April 25, 2018

Designs revealed as three Yorkshire train stations are set to be transformed


The designs for three Yorkshire train stations by BDP have recently been revealed. The plans for stations in Bradford, Halifax and Middlesbrough were all announced by their respective local councils within days of each other.

Bradford Interchange and its surrounding area are set to be transformed by investment in a city centre station as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail. We have produced a vision for the station which shows a more open, public area in front of a multi-levelled interchange. The plans are part of a campaign to secure central government funding, boost the northern economy and speed up journey times across the north of England.

Calderdale Council has announced that Halifax station could be transformed into a world-class facility, improving access to the town and boosting economic growth. Our scheme works with the unique history of the town with strong connections to the recently restored Piece Hall and new buildings such as the library key to the design of the station. The proposed layout creates a new connection through the viaduct to Bailey Hall, another historic feature, which is set to play a role in the regeneration of the town.

A long-term vision for the station and the surrounding area has also been announced in Middlesbrough. Our proposals will preserve the history of the iconic Victorian building and provide improved benefits to passengers. The design focuses on celebrating the qualities of the existing station alongside the creation of new facilities to accommodate additional intercity services.

Head of transport Peter Jenkins said: “This is a significant boost for our transport sector and we’re delighted to be involved in these three projects in Yorkshire, with each station unique to the specific context in which it is located. Our designs draw on the historic qualities and the future aspirations for each individual station. However they all share the principles of good interchange design recognising the importance of stations to local identity, accessibility and permeability.”


ASLA applauds passage of Congressional Spending Bill

Applauds ASLA

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) applauds Congress for passing a fiscal year 2018 spending bill that provides funding for programs vital to American communities. This bill takes important steps toward upgrading our nation’s infrastructure, improving our water management systems and increasing funding for parks, forests and federal lands.

The Society has long advocated for the increased funding of green infrastructure, including releasing a series of recommendations last year that urged policymakers to support a comprehensive plan for transportation, water and natural systems. The spending bill as passed ensures that support.

“The bipartisan passing of this bill is evidence of consensus on the Hill regarding issues critical to America’s health, safety and welfare,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “This bill will allow landscape architects to continue to help upgrade our nation’s infrastructure. That work makes communities more resilient, improves the quality of life for people and helps protect and restore local ecosystems.”

Among the bill’s provisions:

  • The measure provides a $1 billion increase for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, which provides grants for innovative multimodal transportation projects, such as bicycle and pedestrian systems, transit and transit-oriented development. Since the program’s inception in 2009, landscape architects have accessed TIGER to plan and design bike and pedestrian trails and Complete Street projects. Demand for TIGER grants has exceeded available funding. The new, significant increase will allow more innovative transportation projects to go forward.
  • The measure provides $425 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a 10 percent increase from last year. LWCF funds support projects on federal lands including facilities in national parks, monuments and battlefields. Landscape architects use this funding to plan and design essential outdoor recreation facilities across the nation.
  • Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, a program of the Environmental Protection Agency, will receive $2.9 billion, an increase of about $600 million. This program provides grants to states and localities to improve water treatment infrastructure.
  • The National Park Service (NPS) will receive $3.2 billion, an increase of $255 million. This funding includes $175 million to address the backlog of nearly $12 billion in maintenance projects. This support is a positive step towards maintaining the use and beauty of our national parks.

The Society and its members look forward to continuing its work on these critical initiatives.

Multi-disciplinary practice partners with Nottingham Trent University to offer architectural insight


Multi-disciplinary architectural practice, rg+p has partnered with Nottingham Trent University to offer students a practical insight into the design of educational and learning environments.

The Leicester-based firm has undertaken lectures and workshops with undergraduates from the Nottingham Institute of Education as part of their ‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ module. Principal landscape architect, Julian Gladman and head of interiors, Ian Matthews have delivered two lectures at the University’s Clifton Campus as well as hosted 30 students at rg+p’s Leicester office to provide real life examples of the environment and business of architecture.

