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Forgotten Spaces: Commended – Park Lane by DSDHA, Atelier Saunt at EPFL

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[WESTMINSTER] Multi-surface activity centre on the grass verge of Park Lane

Park Lane may not seem like a forgotten space, but its busy roads were cut out of Hyde Park in the 1960s, marooning Marble Arch in a traffic island and leaving a strip of isolated Park surrounded by dual carriageways. This inaccessible fragment of green space could be one of the most valuable sites in the city. Pedestrian have no access to it, meaning its innumerable memorials and statues are little appreciated.

The proposal by DSDHA/Atelier Saunt at EPFL aims to reinhabit this forgotten space with new uses, mixing park and monuments with play, culture and sports. So-called “personal landscapes” evolve through a string or archipelago of small projects responding to each other, rather than through the imposition of a single masterplan. These would include a wedding chapel, a sightseeing tower, daycare facilities, a cultural centre, a jogger’s centre, a stage and sound lounge, playgrounds, bars and restaurants.

The scheme proposes a ‘new social infrastructure’ interwoven with the ‘existing transport infrastructure’, to bring recreation back into this edge of Hyde Park and reconnecting the park with Mayfair.

Forgotten Spaces: All 20 shortlisted entries feature in a public exhibition at the National Theatre until 4 July www.nationaltheatre.org.uk

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