National Gallery External Landscaping

Universally accessible streetscape for National Gallery precinct

£ 950K

Following our successful response to a competitive OJEU notice In 2004, fereday pollard are one of a limited number of architects included in the National Gallery's building consultants framework.

Our first project for the Gallery was the rationalisation and redesign of the hard landscaped space overlooked by the institution on Orange Street, close by Trafalgar Square. The space, though popular with tourists for its hotel and cafe frontage, was a residue from the geometry of the 1960's office building above meeting the medieval street, and provided a confusing array of sloping areas, steps, ramps and planters paved in concrete slab. Trees, which dominated the site, were in poor condition and recommended for replacement.

With a limited budget, our scheme sought first to create a stronger relationship with the building by providing a levelled terrain of regular grey granite bands locating with building columns. This immediately acheived order within the space. Pink granite setts, of varying row width, were then let in between the grey granite bands, while new plane trees, replacing those in-situ species in poor condition, were planted into bespoke cast iron tree grates designed for the project. Low level lighting fosters a secure scene at night, conducive to al fresco cafe and restaurant uses. Regulatory DDA aspects, including use of contrasting materials and compliant gradients were adopted throughout, making a popular lunchtime spot universally accessible.

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