May 24, 2018

Riverlight and South Gardens awarded RIBA London Awards 2018


Two projects that Gillespies have delivered landscape design for have scooped prestigious 2018 RIBA London Awards – Riverlight, a pioneering residential-led development in the heart of the emerging Nine Elms regeneration area, and South Gardens, the first phase of the Elephant Park development by Lend Lease.

Designed by world-renowned architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Riverlight consists of six modern and elegant residential pavilions, carefully arranged within a high-quality riverside landscape setting by Gillespies. The strategic placement of these pavilions – which share the same architectural language but vary in height and colour – generated opportunities to create a permeable open space, with the riverfront visible and accessible between each of the six buildings. Around 60% of the scheme is designated as public open space. Gillespies’ designs create a seamless, free-flowing landscape that establishes a strong identity and a sense of place that is truly unique to Riverlight. Each of the key spaces have their own distinct character and function.

South Gardens – designed by architects Macreanor Lavington – is the first 360 new homes delivered as part of Lend Lease’s Elephant Park Masterplan, a masterplan that will replace the former Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle with around 2,500 new homes. Gillespies has delivered a new pocket park and a sequence of green, pedestrian-friendly streets that have opened new connections to the north and across the site, lined with trees, plants and elements of natural play.

Gillespies is the public realm masterplanner for the regeneration of the entire Elephant Park site, and is also delivering a new public realm and two landscaped courtyards for West Grove, the second phase of Elephant Park, together with a brand new park that will sit at the heart of the development.

Image: Gillespies


Berkeley Group host Woodhurst Park’s first community picnic


The residents of Woodhurst Park have come together to mark the start of spring and enjoy their first community picnic within Bracknell’s newest Country Park.

The “Wildlife in the Community” celebration was hosted by Berkeley Homes, with support from, the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.

Local families, including some who have just moved into their new Woodhurst Park home, were treated to guided nature walks, arts and crafts sessions, a raffle and lawn games.

The Wildlife Trust explained how everyone can support biodiversity though cultivating nature-friendly plants in gardens, balconies or window boxes. There were also pop-up gardens on display including lavender and perennial wallflower, both of which are very good for bees and butterflies.

Local youngsters, were taught to build their own bee hotels and were taken on intrepid ‘mini-beast hunts’ to find the hidden creepy-crawlies making their home in the new Country Park landscape.

Jo, a Woodhurst Park residents, said: “What a wonderful day. It was so informative and interesting and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

Andrew, another resident of Woodhurst Park, said: “We certainly really enjoyed it and learned a lot. We keep seeing Skylarks over the development now! We also met a whole bunch of people we hadn’t seen before. It was a great turnout.”

Andrew Saunders Davies, chairman of Berkeley Homes Oxford and Chilterns, said:

“This event was all about giving local people the chance to mix, meet and enjoy this beautiful park. I want to thank everyone who made it such a lovely occasion, especially the intrepid young bug-hunters. I also would like to thank the local Oaktree Garden Centre and Nursery who donated one of the prizes for the raffle which helped raise money for the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust.”

Richard Woods, from Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, said: “It was really great to meet the new residents of Woodhurst Park and show them some of the nature on their doorstep. They seem genuinely interested in how they can bring nature into their gardens and appreciate the green spaces that have been included in the development.”

Berkeley Homes Oxford and Chilterns is starting to work with residents to develop a bespoke Community Plan for Woodhurst Park. The aims are to create new and lasting connections between people living within this new development, and across the wider community.

The plan will include a range of social events and clubs where residents can meet up, as-well-as encouraging residents to take control of a budget, form a committee and shape the next wave of community activities for themselves.

Find out more about Berkeley’s approach to community building at and to get involved with the Woodhurst Park community plan email


Gillespies designed Elephant Park hosts the Chelsea Fringe Festival

elephant park

The Gillespies-designed Elephant Park is currently hosting the 2018 Chelsea Fringe, a festival running from 19 to 27 May. The park will provide a befitting setting for an array of community-focused activities that will bring to life the joy and excitement surrounding green spaces and gardening.

The park, which opened in August 2017, is the centrepiece of Lend Lease’s wider Elephant Park development that will regenerate the former Heygate Estate into a new residential quarter.

The park will host a range of workshops, music and performances and art and crafts activities by community organisations, big and small…don’t miss out.

Check out what activities are taking place by visiting the Park Place website.

The Chelsea Fringe is a community interest company (CIC) and was founded by Festival Director Tim Richardson. All progress to date has been achieved by a team of dedicated volunteers donating their time and money.

Image: Gillespies


Arup’s Architecture team hires new London Director


Arup’s growing London-based Architecture team is delighted to announce that from July 2018 Nick Jackson will join as a Director alongside Jo Wright, Paul Brislin, Kim Quazi and Patricia Johnstone.

Formerly a director of Eric Parry Architects, Nick brings a wealth of experience of the design and delivery of outstanding buildings in the UK and overseas. Projects Nick worked on include 10 Fenchurch Avenue, 1 Undershaft and the new headquarters for Cambridge Assessment.

Nick joins the Architecture team based in Fitzroy Street who are currently working on projects including 1 Triton Square for British Land, the HS2 Birmingham Interchange Station and a new Hindu Heritage Museum in Mangarh, India.

Director for architecture at Arup, Jo Wright commented: “We are thrilled that Nick is joining us. His expertise in the making of buildings in a multi-disciplinary context is an excellent fit with our approach to delivering simple, purposeful, efficient and beautiful buildings.”


