Charles Holland Architects
CHA are part of a team developing a new £8M public space in the heart of Croydon. Our multi-disciplinary team, led by masterplanning architects MICA and including architects Ooze, public artist Adam Nathaniel Furman, engineers eHRW and Max Fordham and Landscape Architects Jeremy Rye Studio won an International design competition to transform the existing College Green site which is bordered by Croydon College and the recently refurbished Fairfield Halls.
Our proposal – dubbed a Metropolitan Meadow – draws on the site’s rich history as well as its contemporary character to create a dynamic, diverse and pluralistic public space. Aspects of Croydon’s rural past are mixed with its modernist urban planning from the 1960s and its current intense development to create a space that offers generous outdoor space for the town’s growing population.
At the heart of our proposal is a circular water feature, an urban pond that forms a reflective pool. The pool can be animated by water jets or be drained to allow public events such as markets or music events to occur. The pool is surrounded by densely planted islands of soft landscape that offer places to sit and relax. A ‘matt’ of pink-striped concrete forms the background to the space, uniting the various areas of areas of pavement and hard landscaping.
CHA collaborated on the overall design as well as designing the Play Field, a specific area of the Fair Field dedicated to leisure and sporting activities. A circular area of grass for picnicking and sunbathing is surrounded by playable elements including a basketball court, skateable benches, grandstand seating and a football goal. Two freestanding ‘kiosks’ animate this area and offer space for retail or civic uses. The form of the kiosks – developed through public workshops with the local community – recall well-known Croydon buildings. The kiosks provide new landmark elements and elevated viewing decks from which to view the new space.
Following extensive public engagement and consultation, the scheme has been submitted for Planning Permission and is now being developed towards Tender.