Case Studies

Woolwich Squares

2008 - 2009

Project Director
Anna Rose

Gustafson Porter

Greenwich Waterfront Regeneration Agency

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Local spatial accessibility model of the existing conditions

The analysis highlights the potential of the strategic locations of the two squares.

The opportunity

The Woolwich area of south-east London is experiencing unprecedented levels of regeneration, which have a major impact on the Town Centre. The arrival of a new Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station, together with the construction of new buildings will have a major impact on pedestrian movement patterns in the town centre. This creates the opportunity for improvements in the public realm.

Space Syntax formed part of the competition winning team, led by Gustafson Porter Landscape architects to redesign General Gordon and Beresford Squares, which are central spaces in the public realm of Woolwich.

Our contribution

Space Syntax undertook an in-depth urban baseline study covering the whole town centre, including both pedestrian movement surveys and spatial analysis. This study was designed to provide public realm design advice to the wider team as well as to support the planning process, including consultation with local stakeholders.

The outcome

Our work identified the hierarchy of space use in the town centre and revealed the existing spatial structure of the two squares. This information informed the development of the landscape design proposals.

The design strategies were tested and optimised using Spatial Accessibility Models. Our evidence-based evaluation of the final design was used to communicate the project to a wide range of stakeholders and helped to secure planning permission.

The project was completed in October 2011. It provides Woolwich with a public realm framework, which responds to its specific spatial conditions, ensuring that the new public spaces are well used, safe and pleasant to be in.

Pedestrian movement traces

Pedestrian traces survey data, revealing movement desire lines in the area.

Strategic visibility analysis for the existing

The analysis demonstrates visual relationships between the two squares and the surrounding public realm. This also highlighted visual barriers between Wellington Street an the square resulting isolation of the square, particularly compared with Beresford Square.

Strategic visibility analysis for the proposed scheme

The analysis demonstrates the improvement in visual relationships in the public realm provided by the new design.