valuable heathland habitat.” Where necessary, Phoebe sources wild varieties of some species to avoid altering the local habitat. For instance, Silverlake houses a rare variety of Pennyroyal collected from an existing population in Dorset (under licence from Natural England, as the plant is protected). “We are waiting to see how the seeding takes to our land,” Phoebe explains. “However, we removed the cultivated version from our landscaping schemes, because what you don’t want is to put time and effort into trying to bring back this rare, native version of Pennyroyal, only for the seed to blow across from the cultivated site and alter the pure version we are trying to protect.” Testament to the success of this scrupulous approach, is Habitat First’s latest project, the Birchwood Estate in Devon. The site is set to achieve an impressive score in DEFRA’s biodiversity impact assessment, which measures the value of a site in terms of nature conservation. It has been evaluated at 114, against the mere seven achieved by the restoration plan of the quarry company that originally owned Birchwood.
4 “Quarry companies have a commitment to restore a quarry and re-green it, but they only have to manage the area for five years, after which everything can scrub over, and you can lose the features they put in. We have an ongoing commitment to managing our sites for the lifetime of the development.” Home to otters, dormice, peregrine falcons and six species of bats, Birchwood sits within the North Devon UNESCO-designated biosphere. The company
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5 will create a nature reserve out of two fields currently overgrazed by sheep, plant wild clematis and honeysuckle among the houses to support dormice, and build bat houses to enhance lesser and greater horseshoe bat numbers. “We are building some special bat houses to protect and boost the bat populations we have—we really don’t want to lose such a special species,” enthuses Phoebe. It’s not just animals that benefit from the Habitat First vision. “For residents, there’s a huge advantage in biophilic living and being connected to nature. We try to make sure everyone has a connection to water or access to outdoor space. With all our green infrastructure, our houses are completely immersed in nature which has a great health and wellbeing benefits, reduces stress levels and improves healing times.” This positive impact on residents can ultimately lead to better conservation results. “The more people appreciate nature, the more likely they are to value and protect it” Habitat First homebuyers are so aware of these advantages that they are prepared to pay the small price of waiting for the right landscape to mature, even though that may only happen a couple of years after they move in—particularly at Silverlake. “Heathland habitats take a long while to establish. It can take seven years for heather to germinate, and we make everybody aware that it’s a slow process so they don’t expect beautiful purple heather everywhere within the first couple of years of owning the house.”
“FOR THE RESIDENTS, THERE’S A HUGE ADVANTAGE IN BIOPHILIC LIVING, IN BEING CONNECTED TO NATURE”
6 4 Swans at the Lower Mill Estate 5 Birchwood Estate, Devon 6 Lake views
Habitat First Group A family-run business, the Habitat First Group is a development company that creates holiday home communities that centre around love and respect for nature. W: www.habitatfirstgroup.com
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OPINION MAURIZIO MUCCIOLA & MARIA-CHIARA PICCINELLI
the directors of london-based pIM.studio architects explore the concept of vertical Urban Farming as a solution for feeding our expanding cities
Here, traditional supermarkets shelves would be replaced by a system of rotating shelves where vegetables grow directly. These can be picked up by residents and visitors when ready, combining an interactive shopping experience with the educational aspect of showing how food is produced. Residents can participate by helping to grow food on site by donating some of their free time to the community in exchange for discounts or free food from the market. Immediately north of A the market hall would be the S ls L oo T ‘Fishmongers’ – a restaurant ing erg m serving locally grown food, including fE yo es t r tilapias from the adjacent ponds. ou
“CAN CITIES FEED THEMSELVES?” The project includes a proposal to convert a former bus depot into a large market hall, selling fresh produce grown on site.
©Courtesy of Emerging Tools LSA
A modular three-dimensional grid of timber beams and columns, called ‘The Trellis’ runs throughout the site. These structures increase growing space while allowing natural light to ﬁlter through the levels, down to the ponds and walkways on the ground level. Netting hangs
©Andy Donohoe for Eat Work Art
an modular architecture meet our aspirations of home and food security and quality of life? Along with addressing these goals, UN Sustainable Development Goals also need for cities to become carbon-neutral and self-sustainable, as well as having a positive environmental and social impact on their wider surroundings. Further to this, can modern strategies such as urban reforestation, high-rise farming and CLT modular construction be co-located at resource-intensive sites, where population density has been identiﬁed? And the ultimate question: can cities feed themselves? As cities around the world continue growing at unprecedented rates, we know we can no longer rely on unsustainable rural agriculture to feed our cities. Students at ‘Emerging Tools’, a Design Think Tank at the London School of Architecture, have investigated these questions and tried to design an answer. They have proposed a new kind of development, integrating sustainable food production and high quality living spaces on the banks of the River Lea, in Tower Hamlets, London. The group set some ambitious goals for the project, known as Lea Farm, trying to ﬁnd the right balance between production, consumption, sustainable living and community life. They are: • Proposing integrated agriculture, bringing food production back in to the fabric of the city • Celebrating the joyful rituals of growing, cooking and eating • Prioritising communal space, reconnecting communities with each other and their food • Proposing a self-suﬃcient lifestyle – encompassing life cycles of food, energy and water.
from the structure, forming pods for children to play in and also creating protective layers over the produce, keeping out intruding birds. Above are the residential units, providing a home for 1,500 residents in a mix of typologies. These could range from family ﬂats with communal spaces to shared kitchens. Other uses include ‘suspended allotments’ – large cores for growing vegetables with artiﬁcial lights placed next to the emergency staircases. Every choice is in aid of making sure each space in the project is eﬃciently used for producing healthy food or providing spaces that encourage a communal lifestyle. Can projects like Lea Farm from the ‘Emerging Tools’ Think Tank of the LSA help building better and more sustainable cities? Find out more at www.the-lsa.org.
