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Timpson Manley wins Walthamstow redesign

Timpson Manley last week won the competition to design the masterplan for Walthamstow town centre in east London.

The practice beat off strong competition from Alsop & Stormer, Gillespies and edaw and is working in association with Alan Baxter Associates and development economist Town Centres Ltd on the project.

The masterplan centres on the creation of a new civic square, the revitalisation of Europe's longest street market and a 'quality streets programme' aimed at reworking three or four of the town's key thoroughfares away fromthe main site.

Walthamstow has a population of 93,000 and is the commercial heart of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Timpson Manley is working with a single regeneration budget (which is worth around £35 million over seven years) in a bid to boost the area's attractiveness for business.

Central to the civic square redevelopment is the new transport interchange, which will mean the rebuilding of the existing bus station, and the possibility of remodelling the Tube station, with a high rise development above it. The new transport interchange aims to recast Walthamstow as a destination for shoppers and visitors from all over the capital.

The new square will take shape to the north of the station and will be the home for a possible new arts centre, cafes, bars and shopping together with a series of new public spaces. These will include areas for performance, a children's playground and gardens, all linked by a tree-lined avenue which cuts through from the station to the market. Timpson Manley's initial idea is to enclose the square in an effort to make the area feel safer for visitors in the evening.

The 1.6km long daily street market provides the backbone to the town centre and will be improved with a new entrance, new signage, and redesigned shop frontages. The market itself is currently thriving, but the shopping behind the market stalls has fallen in standard and the designers hope to attract better businesses to the area by the redevelopment.

Architects for the new buildings resulting from the masterplan are expected to be appointed by developers which show an interest in the project, rather than by a series of architectural competitions, according to partner Michael Timpson.

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