The team guided by OKRA landscape architects has won the appealing `Wellesley Road Park Lane International Urban Design Competition´ in London. The competition is part of the plans to regenerate Croydon, situated in the South of London. The ambition for Croydon is to turn the city district, counting 350.000 inhabitants, into London´s ´third town´, besides Westminster and the City of London. This ambition is determined in Third City Vision, which is the result of the work of architect Will Alsop in concentration with the inhabitants of Croydon.
The transformation of Wellesley Road and Park Lane, the central long line in Croydon, is one of the key projects in Croydon. The assignment is to reshape the monstrous main road, splitting the center in two, into a lively and liveable center.In the plan of the OKRA team, Wellesley Road and Park Lane are transformed into a green core in the city that is easy to cross over and is connected to green ´urban rooms´ beside it. The amount of space for automobile traffic is limited drastically in favor of pedestrians and cyclists. The highway exit on the South side is connected to the East-West continual connection while parking garages are concentrated at the North and South side.
The profile is transformed into spacious pedestrian strips on the sides, a car connection on the West side, a green median strip with a track for cyclists, pedestrians and skaters and a public transport lane on the East side. Pedestrian zones are activated by transformation of the now dull plinths in active programs and the connection to a diversity of new green (semi)public spaces in the blocks lying behind.
The ´Chrysalis´ plan unfolds a strategy how the now desolated peace of city can disclose as a butterfly.Through temporary procedures and fast interventions on short term, a start of the transformation is already given. The large public project is executed gradually from the South to the North. Through acupunctural procedures, the urban rooms and plinths of buildings are activated. Simple rules and public private partnership lead to the intended improvements within the blocks.
Location: London, UK
Client: London Borough of Croydon Town Hall
Time schedule: 2009 – 2015
Surface: 13 ha
Lead consultant: OKRA Landscape Architect bv | Mr. Ir. Martin Knuijt
Sub consultant: Urhahn Urban Design |Mrs. Tess Broekmans
Peter Brett Associates | Mr. Peter Ralph
Soundings: Mr. Ciron Edwards
Construction value of the project: 40 Million GBA
Current project status: RIBA-stage B