London park in £870K makeover

Sculptural landforms will rise from the ground in a park being re-landscaped following major subsidence problems.

The dual themes of children's play and providing a natural, green oasis are being tackled in a design for Broadley Street Gardens in north-west London.

The park has been closed since 2007 after large holes appeared in the green space due to subsidence. Westminster Council is now spending £870,000 to transform the inner-city park.

Farrer Huxley Associates (FHA) is working on designs that include secluded spaces in which people will be able to escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Edgware Road, as well as larger open spaces and undulating mounds.

FHA landscape architect Joe Todd said consultation has been a major part of developing a design that will appeal to local people.

He said: "Two overriding factors came out of the consultation. People appreciated this space as a green oasis to escape from the surrounding grey cityscape, but equally as important was the value of the park as a resource for play."

To fulfil those ambitions, the design features a transition through the park from naturalistic planting to sculptural landforms and more contemporary planting. "It was very important for us to involve the community so they bought into the scheme," Todd added.

Informal paths interweave through the natural area and lead to a large central open space. This acts as a link to the contemporary section, which aims to encourage imaginative play.

FHA is now working on detailed designs and the first phase of construction work is expected to be carried out in late summer.

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