Hard Landscaping for Intensive Use
The versatility and durability of concrete make it the material of choice for many designers who are seeking innovative solutions to a common problem; how to make public spaces which are capable of coping with constant heavy use, but which at the same time are attractive and welcoming. When bespoke concrete forms are combined with greenery, the result can be both beautiful and resilient.
A Modern Amphitheatre
The summer of 2018 will perhaps be remembered for two things; hot weather and some memorable sporting events. In many cities in the UK, people have taken advantage of the weather to view major sporting events on giant screens in public arenas such as Sheldon Square in Paddington, an amphitheatre designed by Sidell Gibson Partnership and built by P.J. Carey (Wembley) Ltd as part of the Paddington Central redevelopment of the West London area.
Hard landscaping plays a crucial role in areas such as Sheldon Square, which is heavily used by large numbers of people; eight thousand office workers are employed in the immediate vicinity of Sheldon Square, and they are regularly joined by many local residents and tourists.
This public space needed to be both welcoming and durable; the solution adopted at Sheldon Square was a mixture of turf and concrete paving, ensuring that the seating is comfortable as well as resistant to wear. To achieve this result Evans Concrete designed and supplied 4500 units in 16 different profiles including steps, features and coping units. The elegant curves of the amphitheatre have proved immensely popular with the public, and the site features regularly in tourist guides.
A Playful Landscape in an Olympic Legacy
Another heavily-used redevelopment in London is the Draper’s Field Park in Leyton, east London, which was closed to the public for use as a service area during the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games. Returned to public use with funding from London Legacy Development Corporation, the park was imaginatively redesigned by Kinnear Landscape Architects to provide features such as cycle tracks and children’s play areas.
Much of the surface comprises corrugated forms which combine grass and concrete to produce an area that is both enticing and hard-wearing. Bespoke concrete paving plays a crucial role in these design elements, and here again, the versatility of Evans Concrete makes a major contribution to the success of the scheme. In the words of the local Council leader, Chris Robbins: “It’s a wonderful place and packed with local people young and old enjoying everything from the water fountains to the table tennis, not to mention the football.”