Podium & Open Space Barking Riverside

Barking Riverside, Dagenham

Flats & houses including podium deck

Bellway Homes

RMA Architects

Hard & soft landscape to CfSH including Podium Open space


This project in barking saw houses & flats designed on a slope with under croft parking. The under croft parking offered a podium open space to flats at the higher level & ground level open space to houses below.

The biggest challenge with the landscape design was marrying up the two levels of over 3m. The difference of levels also had to tie up with existing higher road levels while still offering as much usable open space as possible.

DF Clark proposed the use of a stepped gabion wall from the higher level down to the lower public open space. Not only would the gabion wall become a feature in its own right, it allowed the most usable space. The steps were also designed to be large sitting steps offering different use of the space as well as breaking up what could have been a 3m high brick wall. A small area of grass on the top level of the gabion wall added a play full gesture of grass at the top of the mountain.

The higher level podium open space was designed to have a large area of hard standing for utility reasons but also featured a small garden area with lawn, shrub & perennials planting as well as a bench & bin. The design also featured a simple balance beam offering the chance for play within the space.

As well as the use of drought tolerant planting species, planting & grass areas were contained within raised sleeper beds to achieve a sustainable depth of soil over the tanked concrete structural slab.