Flats & Houses with Central Opens Space Dagenham

Barking Dagenham

Housing Association & Private Flats with Central Courtyard Open Space

Bellway Homes

RMA Partnership

Hard & soft landscape design to CfSH including central Play area.


Barking Riverside is a one of the largest development sites in Europe with a proposed total of 10,800 new homes by 2030.

Located on a brown field site that was once home to one of the largest fishing ports in London, followed by a power station the site boasts history as well as riverside views and walks bursting with flora and fauna.

The full site extends over 443 acres and is split into 4 phases. Within each phase building plots are split up and built in stages. The infrastructure & concept of the site was originally designed by Gustafson Porter in 2005.

DF Clark have been involved in the site investigation & feasibility of the site during the land bid stage.

Following the acceptance of the site wide planning application for outline consent, DF Clark were invited back to detail some of the land parcels & infrastructure to detail design & tender stage.

For this particular site the architecture designed by RMA Architects saw housing association & Private flats formulated around a central open space. The open space formed part of the site wide play and recreation strategy seeing play rooms within courtyards as well as large scale play areas for all ages.

A Natural Play strategy was employed to echo the nature of the site with a Birch woodland located 500m from the site as well as a naturalistic colour scheme to the building facade. Play equipment included a large rock stack, timber framed swing, timber stepping blocks cut into earth mounding as well as large tree trunk stacks using trunks up to 1.6m in diameter to promote biodiversity through the inclusion of log piles and stag beetle habitat.

Hard landscape materials also echoed this ethos.  Gabion baskets of grey & blue stone formed retained walls. The colour of the paving also followed a natural colour palette using greys & charcoals but more importantly the pattern and colour configuration defined the different user areas. Mixed paving colour was used throughout pedestrian zones, a thicker permeable paver of a single colour was used to areas for emergency service use with bands of charcoal offering interest and visual directing across the site.

The soft landscape design saw the perimeter walls to private courtyards softened with block shrub planting and perennial planting between blocks. Trees were carefully located to screen views across the court yard as well as from overlooking apartments while still allowing sun light to penetrate the ground below.