A project that matters ...
Clarendon Community Park will provide a welcome retreat in the hard and paved environment of north London’s Wood Green. It will be a place of birdsong and neighbourliness.
The design for Clarendon is shaped by the history of the place.
Our design for Clarendon references local heritage. This seems especially important given that historic artefacts from the site were stolen from storage and shipped to China for scrap value.
Making something special
Berkeley St William are unlocking some of the most technically complex brownfield sites in London, reconnecting dozens of old gasworks – cut off for decades – with the surrounding community.
A driving ambition behind Clarendon, the largest brownfield development site in Wood Green, is to create an urban village, a place where knowing your neighbour is made easier. More than 1,700 homes will benefit from five acres of public green space.
A beautiful new park will lie at the heart of Clarendon, ensuring that residents living here feel closely connected to nature and to each other. The park will open up Clarendon, providing a new connection right across the site.
Success lies in getting the detail right. Images © St William
A layered approach
LDA Design took a landscape-led approach to ensure that local people feel as much at home in the park as the new residents. We heard what they valued about the heritage of the gasholder site, and what was missing from their locality, especially generous green play space.
The design of the public realm ties the new development closely to the history of the place.
We wanted to ensure that the gasholders retain a strong presence in the park, and we are finding different ways to express their evocative design, volume and materiality.
Referencing the heritage is especially important given that historic artefacts from the site were stolen from storage and shipped to China for scrap value. We are re-layering the story using materials, patination and the retention of key features such as the brick gasholder.
Clarendon is the largest brownfield development in London’s built up Wood Green
Planting throughout the site will offer seasonal delight. Image © St William
Tracing the Moselle
In creating a strong concept for the site, we are also layering in another element, the Moselle Brook. This is Haringey’s river, winding below the streets of Wood Green, and its course is symbolically traced through the park.
It begins with a series of fountain jets and rippling pools in the tranquil community orchard in the west, with gently sloping lawns and views through the park.
By the time you reach the heart of the park, the pools have become a rill, which eventually cascades into the footprint of the former gasholder. Here the Moselle is evoked with rain gardens resonant of its original natural banks, which ring the original brick clad perimeter of the gasholder.
The design encourages children to paddle the course of the brook, and the shallow water inside the gasholder footprint will also be good for play. A community café nearby is connected to the wider park with timber decking over the water, a nursery will also be at the heart of the park.
Play space in the east of the park will be protected from the sound of local traffic by a topographical mound. Haringey’s ancient woodlands will be referenced in exciting timber play space, through the choice of trees such as forest birch, and in the public gardens.
A line of original lime trees provides a strong presence to the park entrance, and the railing design reflects the ironwork pattern of the gasholders.
The buildings framing the park will be activated at ground level, part of 100,000 sq ft of designated business space that will attract retailers and entrepreneurs, and contribute to economic vitality in the area.
Rich and varied planting throughout the site will evolve and change with the seasons, encouraging people to linger and pay repeat visits. Spaces are flexible, to accommodate occasional events and pop-up stalls and creative installations. Timber lounging seats along the sunny northern edge provide sociable spaces to relax.
All images © St William