Published by Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at University of Greenwich, London

Thames Barrier Park

This space starts with a wow factor. The stylish contemporary building lining up with big architecturally cut hedges with simple pine trees and gravel. All lines and form showing great dialogue and harmony between building and soft landscaping.

Looking over into the old docking area from the first bridge we notice the waving curvaceous cut hedges reflecting the river thames like flowing waves. These hedges contrast really nicely with the simple plain spaces above. As we move through the spaces we start to see concrete and timber decking unifying. Again we see the concrete structural lines reflected in the Betula rows in the natural meadow areas. This is where it gets bland.

The decking is grey, the concrete is grey the shelter at the end is grey the concrete edging is grey. Unity of detail that doesn’t work.The simplicity is too simple. The concrete edging has aged badly and the grass/turf edges are not maintained.

The trees as individuals work nicely or together but all the hard landscaping is too simple so the trees seem a little lost. This space was almost brilliant.


Scan 163


Scan 164


This space is at the entrance  to the park. This is a great space the relationship between the layers of lines is very strong and exciting. It is full of horizontal and verticals. Contrast of tones play a big part in why this space works. Scale adds impact. Perspective and rhythm and repetition add power and drama.

Scan 165
Simple lines are stunning

The coffee shop acts as stunning piece of architecture and is completed by concrete benches. This relationship ties harmoniously architecture with the landscape. The dialogue between the architecture is created by the mimicing of straight line. Void and mass are evident. A play of positive and negative space through geometry forms.

Balance and unity, Patterns, Lines, Balance, Light and Shadow. All of the above are evident with no definition or contrast between hard and soft landscaping and the architectures. There is so much of this plain space and it does nothing for the modernist architecture behind. This is where the beautiful concrete gets ugly and the genius loci is lost. The concrete is aging badly, bins etc are badly placed.

Scan 167


This area below is very visually stimulating. The park design needs much more of the planting below to make it work better . 

Great feeling of rhythm
Great feeling of rhythm.

 It is interesting to see once again as described in my dissertation the importance of emotion in the detail when designing in the modernist style. If there is one thing that I have learned from the journey of the dissertation is that the emotion and sense of belonging must be present in the detail. The Superkilen park demonstrates this to a mush stronger effect than the Thames barrier park.





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