Ancient trees are ecological treasures because they provide unique habitats for rare plants, insects, birds and mammals. When they become ancient, trees such as oaks and sweet chestnuts “grow down”, dying at the top and forming a new crown of leaves below so the tree shrinks and hunches like a very old man.
OKRA landscape architects have won the prestigious “International Urban Design Competition for Wellesley Road and Park Lane in Croydon” in London. Lead consultant OKRA participates in this project with Urhahn Urban Design, Peter Brett Associates, Karakusevic Carson Architects and Soundings. The ambition for Croydon is to transform the area, which counts 350.000 inhabitants, into London’s “third city”, complementary to Westminster and the City of London. The transformation of Wellesley Road and Park Lane, the central axis in Croydon, is one of the key projects in Croydon. The assignment is to create a vibrant centre of the monstrous main infrastructure that nowadays divides the centre in two parts.
An abandoned Norfolk airfield and a cluster of Cornish china claypit villages are to become the first of a controversial new breed of “ecotowns”, offering thousands of new homes built within a cutting-edge eco-friendly community.
The decision will be a blow to villagers who have campaigned against new developments at Rackheath, just outside Norwich, and St Austell in Cornwall. Only Rackheath got a top rating from an independent panel set up to judge the green credentials of the plans, yet it is one of three projects expected to be taken forward by ministers this week.
The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and environmental charity Groundwork London are behind the remarkable garden, which is now open to the public. The garden was developed from a sketch on a paper napkin into a futuristic oasis of subtle lighting, sustainable timber decking, low planters, seating, shrubs and trees. Designed by RHS Gold award winning landscape architects, Adam White and Andrée Davies, the garden fits in perfectly with the Lyric’s own community-involvement programme and for those living in the Ashcroft housing estate right next door, will be a much needed green retreat in a heavily built up part of London.
“DSDHA has won the competition to design a major new square on London’s South Bank.
The Waterloo City Square Scheme will see the roundabout circling the Waterloo Imax theatre and the streets around Waterloo Station given a badly-needed revamp, concentrating on rationalising the dark labyrinth of streets and subways around the station.”