PROJECT: Barking Riverside open Space
SECTORS: Commercial / Residential
SERVICES: Landscape Construction
CLIENT: Barking Riverside Ltd / Bellway Homes
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.
D F 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, D F Clark were invited back to detail some of the land parcels & infrastructure to detail design & tender stage.
The residential parcels saw housing 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.
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 demarcation across the site.
The site’s location at the downstream end of existing creeks, combined with its close proximity to the tidal River Thames, creates particular sensitivity to future flooding events. The open space introduces opportunities to reduce flood risk. This includes, green roofs, planted swales, and water storage ponds which are capable of storing and slowing down surface water run-off.
The planted swales and storage ponds were dressed with 1500m2 of commercial decking boards. Steps in the decking responded to proposed site levels as well as the design, which created an amphitheatre effect down to the water’s edge. In certain locations, gabion walls retained soil to proposed levels. The planting of marginal aquatic plants softened the edges of the new pond as well as adding colour, texture and biodiversity.
D F Clark also constructed and finished the central weirs that formed the ornamental design element of the ponds. Wide central steps at the end of the pond added to the grand nature of the pond which were clad with sandstone paving and bull nose step treads.