Australia-Rd-01

An exemplary sustainable drainage (SuDS) scheme – designed by SuDS consultants and landscape architects Robert Bray Associates, and featuring innovative applications of concrete block permeable paving – has won the top prize at the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards.

Bridget Joyce Square in Australia Road, White City, London, is a SuDS park with community at its heart. Its design introduces the innovative concept of concrete block permeable paving as a thin overlay, replacing a tarmac road surface, on the original road base.

In this SuDS landscape, designed in association with McCloy Consulting, rainwater is removed straight from the surface without gulleys, then attenuated and treated within the paving before being released horizontally via stainless steel slots into adjacent, well-planted basins. Finally, flow control chambers on outlets from the basins protect the combined sewer. Thus, rainfall remains within the landscape until storms have passed and the sewer can deal with water again.

Consultation with local people and a realization of the potential for the site led to an integrated design that linked two disconnected spaces and created a social arena celebrating rainfall. Concrete block permeable paving was used to break the existing formal road alignment and introduce a ‘piazza’. Local residents were keen to retain memories of a low wall in front of the school, used as a balance beam in their youth. From this a thematic ‘Wiggly Wall’ was born and became part of a ‘ribbon’ motif that united the linear spaces and symbolised the bringing together of the community.

The scheme won ‘Winner of Winners’ (the President’s Award) as well as Winner of the ‘Adding Value through Landscape’ category at the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards, and also an ICE London Civil Engineering Award in 2016. The Landscape Institute judges recognised the design as: “An exemplary approach to partnership working in delivering solutions to so many problems in a way that can, and should be, replicated nationally”. Most importantly, it has been enthusiastically welcomed by local residents.

The trade association Interpave has just published a new case study on this inspirational project, available here

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