ABOUT PiM.studio Architects Architects Maurizio Mucciola and Maria-Chiara Piccinelli set up PiM.studio Architects in 2016. Maurizio is fascinated by the relationship between city, architecture and public spaces, and is passionate about rethinking the way these interact. Maria-Chiara is interested in the technical aspects of architecture as much as in the way we use the spaces in which we live and work. They both believe in the importance of public spaces for a city to thrive, and in the crucial role nature plays within architecture. Maria-Chiara and Maurizio co-lead, with Angie Jim and Sarah Curran of Allies & Morrison, a Design Think Tank at the London School of Architecture: ‘Emerging Tools – designing, building and making in the 21st century’. This year, their students, a group of seven young designers, developed the Lea Farm project. W: www.pim.studio
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A GREEN AND
PLEASANT LAND 1
A £1.6bn regeneration programme, which integrates architecture and landscape, is transforming the Clapham Park housing estate in Lambeth
S Angeli Ganoo-Fletcher, landscape director at PRP
Adrian Judd, landscape director at PRP
FutureArc June/July 2019
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et in open parkland, Clapham Park is a housing estate spread over 36 hectares in Lambeth. Situated between Brixton, Streatham, Balham and Clapham, the development of Clapham Park for social housing began in the 1930s. When the estate completed in the 1970s it became the largest single council estate within the London Borough of Lambeth. Today, Clapham Park is undergoing a £1.6bn regeneration programme, led by housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley, and designed by architects PRP. Speaking about the development Angeli GanooFletcher, landscape director at PRP says: “The project will deliver the highest standards of design and quality for this truly sustainable and inclusive community for the capital, while setting a benchmark for future estate regeneration on this scale.” Home and place are at the heart of the design. To make the most of the parkland setting, PRP has designed a green, accessible, active and engaging public realm for the whole community. By integrating architecture and landscape, the new masterplan
unites the neighbourhood. Richly planted, it brings people and nature together to enhance wellbeing and promote an active and healthy lifestyle. The masterplan also takes London’s climate change targets into account, with the development contributing, through its substantial planting and green spaces, to a cleaner and safer London. In the mid-2000’s Lambeth Council found itself with an estate in need of investment and revitalisation. However, the council was unable to raise the funds in order to regenerate the estate itself. As a result, residents voted to transfer from the council to Metropolitan in 2005. Metropolitan went on to partner with Thames Valley Housing in 2018. Metropolitan set about drawing up a masterplan in consultation with residents and other community stakeholders. The idea was to transform the existing 1,668 homes into a high-quality, safe neighbourhood set within revitalised open spaces, with cleaner and safer streets, better transport, good schools, and a range of community facilities. Outline planning permission for the overall development was obtained in September 2008 and Metropolitan proceeded with
“THE IDEA IS TO CREATE A VIBRANT, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY, BUILDING ON THE EXISTING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WITH ITS WIDE AVENUES AND MATURE TREES” work – refurbishing around 700 homes and building approximately 500 more. Following this work and given the number of years that had passed since the original masterplan was agreed, Metropolitan reviewed it to ensure it still delivered what the community needed at the time as well as into the future. After further detailed consultation with residents, Lambeth Council and the Greater London Authority, a new planning application was drawn up by PRP and submitted to the council. Approved in March 2018, it is still thought to be the largest detailed planning permission ever submitted in the UK. Within the plan, Clapham Park’s distinctive character of wide avenues and mature trees is preserved, ensuring that every resident has access to ample open space, amenities and efficient, sustainable, easily maintainable homes. Work is now underway and on completion, the number of homes on the estate is proposed to increase to 4,077, 53 per cent of which will be affordable, and will comprise a mix of social and affordable rents, as well as homes for shared ownership and shared equity. The number of affordable homes on the estate will double and at least 10 per cent of the homes will be wheelchair-adaptable. Despite its high density, PRP’s masterplan for the project draws inspiration from the neighbouring conservation areas and the historic London mansion block vernacular to create a modern neighbourhood that maintains the green, leafy and open nature of the surrounding Clapham Park community. “The idea is to create a vibrant, inclusive community, building on the existing characteristics of the neighbourhood with its wide avenues and mature trees, ensuring that every resident has access to open space and amenities,” says Angeli. While the design of the buildings is striking, the masterplan’s attention to the landscape seamlessly knits architecture and public realm together, offering everyone access to usable outdoor space – a strong feature of the project. Although the existing estate was set in open parkland, the lack of amenity made the
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3 1 2 3 4
Client Metropolitan Thames Valley Local planning authority London Borough of Lambeth Architect and masterplanner PRP Landscape architect PRP Daylight/sunlight and wind PRP Planning JLL Quantity surveyor Mace Structural and MEP Rambol Civil engineering Hoare Lea Sustainability Greengage
Site C: Gateway to Play Site A: Mews Site C: Playground S ite C: Kings Avenue Retail
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outside space less than ideal. The estate was also split in half by the busy Kings Avenue. The introduction of a super crossing on Kings Avenue was pivotal to the masterplan and will reconnect the estate with its surrounding neighbourhood, enabling social cohesion and an inclusive community. The buildings are arranged in an efficient, legible street framework designed with safety and security in mind to encourage pedestrian and cycle movement. A central hub square has also been designed to provide a focus for the community facilities within a strengthened green framework of street trees and planting.
Distinctive, shared courtyards make a clear reference to the traditional London mansion blocks and will provide secure sheltered spaces with planting and lawns where children can run and play. Each garden will contain places to sit, dine and socialise, as well as quiet places to relax. A network of public open spaces has also been created including The Crescent Circus, a large open green area designed for a range of informal recreation and events, and The Central Park, which is over 300m in length and will create an urban Arboretum. The Arboretum park will be subdivided to create King’s Avenue Arrival Square, which will feature outdoor dining, performance space and seating, a play area including climbing wall, and The Grove Garden at the heart of the park, which will provide a quiet and relaxing environment featuring a cherry grove, barbecue area and community allotment, set in extensive, naturalistic planting. Elsewhere, the Western Woodland Play Area will be located within mature trees and contain climbing, balancing and communal swing play features, while a woodland colour garden leads to an outdoor gym.
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The Park Avenue’s pedestrian and cycle routes will include play and fitness features throughout and will be lined with richly planted beds that also act as rain gardens to attenuate flood water. Finally, Clarence Avenue Arrival Square is one of two multi-use game areas within the masterplan. It includes seating with solid plinths and profiled steel edges that actively seek to encourage use by skateboarders and BMX bikes. The tree and planting strategy drew inspiration from the existing vegetation, which will be retained wherever possible to reinforce the character of Clapham Park. Once complete, more than 900 trees will have been planted, enriching the green nature of the street and open space network, as well as helping to reduce the effects of air pollution, create shelter and definition, bring year-round colour and texture, and be of value to wildlife. The planting also aims to reinterpret three main types of habitat: woodland, woodland edge and perennial rich grassland. The extent of the development also provides the opportunity to create a significant roofscape that is biodiverse and beneficial to wildlife. More than a hectare of biodiverse roofs will be provided, making full use of the available space within the development. “This is a truly wonderful opportunity to work with the client, community and design team to create a public realm that is fitting for modern urban living,” says Adrian Judd, landscape director at PRP. “This detailed approval focuses specifically on the resolution of the architecture and landscape. This ensures optimum construction delivery, design efficiency and flexibility that guarantees the estate’s future longevity and ultimately benefits the local community for years to come,” adds Adrian.
