Homes with heart
A new neighbourhood brings people together in a series of playful public spaces
Chobham Farm continues the regeneration of Stratford by creating a vibrant new neighbourhood on the edge of the Olympic Park. Our 1500-home masterplan – created in collaboration with Pollard Thomas Edward Architects – began by laying out a new community with a strong identity and a beating social heart.
We created a generous mosaic of public parkland and courtyard gardens to offer the community easy access to nature throughout the neighbourhood. While some green spaces are peaceful, others are sociable, offering plentiful opportunities for play. Community gardens and allotments allow people to connect with the rhythm of the seasons – and with each other.
Creative ways to recycle, filter and reuse rainwater are threaded throughout, in an intricate network of swales, richly planted rain gardens and playful surface water channels.
Away from the public realm, nestled within the eastern most residential blocks are two ‘secret’ gardens. A pair of Halo’s hover above the gardens with swings and ropes dangling down to entice children out to play by day. By night a subtle light defines the Halo; emphasising the sculptural structure. Apple trees and fragrant shrubs fringe the space with lawns and garden walls giving way to residents terraces.
Creating strong connections to the surrounding communities was crucial, and we were careful to stitch the new neighbourhood into the existing street pattern. A series of homezones create pedestrian-priority routes into and through the neighbourhood, reducing traffic flow and making it a welcoming place to walk.
Following the success of the masterplan we were appointed to deliver Zone 4, ‘The New Garden Quarter’, which is centred around a new public square with an iconic play tower at its heart. With a naturally filtered rainwater pond and glades of wet woodland, this urban oasis is a reimagined, resilient version of the classic London square, able to attenuate a 1:100 year storm.
A ‘homezone’ route links the square to the nearby Leyton Road – once again giving pedestrians priority. Here pocket parks are tucked away beside bus stops, offering ‘play-on-the-way’, sociable seating, flowers and fruit trees - each one a little sanctuary along this busy city road.