Place Design + Planning: The site was poor quality agricultural land, with some existing tree preservation orders and protected woodland; it was designated for employment uses and the master-planning scheme was fully supported by the three Local Planning Authorities within which the site was situated. The masterplan created a central lake, Longwater, which provides a strong focal point and sets the character of the park, with a variety of animal and bird habitats and accommodating a variety of conservation interests. A design code for buildings at Green Park was established by Foster and Partners at the start of construction and a design panel was established, including client, architect, landscape architect and surveyor, which has reviewed all submissions and designs.
The fundamental elements of the Park’s landscape, such as Longwater lake, the Foudry Brook corridor and on plot landscape treatments, are essential components. The plant selection for these elements is based on conservation and bio-diversity principles, with indigenous planting supporting an increasing diversity of species. As it has developed, Green Park has made a considerable and positive contribution, not only to the working lives of the current 5000 office employees and their visitors, but also to the health and enjoyment of intercompany life. The Park hosts a number of marathons and triathlons, including its own Green Park Triathlon in which employees from 75 companies and other organisations took part this year, the fourth annual event.
Within Green Park Lime Square quickly realised its potential as the park’s amenity hub: it is home to a brasserie, a health and fitness club, a play and party world for children and a day nursery. It hosts a number of activities, events and seasonal markets throughout the year, which are proving increasingly popular. Residents’ feedback has highlighted the important reasons for being located at Green Park – ‘the room to expand, the space to breathe and the environment to inspire’.
A bio-diversity action plan (BAP) was prepared in 2007, which informs management practice and provides the scope for evolutionary planting through selective use of both native planting, and non-native species. The BAP is continually updated under the management of Broadgate Estates, the facilities management company. Within the maturing structure of the Park there are opportunities to increase the range of colours in the planting. The landscape design has been reviewed favourably by the Environment Agency, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. It makes the transition from a robust and naturalistic landscape to a more controlled landscape in close proximity to the buildings.
With the needs of the current 6000 occupiers of the office buildings and their visitors very much at the forefront of the landscape design process, much thought was given to the accessibility and enjoyment of Green Park for all its users. Public footpaths were re-routed throughout the Park and the whole area is designed to be easily traversable by the public, whether walking, cycling, jogging or using a wheelchair.
Landscape Architecture and Management: Place Design + Planning
Architect Masterplanners: Foster and Partners
Building Architects: Foster and Partners, EPR, Tate Hindle, Scott Brownrigg, HOK, Nicholas Hare, Sidell Gibson, Broadway Malyan
Civil Engineers: Peter Brett Associates
Broadgate Estates, facilities management
Photography: Paul Grundy
Green Park has already won several awards for its design, ecology and landscape management. 2006 – Winner, British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), National Landscape Award 2006 – Commendation, Horticulture Week, Best Landscape Scheme 2005 – Winner, Wokingham Biodiversity Forum Business Award 2005 – Winner, Renewable Energy Award, South East Sustainable Energy Partnership