The park is part of the Mayor of London’s Great Outdoors programme, and is the first completed scheme under the banner of High Street 2012, a programme to improve the main street that connects the City and the Olympic venues at Stratford.
This successful public-private collaboration involved the London mayor, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Transport for London, London Development Agency, Design for London and the Greater London Authority.
Transforming a busy street into a new park for London
Following an initiative by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Tishman Speyer it became clear that if Braham Street could be closed then a new and much needed area of public open space could be created in its place. This was unlocked by reverting Whitechapel High Street back to a two-way road, enabling the transformation of Braham Street from an unfriendly busy city street into a new park for London and a green oasis of calm.
The design approach:green and playful
Following extensive public consultation, children’s play and greenery emerged as top priorities. The park was therefore designed to be particularly green and playful: grass slopes, a maze of hedges, water fountains and Europe’s longest bench are particularly popular play features. Accessibility for all was a mandatory and welcome requirement.
The design approach for the park focused on maximising the amenity potential of this linear space. The faceted layout helped achieve this, through optimisation of diagonals and the potential for exploration.
Throughout the design process EDCO Design London Ltd were supported and assisted by architect Wilkinson Eyre who have provided an invaluable design overview without constraining EDCO’s design work, coupled with the backing of Tishman Speyer. This enabled a collaborative approach between the form of the park and the geometry of new proposed buildings, which continue the rhythm of the angled edges at ground level.
Collaboration has also made possible the development of a wider public realm masterplan which includes the proposal for a new civic landscape to the east as part of the potential redevelopment of Aldgate Place.
Approximate Map Location
City of London
Highly commended, Design under 1ha category, LI Awards 2010
To transform a busy four-lane road into a park that addresses the local deficit of green space and caters for the needs of all users.
Client: Tishman Speyer, Transport for London, Design for London, London Borough of Tower HamletsArchitects: Wilkinson EyreEngineer: JMPQuantity Surveyors: EC HarrisFountain designer: Fountain Workshop
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Conventional city paving has been replaced with rolled gravel for a more park-like feel. The centre of the park is designed as a hard space with fountains and space for a kiosk building.