Three bold ‘H’-shaped gates demarcate the main entrances to ‘The Highams Park’. They are designed to play on the heritage and grandeur of London’s historic park gates. Although unified through their consistent height, the aperture angle and width of each of the three gateways is adapted in relation to its surroundings and function.
London’s parks have traditionally defined their identity and territory through their own ornate bespoke ironwork. The role of these formal park gates has been equally representational and functional. They act as individual spatial markers within the city, demarcating the boundary between streetscape and parkland, giving their parks an individual identity. ‘The Highams Park’ provides an invaluable and beautiful natural space for the surrounding communities and acts as a rich resource for conservation and scientific study in the city. The three simple gates unify the park’s entrances and demarcate them as thresholds to the green space beyond. Their representative quality is intended to be further enhanced by incorporating direct input from local communities into their design.
Their simple geometry and shared materiality creates an inviting and welcoming series of entrances that are fully inclusive and accessible. The proposal aims to enable the local community to take pride in their park and to attract a wider range of visitors as a rejuvenated place for leisure, relaxation and meditation.