“THE PROJECT WILL DELIVER THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF DESIGN AND QUALITY WHILE SETTING A BENCHMARK FOR FUTURE ESTATE REGENERATION ON THIS SCALE” 5 Precinct B5 Courtyard 6 Site C South Circular Path
PRP PRP is an interdisciplinary, design-led practice with more than 50 years’ experience in housing design and urban planning. The company employs more than 250 staff with studios in London, Manchester and Surrey. Its work is primarily UK-based, but it also has experience of international projects. W: www.prp-co.uk
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ABERFELDY NEW VILLAGE EAST LONDON Levitt Bernstein
P34 Aberfeldy New Village Levitt Bernstein
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P42 Battery Park dhk Architects Cape Town
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he Aberfeldy New Village masterplan has rejuvenated a residential community in East London, creating an environment that will support sustainable living for years to come. From the outset, there was an integrated approach to the architecture, urban design and landscape architecture to create a holistic new neighbourhood – one where the residents and wider community can live, work, play and socialise – that also took inspiration from the site’s historic life as an 18th and 19th century import dock. The masterplan incorporates design considerations such as microclimate, aspect, amenity, character, health and wellbeing, sustainable water management and social sustainability of the evolving community. A core principle was the introduction of a green and blue infrastructure network, which ties in with existing access to improve connections to and from the local area. These were key issues as the former neighbourhood had been isolated by busy roads and lacked good quality green space. The sunken nature of the site’s ground level meant that a new arterial green space could be sheltered from the busy road to the south through built form, exploiting key gateways that have been formed by new traffic-signalled crossings. This approach also meant that a green ‘oasis’ could be created away from the noise and traffic fumes. Walking routes to local schools, shops, play spaces and community facilities have consequently been improved.
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The linear park is the central green space for the community and is characterised by open lawns, a double avenue of bold trees, active play installations and a meadow-planted channel. A wide range of native grasses and wildflowers has been introduced in the meadow with an over-planted palette of bulbs. This fosters wildlife habitats while ensuring flood-risk resilience for the new community, as well as informally supporting south-facing stepped seating for use in warmer weather. The channel runs directly into areas of lawn, shrub and herbaceous planting, offering connectivity of habitat. To the east and west, more formal, civic ‘gateway’ spaces provide an appropriate setting for new retail and community facilities, using water as a repeating feature for playful animation. Opportunities for planting within these spaces is not lost, with a range of flowering trees with wildlife value providing striking seasonal impact.
Name of project Aberfeldy New Village Location Poplar, London Landscape architect Levitt Bernstein Architect Levitt Bernstein Client Aberfeldy New Village LLP (JV between Poplar HARCA and EcoWorld London) Project value £200m (masterplan) Build time 2014–2019 (three phases) Size of project 2.2 ha Awards (nominations, shortlists and wins) • Landscape Institute Awards 2018, Design for a MediumScale Development: Winner • Building Awards 2013, BIM Initiative of the Year: Finalist 1 V aried playspaces 2 L inear park central to the neighbourhood 3 A rt installations refer to the site’s heritage 4 I ntegrated planting and seating Photographs ©Tim Crocker
FutureArc June/July 2019
Supplier information • Public art elements from Make:Good • Trees from Deepdale Trees • Decking and footbridge from CTS Bridges • Wildflower planting from Wildflower Turf Ltd • Paving from Marshalls • Railings from Alpharail • Fencing from Jackson Fencing • Footbridge and pergola from Sarum Hardwood • Landscape sub-contractor: Land Structure Ltd
5 Newly created ‘living’ streets are animated through a combination of planting as well as increasing the number of passers-by. Careful tree placement (considering a complexity of underground utilities) draws people along routes, using flowering species and clear stems to preserve sight lines, while offering vivid autumnal colour and architectural form. A deliberately uncluttered approach to planting these streets ensures appropriate complexity without over-burdening maintenance teams. Elsewhere, robust and attractive shrubs provide evergreen structure, flower and scent. The planting forms defensive space around the ground floor
FutureArc June/July 2019
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dwellings, with species selected for aspect and form, using a rhythm of repetition to mark key routes. The composition of a strong framework of evergreen shrubs forms a foil to more ornate and varied seasonal companion planting. This approach is appropriate in relation to the required maintenance and ensures a robust new residential space. Although previous tree planting was low quality and extremely limited, the masterplan features new species with a focus on selecting larger trees where possible to provide shade and reduce noise. An above-ground approach for greening roof level spaces was created, ensuring these oftenoverlooked expanses offered habitat diversity. By introducing simple features such as coir ropes, sand and gravel piles with south-facing slopes and log stacks, these roof spaces contribute to a mosaic of habitat types across the masterplan. At ground level, biodiversity was considered through the types of planting assigned to the key landscape spaces. Sheltered courtyards feature planters with a variety of herbs, shade-tolerant ground cover and deciduous, light-canopied trees. These elements cater to the needs of people who
5 6 7 8 9
One of the communal gardens New plaza acts as a ‘civic’ gateway A meadow-planted swale Concept sketch Walking routes to local amenities have been improved Photographs ©Tim Crocker
live there, while promoting local wildlife by introducing winter nectar and scent, nesting opportunities and connected corridors for foraging and commuting. A series of shaded north-facing courtyards provides an opportunity for native ferns, iris and low-growing shrubs to create a beautiful setting to front doors and living spaces. Through impactful planting, these potentially dim spaces are enlivened all year round. Ben Ffoulkes-Jones, project director at property developer EcoWorld London, says: “Aberfeldy New Village is quickly transforming into a vibrant new neighbourhood around a significant new London park at its heart. “Housing of all types and tenures has been carefully designed to support development of this mixed, sustainable community – both now and in the long term.”
