Greenwich Square London

10th June 2020

About Greenwich Square

Greenwich Square, developed by Hadley Mace and built by Mace Construction, creates a new community for east Greenwich.  The £250 million project upon a 3 hectare brownfield site delivers 686 new mixed-tenure homes (50% affordable housing), a new community hub including a leisure centre, library, health centre, adult education college, reaurants and shops.  Outerspace have designed and technically delivered the entire landscape masterplan, including a public art sculpture within the central piazza.  The various phases within the scheme include:

The Square is the central focus to the regeneration, for both the new residents and wider community to enjoy.  It is flanked by The Greenwich Centre with its public lobby space, togther with bars and restaurants on a lower level to the square.
The Phase One affordable housing block has a communal garden up at first floor level above the car park.  This provides a play space for toddlers, communal seating and lush planting around the perimeter.
‘The Courtyard’ is the predominantly private sale block and offers a stunning oasis for the residents to enjoy within a tranquil setting in contrast to the busy streetscapes within Greenwich and beyond.
The Streetscapes within the regeneration consist of parking and pavements, with tree planting throughout. Green wall features along two of The Courtyard’s facades create a beautiful softening and focus.

Our approach

Promoting mental wellbeing and connectivity to nature

Promoting community socialisation

Throughout the public realm we have designed in bespoke furniture to promote a range of uses by the public, catering for the range of psychological requirements: for meeting up with friends, bumping into neighbours, group gatherings or just sitting alone and watching others.

Offering neighbourhood play and interaction

Within the semi-private communal gardens we have located various elements of play from toddlers facilities, sculptural interactive play-seating for older ones, and table tennis tables to encourage neigbours of all ages to meet and enjoy spending time together.

Creating comfort and reducing anxiety

Paramount to our approach is to create a feeling of comfort within the spaces.  This is particularly challenging in high density developments, but with extensive planting throughout, the gardens have a far better chance of attracting people to visit and stay within them

The Square at Greenwich Square

It is envisaged that this space is will be the focus to the local community and is thus designed to be flexible to enable a range of activities and events, whilst being comfortable to be used on a daily basis. Indeed it is already an incredibly popular place to meet friends and family outside the Greenwich Centre.
It’s layout was designed carefully to accommodated the pedestrian desire lines through and across it; the path of the sun throughout the day; and the various activities it promotes such as outdoor cafe seating
and play around the edge and potential events in the middle.  In the centre of The Square is a public art sculpture, designed by Outerspace.  It is based on the history of the area and offers passers by the opportunity to learn historical facts whilst being enriched and challenged by its visual composition

Inspiration for the composition layout

The layout and character of the Square was very much driven from the ‘sense of place’, namely it’s historical context and indigenous landscape.  Hence the shape and arrangement of the planters and routes through them were inspired by the journeys taken for the historic Voyages of Discovery and Maritime warfare which Greenwich and Woolwich is very much at the heart of.  The planting combines the indigenous natural woodland of this landscape together with shrubs and herbaceous plants found by Darwin and subsequent historic botanists who travelled the world and brought home now popular species.

Concept for the sculpture: “Different Outlooks”

This sculpture celebrates the dichotomy in the history of Greenwich and Woolwich, between which Greenwich Square sits.  These towns have a rich maritime history but with hugely contrasting impacts on both British and global history.  On the one hand Greenwich, through its Naval College, has pride in being instrumental in some of the nations most important maritime battles such as Trafalgar.  On the other Woolwich, through its docks and boatbuilding, was the starting point for voyages of enlightenment and discovery such as HMS Beagle upon which Darwin set sail to Patagonia as part of his studies into
evolution and natural selection.  The public art sculpture thus portrays these two outlooks of Battle and Discovery, and inspired by Love and Hate knuckle tatoo’s, celebrates the dichotomy.

Sculptural seating: Promoting social interaction

The Courtyard at Greenwich Square

The Courtyard’ is the final phase of the Greenwich Square scheme.  It offers a stunning oasis for the residents to enjoy in a tranquil setting in contrast to the busy streetscapes within Greenwich and beyond.
Indeed the main concept of the design is to cater for the mental health of the residents by promoting opportunities for communal socialisation, niches for contemplation and solitude, and garden spaces for play for all ages including toddlers equipment, scultural seating for older children and a table tennis table.  Furthermore these gardens are set within a lush planted perimeter to create and feeling of comfort within a potentially enclosed and overlooked setting, whilst maximising the connectivity tio nature and bio-diversity.  The inspiration for the design of the garden is a contemporary twist on an
English Country Garden, creating compartmentalised garden rooms, all lined by an axial route through the space.  This offers a journey of varying experiences for those walking through the garden.

The completed garden: A series of sub spaces for socialisation and play

Communal Terrace South

Play Gardens

Communal Terrace North

And down to detail…

Affordable Housing Garden

This garden was built within the first phase of the development.  It has provided the residents with a source of amenity, both to look down upon and utilise on a daily basis.  Catering for the mental health of the residents, the layout promotes opportunities for communal socialisation and a garden space for play for all ages including toddlers equipment and a flexible lawn.  Furthermore we have created a heavily planted perimeter to create a feeling of comfort within the garden and encourage residents to sit out with a minimised sense of being overlooked.

The Streetscape at Greenwich Square

The streetscapes within the regeneration consist of parking and pavements, with tree planting throughout.  Green wall features along two of The Courtyard’s facades create a beautiful softening and focus.