Julian Gladman said: “We’ve just completed a short series of lectures with students from the BA (Hons) Education Studies course to broaden their understanding of the role design plays in the development of a learning environment such as school or college.

 “Our lectures were written specifically for the course and covered current design practices, the best approach to learning space design including the associated limitations and challenges as well as the importance of preparing an integrated design throughout a project’s lifecycle to ensure end users remain engaged.

“To further enhance this, we invited the students to our office to observe how it’s used as a learning and collaborative space as well as visualise how the design of our ‘own space’ came to life, providing a practical example for them to draw upon.

“Our practice ethos is focused on collaboration and teaching so it’s really important to not just offer opportunities like this for aspirational architects but also for our own architectural trainees, who were very involved in the development of content for lectures and during the presentations at the office.”

Following the success of the inaugural visit, rg+p has committed to host a further 25 students at their city centre office.

Sarah Davies, Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University commented: “rg+p’s sessions have been extremely informative and engaging, providing a breadth and depth of information about a variety of design contexts and schemes.

“Our students have been really positive; commenting on how much they appreciate time with industry professionals and the opportunity to tour and learn from a real working environment. This has been a hugely successful partnership so far and we’re now looking forward to our next visit.”


UK’s largest connected and autonomous vehicle project tackles city centre parking


An Arup-led UK trial of connected and autonomous vehicle technology has been demonstrating how parking difficulties could soon be a thing of the past.

The UK Autodrive project has been using public roads and car parks in Milton Keynes to show how connected and autonomous vehicles could make the search for parking spaces much easier in future.

Project partners Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) have demonstrated how cars can communicate with each other to notify drivers of available parking spaces – without the need for any additional parking bay sensors.

Jaguar Land Rover has also used the occasion to showcase its latest self-driving vehicle technology, demonstrating another future parking solution, with the vehicle successfully driving itself to an available car park bay before parking itself.

Tim Armitage, Arup’s UK autodrive project director, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles are expected to bring a large number of social benefits, from improved road safety to an easing of traffic congestion, but the possible benefits in terms of parking should also not be overlooked. As well as making parking less of a hassle for individuals, more efficient ways of parking could allow cities to radically redefine their use of space in the future – with far less land potentially needed for parking spaces in city centres once we get to the point where cars can go off and park themselves.”

In times of heavy traffic congestion, it has been estimated that up to 30% of that traffic consists of vehicles looking for parking spaces. The technology being trialled as part of the UK Autodrive project is intended to take the guesswork out of finding spaces by sending information about available spaces directly to connected or autonomous cars.

As well as demonstrating potential future parking solutions, the three car manufacturers also carried out their first public road trials of two connected car safety features.

The first involved an Emergency Vehicle Warning (EVW) system, which alerts drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching and also indicates which direction it is coming from.

The second trial demonstrated an Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EEBL) feature which gives a warning when another connected car further up the road brakes heavily – potentially giving drivers several additional seconds to avoid a possible collision.

In addition to trialling connected and autonomous road-based vehicles, the UK Autodrive project is due to trial a fleet of up to 40 low-speed self-driving ‘pod’ vehicles in pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes over the summer. A final set of UK Autodrive demonstrations, involving both types of vehicle, is then scheduled to be held in the autumn, in the project’s two host cities of Milton Keynes and Coventry.

New £1.6bn flagship regeneration of Clapham Park given the go-ahead


Lambeth Council’s Planning Committee has approved Metropolitan’s new development proposal to build more than 2,500 new homes and a wide range of community facilities at Clapham Park in south London. PRP, the award-winning architectural firm, designed the revised plan for Clapham Park.

Strategically located between three local centres, Clapham, Brixton and Streatham Hill, the masterplan will create a vibrant, inclusive series of neighbourhoods with safe, secure streets, ample public and private green space, and new community facilities, while also positively maintaining Clapham Park’s unique character.

Referencing Sir Thomas Cubitt, who once lived on Clarence Avenue, the masterplan draws inspiration from the neighbouring conservation areas and the historic London mansion block vernacular to create a modern, high-density neighbourhood which maintains the green, leafy and open nature of the Clapham Park community.

