London's Farringdon to undergo revamp

The landscape and public realm of a busy urban interchange is taking priority in a plan to redevelop the area over the next 25 years.

Landscape, urban design and architecture firm East has been appointed to develop the Farringdon Urban Design Study.

The bustling area in central London is set to be transformed with the introduction of new high-speed train service Crossrail and improvements to the Thameslink service.

East director Dann Jessen said: "Farringdon is changing. Its history is an ongoing record of exchange, rebuilding, commercial dynamism and changing infrastructure.

"In a way, the exciting thing about this project is that the development partners are coming in early and thinking about the public realm first. The landscape is being considered upfront, and we're being asked to think about it as part of the ground floor of the buildings."

East has been appointed by the London Development Agency (LDA), with funding from the City of London Corporation, London Borough of Islington and London Borough of Camden. English Heritage, TfL Interchange, Crossrail, the Greater London Authority and the LDA's Design for London have also been involved in funding the study.

East will be working on the study - which will aim to help manage increased visitor numbers to the area - until the summer.

"There is very little public space in Farringdon at the moment, and the existing public spaces are underused," added Jessen.

"There are a lot of micro-gardens going on in terms of landscaping. Our opportunity is to tie in the streetscape and landscape with the work on the station."

The LDA's group director for design, development and the environment Peter Bishop said he was looking forward to working with East on the project.

"With the introduction of Crossrail and improvements to the Thameslink service, Farringdon will change considerably over the next 25 years," explained Bishop.

"The Farringdon Urban Design Study will help to steer this change while understanding and respecting the unique nature of Farringdon and its special historic fabric."

Once the study is published, the local authorities in the area will adopt its findings into their supplementary planning guidance. for more deisgn news.

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