Landscape Architect's Journal speaks to James Lord, Landscape Partner

Pro Landscaper speaks to HTA Design Partner and Head of Landscape Design, James Lord about how HTA Design has developed over 50 years, and how James' knowledge accumulated to produce our multi-award-winning project, Cator Park

It’s a tale as old as time; the battle between architects and landscape architects. The inevitable fight over priorities. Historically, HTA Design was purely architects but it wanted to overcome this tension and utilise the collaboration between the two. In 2003, James Lord joined the practice and with him so did landscape architecture. From this team of one, HTA Design is now home to just shy of 40 landscape architects.

Since its architectural works on post-war estates back in 1969, HTA Design today provides a turnkey service on many of its projects. At Greenford Quay in West London, HTA Design – along with developers Greystar – is creating a community of 2,000 apartments, undertaking all work except for the engineering disciplines. As part of the 8.64ha brownfield industrial reclamation project, the apartments are built to rent and bursting with amenities. As well as interior perks such as a cinema room, gym, dance studio, lounges and a commercial kitchen, every roof surface will be turned into a garden with outdoor barbecues and plasma TVs.

And that’s just the buildings themselves. James and his team are utilising 40% of the space for a central square, green parks, tree lined streets, children’s play areas, dog parks, as well as an activated canal side. The site will be full of life – both people and wildlife. “The brief was all about building communities; creating communal spaces where residents can interact. It’s turning into what was a building site into a thriving community. It’s a fascinating project,” James tells us. “While there is still work to be done on the site, HTA Design has built temporary playgrounds, dog parks and wildflower meadows so it’s both interesting and responsible from day one.

There are, unsurprisingly, huge benefits to landscape architects having input in a project from day one: “We will never achieve successful outcomes if landscape architects are the last consultant to be involved in a project, because your opportunity to influence for the better is so limited,” explains James. This collaboration between architect and landscape architect was so successful that word spread. James and his team found themselves invited to join already established teams as the lead, working on projects that were no longer exclusively with HTA Design architects.

Read the full article in the May edition of Pro Landscaper.

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