king's heath village square

In 2009 we won the national competition to design and implement Kings Heath’s new public square near Birmingham city centre. We were appointed as masterplanners and landscape architects to lead a multi-disciplinary team of specialist consultants. The design had to be flexible to accommodate public events, whilst sensitively integrating the existing heritage, which includes the Grade 2 listed church, war memorials and gravestones.

Our sensitive design approach maximised the site’s existing natural assets, integrating all within a new permeable movement framework. Key views towards landmark features such as the church are secured within the new layout, reinforcing legibility and strengthening a sense of place. A crucial part of the design process involved public and local community engagement events to ensure local people were able to help shape the masterplan for the square.

The masterplan provides for both passive and active areas including a multi-use space for weekly markets and lively street performances. A sustainable urban drainage system utilises run-off from the adjacent buildings to create a new central water feature with dynamic hard and soft landscaping adding variety and visual interest.

The finished scheme went on to win three major awards. These were the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) award for Excellence in Planning and Design for the Public Realm 2013, the National Regeneration and Renewal Award for Best Use of Arts and Culture in Regeneration 2012, and a Level 5 Outstanding award from the Heart of England RHS “Its Your Neighbourhood” campaign.

An independent report undertaken in June 2013 by CIC Community Pathways found that 95.6% of local people, businesses and stakeholders who were interviewed indicated that they thought the Village Square greatly improved the environment and life in the Square.

An independent report undertaken in June 2013 by CIC Community Pathways found that 95.6% of local people, businesses and stakeholders who were interviewed indicated that they thought the Village Square greatly improved the environment and life in the Square.

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