For us, competitions are an opportunity to bring together our experience and knowledge. And the Re-Imagining the Garden City competition, in particular, ties in very well with our enthusiasm and skill for influencing and shaping the places around us.
Through our Shaping Future Places initiative – inspired by Bournville, a village-sized precursor to Letchworth – we have opened up our placemaking conversations to a much broader and diverse audience. By bringing together a wide range of experts to explore what good placemaking is, we have shown that collaboration is key.
After hosting the Shaping Future Places Symposium last year, we looked at how we could turn this practice-wide enthusiasm for placemaking into something more tangible. This is how our Place studio came about. The studio brings together Architecture, Urban Design, Town Planning and Landscape Design to create a placemaking culture across all our work and a more holistic approach to our designs.
The Re-Imagining the Garden City competition is a perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate exactly how Place is intended to function. Our response to the Heritage Foundation‘s brief clearly incorporates lots of input from our landscape and residential studios. But what might not be so visible is the seamless integration of expertise from our Specialist Living, Schools, Workplace and Planning studios, alongside our own interests and experiences as individuals.
Together, we have created Gardenia – a vision for a truly sustainable community living in the 21st century based on a real site for an enthusiastic client. At the core of the concept is intergenerational living – those of all ages living and learning alongside each other. The introduction of our future residents – Ray, Anna and Howard, three generations of one family – has helped us visualise more holistically the possible impact of our proposals on the communities who could be expected to live in and around our model settlement.
The ‘Re-Imagining the Garden City’ competition concludes on 15th May with the four shortlisted teams presenting their masterplan concepts to a panel of judges for the final time.
In the meantime, have a look around Gardenia