A new masterplan for Central Somers Town with a focus on providing a distinctive identity and character to open spaces that are permeable and encourage more local residents to benefit from access to high quality open space.

Camden Council

2013

Project Objectives

To maximise use of greenspace in a densely populated area that is extremely diverse and relatively deprived.

Maximise use of open space by local resident by increasing permeability and access and creating a distinctive identity and character.

Issues, Challenges and Outcomes

The area has become re-contextualised by extensive high-profile developments at its fringes – although these projects have had little beneficial effect on local communities in terms of health, education, employment and life-chances. Typically for central London, extremely valuable private property adjoins large blocks of social housing.

The project focused on the re-provision of the Edith Neville School into a mixed provision model that considered new housing provision as part of Camden Council’s growth agenda. This was potentially controversial because new housing implied ever greater densification in an area that had already been subject to a plethora of high profile building projects.

From the outset, we worked closely with the local community to develop ideas for the space through a series of co-design and workshop events at Edith Neville School and other venues across Somers Town. We also worked closely with pupils from Edith Neville School in a series of workshops to develop ideas for play interventions across central Somers Town.

We decided to work in sketch with visuals in 3-D so that we could communicate ideas with local residents based on eye-level and aerial views that would be accessible to a very wide audience.

A community agreement for a housing option and a series of open space interventions was secured.

The Central Somers Town masterplan was adopted by Camden Council in 2014 and construction of the new Edith Neville School (and playgrounds) is currently under way.

Services

• Landscape masterplanning
• Stakeholder consultation
• Landscape Design Stage 3 for open spaces