Wood Farm Ilja Anosovs
Table of Contents 2 Introduction to the Area 3 Site Analysis 4
Barriers, public/private space 4 Green Space and Permeability 4 Land Use in Wood Farm 5 Blocks, Plots, Buildings 5 SWOB 6 Design Actions 7
This report introduces the site analysis of Wood Farm, which is a small residential estate in North East Oxford. It incorporates two different media, and provides a good description and assessment of the site. The report is divided into four different sections. They are, introduction to the site, analysis of morphological layers, SWOB analysis, which is based on those findings and design actions. The design action were being made considering strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and barriers and were proposed to solve these issues in the potential redevelopment of Wood Farm in the future. Proposed master plan shows potential street layout, types of buildings as well as some features in details.
Introduction to the area.
FIG.1: Wood Farm area and the surroundings in the 1890’s. Source: Digimap
FIG. 2: Early development of the area in the 1920’s. Wood Farm started to expand, some new plots are seen, but still there are no significant changes. Source: Digimap
FIG. 3: Development continues. First surrounding residential neighbourhoods started to appear in the 1930’s. Source: Digimap
FIG. 4: Wood Farm area in the 1950’s, the major stage of development in the area. Many new residential blocks appeared. Source: Digimap
FIG. 6: Wood Farm in relation to the centre of the city and major roads. Source: Bing Maps.
Wood Farm is a small residential estate in North East Oxford, between Headington and Blackbird Leys. It mostly consists of private and council hosing. The first development in the Wood Farm boundaries started in the beginning of 20th century. The area is located not far from famous Cowley Road, St. Clements, also local bus connects it with the city centre. FIG. 5: Contemporary Wood Farm. The researced site was developd in the 1960’s. Since then is has no changed dramatically. Source: Digimap
The area itself has a very unique and at the same time quite common appearance of residential estate. The Forester’s Tower is an unusual high rising building and it became a sort of a landmark for this area and the surroundings. Also, Wood Farm has many green spaces such as Magdalen Wood and open space in the middle of the site. Wood Farm has a few local
shops and frequent bus services. The major access route to the area is its main road, which is connected with other smaller minor roads of the area. Wood Farm is a calm, residential estate with its own, strong sense of place.
Site Analysis Barriers, public/private space
Green Space and Permeability
FIG. 7. This map shows public and private space as well as noise and physical barriers. Source: Author
FIG. 8: The wall of a carparking which forms a physical barrier. Source: Author
FIG. 9: One of the barriers. Source: Author
There are many physical barriers throughout the estate. Many little fences and walls of houses form enclosed inaccessible separated plots of land. That strongly harms permeability of the area as well as makes is unfriendly and unsafe. In addition, these barriers provide a definition of private and public spaces as well as separate it from each other.
Major Roads B
FIG. 12: Green space and hierarchy of streets. Source: Author
Wood Farm is purely residential estate, which mostly consists of separate small private plots. However, there are just a few public areas such as local shops as well as big, green public open space and Magdalens Wood. In addition, these public spaces are poorly used even by locals.
FIG. 10: A fence in the public area with local shops. Source: Author
FIG. 13: An example of a green open space. Source: Author
FIG. 11: Small fence alos is a barrier. Source: Author
Video 2: Shows permeability in Wood Farm. Source: Author
There are big plots of green, open space. The problem is that they are not connected with each other. However, the big field in the middle and Magdalen Wood provides a greet vitality for the site. There are a few roads within the area. The major road of the area is called Wood Farm Road. It not simply provides a good access to the estate, but also connects some minor roads surrounding the area. Also, there are four bus stops, for the local services. Busses increase permeability and connectivity with the city and also bring a good variety to Wood Farm. However, there is a lack of permeability and variety there.
Site Analysis Land Use in Wood Farm
Blocks, Plots and Buldings
Housing Undeveloped Open Space Storage Local Shops (Mixed Use) Car Parking Developed Open space
Buildings FIG. 14: Land use of Wood Farm. Source: Author
FIG. 17: Blocks, Plots, Buildings. Source: Author
The main land use in the area is housing (FIG. 14). Predominately two or three storied houses build from red brick (FIG. 18 and FIG. 19). In addition, there is also built a massive Forester’s Tower block, just in the middle of the area. However, there are big plots of unused open, green space. There are also a few garages and storage blocks in the area, as well as car parking spaces located in different places around the site.
There are three blocks divided into several plots mostly used by housing. In addition the biggest plot is the open space with the children’s playground. Area is full of undeveloped plots around the houses and that really shows how low the level of vitality is there .(see Fig.17)
Video 3: Active and inactive edges. Source: Author.