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Levitt Bernstein is an award-winning practice with a progressive outlook towards the design and development process. As architects, landscape architects and urban designers, the company creates buildings, living landscapes and thriving urban spaces, using inventive design to solve real life challenges. Each project is different but the driving force behind every one is the desire to create something that is inherently both beautiful and useful. W: www.levittbernstein.co.uk
FutureArc June/July 2019
BROMPTON CEMETERY LONDON LDA Design
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£6.2m restoration project at Brompton Cemetery – the resting place of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst – involved a fine balance of heritage, design, innovation and future maintenance. The four-year project has enhanced wildlife habitats, and improved the site’s biodiversity, while retaining a naturalistic feel. The Royal Parks appointed LDA Design to create and manage the ‘Parks for People’, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Led by Sally Prothero, the LDA Design team developed a masterplan for the revitalisation of the historic landscape. The company’s ethos is to connect people and place through landscape and this project involved working closely with the 500-strong Friends of Brompton Cemetery. The Grade I listed site has more than five miles of paths, 35 Grade II and II* listed buildings and monuments, 35,000 gravestones, and more than 600 trees from 60 species. There are more than 205,000 burials on site, and it remains an active cemetery, with 50-60 burials taking place each year. It is the only UK cemetery owned by the Crown and managed by The Royal Parks. Works included the restoration of the Chapel, with improved access ramps; conservation and change of use for the North Lodge; improvements to the Garden of Remembrance and restoration of the ‘at risk’ catacombs. Improvements also included new landscape maintenance facilities, as well as the restoration of graves and monuments.
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4 Site history Designed by 19th-century architect Benjamin Baud, Brompton Cemetery opened in 1840 and is a remarkable legacy of the Victorian era – one of a ring of cemeteries created around central London that became known as ‘The Magnificent Seven’, namely: Highgate (1839), Abney Park (1840) Kensal Green (1833), Tower Hamlets (1841), Nunhead (1840) and West Norwood (1837). Designed to cope with London’s overcrowded graveyards following a cholera epidemic, these cemeteries also provided much-needed public green space. Brompton is of ecological interest and is listed as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) of Borough Importance (Grade I). Today, Brompton is a green oasis in a densely populated part of the city; an area with a notable lack of open public space. Restoration Over the years, Brompton had fallen into disrepair. Although its original layout had been retained, problems included leaking roofs and overgrown gardens. Accessibility was poor, and the catacombs were registered ‘at risk’. Habitat diversity had been lost and there was a lack of visitor amenities. The cemetery was also under pressure from development taking place around it. Its restoration was urgent if it was to remain relevant and viable. Funded by the National Lottery and The Royal Parks, the project has revitalised the original garden cemetery design by Benjamin Baud and JC Loudon, with the restoration of 28 monuments and buildings. Access has been improved and two Bath stone and glass pavilions, a cafe and a ‘Friends of Brompton’ welcome centre, sensitively added to the Grade II* North Lodge, the cemetery’s grand
Client The Royal Parks Lead consultant, principal designer, landscape architect, heritage advisor, planning, graphic design LDA Design Conservation Architects MRDA Civil & Structural Engineers The Morton Partnership M&E SGA Consultants Cost Consultant Huntley Cartwight Ecology BSG Ecology 1 Panorama of the cemetery showing the Chapel and colonnades ©Mark Laing 2 View of the new cafe ©Mark Laing 3 View of the North Lodge ©Mark Laing 4 A sunny spot for lunch ©Mark Laing 5 Before restoration, bramble and bracken were overtaking many significant listed monuments ©LDA Design
FutureArc June/July 2019
entrance. A new volunteer and training hub will be hosting hundreds of events to help visitors learn about Brompton’s heritage and wildlife. The Memorial Garden has been redesigned, inspired by Scottish botanist Robert Fortune who is buried in the cemetery, and enhanced wildlife habitats have restored lost biodiversity.
6 Landscape analysis and proposals LDA Design’s masterplan for the historic site included the addition of two new buildings and conservation works. The company led a multidisciplinary team of conservation architects and engineers to develop sensitive plans to improve use and access to the buildings and structures, and create new spaces defined by the building forms. A tree strategy set out longterm proposals to ensure the garden cemetery planting principles, established by JC Loudon, could continue without compromising memorials. The Garden of Remembrance was redesigned, based on the notable horticulturists buried at
Brompton; gathering spaces were created at the North Lodge, away from the Central Axis, to respect this historic aspect; and the Chapel’s new ramps make this building fully accessible for the first time. Management strategies have placed an emphasis on control of dominant species and diversification of ground flora, in conjunction with the Friends Group. The North Lodge The North Lodge serves as the main entrance to Brompton and it is the first element of Baud’s strong axial route into the site. Previous plans to transform the Lodge had proven controversial and LDA Design worked with the Friends and Royal Parks to overcome those concerns with designs that respected the heritage and its setting and could provide spaces for gathering that were set back from the ceremonial funereal axis. LDA Design and conservation architects MRDA worked together with The Friends of Brompton, the Royal Parks and other stakeholders to develop a design that was sensitive to the site’s heritage but also gave Brompton the new facilities it needed. Innovation As the planning authority objected to ramps improving access to the chapel and the North Lodge pavilions, LDA Design led a series of workshops with 3D visualisations, consulting with interest and access groups to reach a solution. Restoration has given Brompton a new lease of life and preserved a historic landscape for future generations.
6 A view across Brompton towards the Chapel ©Mark Laing 7 Analysis of the landscape including a restored path network ©LDA Design 8 Brompton – an urban green oasis ©Max A Rush
FutureArc June/July 2019
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LDA Design is an award-winning independent design consultancy providing landscape-led masterplanning, public realm and planning services. For 40 years the company has held true to creating great places where people belong. The practice has received more than 100 awards for contemporary and historic parkland design and urban renewal. LDA Design led the masterplanning and detailed design of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is currently leading the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens in Aberdeen and is creating new public realm for Battersea Power Station and Stratford Waterfront in London. W: www.lda-design.co.uk
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11/06/2019 16:39 16:38
CAPE TOWN dhk Architects
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new urban park has been developed at the entrance to one of Africa’s most visited tourist destinations, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Battery Park includes a park and piazza and has been developed as the nucleus of a larger urban vision for the district. The site is of archaeological importance as it contains the remnants of one of the city’s oldest structures, the Amsterdam Battery coastal fortification. Architecture and urban design company dhk designed the project that pays homage to the historic landmark, while providing spaces for leisure and recreational activities along with parking facilities. The project forms part of an urban design framework created by dhk for the V&A’s previously underused Canal District that reconnects the waterfront to the historical city centre and De Waterkant. The aim was to create a public park at the centre of new pedestrian routes stitching the new district into the surrounding urban fabric. Director at dhk and lead architect on the project Pierre Swanepoel says: “The intention was to facilitate a new hub of activity within the V&A district while being respectful to the heritage of the Amsterdam Battery, once a place of exclusion and incarceration, but now a public space designed to support and engage the greater Cape Town community”. History The Amsterdam Battery was built by the Dutch along Cape Town’s coastline in 1784 to defend the city from seaborne and land attacks. In the 1800s the building was used to house prisoners; and was later remodelled and strengthened by the British but eventually abandoned. In 1905 the battery was largely demolished to make way for railway connections to the port, leaving behind only a small portion of its rear curved walls. The historical remnants are now perched eight metres above the new canal running through the site at a lower level.
