Sutton High Street runs through the centre of an outer London town, yet for years it had remained disconnected from buildings, spaces and uses around it; the railway station, shops, green spaces, market uses, civic amenities and local communities were all in close proximity but remained disconnected.
Project elements have focused on the management of pedestrians, cyclists and cars. Traffic signage was unclear, and there was too much of it. Supported by the Council, footway surfacing and signage was greatly simplified, and roads have been designed to benefit pedestrians and cyclists. New lighting has been provided in straight lines to offset and reveal the gentle curve of the High Street. A new green town square forms a centrepiece space, with trees, light, seats, and stage spaces, linking eastwards with a local park. Smaller stages, made in patterned granite, enable planned and impromptu performances. Special street furniture enables informal use, by all ages, using timber animals and logs for seats.
New trees are always placed in clusters that mark side routes, with painted signs to explain what lies beyond. The unsightly car park building was clad with a living green wall, made vibrant with a range of plants of various colours and textures. The £2.5m project delivered a kilometer of improvements, and now engages the High Street with new and existing assets, bringing social and economic benefits around a collective street realm.
Client: London Borough of Sutton
Project Status: Completed 2011