Osiers Estate

Wandsworth, London UK

Client

Barratt Homes

Summary

Plan Projects has completed its commission for Barratt Homes to design the main public square at their residential development at Osiers Road in Wandsworth. The final design, now complete, reflects a collaboration between principal, Ivan Tennant, an artist, Gitta Gschwendtner, and Elsie Josland one of Plan Project’s associate landscape architects.

Context

Osiers Road sits within an up market residential extension to the town centre known as Wandsworth Riverside Quarter; it is located to the south of the River Thames and east of Wandsworth Park, between Putney Bridge and Wandsworth Bridge.  An important environmental feature is proximity to the River Wandle which flows next to the site out into the Thames.  Until recently, this part of the borough was used almost entirely for light industry; the local authority, recognising the potential value of the area for residential development, has permitted comprehensive reuse of the land.  

Design Approach

The developer’s vision for the scheme is to create a new urban community, providing excellent residential accommodation with active ground floor uses including a gallery, café and artists’ studios. As well as broaden its economic base within the neighbourhood it is hoped this will create a safe and actively used public realm and one which is conducive to the emergence of a strong community. It is a genuine attempt to create a new place, and forms one part of the wider riverside masterplan.

Plan Projects secured the commission to design the main area of vehicle-free public realm. Having conducted our own preliminary analysis a limited competition was held to identify an artist we could invite to join our design team. Gitta Gschwendtner was the selected artist, and a collaboration followed to mould both the spatial and physical characteristics of the square. Our aim was to achieve an idiosyncrasy and level of design quality superior to the more generic approach used at the other public spaces within the development and, in this way, help build the sense of identity of the overall area.