Site of Edgware station c. 1920
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) has launched ‘More Edgware, Less Anywhere’, a new design competition with Barnet Council, in partnership with property developer Ballymore and TfL to invite emerging architects, landscape architects and designers to submit a proposal for a new public realm intervention in Edgware, re-introducing greening on the high street.
One hundred years ago, Edgware station stood in a field, surrounded by green spaces and open countryside. Over the subsequent century, the access routes to Edgware’s green spaces have become obscured as the town centre has grown. This year, designers are invited to propose creative solutions for improving the visibility and permeability of Edgware’s green spaces from Station Road.
Applicants should provide a creative design solution for a site-specific public realm intervention that introduces new greening in the town centre. The submission should also consider ways to improve the visibility and permeability of Edgware’s existing green spaces, drawing on the place’s historical roots and improving the experience for residents and visitors.
The project’s key objectives are to deliver a design that celebrates the character and history of Edgware, introduces planting and greenery into Station Road in a way that integrates successfully with the bustling high street, and explores this year’s LFA theme of ‘In Common’. Designers should consider what people have in common when they gather in and use public spaces and the diversity of users and communities in Edgware.
The council, in partnership with Ballymore and TfL, has an ambitious programme of town centre investment to create thriving town centres where people want to live, work and socialise. This temporary intervention for LFA 2023 will be an exploratory project, testing out some of the long-term ambitions for the area’s improvement, which will be used to inform the more comprehensive work. ‘More Edgware, Less Anywhere’ will be delivered in parallel with a programme of centenary celebrations for Edgware Town Centre, including a mural and a series of shopfront window installations.
Interested applicants are invited to submit their proposals by midday on 22 February 2023. A winning team will be confirmed in late March and awarded £46,000 + VAT (which includes a £6,000 design fee) to develop a fully costed, feasible design that can be delivered during June 2023. The delivered scheme will remain in situ for 28 days, after which the intervention will be rehomed at an appropriate location.
Rosa Rogina, Director of the London Festival of Architecture, said: “This exciting competition in Edgware is a great way to engage with a hyper-local community as part of our 2023 plan to spotlight both Central and outer London boroughs. LFA is always exploring how we make London’s public realm more people-focused with safer and greener spaces in our everyday experience of the city, and this competition really brings that to the forefront, acting as a testbed for permanent ideas.”
Cllr Sara Conway, Chair of Barnet Council’s Community Leadership and Libraries Committee, said: “Sustainable living is at the heart of our plans for the borough of Barnet. We want to transform our town centres to make them attractive community hubs that support the health and wellbeing of our residents. This exciting competition to design a green space that blends the area’s distinct rural history and contemporary urban buzz will help put Edgware on the map for this year’s London Festival of Architecture.”