The masterplan will offer a variety of housing types, tenures and typologies to help meet London and Lambeth’s housing requirements. The proposal facilitates the needs of residents of all ages 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.

The design of all the homes has been optimised with delivery in mind through a kit of standardised parts, maximising efficiency and options for both modern and traditional methods of construction. This approach has significantly increased the number of dwellings delivered on the site and doubles the affordable homes provision.

53 per cent of the homes are affordable. At least 10 per cent of the homes will be wheelchair adaptable, while dual-aspect properties have been maximised. All new homes, regardless of tenure, are designed for durability and significantly enhanced longevity to reduce future maintenance costs and resident service charges.

Buildings are arranged in an efficient, legible street framework designed with safety and security in mind to encourage pedestrian and cycle movement. Distinctive, shared courtyards and an extensive new linear park providing a dramatic communal heart for the neighbourhood.

Landscape diversity and active amenity is at the heart of the masterplan, provided via a network of distinctive public open spaces that create character and a sense of place. These include: ‘The Crescent Circus’, a large open green area designed for a range of informal recreation and events linked to ‘The Central Park’ which is over 300m in length.

The ‘Arboretum Park’ is subdivided to create:

  • ‘King’s Avenue Arrival Square’ with outdoor dining, performance space and seating, a Play Area which features a play hill, climbing wall, and play journey.
  • ‘The Grove Garden’ at the heart of the park, which is quiet and relaxing environment featuring a cherry grove, barbecue area and community growing allotment all set in extensive, naturalistic planting.
  • The ‘Western Woodland Play Area’ is located within mature trees and contains climbing, balancing and communal swing play features, while a woodland colour garden leads to an outdoor gym.
  • ‘The Park Avenues’ pedestrian and cycle routes include play and fitness features throughout and are lined with richly planted beds that also act as rain gardens to attenuate flood water.
  • ‘Clarence Avenue Arrival Square’ is one of two multi-use game areas within the masterplan and includes seating with solid plinths and profiled steel edges that encourage use by skateboarders and BMX bikes.

Green avenues between the individual sites incorporate seating and stepping stones to encourage young children to climb, balance and engage in imaginative play, with ‘Garden Rooms’ providing further opportunity for children to meet and play.

Communal courtyards and podium gardens provided within each site have 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. The gardens are truly playable with elements that are proposed to be used for informal imaginative play, climbing and balancing.

Fitness and wellbeing facilities are woven throughout all the external spaces with walking, jogging routes, fitness stations and an outdoor gym.  The whole scheme links destinations and encourages people to walk and cycle as part of their everyday activity.

Richard Harvey, Design Director at PRP, said: “We are proud to be working with Metropolitan in the design and delivery of their vision for the regeneration of Clapham Park. The commitment and collaboration between client, community and our project team on this detailed application is exemplary and 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 is at the heart of the design. 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.”

Adrian Judd, Landscape Director at PRP, added: “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.  It creates a green, accessible, active and engaging public realm for the whole community, year round.  It is richly planted at all levels, bringing people and nature together in a way that is both attractive and enduring.”

The project is now capable of immediate implementation. The Greater London Authority has stated that this approach to estate regeneration is “ambitious but fully welcomed.” Local residents have been able to discuss the fine details of the design and the issues that really matter to them during design development of the masterplan throughout the community consultation period.

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive of Metropolitan, said: “The planning committee approval is very positive news for the residents and our partners in this long-term project.  We all want Clapham Park to be a revitalised, thriving and affordable area that local people will feel proud to call home. We now have approval for our new development proposal which I believe will enable us to achieve that.

“We see our responsibility at Clapham Park as not only to deliver quality new homes, but also to support and invest in the community. Our team on the ground continues to provide sustainable social benefits for residents, such as employment and training opportunities, and money management support – as well as study support sessions for younger residents.”

Project team:

  • Client: Metropolitan
  • 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
  • Sustainably: Greengage