The practice has had the unique opportunity of working for one client, Coin Street Community Builders, in one part of London for over 20 years achieving a range of projects that have enhanced the environment for local people and organizations. In 2000 the practice’s urban design strategy proposed over 40 projects to enhance the public realm and community facilities and over half of these have now been completed, many by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.
Rather than a masterplan for an entirely new community, this was a strategy to repair a damaged place in the heart of London to create an attractive district for workers and visitors. Post-war development on the South Bank tended to focus on individual initiatives with little attention paid to the areas between building plots. Our solutions were founded on understanding the character of the area and creating strategic change by individual ‘projects’, implemented as funding and partners became available.
The Urban Design Strategy set various strategic proposals:
- improvement of the environment, public transport and pedestrian access
- new and improved community facilities
- appropriate retail
- reinforcement of the area’s identity through street furniture
- the activation of dead frontages and street level activity
- management and maintenance of the public realm
- maximising the riverside walkway
- creating greater interaction between major corporations and the public
The key elements were the knowledge of and continuous involvement with local people and their communities; masterplanning that addressed public facilities, realm and movement as well as commercial development plans and delivered a ‘menu’ of opportunities that appealed to different local champions; projects that could be phased in a variety of sequences as funding became available; and temporary buildings and uses, public events and activities to create identity and use ahead of development The development of the South Bank is internationally recognised as providing a level of social sustainability which extends beyond architectural intervention. Consideration of community needs involved the the active engagement of local and international businesses through the creation of the South Bank Employers Group, ensuring the economic viability of the area was linked to the burgeoning community through the improvements to shared urban spaces, but also the creation of businesses, jobs, local arts and culture strategies.
Academy of Urbanism ‘The Great Neighbourhood Award’ 2010
Waterfront Center USA Top Honour Award 2006
Civic Trust Award 2004
Waterfront Centre USA Honour Award 2003