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3 Design concept The raised park has been kept at the battery’s original inner courtyard level, while planted edges above retail units on the piazza represent the estimated natural ground level that fronted the battery.
4 A range of architectural and landscaped elements reflect the structure’s original footprint, such as semi-circular curved pathways, concrete additions to the rear ramparts, splayed canal-facing walls and concrete-clad structures – giving visitors a sense of the battery’s former size. A large part of the design concept was based around breaking the barrier between the park and piazza and drawing them closer to one another. As a result, the park level has been designed to lower gradually towards the canal edge providing a closer connection to the piazza, and in turn, the piazza gradually steps down towards the canal. The vision was to create scale between the two levels and
Project name Battery Park Project address Dock Road, V&A Waterfront Client V&A Waterfront Developer V&A Waterfront Architects dhk Architects (Pierre Swanepoel, Martin Lardner-Burke, Theo Gutter) Project manager Igual Structural engineers LH Consulting Engineers Mechanical engineers Element Consulting Engineers Electrical engineers Element Consulting Engineers Landscaping Planning Partners Quantity surveyor BTKM Main contractor Group Five Fire consultant Solutionstation Land surveyor Joubert & Brink Urban designer dhk Architects (Guy Briggs) Acoustic consultant Machoy Wet services consultant Solutionstation Heritage Consultant Nicolas Baumann Archaeologist ACO Associates Health and safety agents Eppen-Burger & Associates Traffic engineers GIBB, UrbanEQ Lift consultant Solutions for Elevating
FutureArc June/July 2019
provide visual cues to visitors. This was also achieved by means of soft and hard landscaping elements such as a grand concrete staircase leading from the piazza to the park, sloping and folding walls, and plants to draw the eye to the landscape above. Features On the elevated park level, visitors can explore landscaped gardens with trees and stone-clad planters, winding walkways with built-in benches, a concrete skatepark, basketball court and new pedestrian routes. Throughout the park and piazza steel pergolas scale the design and provide shade. The lower piazza level contains boutique retail units lining the canal-facing walls and forming an active eastern edge to the new canal pedestrian route. The intention behind the piazza was to activate the canal via a range of water sports and provide a link between the V&A and the CBD – encouraging a pedestrianised environment. Referencing the battery’s original facade, loosely packed stone-filled gabion walls shroud the parking facility and stone-clad planters contain fynbos, a distinctive type of vegetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. It includes a wide range of plant species, particularly small heather-like trees and shrubs. All stone used throughout the park and piazza was excavated from the site during the construction process. The materials palette was selected to suit the robust nature of the park, namely, concrete, stone and steel. Concrete was chosen as a ‘material of our time’ for new structures as it can be clearly distinguished from historic
6 elements. A precast concrete panel structure named the ‘interpretation pavilion’ has been built to the estimated height of the battery’s original walls and links the park, piazza and parking facility via internal elevators. To resemble cannon embrasures, three small openings form part of the structure’s canal-facing wall. Historic cannons from Amsterdam Battery, found scattered throughout the V&A by the Cannon Association of South Africa and preserved for the development of the park, are now on display inside the interpretation pavilion. The artefacts sit on top of precast concrete plinths, made to resemble old timber cannon carriages, allowing them to protrude through the embrasures and overlook the canal.
7 1 A erial view of Battery Park ©V&A Waterfront 2 The site contains remnants of coastal fortification ©Theo Gutter 3 New pedestrian routes stitch the Canal District into its surroundings ©Theo Gutter 4&5 Spaces are provided for leisure and recreation ©Dave Southwood 6 Landscaped gardens on the elevated park ©Theo Gutter 7 Historic cannons overlooking the canal ©Theo Gutter 8 Once a place of exclusion, Battery Park now engages the community ©Dave Southwood
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dhk is a design-led multidisciplinary studio which incorporates architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design.With a staff of 130, dhk is one of the largest architectural practices in Africa. dhk’s integrated approach to design in the built environment, coupled with innovative solutions, has garnered international recognition with projects across Africa and in Europe and offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. W: www.dhk.co.za
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11/06/2019 20/03/2019 16:14 09:27
CLAY PAVERS Leading building solutions provider Wienerberger explains why clay paving is a natural choice for landscaping projects and how it was used to create communal courtyards on the award-winning South Gardens project
Kirkstall Forge Railway Station
P50 Tree planting
Advice from Civic Trees on urban planting
• A natural material that has been used for thousands of years in construction • Made from clay sourced from the Netherlands using sustainable extraction methods
P54 Soil Tim O’Hare Associates on using the correct soil for landscaping
P57 Decking Trex from Arbor Forest Products transforms a tranquil spa garden
ith aesthetic appeal and highperformance capability, natural clay is an eﬃcient, cost-eﬀective and sustainable material solution for landscaping and modern construction. Clay is an ideal material for hard landscaping in both domestic and commercial schemes thanks to its long lifespan and the available range of colours, textures and formats. Wienerberger’s clay paver portfolio features a variety of options, from traditional autumnal shades to blacks, blues and greys that will not lose their strength of colour over time. Suitable for both traditional
and contemporary design schemes, landscape architects can be creative with clay pavers by experimenting with blending diﬀerent paver colours together in a variety of laying patterns. Precision-engineered clay pavers oﬀer sound, heat and impact resistance, as well as the ability to cope with high footfall and vehicle traﬃc. Wienerberger also oﬀers permeable clay paving incorporating SuDS technology.
