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Abbey Green Shortlist: Leit-Werk

Reconnecting Abbey Green to its surroundings and better defining its structure is leit-werk’s proposal for what has become a fractured and isolated green space.

‘Aspects of the park are attractive, but it is under-used, when it could be the green heart of Barking,’ says managing director Henrik Rothe. His resolution, working with Schoenaich Landscape Architects, is three contrasting zones.

The southern portion becomes Abbey Common, which Rothe describes as the ‘extrovert’ part of the green. A new market square and an 8m-wide promenade link town to green and green to river. It is bordered by activity zones and at its western end meets the extended Town Quay.

The restful Abbey Fields to the north counterpoint the social south with flower meadows and mown green rooms, shielded from the roads by gabion walls. The middle section, based on the site’s historic remains, becomes Abbey Ruins, with a heritage centre, performance space and enhanced amenities for church and graveyard.

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