Re-imagining the Garden City Competition 2018

Letchworth

Completed: January, 1970

Services: Masterplanning, Architecture

Size: City Masterplan

This competition gave us an opportunity to re-imagine the city and address contemporary issues in the design of housing in the 21st century.

Our response is to invert the standard urban block, thus we provide a novel building form which is more sustainable, more social and ultimately offers a more integrated community with aligned values. The space is arranged as two banks of land plots, separated by the Grove; communal land for cultivation and enjoyment by the residents. The planting of the Grove is flexible. Most will be used like an allotment to cultivate fruit and vegetables, but surplus crops can be exchanged or sold outside the common.

Placemaking

We wanted to reinstate the simple art of placemaking by addressing this at the early stages of the design, hence we propose:

  • Townscape – create a village green & tree-lined corridor
  • Character areas – vary the density; materiality; modern vernacular; 
  • Views – consider short, medium & distant views; townscape elements; landmarks
  • Movement – provide paths, edges, districts & nodes, creating a walkable city
  • Hedgerows – reinforce natural boundaries & protect existing habitat
  • Healthy placemaking – bring principles of health & wellbeing into the design
  • Artistic response – engage with arts & cultural activities to bind the community
  • Reinforce drivers of attachment – create sociable, inclusive & attractive spaces.