Materials Clay pavers.indd 46
Nottingham Trent University Paving supplied by Hardscape
• Colourfast, so will not fade over time • Available in a wide variety of colours and textures • Low maintenance and durable • Suitable for flexible or rigid construction
CASE STUDY SOUTH GARDENS, LONDON
Smithfield Central Business District Paving supplied by Hardscape
Materials Clay pavers.indd 47
range of clay pavers was used to create a matrix of footpaths in the award-winning South Gardens project in London. South Gardens is a community of 360 new homes which makes up the ﬁrst element of Lendlease’s Elephant Park Masterplan housing development. Working with Southwark Council, Lendlease is regenerating the Heygate Estate in South London’s Elephant & Castle district to create a 3,000-home development that will be one of the City’s greenest living spaces, centred around a two-acre park. The £2.3bn project is due to be completed in 2025, and will provide housing for modern families in the Capital’s Zone 1 area. The South Gardens development consists of low-rise townhouses, mid-rise mansion blocks and a 16-storey tower block located around three landscaped and horticulturally rich courtyards. This inclusive
Project name South Gardens, Elephant Park Client Lendlease Landscape Architect Churchman Thornhill Finch Public Realm Architects Gillespies Landscape Contractor Gavin Jones Architects Maccreanor Lavington Materials Supplier Hardscape and accessible space has been designed to create the feel of a small village. Within the communal courtyards, green spaces are created using a variety of trees, shrubs and hedges. A familyfriendly urban sanctuary, this communityorientated development is designed to imitate a woodland edge, featuring wildlife habitats and the opportunity for residents to forage for fruit or grow fresh food. Equipment to encourage children to engage in creative doorstep play has also been incorporated into the scheme, alongside benches and decked areas.
Case study photographs ©Allan Pollok-Morris
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Case study photographs ©Allan Pollok-Morris
To create a harmonious blend of hard and soft landscaping, Rosa Waterstuck WF, Siena WF and Nero WF pavers from Wienerberger were used to create pathways throughout the courtyard spaces. This striking blend of Dutch-style clay pavers was laid in a herringbone pattern to replicate the look of a traditional cottage garden. The paving design inspires movement and enhances wellbeing, encouraging residents to appreciate the green space, whether they are strolling through on their way to school or work, or spending quality time in the garden that is designed to be an extension of their home. The red, buff and dark grey toned pavers were mixed in different variations around the courtyard to blend in with the natural habitat and design features. Rosa and Nero pavers have been used to complement the flora, fruit trees and garden furniture, with more of the lighter Siena pavers gradually incorporated as the paths move round to the area featuring bamboo and pale wooden decking. The project received top honours at the Landscape Institute Awards 2018, winning the President’s Award as well as the Small-Scale Development category award. Adam White, president of the Landscape Institute, commented: “South Gardens had such a high level of community engagement which must be praised. It provides a flagship case study of how a residential landscape can become an urban sanctuary – inclusive, ecologically rich – with a philosophy that places the community, wellness and ecology at its heart through genuine placemaking, environmentally sensitive planting and meticulous landscape design.”
Wienerberger Wienerberger is the one of the UK’s leading providers of wall, roof and landscaping innovations, with one of the broadest product portfolios in the construction business. W: www.wienerberger.co.uk
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Materials Clay pavers.indd 48
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TREE PLANTING CIVIC TREES Deric Newman, sales manager at Civic Trees, looks at the challenges of planting trees in urban settings
rees tend to grow naturally in soft landscape environments, especially with relatively uncompacted soil, good access to air and available water. A paved, hardscape environment is the opposite, and can, understandably, cause trees to suﬀer unnecessarily. An ideal solution for ‘street tree’ planting is to create a growth zone in the ground, avoiding services and utilities that need work, which could potentially damage roots and soil conditions. This will give the trees space (above and below ground) to develop, and can be, in eﬀect, one long tree pit containing several trees. The surface ﬁnish must be one that allows air and water through to the soil below. Potential threats to urban tree planting • Vandalism/damage • Poor planning/lack of space for full development (above and below ground) • Pollution/contamination • CCTV • Interference from services and utilities • Lack of aftercare
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KEY PLANTING CONSIDERATIONS Planting Depth Trees should not be planted deeper than they were in the nursery. Ideally, planting 25-50mm higher than the surrounding ground level will allow for some settlement in the tree pit soil, and within the rootball itself. A tree is better oﬀ too high rather than too low. Surface finishes around trees Grass should not be placed too closely to newly planted trees (or any trees), as it takes water and nutrients from the soil away from the tree. Grass also needs regular maintenance, which brings sharp edges of strimmers and mowers near the base of the tree. The entire area of the tree pit should be covered in at least 50mm of mulch to act as a barrier. When planting in hard surfaces, it is important to consider the depth that the tree must be planted in order to allow space for paving/grilles over the top. It is generally acceptable to lay a granular material on the rootball, such as mulch, as long as it still allows air and water to pass through.
The quest for space It is advisable to consider the amount of space the tree will have to grow, above and below ground, as this could restrict the choice of trees. Also consider any factors that might determine the shape of the tree, such as sightlines at junctions or CCTV cameras. Trees also need space at ground level. The tree pit area should be kept free of anything that could hinder their development. A barrier is also preferable to stop people walking over the pit compacting the soil. This barrier could be designed to be a useful piece of street furniture, such as a bench. From an aesthetic point of view, designers might prefer to see an uncluttered surface, but in a hard-scape environment, this is asking the plants to contend with a lot of negative factors. Root cell systems Such systems are good in principle, but if the soil is not placed correctly or allowed to settle properly prior to planting, the trees can sink once installed. In addition, it is not always practical to excavate a hole large enough for root cell systems, but the aperture into the cell’s system must be big enough to accommodate the rootball of the tree. Maintenance Maintenance is crucial. It needs to be adequately costed, speciﬁed and monitored regularly. Trees will need at least three years to get properly established (and self-suﬃcient) in the landscape. Other aspects to consider are: feeding, removing weeds, maintaining a good depth of mulch on the tree pit area, checking tree health, and removing any unwanted growth or damaged branches. Irrigation bags, such as Gator Bags, allow a set amount of water to be given to the trees, but they do have a downside: the ‘footprint’ of the water is quite narrow and close to the stem. This is ﬁne if the rootball is around 50cm diameter, but for anything larger, the water will not reach the roots and soil at the edge of the rootball. It is also important that newly planted trees are supported with a suitable guying method to secure the tree while the roots develop. The right size Smaller trees might cost less to plant and initially maintain, but they are more vulnerable to vandalism, and can require expensive formative pruning in order to create their ﬁnal shape. Larger specimens not only reduce the risk of vandalism, but add instant maturity and impact to the urban landscape. www.civictrees.co.uk
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URBAN LANDSCAPING: YORK
ree planting was an important part of a project in York, North Yorkshire, that helped to regenerate parts of the Shambles. The scheme involved changing the direction of traﬃc along Fossgate, as well as, relaying road surfaces, repaving the York stone paths, widening the narrow footpaths and introducing street furniture. York City Council appointed the local company: JC Trees, to install the trees. They also helped to put the city council in contact with Green-tech’s speciﬁcation team: gtSpeciﬁer, for assistance with product demonstrations and technical information.
