- Categories Urban & Landscape
- Clients British Land
- Completion 2021
- Size 6,000 sqm
- Budget £18m
- Project Team Deborah Saunt, David Hills, Tom Greenall, Paul Bourel, Anne Wynne, Laura Virto Martinez, Iain Jamieson, Marie Sophie Habermann, Matt Lambert
A major new public park for the City of London, Exchange Square is re-imagined as a bucolic landscape and generously planted green space, suspended above the tracks of Liverpool Street Station. Unfolding across several levels to create a more natural topography for the site, it will provide opportunities for rest and relaxation at the heart of Broadgate, and a unique place in the City where nature and culture are in balance.
Helping the city to breathe
Exchange Square will help to create a London where people can truly live, where communities and businesses can thrive, and that helps the planet to flourish. It is a more attractive, less corporate environment for Broadgate, which creates places to dwell, not just pass through.
Exchange Square is the culmination of DSDHA’s Broadgate Public Realm Framework plan for British Land, which has demonstrated the crucial role the public realm can play in establishing a new identity for a site – from an office-led campus to a truly mixed-use, creative environment with a broader mix of uses. Fundamental to its success will be breaking down perceived barriers to surrounding areas of the City, and to encourage a more diverse group of people to use the public spaces through new planting, seating, lighting, high-quality materials, and more opportunities for temporary uses and events.
Bringing nature and wellbeing to the fore, in balance with technology, we have designed an informal open-air space in which to, meet, celebrate, work and relax surrounded by greenery. It will foster creativity and conviviality and welcome new audiences.
A holistic approach to sustainability
The 1.5-acre park will see a four-fold increase in the amount of planting and dramatically enhance biodiversity, with 25% of the area featuring green space that is accessible to all. Wellbeing and inclusivity have been vital considerations throughout the design process, driven by the ambition to make a vibrant space that encourages engagement and interactivity. A comprehensive analysis of pedestrian movement helped to identify barriers to access – including steps, changes in level, lack of visual contrast and changes in tactility, and poor signage – in order to provide a space that is accessible to all. A strategy of ‘awesome’ planting is proposed that will offer seasonal variety and an ever-changing sensory experience that ensures the park will never be the same place twice.
Architect, Urban Designer and Landscape Architect: DSDHA
Public Realm Framework: DSDHA
Project Manager: Stace Project Management
Structural Engineer: Arup
M&E Engineer: Arup
Lighting Designer: Speirs + Major
Planning Consultant: DP9
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
Ecology Consultant: Greengage
Access Consultant: David Bonnett Associates