Croydon’s Queen’s Gardens reopens with revitalised landscape focus
Heritage gardens at the heart of Croydon town centre have reopened to the public following major renovations. The Queen’s Gardens, which connects Croydon’s Fairfield Halls and the Town Hall for pedestrians and cyclists, has been officially unveiled for public use, and now includes revitalised green spaces and a new play area sensitively integrated into the sunken gardens.
The new design, developed by environmentally-focused landscape architects Grant Associates in close partnership with developers HUB and architects AHMM, began with acknowledging the importance of siting the new buildings on the Gardens. It really did ‘start with the Gardens’ and the continuity of the landscape across the site is meant to both extend the impact of the Gardens as well as provide new routes in and around the site.
1,500 local residents participated in consultations for the project, with a smaller community group participating in a collaborative design exercise over several months to develop designs for both the planting palette and the play area.
The newly-revitalised Gardens includes a woodland themed planting strategy to integrate with the existing trees on site, to provide a year-round nature-rich environment - with special attention paid to plants that encourage pollinators. A bespoke timber play structure, inspired by the crocus flower, was developed to respond to the collaborative design group’s vision for the Gardens.
The Queen’s Gardens project has involved extensive community collaboration, and is truly unique in terms of the input the group had into the final design. The design of the Gardens has pivoted and evolved in line with invaluable direct conversations with the local community, and the end result is very special Gardens that can now serve a wider range of local residents in Croydon.
The Queen’s Gardens is a much-valued park in the heart of our town centre, so it’s great to see it back open and re-imagined for residents and visitors to enjoy. Revitalising our public spaces – making them cleaner, greener and better connected – is at the heart of our wider regeneration plans, as is listening to our residents about how they want Croydon to grow and develop, and putting pride back into our town centre. This project is a great example of partnership work with local people to co-design a really exciting new public space, for residents of all ages to enjoy.
As well as delivering high quality, affordable homes for the people of Croydon, we had the opportunity to make a wider impact with the transformation of The Queen’s Gardens, which is now a wonderful community asset for generations of local people to come.”
The revamp is part of the Queen’s Quarter development from HUB, on the site of the former Taberner House.
Photography credits: Miles Worsfold (Thirsty Photography) and HUB Residential
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About Grant Associates
Grant Associates is a pioneering international landscape architecture practice. Our work reconnects people with nature in insightful, delightful and distinctive ways whilst addressing the global challenges of urbanisation, the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction.
Our design process is underpinned by a knowledge of human behaviour, nature and ecological science combined with innovative design technology. We bring original thinking, creative collaboration and are exploring what regenerative design and the circular economy means to landscape architecture.
Our varied portfolio includes ambitious large-scale, landmark projects through to small, local ventures.