Jestico + Whiles has completed the transformation of John Soane’s Walpole Park in Ealing, West London
The practice worked with Julian Harrap Architects and landscape architects J & L Gibbons, on the redevelopment of the 120,000m2 park, which is part of the major restoration of John Soane’s grade I-listed Pitzhanger Manor.
The former grounds of Soane’s home, in which he used to stroll and go fishing with his friend the artist JMW Turner, have been restored to reinstate the house within its original Regency landscape setting.
Two large water lakes within the park have been redesigned and Soane’s Rustic Bridge on the Serpentine Lake has undergone masonry repairs.
The shrubbery walk and a walled kitchen garden have also been renovated, enhancing elements of the original eighteenth century landscape.
The park includes a new playground designed to be sympathetic to its heritage setting, and a new learning and education centre.
Alongside space for teaching and events, the learning centre also houses the park’s visitor facilities including a café and toilets.
The grade I-listed 1768 manor will now be fully restored with the 1939 library building converted into a gallery.
The project, which is being led by Ealing Council in partnership with Pitzhanger Manor Trust, will also involve unveiling areas such as the north side of the building and the west elevation of Soane’s Eating Room – currently hidden by unsympathetic later additions.
Pitzhanger Manor and its grounds were bought by John Soane in 1800 to redevelop as his ‘country’ residence.
In 1900 the land was sold to Ealing Urban District Council (UDC) and it was opened to the public with the buildings converted into a public library.
Jestico + Whiles’director, Heinz Richardson said: ‘The transformation of Walpole Park is the first step towards reinstating Soane’s original designs for Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery and ensuring its future as a world-class heritage site. Our team of experts has worked closely on enhancing the surrounding landscape setting in order to provide the perfect backdrop to Soane’s masterpiece and an inviting outdoor space for use by the local community.’
Location Ealing, London
Type of project parkland restoration and new education centre
Client Ealing Urban District Council
Architect Jestico + Whiles
Landscape architect J & L Gibbons
Conservation architect Julian Harrap Architects
Historic landscape consultant Sarah Couch Historic Landscapes
Landscape management consultant Land Management Services
Exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Structural engineer Ellis & Moore
M&E engineer King Shaw Associates
Cost consultant Artelia
Contractor Gavin Jones (Park) and Longcross Construction (education centre)
Completion date October 2014
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