FIG. 15: One of the several element of street furniture Source: Author.
There is also lack of street furniture on the site except for some benches in publice spaces, children’s playground and sport facilities (see FIG. 15 and FIG. 16). Because of that, there is a lack of variety and vitality in Wood Farm. Video. 2: Unsecurity of Wood Farm. Source: Author.
FIG. 16: The playground Source: Author.
FIG. 18: An example of housing in Wood Farm, showing its typical architectural style. Source: Author,
There are a few active edges in the site. One in the shopping area and some are the fronts of the houses. However, there is a huge number of inactive backs of the houses and walls which are mostly unused and unsafe.
FIG. 19: Another housing block. Also have similar architectural qualities Source: Author
SWOB FIG. 20: Sthrengths Source: Author.
FIG. 21: Weaknesses Source: Author.
FIG. 22: Opportunities Source: Author.
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FIG. 23: Barriers Source: Author.
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STRENGTHS S. 1. Mixed use in the public area. Housing and local facilities such as post office and shops are there. S. 2. Organized playing field with some sport facilities, which is used by kids and adults. S. 3. Lots of parking within the areas including garages for locals. S. 4. Wide streets including the minor roads as well. S. 5. There is a lot of green space including small backyards and small wooded area. S. 6. Great location not far from historic centre of Oxford and facilities of Headington and Cowley Road. S. 7. Regular bus service with accessible bus stops within the area. (See Fig. 12.)
WEAKNESSES W. 1. The caging of children in the area e.g. playground. The sign of insecurity and W. 2. There are many inactive edges. Big number of buildings facing with their backs to public open space forming barriers and poor legibility if the area. W. 3. Roads do not have a good connection with each other. They are separated and does not provide a good permeability and legibility. W. 4. There are many undeveloped and unused plots of land in Wood Farm. W. 5. There many signs of ‘anti-social’ behaviour and vandalism (see Vid. ) W. 6. Lack of street furniture. W. 7. Poor variety of buildings on the site. W. 8. Forester’s Tower block.
OPPORTUNITIES O. 1. There is a good potential for further development and mending of Wood Farm. O. 2. There can be positive shift in cycling levels by redesigning streets as well as adding secure cycle parking. O. 3. The existing building, for example shops and tower block can be reused and redeveloped for increasing wellbeing of the site and can make better use of active edges. O. 4. New people with better social capital and will arrive in the area and that potentially will improve the criminal stereotypes of Wood Farm O. 5. The redesigning of the streets can provide better interactions between the buildings. It can become more permeable and attract more people to the area.
BARRIERS B. 1. The criminal image of Wood Farm can become a barrier for further positive development and can also negatively influence its potential. B. 2. The Lack of facilities and mixed use can discourage potential residents. B. 3. Potential gentrification can displace current locals as well cause an increase in property prices.
Design Actions D.A. 1: Develop existing networks to improve permeability, make them better connected, and better used by pedestrians, cyclists and transport. (see W. 3.) D.A. 2 : Make the area more variable with different types of buildings. The diversity will help to develop vitality of the area. (see W. 7.) D.A. 3: Incorporate mixed use units for public and private use. (see W. 7. and B. 2.) D.A. 4: Develop the green space and make better organized, managed and used also avoiding unused plots of land. D.A. 5: Reduce number of inactive edges and barriers within the area. FIG. 24. Relates to D.A. 2 and D.A. 3:
The mixed use as well as variety in types of buildings and architectural style, will improve overall legibility and vitality of the area. More shops within the area will also make a good influence on diversity of the neighbourhood and will avoid a concentration of people only in the old shopping space. Also, it can awake an interest of potential residents to Wood Farm.
D.A. 6: Organize the shared space with priority for pedestrians and cyclists around the houses. D.A. 7: Redevelop the tower block incorporating it with the other buildings. (see W. 8.)
FIG. 25. Relates to D.A. 4.
Redesigning of the green open space which is mostly undeveloped can make the area more interesting for the people, as well as become more vital and permeable within the area. It also can become a good public space for recreation and improve a landscape with a sensory experience of the user. Surce: http://beaconhill.seattle.wa.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/beaconmountain-large.jpg
FIG. 26. Realtes to D.A. 1. and D.A. 7.
FIG. 27. Relates to D.A. 6.
This masterplan introduces the possible street layout, as well as possible types of buildings. Buildings are focused on the surrounding streets in the way to avoid inactive adages and to improve natural surveillance.
Redevelopment of some roads and open spaces into shared space will make Wood Farm more permeable as well as pedestrian and bicycle friendly.