PRP Architects recently completed work on St Stephen’s Green, a new park space in Bow, East London
After initial consultation with local residents and a nearby school, inspiration was drawn from the story of Alice in Wonderland, playing on scale and imagination as a design driver for the scheme.
At the entrance to the park, flowering arch gateways provide a taste of things to come. Inside, two artist-designed flowers, standing 6m high, are surrounded by oversized play bugs and grasses. Two directional footpaths, following existing desire lines, taper to create the illusion of being longer than they actually are.
PRP’s director of Landscape Phillip Blackshaw said: “The success of this project is a result of listening and learning from the local residents, developing a clear idea for the space which informs the design. The client believed in the vision from the start and recognised that quality of design and implementation are key to successful delivery of public realm projects, resulting in a park that residents love and more importantly taken ownership of.”
Lighting is integral to the design scheme and illuminates the footpaths, gigantic flower stems and the entrance gateways. The site is also served by a sustainable urban drainage system.
The planting is intended to create two character areas. To the north, woodland-themed planting is incorporated under the existing and proposed tree canopy. The southern end of the site is ornamentally planted, with a number of herbaceous plants adding seasonal colour.