South End Green

London, Hampstead

South End Green had been neglected for many years, and had become an island hangout for drunks and drug addicts, partly due to it being an island cut off from the public thoroughfare. To reclaim the Green for local residents, we initially developed a concept that linked it back to one of the surrounding footpaths. This would have allowed it to be enjoyed by residents and utilised by customers of the adjoining Cafe’s. It also had the added benefit of the Green being direct supervised. Sadly this fell foul of London Transport, who was unwilling to relocate a bus waiting stand between the green and footpath.

The scheme design of a stepped granite stone perimeter topped with low railings with clipped hedging behind, together with wide street level openings, provides both easy public access as well as a sense of enclosure and sanctuary from the surrounding traffic. This is complemented by areas of turf and existing established trees. The Grade II listed Victorian water fountain has been restored and complemented by generous areas of natural stone paving, laid out in a pattern reflecting the geometry of the Fountain’s base. To ‘bind’ the scheme to the locality, verses by famous writers, who lived in the borough, are engraved into the paving around the fountain. Seating (of a design not comfortable for sleeping on!) has also been set-out around the Fountain. Sensitive and imaginative colour illumination of the fountain, paved areas and trees, bring a new dimension to the Green in the evenings.

We worked closely with Camden Borough Council, English Heritage, local stakeholders and residents. The scheme won a joint RIBA Camden Borough Council Civil Works Award.


value: £400,000

status: completed

client: GHP Realestate, LB Camden

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