Fidelity Heart Zone

The site, at the heart of Fidelity campus, comprises the space between Beach Gate House, Kingswood Place and Windmill Court – host to Fidelity International, whom provide world-class investment solutions and retirement expertise to institutions, individuals and their advisers.

The brief emphasises a strong desire to develop a more fluid and contemporary landscape in conjunction to this. Aspiring to create a campus with a thriving heart, which facilitates connection and interaction.

There is potential to improve site circulation and access by simplifying levels across site, with particular focus on a route from the proposed drop off point to Windmill Court entrance. Additionally, the level falls across site offer an opportunity to implement Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

The design ambition and opportunities were identified as;

  • Provide healthy green spaces and a green heart for users and ensure the establishment of a pleasant place to work
  • Optimise the functionality and flow of people between buildings and site wide circulation by providing clear routes, access points, signage and by rationalizing levels
  • Enhance spaces to foster community cohesion and interaction by providing spaces that will actively encourage socializing and engagement
  • Enhance existing architecture and respond to site conditions
  • Address issues of drainage and storm water run-off through an integrated SUD system
  • Apply principles of ‘Biophilia’ to improve well-being and increase biodiversity

Design Rationale

The proposed landscape strategy looks to improve site circulation by rationalizing levels, providing a clear hierarchy of routes between buildings and considering links to the wider campus. Desired landscape elements include; car drop off point; a sequence of arrival for visitors; a central courtyard; cafe out-spill space.

In addition, there is a clear desire that the scheme is sustainable in its design ethos and longevity i.e. maintaining and managing the external spaces and grounds.

The Landscape Masterplan

The approach to the landscape design of this site reflects a strong aspiration to provide a rich and stimulating, yet simple and functional work place setting that will be valued by its users and visitors.  The proposed landscape needs to be visually attractive yet legible, hardworking and robust. It must respond to the opportunities and constraints presented by the site and the brief. It should apply principles of ‘Biophilia’.

Site Circulation

The redevelopment of the ‘central heart space’ must create an integrated landscape with effective pedestrian links between proposed building entrances and wider routes; to ensure the site feels coherent and connected and improve navigation. This is to include the rationalization of levels and careful consideration to the sequence of arrival from the car drop-off to the reception entrance.

Landscape Highlights

The proposed landscape allows for the enrichment of the ‘central heart’ with a planned series of highlights and designed features which look to create a series of distinct spaces reminiscent of natural landscapes; river, meadow, mountain, woodland. Highlights include; rain garden, central courtyard, incidental seating elements, extensive ornamental planting, informal gathering space and an edible landscape.

Drainage & Water in the Landscape

The site offers an opportunity to implement Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS).  Surface profiles and details will be designed to direct surface water runoff to a proposed rain garden. Planted with water tolerant plants and encompassed by amphitheatre seating, this focal point  ensures a visually attractive yet hardworking landscape. Additionally, permeable paving to car drop off will absorb surface water into the ground.

The soft landscape approach looks to create a green oasis at the heart of the campus.  It incorporates a variety of species-rich habitats – inc. shady woodland, wildflower meadow, flood-able landscape – to create a sensory rich environment that combines and enhances the site’s existing biodiversity.

The introduction and management of the soft landscape will provide an attractive workplace setting, create year round visual interest and promote well-being and biodiversity.

The landscape strategy proposes a number of feature trees throughout the site; semi-mature ornamental trees; orchard trees; and specimen screening trees. All of which define spaces, control views and provide year-round presence. Tree planting will comprise a mixture of native and ornamental tree species.

Data

Landscape Architects: BD landscape architects 

Client: Fidelity International

Architects: HLW

Landscape Budget: confidential

Status: Completed in 2021

Project location: Kingswood – Surrey

Design year:  2018-2020

Year Built:  2021

Photographer: Jack Hobhouse

Metalco ArchInteligence

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