In a recent landscape design project we managed change the emphasis of this typical road created in the 1960’s which was designed around the ‘car’. The urban character of Meeting House Lane had been decaying for several years, a trend that has resulted in the demise of the local economy.
An analysis of the existing conditions shows that the negative reasons, that had led to the decay, provided the opportunity for the much-needed change. The lane needs to be (re)designed to reflect its name ‘Meeting House Lane’, a lane where people meet.
The primary aim of this redesign is to change the perception of the lane. This change needs to begin by creating a balance between the road carriage width and the public realm. The proposals needed to be carefully designed so that the effect is at a psychological level and users are lead to experience the different characteristics of the area as they pass through The existing land use of Meeting House Lane meant that the residential and community/retail areas jump from one side of the street to the other, thus creating invisible, intertwined character ‘threads’.
The proposals drew on these threads by sensitively extending the character into the public realm. The change in perception begins at either end of the lane with a new gateway feature that would announce the presence of Meeting House Lane to its context.
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