A public realm project that included both OLF funding and TfL Major Scheme funding to improve Green Lanes and Wood Green as High Streets.
The public realm was understood to not only be about the ground, but also how the ground is framed by active frontages and buildings, the people within the spaces and their practical needs, especially around public transport interchanges. Shop-fronts were improved in collaboration with artists and makers, kerbs were re-configured to make better space for pedestrians, bus shelters were rationalised and generosity was introduced through careful use of materials and place specific interventions.
The high quality and durable materials found in the 1920 tube stations such as terrazzo floors and bronze handrails influenced the choice of materiality and led to an exploration of local narratives such as the idea of bringing the Green and the Woods to Wood Green through interventions that included bronze acorns at Wood Green, a sign to the New River acting as an insect hotel, a pocket park expanding an existing clump of trees, improvements to local market infrastructure and special lighting to key spaces and buildings. Strengthening the identity of the place in London was key to the project; all interventions led to an increased cultural and socio-economic sustainability for the high street.
The scheme has been successful in stretching the brief to include improvements through liaison with a number of third parties. Working closely with The Mall shopping centre; street lights were fixed to the building to free the street from clutter. Existing market stalls were rationalised with new power supply provided. A layout for a future market along the pedestrianised Lymington Avenue was designed as part of the scheme. London Underground and TfL Buses were engaged to deliver seem-less and decluttered public realm across ownerships, new terrazzo mats were placed at Turnpike Lane station entrances.
East named the benches with small plaques referring to the colloquial names of the places and junctions, this gives a sense of ownership and has helped to counter vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
New centrepiece buildings and spaces in Green Lanes have been illuminated to provide presence and celebrate the historic identity of the High Street. New spaces in front of these have animated the public realm
Location: Wood Green High Road and Haringey Green Lanes
Client: Haringey Council
Project status: Completed 2015