St James today announces that Murdoch Wickham has been appointed as the principal landscape architect on its major regeneration project, White City Living. The practice aims to completely transform the hard, urban character of the 10-acre, zone 2 location, in order to create a green residential oasis.
White City Living will introduce, in total, eight acres of open space to an area of previously inaccessible industrial land at the heart of White City on Wood Lane. The project’s masterplan, by Patel Taylor, will create 1,477 new homes, ranging from studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes to penthouses, as well as boutique retail and commercial space designed to balance the existing area offering from neighbouring Westfield London.
This open space will incorporate a new five-acre public park which will be accessed off Wood Lane via a new bridge and pedestrian deck over the central line, opening up the entrance to the site, previously cut off from White City.
A series of refurbished railway arches will also be opened and revitalised, creating important new pedestrian routes and improving connectivity from Westfield through the development.
Murdoch Wickham’s vision uses distinctive, interlinked garden areas with subtle themes, and shared access routes, water features and extensive planting. The landscape proposals include:
• Publicly accessible seasonal gardens with outdoor seating and extensive lawns. The gardens each create a different sense of scale and are increasingly more intimate in character
• A dedicated Magnolia garden to be enjoyed by residents, which neighbours the indoor swimming pool of the residents’ facilities, creating a serene and beautiful place for private use
• Public artworks to mark entrance points and support wayfinding and orientation throughout the development
• A ‘calm zone’ park rich with water features, illuminated by night, with decked areas extending over the water connecting to sheltered, outdoor communal terraces for residents’ use
• A meandering green park along the southern boundary of the site, adjacent to a number of existing railway arches that are designated for rejuvenation
• The green route is further enlivened and animated by shallow pools and water jets, designed to encourage play and echo the fluvial design of the area
The carefully considered range of planting types will serve to enhance the ecology and biodiversity of the area, and will include semi-mature trees including pine, oak, birch, cherry and maple.
Sean Ellis, chairman, St James, commented: “Murdoch Wickham’s ambitious vision for our new landscape for White City Living will be a complete transformation. The former warehouse site will be unrecognisable – instead offering a range of beautiful public and private spaces, designed to foster a sense of place, thanks to a well-balanced mix of uses. It’s an inspiring design and we can’t wait to see it realised.”
Construction began in 2017, and first homes are due to be completed for late 2019. The new pedestrian decks over the Central Line for Wood Lane will be complete in early 2018: the first step towards an improved landscape for White City.