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Goodman’s Fields, London, E1

In the heart of the City of London, Goodman’s Fields lies tucked amongst some of the capital’s most famous landmarks.

The development on this site is a mixed-use 7 acre urban quarter including 924 new dwellings, a hotel, student housing, a health centre, leisure complex as well as retail and office space. It sits among 2.2 acres of public realm and open space, a main plaza plus private roof gardens for the residents.

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The MW Approach

Murdoch Wickham was appointed to create the vision for the public realm to create a new cultural quarter within the hub of the financial district, designed to enrich the local area. A major part of their remit was to create the public art strategy for the development and they have been instrumental in its procurement.

In addition to securing planning for the development MW played a central role in helping to optimise the scheme for multiple new planning applications.

The MW Vision

Murdoch Wickham’s Landscape Masterplan for Goodman’s Fields

The offset orthogonal configuration of the buildings at Goodman’s Fields is based on the creation of two axes, East West and North South. At the intersection, a quality piazza is created as a major nodal civic space animated with semi-mature trees, lawns, quality paving and fantastic public art in the form of six running bronze horses through water. This newly created pedestrian-only piazza will become a verdant and vibrant oasis in the heart of the City.

John Murdoch explains:
We have designed the high quality spaces to both beautify and complement the site, thereby bringing to life a development that inwardly enjoys a sense of togetherness and outwardly reflects a strong expression of its own unique identity.
The main plaza provides an exciting streetscape, with sculptural references to the historical use of the site, interspersed with more peaceful, passive spaces. A series of city gardens, animated with water and focal elements of public art, provide relaxation and serenity. These inter-linked spaces provide great opportunity for people to congregate, converse and forge a strong community spirit.

The Four Seasons Garden is an urban sanctuary, where the planting has been designed to reflect the rhythm of the four seasons. The diverse plant species and types provide habitat and food sources to enhance the local biodiversity. MW hand selected all the trees and multi-stems, mostly from German nurseries to ensure only the highest quality plant material is used on site to create instant landscapes.

Entrance to the Four Seasons Garden

The MW Touch

Goodman’s Field was the original main livery for London, which has been the inspiration behind the art installation on this site.

Working very closely with well-known contemporary wildlife sculptor Hamish Mackie to model a series of bronze horse sculptures, the vision was to have a group of horses running loose through the central piazza, dynamically splashing water as they traverse the streets of London, having escaped from their livery stables. Avoiding the crowds and pedestrians, they are finally forced to a halt by the traffic on Leman Street. To give an idea of scale, the lead rearing horse will ‘eye-ball’ you sitting on the top of a double-decker bus.

Hamish Mackie

The successful delivery of the ‘Galloping Horses’ to embed the story of the site into the landscape has only been possible with the collaborative work of Murdoch Wickham, water feature specialists Ustigate, marketing experts Hunter Design and Hamish.

Further collaborations have enhanced this project, including a partnership with the London Wildlife Trust to develop two of the roof gardens as exemplar sky wild life gardens – with much of the roof space at Goodman’s Fields dedicated to the provision of amenity and ecological gardens.

One a wetland habitat and the other a dry habitat, each of these gardens will be monitored and maintained with the Wildlife Trust and remotely filmed with discrete cameras through to a resident’s web site.

Through an innate ability to create value through the design and delivery of the recreational areas, Murdoch Wickham is creating not just a sustainable development in Goodman’s Fields, but a new urban quarter that enriches the local area.

Project Details

Awards

  • BALI Awards Winner 2015 for the North West Block, Hard Landscaping Construction Between £300K & £1.5 Million
  • BALI Awards Winner 2014 for the Four Seasons Garden, Hard Landscaping Construction Between £300K & £1.5 Million
  • The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2016, Commended Landscape Development
  • Housebuilder Awards 2017, Commended in Best Design for Four Storeys or More Category
  • London Evening Standard New Homes Awards 2016, Winner Best Large Development
  • What House Awards 2016, Gold for Best Public Realm
  • The Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Fountains 2016, Goodman’s Fields Horses

Sector

Urban Regeneration

Client

Berkeley Group

Status

2012 – Ongoing

Murdoch Wickham strives to create successful spaces for communities to use and enjoy.

Our vast range of experience and passion for design excellence allows us to enhance the environment, both sustainably and for the community.
Murdoch Wickham, The Tithe Barn, Bradbourne House, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6DZ
© 2018 Murdoch Wickham