Park Royal London Industrial Estate, Building Information, Architect, Design, Project, Architecture
Park Royal London
Industrial Estate Redevelopment in north Acton, England, UK: for PRP – design by 5th Studio
30 Oct 2008
Europe’s largest industrial estate to be revitalised
Park Royal in London
Proposals have been made to revitalise Park Royal, Europe’s largest industrial estate, in an innovative new public realm strategy put forward by award-winning practice 5th Studio.
Commissioned by Park Royal Partnership (PRP) and Design for London, and developed in consultation with three London Boroughs (Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham), the strategy looks at ways to achieve a radical change in the quality of the public realm of Park Royal.
Ideally located half way between Heathrow and Central London, Park Royal provides great transport links in and out of the city for the 2,000 companies based on the estate. But it has become a victim of its own success as ‘London’s Workshop’, with high levels of congestion on the roads and a low quality public realm. Park Royal now needs significant investment in its public realm to maintain growth and attract new businesses.
In line with the Mayor’s recent promise to ‘ensure that outer London can play a full part in the city’s economic success’, 5th Studio were commissioned to produce a strategy which could protect the industrial estate’s long-term competitiveness through improvements to the public realm, making things better for businesses, residents and visitors alike.
Amongst the key design features are the introduction of cycle lanes within the network of principal road corridors, large-scale signage to orientate people entering Park Royal at its gateways, and interventions that strengthen the local distinctiveness of its district: creating places for workers to eat their lunch, for example. One of the main aims is to encourage a shift away from the use of private cars by making the area easier and less threatening to navigate on foot or by bike.
5th Studio director Nathan Jones commented:”The project demanded a strategy of targeted intervention – how to improve the quality of a huge piece of city without changing everything. We were struck by the way Park Royal exists both as a ‘whole’, surrounded by strategic transport infrastructure, and as a diverse series of ‘parts’ within that boundary. Our proposals constitute a tool-kit of tactics which can work across these scales; from re-working major road corridors to bottom-up projects which strengthen its sense of place.”
Alan Coates, Chair of the Park Royal Partnership, added:”Park Royal is one the most important industrial areas in London and one of the largest and most successful in Europe. The poor quality and confusing public realm poses a real threat to the area’s future. 5th Studio’s proposals allow us to tackle these difficult issues, and will make the industrial estate a better place to work and visit.”
Peter Bishop, Director of Design Development and Environment at the London Development Agency, said:
“This strategy presents an imaginative and deliverable approach to tackle the poor environment and congestion of one of London’s premier business parks. 5th Studio have intelligently considered the issues, producing a commendable piece of work which will guide future investment opportunities in Park Royal’s public realm, encouraging more people to walk or cycle to work instead of driving.”
Park Royal’s Public Realm scheme was officially launched at a breakfast event at 8.30am on 30th October at New London Architecture (NLA). Speakers include: Sir Simon Milton, Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning, GLA; Peter Bishop, Director of Design Development and Environment at the London Development Agency; Nick Monger-Godfrey, Chief Executive of Park Royal Partnership. Address: New London Architecture, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BT.
The launch event was followed by Placemaking: creating a destination, a half-day conference at NLA running from 9am -12.30pm. Speakers include: Nick Monger-Godfrey, CEO of the Park Royal Partnership; Tom Holbrook Director, 5th Studio; Will Alsop, Director, SMC Alsop; Joost Beunderman, Associate, Urhahn Urban Design; Dr Beatriz Campos, Associate Director, Space Syntax; and Ian Clement, Deputy Mayor, Government Relations.
The Park Royal Public Realm scheme also features in London’s Towns: Shaping the Polycentric City, the current exhibition at New London Architecture until 15th November. For more information go to www.newlondonarchitecture.org/londonstowns
Park Royal Partnership is a key partner in the West London Forum which will be held from 24 – 25 June 2009. See www.westlondonfuture.co.uk for more details.
5th Studio is an award-winning design practice based in the UK, with studios in London and Cambridge. 5th Studio’s portfolio spans design, architecture, urbanism and landscape, from award-winning buildings to large-scale regeneration. A radical, innovative, can-do organisation, 5th Studio regard design as a catalyst for change – always balancing strategic thinking with a clear understanding of the particular conditions of each project and site. For more information go to www.5thstudio.co.uk
Location: north of Acton, West London, England, UK
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