Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation
Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire was laid out to revolutionary design principles back in 1903 and its recent redevelopment required a similar approach to its landscaping.
Landscape architects LDA Design were given the brief by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, a charitable organisation which owns and manages a large part of the garden city, to improve and enhance a substantial area within the town centre.
Marshalls’ landscaping products fulfilled an important part of the brief, which was to provide an aesthetically pleasing area within the town centre, which attracted shoppers and visitors and acted as a focal point and meeting place where events, such as street markets, concerts and shows could be held. The scheme therefore required high quality paving materials, together with attractive and durable street furniture, which was carefully arranged and positioned along the streets to minimise clutter.
This major regeneration project involved the creation of a pedestrian-friendly town centre, which involved the realignment of the carriageway and the reversal of the direction of traffic along one of the main streets.
The road realignment work allowed for the creation of a new public space and the enhancement of the existing town square and other areas, which incorporated an aesthetically pleasing landscaped area, with water features and sculptures. This would act as a gateway to the town centre. The design of the streetscape was also required to tackle issues of litter and to maintain parking provision along the streets.
Selection of the paving for the scheme was a key consideration in order to achieve the right look and feel for the town centre. Marshalls’ Moselden Yorkstone was specified as it was buff in colour and therefore created the desired level of warmth, with the subtle veining and colour variation within the stone adding an extra level of interest. This becomes more apparent when the stone is wet and transforms the look of the town centre. The stone, which was specified as both slabs and setts, had to meet not only the aesthetic requirements of the scheme, but also the rigorous technical requirements. This included offering the level of durability to carry delivery vehicles and for use in parking bays.
Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation has created an attractive landscaped area in the town centre that would enhance the health and wellbeing of local residents, as well as increase local residents and shoppers happiness with the facilities in the town centre. As well as enabling Letchworth to compete with other shopping centres, it would create an attractive destination for shoppers and enhance the sense of pride in Letchworth town centre.
Marshalls was involved in the specification of products to meet the brief at design stage. This involved a site visit by the client to Marshalls’ cityscape in Whitehall, London, to view an impressive installation of Moselden Yorkstone paving that enhances this very prestigious and popular area of the city. Moselden Yorkstone was subsequently chosen for its aesthetics and the fact that it is sourced from a UK quarry, which helped meet the project’s environment requirements. The redevelopment and landscaping of Letchworth town centre was a huge success, with materials delivered within strict timescales to meet a tight deadline. This was achieved due to a close working relationship between Marshalls, LDA Design and Skanska, to ensure timely delivery of the scheme.
Moseldon paving is a recent addition to Marshalls’ extensive range of Yorkstone products, a range which is renowned for its durability and aesthetics.
With its attractive diamond sawn finish, Moselden Yorkstone is well suited to both contemporary design schemes and traditional landscapes. It also offers excellent slip-resistance, making it perfect for public realm projects.
Yorkstone Tactile Paving from Marshalls’ range was chosen to complement the Moselden Yorkstone paving, which fully conforms to the Department of Transport guidelines and regulations for pedestrian safety. Trees within the streetscape were protected by bespoke tree surrounds produced by Marshalls. These were produced in masonry to complement the Yorkstone paving and provide an attractive and distinctive feel.
Jon Quinn, Area Sales Manager – South East at Marshalls Natural Stone, explains: “Moselden Yorkstone paving was the perfect choice on this project, as it gave the town centre a distinctive feel in order to give local residents and shoppers a sense of pride in the area and attract them to spend more time here. Our paving has been specified on a number of high profile public realm projects, where it is important that it enhances the experience of visitors and the well-being of local residents to the area."
Richard Aldread at LDA Design, said: “Marshalls products were specified for their physical properties and technical performance. It was also important that they could be delivered within a short timeframe and Marshalls were able to demonstrate their ability to meet all the client’s requirements in terms of aesthetics and performance.”
Adrian Brace, Property Director at Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, explains: “The brief for this project was to enhance the streetscape and improve the environment for shoppers in Letchworth Town Centre. We feel the use of Marshalls’ high quality Yorkstone paving has helped us to achieve this.”
Marshalls is proud to be associated with such a prestigious project to encourage more visitors to what was the world’s first Garden city and as such deserves the very highest standard of paving and landscape products. The paving is playing an important part in enhancing the happiness, wellbeing and lifestyle of people who live and work within the Letchworth area.
The ultimate beneficiaries are local people and shoppers within this town centre and the scheme has had an impact on visitor numbers to the area and some very positive feedback with local people. The result is an increase in economy in the area, as well as proving a place for family and people of all ages to relax and spend time within the urban environment.
It really does go to show what an important role paving plays in enhancing and adding to an urban area and one where attracting visitors is vital for the future prosperity of the area.
The ultimate aim is that Letchworth town centre will become a destination for both residents and those living in the surrounding areas, creating an enjoyable shopping, visiting and family experience which encourages more prolonged visits to town.