JTP, with Civic Voice, was proud to accept joint first prize at the 'Paddington Pole' Competition Awards on 18 July 2016. In awarding this 'Streets Prize', judges commended the submission for the high quality of its urban design. The entry was also applauded for the community planning process through which the proposals for the site were developed.
Representatives accept the Streets Prize. Left to right: John Thompson (JTP), Emmet O'Sullivan (JTP), Charles Campion (JTP), Sir Simon Jenkins (award presenter), Nicolas Boys Smith (Create Streets), John Walker (Civic Voice)
We were impressed by the level of community participation JTP & Civic Voice had undertaken in such a short time frame. We were also impressed by the urban fabric, and the quality of the public spaces and blocks. Praed Street was treated well, with increased pavement sizes improving its feel as a place. There was felt to be a good consideration of traffic flows and pedestrian flows, including access to the hospital. There was good connectivity around the site.
Sophie Massey Cook, speaking on behalf of the Paddington Place judging panel
The Paddington community was a significant force behind the withdrawal of the proposals for the ‘Paddington Pole’ scheme at Paddington Place, West London in January 2016. Faced with the 72-storey tower, local community groups and stakeholders voiced their concerns: that, with the tower proposal, this important site would not optimise the potential for comprehensive regeneration around Paddington Station; that the towering height would dominate the predominantly low and mid-rise local skyline; that the design wouldn’t befit Paddington heritage’s assets.
Earlier this year, Create Streets, an independent research institute focusing on towns and cities, launched a public competition to suggest high-quality alternative schemes for ‘Paddington Place’.
We are not trying to criticise either the developer or the council. We are merely trying to demonstrate what could be done with this important site and potentially create a yet more beautiful, yet more valuable bit of London.
Nicholas Boys Smith, Director of Create Streets
Artist impression from the JTP/Civic Voice entry: Brunel Square, a new, traffic-free, public square to Paddington Station that will transform the experience of using the station
With our partner Civic Voice, we joined forces with the local community at the ‘Paddington Place’ Community Planning Weekend (CPW), an event which we held 29 and 30 April 2016 at St. John’s Church in Paddington, West London. Over the course of the CPW, local people and others with an interest in the future of Paddington were invited to participate over two days in workshops and walkabouts to plan ideas and create a new Vision for this important site and its relationship with the surrounding area. They shared their ideas with the team through walkabouts, workshops and hands-on planning groups.
Following the CPW, the JTP team got to work summarising and analysing the workshop outputs to develop a new Vision for ‘Paddington Place’. We heard that:
- That Paddington lacks a real focal point, and this site could provide one
- That integrating local heritage was critical to any design
- That the Praed Street station entrance could become a high-quality public space
- That improved routes and public spaces could contribute to regeneration
- That housing for a variety of people should have a place
- That existing local residential and businesses communities need to be valued
- That redevelopment of this site needs to relate to St Mary’s Hospital
- That there is an opportunity to redistribute pedestrian and traffic flows
- That the regeneration of Praed Street could be helped by this site
- That there is a desire for comprehensive masterplanning for all of Paddington
These themes were central to the design quickly produced by the JTP team following the CPW. After a few days of intensive team working, we shared the consensus Vision with the public at the Report Back presentation on 3 May 2016.
The design proposals reflect the overall tenor as well as the detail of the issues raised through the participatory process, in responding to the desire for an integrated and animated network of streets and spaces for Paddington Place. In this respect the local community’s wishes correspond to the timeless principles of good urbanism and sustainable placemaking, whose long term benefits are gaining increasing recognition in the 21st century. More information on our entry, including our submission document, is available here.
We would like to thank all participants at the Community Planning Weekend for sharing their time, energy and ideas with us. We would also like to thank Civic Voice for partnering with us to organise the Community Planning Weekend, as well as Movement Strategies for providing us with their movement and transport expertise.
Artist impression of Praed Street: widening the footpath and creating better street frontages for local businesses