Communities in London to benefit from latest TfL Growth Funding


• £24m allocated to improve stations in Colindale, Walthamstow Central and Ilford, as well as improve London Trams services to Elmers End
• TfL’s Growth Fund already supporting delivery of major transport improvements across the capital to help to unlock new housing and jobs
• Further schemes to be allocated from remaining funding later this year

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced the latest schemes to receive funding from Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Growth Fund.

The latest funding, which totals around £24m, will help accelerate the delivery of a range of important transport improvements across the capital, helping to unlock homes, jobs and growth.
TfL’s Growth Fund is designed to help finance sustainable transport infrastructure schemes that could unlock development and regeneration opportunities in some of London’s most important growth areas. The four latest schemes receiving funding are:

• Upgrade of Walthamstow Central Station: The upgrade of the Victoria line station will help support around 2,000 new homes across Walthamstow town centre and provide capacity for future growth in the area. This scheme would provide a second entrance to the station as well as deliver step-free access.
• New station building at Colindale: The scheme will deliver a new station building with step-free access and new pedestrian and cycle links – helping to support around 10,000 new homes, 1,000 jobs and the wider regeneration of the area.
• Enhanced capacity on Elmers End branch of London Trams: Double tracking of the branch line and a second platform at Elmers End tram station will provide additional facilities to enable service improvements and address reliability issues on the network. Once delivered, this would support growth in Croydon and Bromley and future growth along all parts of the tram network.
• New southern entrance at Ilford Station on TfL Rail: To help accommodate the increase in passengers from significant growth and development in the area, this new third entrance into the station will help reduce pressure on the main station entrance and benefit bus passengers alighting at stops along Ilford Hill.
TfL is now working with the local councils, property developers and stakeholders to finalise the funding packages for these four schemes, with a hope that work can begin on delivering them later this year.

The Mayor and TfL expanded the Growth Fund to £550m in December 2016 to allow more schemes to be brought forward. By providing funding to schemes through the fund, the Mayor and TfL can help leverage additional funding from developers and third parties to help unlock complex transport schemes and provide improved services at less well connected sites that might otherwise not see investment.

More than 15 schemes have been supported by the Growth Fund so far, including new stations in Tottenham Hale and White Hart Lane, as well as road and public realm schemes in Wandsworth and the new Barking Riverside London Overground Extension, which will be delivered by next summer.
The four latest schemes to receive funding have done so following a review of the criteria used to determine allocations. This focused on the ability of each project to unlock housing and jobs growth, deliverability, potential for third-party funding and how they aligned to the new Mayor’s Transport Strategy, including key objectives such as Healthy Streets. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy aims to create a greener, safer and more accessible London by encouraging greater use of public transport, walking and cycling and reducing reliance on car journeys.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted to be announcing the next four schemes that will benefit from our Growth Fund – millions of pounds of investment that will directly improve people’s daily experience on our public transport network and unlock vital new housing and jobs. As London’s population grows, it is essential we continue to build world-class infrastructure like new Tube stations across the capital, but also target improvements in a way that can help deliver the new homes Londoners desperately need.”
Alex Williams, Director of City Planning at TfL, said: “Good transport links are vital to supporting growth in a city. Our Growth Fund is helping to unlock transport schemes which might not have been funded, helping to create more homes and jobs across London. By promoting ‘good growth’ across London, we can help the capital continue to prosper while providing new transport options for Londoners.”

Waltham Forest Council Leader Clare Coghill said: “We welcome this announcement from Transport for London which will support our already ambitious plans to rejuvenate Walthamstow. Improvements to the station will support The Mall redevelopment which is bringing an improved retail experience and more jobs to the area, as well as hundreds of much needed new homes, and rejuvenated town centre which will become the beating heart of the community.

“This investment will see huge benefits for our growing population, ensuring that everyone, especially those with mobility difficulties, are able to easily access the capital’s public transport system and it will further cement the area as a destination for Londoners looking to live, socialise, shop and soak up the culture in Walthamstow.”
The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “We’re pleased to be working with TfL to deliver a new and improved station in Colindale. The completed works will improve the lives of many Colindale commuters, as well as being an attractive new public building for the local area.”

Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council said: “We’re delighted that TfL, working in partnership with the council, has committed Growth Funding to Ilford Station southern entrance. We safeguarded the necessary land through the planning system, secured Ilford Housing Zone investment towards the entrance and have committed the use of our own Community Infrastructure Levy fund to ensure this much needed entrance is delivered.

“As Ilford becomes an increasingly popular place to live, a new third entrance will make it easier and more accessible for people to use the station and connect to and from buses. With 6,000 new homes being built by 2030, multi-million pound improvements to the town centre currently underway, a new cultural centre in the pipeline and the Elizabeth Line opening soon, Redbridge looks forward to continuing working in partnership with TfL to deliver all the necessary transport infrastructure to accommodate and accelerate growth and further enhance Ilford as a fantastic location to live and work.”

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Bromley Council’s Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services said: “This investment in local transport infrastructure is very welcome news and something that we have been calling for. The improvements will help reduce delays that passengers have faced and significantly improve journey time reliability, which in turn will make this a more attractive transport option and I am hopeful that in the future, this will also enable future increases to service frequency.”
TfL is now reviewing a range of other schemes from across London to see whether they would be suitable for part-funding from the remaining £80m and hopes to be able to confirm these later this year.

Image: Duncan/Wikipedia