Space Syntax was commissioned by More London Development Ltd to develop a spatial design brief for the redevelopment of Potter’s Field Park in London. The regeneration of Potter’s Field Park needed to take account of the many different pedestrian communities surrounding the Park as well as a number of significant neighbouring sites including the “coach station site” to the east, the More London development to the west and City Hall at the north west corner of the park.
The aims of our commission were first, to provide objective information on current usage patterns in the Park and second, to generate strategic design ideas for its future use in the form of a Spatial design Brief. It was a key objective of the Brief that the designs should respond to the park’s existing use patterns, either by conserving and enhancing the positive characteristics of what was already there, or by remedying shortcomings.
Our designs unlock the potential for Potters Field Park to connect to the wider urban environment. A layout was created that provides pedestrian routes to through and alongside the Park. In so doing, the design realises the potentials embedded in the spatial location of the Park and creates large-scale social, environmental and economic benefits.
To arrive at the Spatial Design Brief, we carried out a photographic survey and qualitative landscape character evaluation of the site. We developed and analysed a Spatial Accessibility Model of the Park and, by undertaking an observation study of pedestrian activity, we showed the degree to which existing movement patterns were influenced by the hierarchy of spatial connections.
We then used the Spatial Accessibility Model to test a number of layout design options for the Park, to analyse its potentials for attracting use by the many different communities surrounding the Park.
The Spatial Design Brief developed by Space Syntax was used by GrossMax Landscape architects to redesign the park. Our work provided them with clarity about first, the future movement hierarchy and second, the suitability of different parts of the park for different functions. DSDHA were commissioned to design a café building on one of the new routes that Space Syntax introduced and they were guided by the forecasts of the movement model.
The new park was completed in 2007 and its redesign has made a major contribution to the success of the area for people living, working and visiting.