Heritage gardens at the heart of Croydon town centre have reopened to the public following major renovations. The Queen’s Gardens, which connects Croydon’s Fairfield Halls and the Town Hall for pedestrians and cyclists, has been officially unveiled for public use, and now includes revitalised green spaces and a new play area sensitively integrated into the sunken gardens.
The new design, developed by environmentally-focused landscape architects Grant Associates in close partnership with developers HUB and architects AHMM, began with acknowledging the importance of siting the new buildings on the Gardens. It really did ‘start with the Gardens’ and the continuity of the landscape across the site is meant to both extend the impact of the Gardens as well as provide new routes in and around the site.
The Queen’s Gardens project has involved extensive community collaboration, and is truly unique in terms of the input the group had into the final design. The design of the Gardens has pivoted and evolved in line with invaluable direct conversations with the local community, and the end result is very special Gardens that can now serve a wider range of local residents in Croydon.Lise Benningen, Senior Associate, Grant Associates
1,500 local residents participated in consultations for the project, with a smaller community group participating in a collaborative design exercise over several months to develop designs for both the planting palette and the play area.
The newly-revitalised Gardens includes a woodland themed planting strategy to integrate with the existing trees on site, to provide a year-round nature-rich environment – with special attention paid to plants that encourage pollinators. A bespoke timber play structure, inspired by the crocus flower, was developed to respond to the collaborative design group’s vision for the Gardens.
The revamp is part of the Queen’s Quarter development from HUB, on the site of the former Taberner House.
Photography credits: Miles Worsfold (Thirsty Photography) and HUB Residential