Sunday, 29 January 2017

River Fleet Square

Unlock regeneration potential with a new public space inspired by the River Fleet

River Fleet Square would reinvent the current public realm, which does nothing to recognise the potential of the site as a world-class public square surrounded by impressive architecture.

River Fleet Square proposes a high-quality public square to capitalise on the wasted space created by the railway cutting at the junction of Farringdon Road and Clerkenwell Road. The Square would unlock regeneration potential and highlight the quality of the surrounding buildings and views to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The shape of the space would be formed by its history, which is a valley where the River Fleet once flowed towards the Thames. The river, which became an open sewer, was culverted in the 1860s and the Underground was then built through the deep cutting.

The design would draw reference from the lost River Fleet in the form of shallow water features, slowly flowing southwards. The layout would be reasonably formal, with lines of pleached trees and low-level geometric planting providing shade and texture in the urban setting.

A key hub within the Square would be Clerkenwell Circus – a junction that would form a new gateway for pedestrians and cyclists heading east along quiet back-streets.

The Square would also accommodate paved areas for pavement cafes, particularly on the eastern side which benefits from day-time and evening sun. There is potential to involve the local Italian population in the creation of the Square – perhaps it could even become a ‘Little Italy’ for London.

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