Arundel Square

 

 

Context:  The London Borough of Islington is the borough with the least available public open space in relation to built environment, in London. The provision of public space in the borough is largely characterized by the nineteenth century urban plan model of streets and squares. At Arundel Square the integration of a new 21st century concrete deck extension (built over the railway line) with the existing 19th century public square, has created an additional 43% of new public space. The original vision came from PTE Architects, completing the square with a new building development, over 150 years after the North London Railway line had left the square with only 3 built sides. A design team led by remapp was appointed by London Borough of Islington to then develop the public space element of the project, reconciling the huge concrete slab with the existing dilapidated park: to create a new, enlarged and complete 21st century square. 

 

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Engagement and Design Process: The community engagement process informed both the design brief and design principles: throughout the project a variety of meetings, workshops, events and exhibitions were held,  and the participating people from the diverse local community determined the need for robust, flexible, playful, green, and open spaces, with enriched biodiversity: for both peaceful and sociable times, in all seasons.  During the design and construction period local young people also contributed specific ideas, and cast their own bespoke table tennis table in concrete.

 

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Design Proposals:  The aims of the engagement process had to also be reconciled with tight technical and physical constraints: in a careful stitching of new with old, a system of low walls and steps both resolved levels issues in relation to the existing mature trees and the new concrete deck, and also defined the new flexible spaces and provided playful sitting places.  The design for the integration of the new concrete deck was also driven by stringent engineering conditions, and the specific placement and build up of rigorously researched lightweight materials sought to maximize the potential of the new landscape.

Community engagement further expressed a need for seasonally rich, colourful and atmospheric experience.  The new planting integrates the deck with the existing context, and seasonally dynamic planting palettes create a dramatic setting for the enlivened theatre of the square, either experienced from within or from the surrounding residential buildings. The bespoke turf mix, tree and plant specifications were developed and selected for their resilience and drought tolerance; and a system of permeable surfaces and an underlying drainage network recycles and redistributes rainfall and surface water run off.

”This classic yet modern design is appropriate as a new London square. There is rich planting for an urban environment and excellent response to site constraints’’,   Landscape Institute judges 2012

 

Creating land from air space: the construction of the new concrete deck over the existing railway line represented a 43% gain of additional public landscape.  The new green roof extension of the park has been devised by a further layered build up of light weight materials over the podium, to create new landscape with landform, which was then planted with a new and seasonally dynamic, drought tolerant, mix of trees shrubs and herbaceous perennials:  integrating the extension into the existing park fabric, and sustained by a low tech light weight drainage system which retains and redistributes surface water into planted areas.

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”A ground breaking project for a heavily built up urban area with the lowest provision of public greenspace in London, showing that creative ways of making new open space are possible”,   Client,  London Borough of Islington.

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We’re thrilled that this London Square is now complete, enlarged, and refurbished for all to share and enjoy.  Not only does it provide a lung, it gives the community a heart too”,  Local Resident of Arundel Square

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Client and Collaborators

London Borough of Islington   Client/  remapp   Landscape Architect + Lead Consultant/  Price & Myers   Structural + Civil Engineers/  PTE Architects   Building development/ TOHA   Soil ScientistBaillie Knowles   Quantity Surveyor/ Atkins + Network Rail   Deck Engineer/   Plattformer   Bespoke Furniture/ Building Exploratory  Community engagement/ ACS Consulting   Arboriculturalist/ Kitkaboodle   Bespoke Concrete/ John Woods Nursery   Trees & Plants/  Lindum Turf   Bespoke Turf  Mix/  The Landscape Group   Main Contractor/

Programme      2008 – 2012

Budget              £1,200,000

Area                   7666 m2 

Awards

2012                 New London Award, Public Space Category: Winner.
2012                 Landscape Institute Award, Design Under 1 Hectare: Highly Commended.
2011                 BALI Award, Restoration + Regeneration Category: Winner.
2011                 What House? Awards, Best Landscape Design: Gold.
2011                 Housebuilder Awards, Best Design + Best Landscaped/ Managed Open Space: Highly Commended.


L.I. Statement on Green Infrastructure

  L.I.  A Guide for Clients