New Addington

2011–13

Assemble were appointed as designers-in-residence for a project to revive the heart of New Addington, a new-town suburb of Croydon.

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The project re-activated an underused town square, by building on the extraordinary wealth of local community activities and events. Starting with a combining a rigorous study of existing physical constraints with comprehensive, survey of local activities and assets. These were used together to design a programme of events which brought existing groups and their activities out into the square to test temporary models of design solutions at 1:1.

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This included a building a temporary stage for the tea-dances and Christmas shows, improving pedestrian access by reorganising the market, and making spaces explicitly for children and young people. Through a process of active, hands-on research, Assemble were able to learn deeply from residents and businesses, public challenge social prejudices and catalyse support for an ambitious scheme in a short timeframe.

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The resultant capital works included: a level crossing between the full width of the town square and Central Parade, improving access between shops and the square; a bespoke herringbone timber stage as a platform for community events; low brick seating walls and tree planting to line the square and screen the adjacent car parks; hard landscaping that provides opportunities for skating and play and a rooftop community signage board that both signals the entrance to New Addington and promotes upcoming events and activities, in conjunction with a new community website.

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