Comment on: Competition: Reimagining the Garden City
Letchworth Garden City have launched an international ‘Design Ideas’ competition for 900 homes, a school, community building and retail space. They are expecting an indicative master plan and indicative house types/typologies on 2 A2 sheets plus 8 pages of further detail plus a visual image to summaries the proposed concept. From this they will shortlist 4 schemes.
On the one hand the implications is a creative charette of ideas to explore the relevance of the Garden City for the 21st century, but of course the reality is a huge amount of work to distil a vision into 2 small sheets.
You would expect there to be some guidance in the brief on some of the key urban design issues, of which car parking is probably the most important. There is no reference in the brief to car parking or the PTAL rating of the site. Under ‘Design Approach’ in the brief there is the encouragement to propose ‘positive alternatives to the private car’ . The Brief does however refer ‘for more information’ to the Local plan which refers to the ‘SPG for vehicle parking at new developments’. This document requires minimum of 1 car parking space for a 1 bed unit and 2 car parking spaces for 2 or more bed space units. On this basis the minimum number of car parking space required for the residential units alone will be around 1650 (that is around 3 hectares of car parking). If this is likely to be the default planning standard applied to the new development it will have a dramatic impact on any design solution. Wouldn’t it be sensible for the competition organisers to be more definite about the realities of the Planning framework rather than encouraging the design of a plethora of urban villages with barely a car in sight which will be binned as soon as the harsh realities of the local plan kick in.
Comment on: Assael lodges plans for 2,000-home Ealing scheme
They ruined Lewisham, Ealing is next!
Comment on: Holocaust Memorial contest: What the jury heard
It is extraordinary that not one of the teams raised any concerns about the site or the logistics of building and running a memorial complex on this site. This is a beautiful and well used Public Park close to an area that is already massively crowded by visitors throughout the year. It is self evidently not suitable for a major building project, however well meaning. The opportunistic and ill considered decision by David Cameron to promote the location has never been scrutinised or the impact on the site and the area evaluated. The collective amnesia of the entire competition participants speaks volumes and with particular poignancy given what it is intended to remember.
Hard to believe the decision was unanimous
Please go to http://ideasonapostcard.org.uk/ for more information about this event and exhibition being held at Space fiftyfour. Here you will also find design templates for the A5 postcard.
Keep checking the website, Facebook and twitter pages for updates on the evetns & workshops that will be happening throughout the whole week.
The exhibition runs from May 4th - May 9th 2012 at:
54 Rivington Street