HTA@50 - South Quay Plaza

HTA Landscape’s commitment to quality and a collaborative approach recently realised a new park in Docklands. From a masterplan by Foster and Partners for the Berkeley Group designed to improve connections with surrounding streets and enable a group of tall residential towers the public realm plays a key part in the site’s sustainability strategy and presented an opportunity to become a destination.

Despite numerous constraints, the small park in the generally hard public realm of Docklands forms a key part of this multi-phase development and great effort was put into making a place that encouraged people to recognise it as a haven or oasis. The goals of creating enclosure and maximising the amount of soft landscape guided the design to become a place of distinct contrast to the hard public realm, and it has proved to be very popular.

Fostering a collaborative atmosphere across the project team HTA prioritised quality throughout the design process, for the construction and in the finish, this focus helping to achieve the project aims. Design development exploited the latest 3D tools to refine the experience of the place and communicate the design effectively to the wider team, which proved particularly valuable through the various iterations needed to reconcile the requirements of parking and servicing with the park carried by substantial landscape engineering.

To address the scale of the new buildings, mature trees of 12m to 15m height were planted to create enclosure around and above from day one. Beneath and between the trees care was taken over the planting. Working closely with Plantsman Noel Kingsbury again brought richness and interest as it has done at Bexhill, this time the planting scheme has been designed to provide seasonal variation in the city so there is always something new for residents and visitors to enjoy in the park.

The benefits of high quality landscape are recognised by the Berkeley Group as part of a successful scheme, and their post occupancy evaluations describe residents’ appreciation for the setting of the place that is their home. HTA’s focus on quality and collaborative approach spread throughout the team contributing greatly to the success of the project.

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