Green-tech supplied everything necessary for successful tree planting in an urban landscape setting. This included the AborRaft tree planting system, which has strong geocellular units locking together, forming a raft system that sits within the tree pit providing load-bearing support. Green-tree Subsoil was used as well as ArborRaft soil, which, in conjunction with the ArborRaft system, eliminates
compaction of the soil and growing media within the pit, and oﬀers an ideal growing environment for trees in an urban setting. Green-tech’s new tree-anchoring kit was speciﬁed to secure the trees. The Mona tree irrigation system was chosen because of its ease of installation and eﬀectiveness in delivering water to the tree roots at a consistent level. Gt RootBarrier was installed to protect the nearby utility pipes from future damage of spreading tree roots. It eﬀectively controls the roots, while protecting from pollutants and acids in the soil. To ﬁnish, a contemporary cast iron tree guard and grille was installed, with bespoke etching speciﬁc to York City Council. Speaking about the project, James Clapperton from JC Trees, says: “I am delighted with the overall look of the trees and the ease of installation for all the items, but especially pleased with the ArborRaft System.” The Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma gate and Walmgate areas are also due to be upgraded as part of the project. www.green-tech.co.uk
FutureArc June/July 2019 51
ustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are at the forefront of the policy agenda, both locally and nationally, following the introduction of new legislation. For more than 25 years, GreenBlue Urban has been responding to the change in urban drainage, and how towns and cities are being planned to adapt.
SuDS buildout designed to intercept, clean and store water
Latest developments include: adoption of Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act, changes to sewers for Adoption 9, revisions to the NPPF and DEFRA’s 25-year environment plan. The company has also been involved in a ﬂagship scheme for the Greener Grangetown project for SuDS, in Cardiﬀ, Wales. An example of the successful retro installation of SuDS features into an existing urban
A full retrofit solution – Greener Grangetown
FutureArc June/July 2019
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streetscape. This project was led by Arup and commissioned by Cardiﬀ Council, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales. Arup’s water engineers and placemaking team designed solutions that integrated SuDs with public realm improvements. GreenBlue provided advice on the tree pit installations, and assisted the project team from concept through to completion. Charlotte Markey, PR and planning consultant at GreenBlue Urban (who works closely with product development on improving the company’s SuDS solutions), says: “It’s an exciting time to be working with local authorities, academic institutions and landscape architects to deliver the next generation of SuDS components for complex retroﬁt scenarios.” The project has delivered a range of beneﬁts, including the removal of 42,480m² of surface water – the equivalent of 10 football pitches – from the combined waste water network. An additional 1,600m² of green
Working alongside water resilient cities in Middleburg
space has been provided by the scheme, increasing biodiversity with 135 new trees and thousands of shrubs and grasses planted. Other features include a community orchard and the creation of the ﬁrst ‘bicycle street’ in Wales. New seating, litter bins, bicycle stands, and increased resident-only parking spaces have also been added. Economic benefits The company’s work can also deliver economic beneﬁts. For example, GreenBlue helped a client save more than £1m through the delivery of a network of connected Arborﬂow tree pits into a strategic location in the heart of Peterborough. The commuter town has also been the recipient of high-quality SuDS retroﬁts, due to a collaboration between Peterborough City Council, GreenBlue Urban and Anglian Water. An option for conﬁned highway schemes and complex retroﬁts, the Arborﬂow tree pit package has also been designed for new developments where developers need to use SuDS components to maximise developable land.
The system allows ﬂexibility, ranging from the integration of cell systems into raingarden build-outs, to larger scale projects where the SuDS features are used alongside transport infrastructure to create strategic buﬀers in the event of heavy rainfall.
Installing ArborFlow tree pits at Fletton Quays
GreenBlue Urban is also at the forefront of trial and innovation, and its work across Europe (as part of the EU Interreg funded Water Resilient Cities project) has resulted in pilot sites, where the Arborﬂow system has been tested in a range of political and topographical contexts. Projects include: work on contaminated brownﬁeld sites, installing on inclines, and integrating SuDS into complex, historical centres such as Bruges. www.greenblue.com
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11/06/2019 15:53 09:08
A SOIL FOR ALL SEASONS
the first of a three-part series: Tim O’Hare, principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, discusses the value of getting soil correct in landscaping projects 2
3 1 Exposed soil profile showing topsoil and upper subsoil 2 Established wildflower meadow 3 Urban park with flowering perennials
FutureArc June/July 2019
Tim OHare Soil - KR.indd 54
oil is a fundamental component of any landscape scheme, a major factor in any SuDS project, and a key aspect of ecological design by increasing ﬂora and fauna biodiversity. Sports ﬁelds and public parks rely heavily on soil to provide a healthy grass sward for play, while ensuring the surface is level and drains well. So, without the right soil, many landscape schemes either struggle to establish, fail, or never achieve their full potential. This is partly because not all soils are the same; they vary massively in their composition (pH, fertility, texture, contaminants, etc) and condition (depth, compaction, drainage capacity, etc), which means that they also vary in their ability to perform the necessary functions expected of them by the landscape. The soil properties, for example, required for semi-mature tree planting are notably diﬀerent from those that support a species-rich wildﬂower meadow. Tim says: “Knowing all this, I am still amazed how many projects do little, if any, assessment of their site’s soil resources. Often, if any assessment is done, it’s carried out by the contractor at RIBA stage six because
it is a requirement of the landscape speciﬁcation. By then, the design is set, the plants chosen and there is little opportunity to change anything. Ideally, a soil survey should be undertaken in stage two or three, and when all the other surveys (ecology, archaeology, arboriculture, contamination) are being carried out.”
“WITHOUT THE RIGHT SOIL, MANY LANDSCAPE SCHEMES STRUGGLE TO ESTABLISH” The Defra guidance document ‘Code of Practice for the Sustainable Use of Soils on Construction Sites’ (2009) was speciﬁcally intended for such purposes. It sets out the requirements for a Soil Resource Survey, which should provide the answers to these types of questions: • What types of soil are on site? Clayey? Sandy? Fertile? Infertile? Acid? Calcareous? • Is the soil suitable for the intended landscape scheme?
• Can the soils be improved or modified to make them suitable? • How high can it be stockpiled? • Can the soils be relied upon for SuDS? • Will tree pits need positive drainage? • If there is a surplus of topsoil, can it be sold to other projects, or will its disposal be a commercial risk? • Is there a risk of phytotoxic contamination? • And does the soil contain invasive weed seeds, rhizomes or stolons?
