Maritime Museum project goes swimmingly
The Sammy Ofer Wing, which opened to the public on 13 July, relocates the main point of access to the museum so that visitors can enter it from Greenwich Park.
The landscape design, courtesy of Churchman Landscape Architecture, is being singled out for praise, particularly for its water features. The firm’s founder, Chris Churchman, described these as being “technically demanding, as we were trying to convey as sense of playfulness within an historic setting”.
The design also creates a new east-west axis to Greenwich, providing a counterpoint to the historic access running from the Observatory to the Thames. In doing so, it diverts visitors off the well-trodden path from Greenwich town centre and the observatory. “We were trying to create a greater sense of community within Greenwich Park by offering new routes,” said Churchman.
Another key focus was access to all. This was achieved by broad inclined planes of lawn, water, pathway and clipped hedging along the visitor ascend to a raised terrace overlooking the park.
Technical challenges came in the shape of the hedging, made from £300,000 of mature hornbeam, which needed to be millimeter-perfect in height.
There were also some community challenges, as Churchman said: “Greenwich Park has a number of articulate and strong-minded local interest group, such as ‘Friends of Greenwich’, whose opinions we asked for and respected. For instance, we knew it was very important that the park’s herbaceous border remained intact.
“Ultimately, though, I think that everyone could see our solution was a significant improvement and we’re delighted with the results.”
For more images, visit Churchman Landscape Architecture