Our competition entry for Letchworth Garden City explores many of the interests we have as a practice such as social and play spaces and combines these with community food growing. Our designs are for streets, circuses, crescents, boulevards, and gardens that echo the Garden Cities of the 19th and 20th centuries. We created a neighbourhood where children have the freedom to be outside, explore, meet friends and play, and where all ages are brought together through the growing and consumption of food.
Play: Well connected, overlooked, natural and informal in design, there are spaces for quiet contemplation, sitting and talking, imaginative play, tree climbing, hide and seek and games of football. As our research shows, spaces that are flexible in use tend to be well loved and well used.
Food: The street and crescent layout sets up a series of framed external spaces, within which are allotments and kitchen gardens to support food growing and spaces for cooking, eating and sharing.
Transport: We envisage a neighbourhood which is safe to walk and cycle. Streets are designed for slow car speeds, and parking is almost entirely restricted to the perimeter or car ports on certain house types. The wide boulevards, served by a local bus, are free of parked cars so there are long vistas between the circuses and crescents with their markets and shops. Footpaths through shared gardens offer pleasant car free routes home after work and school.