Liz Lake Associates was asked to undertake a detailed appraisal of the existing public realm and landscape of Basildon Town Centre and the southern part of Gloucester Park for Barratt Eastern Counties and Wilson Bowden in association with Basildon Town Council.
Whilst focusing primarily on the key town centre spaces, an outline appraisal of the landscape at the interface with the surrounding residential neighbourhoods and the transition zone in between the neighbourhoods and the town centre was also required. The study was to inform a new Public Realm Design Strategy that would contribute towards delivering a new vision for the regeneration of Basildon Town Centre.
Key objectives were developed to respect Basildon’s exceptional legacy from the New Town Movement within the town centre; modern design has in recent times been undervalued but this trend is reversing.
A review was made of the history of the key public spaces within the town centre to gain an understanding of the changes that have taken place over time and how this might inform the new strategy. The existing hard landscape materials, street furniture; lighting and civic trees in the public realm to ensure that the best of this resource is retained in a contextually meaningful way.
Existing public art and other notable features were also identified to ensure that their setting remains privileged and that this rich resource was optimally integrated into the public realm for the benefit of all. An assessment was made of access, permeability and legibility between the town centre and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The overarching aims were to create a safe and attractive public realm that is flexible to change, promotes a sense of civic pride and community, reinforces identity and sense of place within the different key areas of the town centre and creates a new and exciting public realm for the twenty-first century.
Liz Lake Associates worked with architects CZWG, planners Barton Wilmore, engineers Ardent and the local council to prepare a Master Plan for Basildon Town Centre which has been ratified by Basildon Town Council. Regeneration works are currently scheduled to begin in 2015.