Diamond Architects, in collaboration with Public Works, an art/architecture collective, undertook a series of workshops with the residents of Braithwaite House, a 19-storey residential tower block part of the 1960s Banner Estate in north-east London. The aim was to develop a brief for the creation of a welcoming new piece of shared public outdoor space, formerly a bare expanse of asphalt.
The scheme's modest budget (just over £150,000) plus complex logistics including the loading issues of the podium's concrete deck, has led to a design focused on a series of interventions and surface treatments. By introducing pieces of furniture, games, planting and surface treatments, the project has created areas for activity, play and interaction, as well as a space for contemplation.
July 7, 2010
- Thanks to 5.8m of new grants from the Access to Nature programme, thousands of people in towns and cities all over England will have the chance to improve green spaces in their area and get closer to nature on their doorsteps. more >
In recognition of the shared challenge facing a range of professionals, RUDI, the newly formed Urban Intelligence Network and the Institute of Place Management (IPM) have put together a new publication with one key purpose:
to remind ourselves that even though things may currently be tough economically, our towns and cities have a bigger role in society than just providing us with a place to shop.
May 19, 2010
- Taking the lead from China, Spain and Manchester’s Dam Head Park, London's first specially-designed pensioners' playground has opened to the public in Hyde Park. Free, public outdoor fitness facilities for all ages, common sights in public parks and green spaces across China, Spain, Germany and much of Europe, are seemingly beginning to catch on in England. more >
Even their Lordships are, quite literally, getting in on the debate
For the past few years it’s been my privilege to be an advisor to the City of Edinburgh Council, part of the joy of the role being the need to make regular visits to one of my favourite cities. My involvement began with a weekend-long workshop focused on the urban design aspects of the Edinburgh tram project. To cut a long story short, although this project was already fully up and running – with funding, contractors, a delivery programme and of course penalty clauses in place – some council officers, along with the city’s design champion, had recognised that the range of influences on its design had been too narrow. The workshop was an attempt to begin the process of retro-fitting other design considerations into the project.
‘Added value’ is not just doing more for the same money, sometimes, spending a little more on top of the initial assumed budget will achieve additional positive outcomes out of proportion to the extra spend
John Dales finds a source of inspiration and realism just right for these times of austerity
The major Liverpool One project, initiated by Liverpool City Council in 1999, was completed by developer Grosvenor in 2008. In terms of creating much more than a shopping centre, driving growth and boosting economic viability, Liverpool One has fulfilled client expectations.
Once upon a time high streets, public squares and other parts of the public environment seemed to almost manage themselves. Traditional activity in a town centre - movement, exchange of goods and diversions, such as street entertainment - just happened. Then came a much more structured regime of traffic and highway management, purpose designed shopping centres in the town centre, followed by competitive brand new environments created out of town.
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