“GOOD SOIL CONDITIONS USUALLY RESULT IN A QUICK PLANT ESTABLISHMENT”
4 Infrastructure trees, Heathrow 5 Ornamental planting beds, Swiss Cottage 6 Healthy street trees, Athletes Village 7 Public realm lawns, Arundel Square
Soil review benefits This sort of information not only helps steer the landscape design and specification, it also helps assist the wider project design, including, cost analysis and risk mitigation, cut and fill calculations, Material Management Plans and site-wide drainage design. Even on brownfield or urban sites, it’s worthwhile doing a review of existing ground conditions. A lot can be concluded by reviewing the engineer’s ground investigation report, alongside the landscape proposals: •C an Made Ground be relied upon as subsoil or will new subsoil be needed? •A re there any phytotoxic contaminants (eg pH, salinity, heavy metals)? • What depth(s) of imported topsoil will be required? • How big will the tree pits need to be? •W hat tree species will thrive in these ground conditions? •C an Made Ground be turned into topsoil, offering a significant cost saving to the project? If correct soil conditions are achieved, the direct and indirect results can be widespread. Good soil conditions usually result in a quick plant establishment, which is often one of the clients’ or local authorities’ priorities. This can also lead to optimum plant growth as well as reduced maintenance inputs and costs. “Delivering a successful scheme should meet or exceed the expectations of clients, planners, regulators and end-users,” says Tim. After assisting on schemes with a legacy of soil problems, it is often the landscape architect that is retained by the client to ressolve the issue, which can be time-consuming, soul-destroying and costly. Instead, a successful, hassle-free delivery often results in repeat business and positive referral.”
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Tim O’Hare Associates LLP Tim O’Hare, principal consultant of Tim O’Hare Associates LLP, has been advising on soil investigation within the landscape industry for more than 20 years. He works with many landscape architects and contractors to ensure the soils they use, specify, import or supply are ‘fit for purpose’. Tim O’Hare Associates is holding its Soil CPD Conference in Henley-on-Thames on Thursday 26 September. For more information visit SoilsCon2019 at: W: www.toha.co.uk
FutureArc June/July 2019
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TRANQUIL TRANSFORMATION DECKING CASE STUDY
USING Composite decking by Trex, Rockliffe Hall’s Spa garden HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED into a restful space
ne of the UK’s largest spas, the award-winning Rockliﬀe Hall in Hurworth, located on the County Durham and North Yorkshire border, blends indoor and outdoor areas together, creating a luxurious spa experience. The spa features Trex composite deck boards in the Spa Garden outdoor area, surrounding the two hot pools: the inﬁnity edge experience pool and the jacuzzi. The architects, xsite architecture, also speciﬁed
Trex for the lounging area, which is surrounded by landscaped gardens with views across the grounds of Rockliﬀe Hall. Trex was selected for its low-maintenance and fade and stain-resistant qualities, along with its slip-resistant properties which make it suitable for a poolside setting. Due to its ease of installation, the spa was able to keep disruption to a minimum. Originating in the USA, composite decking is also well suited to the UK climate as decking
boards do not rot in damp conditions or fade in the sun. They are also notably easy to maintain. Commenting on the decking area at Rockliﬀe Hall, Arbor Forest Products’ Trex product manager, Sarah Francis, says: “Trex is the perfect match for Rockliﬀe Hall’s Spa Garden area, providing a beautiful, durable decking solution that is easy to maintain, creating a relaxing environment that guests can enjoy for years to come.”
FutureArc June/July 2019
The expanded collection At Rockliffe Hall, the architects specified a warm, natural-looking decking product, which contributes to the calm, tranquil environment. Recently, Arbor Forest Products has expanded its UK Trex range, offering products at a wider selection of price points. A choice of several new colours helps to fit in with almost any environment, from spaces such as Rockliffe Hall to rooftop gardens. Trex Transcend decking is one of the leading premium decking brands, with emphasis on quality, depth of colour and ease of maintenance. However, the associated price tag may have led some to opt for lower-cost and lower-quality brands. With this in mind, the company also offers two more affordable ranges: the Trex Enhance Naturals collection and the Trex Enhance Basics collection, an entry-level Trex product. Hoping to complement
FutureArc June/July 2019
any outdoor space’s colour scheme, the Enhance collections also come in multiple colours. Both ranges feature solid boards capped on three sides, offering maximum protection while still allowing the composite core to breathe. Enhance decking promises not to rot or split, whatever the weather. A quick wash using soapy water brings the deck back to its best. All Trex ranges come with a 10-year limited warranty for a commercial deck. The main differences to consider are that Trex Enhance boards are lighter than Transcend, thanks to a scalloped core, and the shells are made differently. The Enhance’s warranty covers against fading and staining, but it is not comparable with the Transcend deck’s hard-wearing and scratch-resistant shell. For more information on Trex decking in the UK, please visit www.arbordeck.co.uk
ARBOR forest products ltd Arbor Forest Products Ltd is an independently-owned distributor of timber and timber-related products. Operating from an 85-acre site in North Lincolnshire, it is also the distributor of Trex® Transcend. W: www.arbordeck.co.uk
BESPOKE THEMED PLAY
PLAY AREA CASE STUDY
A project for a new inventive play area for older children in Doncaster called for a bespoke solution from play equipment specialists Proludic
he £165,000 commission from Thorne Moorends Town Council called for an ‘inventive, creative, inclusive and stimulating’ environment. Following research into the town’s history, and after speaking with the local community, it emerged that there was a rich mining heritage to the area. As the play area was designated to
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be built on the Miners’ Welfare Ground, Proludic decided it would be ﬁtting to design a bespoke facility that reﬂected and celebrated this connection. The mining themed design incorporates a 6.6m high ‘pit head’ tower which provides a focal point. Wet pour graphics were created to enhance the overall theme, creating an innovative playful space. To cater for older children, a selection of physically challenging items from the Proludic Dynamic Structures and Cylogym BMX Ramp ranges were included. Speaking about the project, councillor Susan Durant, mayor of Thorne and Moorends, said: “It’s taken a long time and a lot of hard work by many people, but I’m delighted to be able
to ﬁnally open our brilliant new play area and equipment for older children.” Chris Geeson, interim clerk at Thorne Moorends Town Council, also said: “I’m really impressed that Proludic managed to get the play area completed on budget and in time for the oﬃcial opening at the town gala. I’ve been very happy with Proludic throughout this process.”
Proludic The company has been designing outdoor play and sports areas for more than 30 years, working in partnership with local authorities, campsites, holiday clubs and property developers. Its play equipment is suitable for all age groups, and is adaptable to different site layouts and climate variations. W: www.proludic.co.uk
FutureArc June/July 2019
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