The London Development Agency says there will be opportunities for landscape design, lighting design, streetscape design, public art commissions and events as part of its High Street 2012 initiative.
The project aims to regenerate the A11/A118 from Aldgate in Tower Hamlets to Stratford in Newham, to provide a link from the City to the London 2012 Olympic Park.
The LDA has unveiled a vision, developed by architect Fluid, to improve the entire length of the road, which takes in Whitechapel High Street, Mile End Road and Bow Road. Fluid was appointed to the work in April 2008.
The vision breaks the route down into eight areas, each of which will contain separate commissions. The LDA says architect and environment designer EDAW is already working on the Stratford High Street site, where Fluid identified a need to improve connections between the Olympic Park and new shopping areas (which will include Westfield Stratford), and refurbish and accent light heritage buildings.
Landscape architect Edco is working on Braham Street Park, a new park in Aldgate created from the closure of the one-way Whitechapel High Street gyratory system, says the LDA.
LDA chief executive Sir Peter Rogers says, ‘High Street 2012 will create great changes to the public realm, from the City to Stratford. The Braham Street Park will be a new breathing space close to the City, marking the start of these improvements.’
Fluid’s vision has identified a number of key areas to be addressed over the entire route, which include repairing and improving historic buildings, developing a lighting strategy, and transforming wayfinding by ‘complementing signage with more subtle and intuitive interventions that use existing features of the streetscape’.
Studio Myerscough worked with Fluid to develop a wayfinding vision for High Street 2012. Director Morag Myerscough says, ‘The vision looks at how you can make the street a journey. Where there is a need for a map, such as at a Tube station, there will be some sort of directional signage, but elsewhere it will be more about introducing landmarks, potentially in the form of public art or design commissions.’
An LDA spokeswoman says there will be a number of design opportunities across the entire project, adding that for the lighting schemes, consultancies would be appointed by the lead design group in a particular area.
High Street 2012 is a joint initiative between Design for London, the London Borough of Newham, Tower Hamlets Council, Transport for London, English Heritage and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation.
Other key aspects of High Street 2012:
- Create a ‘green thread’ by enhancing clusters of green along the A11/A118
- Involve local communities in delivering the projects
- Improve surfaces for pedestrians, using materials that complement local character
- Declutter the route by removing unused signage, railings and street furniture