PROJECT: Cambria Court, Walthamstow
SECTORS: Commercial / Residential
SERVICES: Landscape Design
CLIENT: Wates Construction & East Thames Group
A clear brief was set out by East Thames & Waltham Forest Council to address a number of issues including water conservation, predicted desire lines across the open space, durability of materials, soil depths and shade cast by the buildings.
South facing, the park is subject to shading from the apartments above. The BRE Trust (Building Research Establishment) Site Layout Planning for Daylight & Sunlight guide to good practice, was used to create a shading model of the park to determine the hours of available sunlight as well as highlighting areas that would be shaded in the morning or the afternoon. This informed the planting design which saw species selection depending on location and the available sunlight.
As the amenity space is essentially a garden constructed over the concrete structural slab roof of the under croft parking, the weight of soil and hard landscape materials was required to be as light as possible. Trees were planted in root friendly raised planters to increase the soil depths whilst holes cut into the planter structure allowed roots of the trees to spread horizontally into adjacent soil to form a healthy root plate.
Water conservation was achieved through the use of a permeable paving system which allows water to penetrate through the hard surface into the soil. The drainage build-up over the roof slab also retained a 25mm depth of water available for take up by plants, reducing the need for watering and conserving natural resources.
The absence of fenced play zones presented the park with a greater sense of shared space for all, with young children, parents and teenagers able to use the whole park rather than feeling limited to their user areas. The combination of ‘rooms’ within the design are all open to one another with play equipment designed to offer a running route from room to room with jumping, spinning and balancing activities to be played out along the way.