Ideas competition for a 45ha masterplan, based on a re-imagination of the principles behind the Garden City Movement, emphasising a sustainable and caring community.
Letchworth Garden City is the original Garden City based on the principles developed by Ebenezer Howard. In the spirit of the original Garden City, the proposal hopes to plant a seed to create a healthy and socially sustainable community where people care for one another, and the landscape.
The masterplan is focused on a modern interpretation of the ‘Hamlet’ and is developed from the inside out, from the scale of a dwelling up to a village or hamlet.
Landscape as a strategic pivot point
Landscape is a key catalyst for the masterplan, having informed all strategic design decisions. The framework of the new masterplan is built around links and synergies between productive, performative and amenity landscapes. A wild landscape surrounds the masterplan, providing shelter from noise and wind whilst enhancing a sense of enclosure and biodiversity.
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) have been utilised as a generator for placemaking, using many of the existing hedgerow trenches. Besides managing rainfall, SuDS are here seen as an opportunity to attract wildlife and provide closer contact with nature.
The new parkway takes advantage of the existing hedgerows and connects the site to Letchworth Garden City, providing different activities along the way. There is room for physical activity and movement within nature, as paths flow through recreation areas such as playgrounds, seating areas and sports equipment.
Our vision is to establish a diverse community, where the individual can live safely and in close connection with the landscape. We propose an open neighbourhood that naturally fits within the environment in which it is situated, contributing positively to local life.
The masterplan creates an inclusive neighbourhood, which consists of a wide range of housing types and activities for residents of all ages, incomes and states of health. The scheme aspires to create a circular economy with holistic living.
Agroforestry, as a complex food production system combining trees, crops and livestock, can contribute to achieve economic value, whilst restoring soil health and contributing to an increase in biodiversity.
It would involve all parts of the community from school children to elderly, so growing becomes the medium that brings people together. Here residents can be the co-creators of a rich social life for all, coming together to create a binding, pleasurable and incentive driven community.
Re-imagining the Garden City
Landscape: C.F. Møller Architects
Client: Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
Size: 45 ha, 900 Dwellings
Address: Letchworth Garden City, UK
Year: 2019, Competition
Drawings & diagrams: C.F. Møller Architects