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Abbey Green Shortlist: Darling Associates

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The unrealised potential of Barking’s history underlies Darling Associates’ proposal for Abbey Green

‘There is genuine interest in the town’s past,’ says managing director Chris Darling, whose proposals integrate past and present by connecting Barking’s former fishing industry, based on the River Roding, and its ecclesiastical heritage, centred on the abbey, with the town’s newer commercial hub.

This involves partially redirecting Abbey Road, so that Town Quay becomes part of the green, and creating raised timber walkways over the abbey ruins and gardens so visitors can look down through time.

Darling’s proposals also make geographic and cultural connections, linking Broadway to the green, and reaching out to the town’s isolated districts – north to the King William quarter and south to the estate.

Other features include a new abbey museum, the removal of unused paths to create open green spaces and two crescent mounds to form natural amphitheatres and a dramatic entrance to Broadway’s new cultural quarter.

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