Love Parks Week (23rd July – 1st August 2021)
Have you visited a local park, trail or waterway during the pandemic? Local parks, green spaces and gardens have received renewed appreciation, providing lifelines during perpetual lockdowns for those seeking to escape the confines of home. Covid-19 has been a catalyst for colonising our outdoor spaces. We’ve all been reminded of the many benefits of the great outdoors and how pivotal parks are to our health and wellbeing.
The pandemic has accelerated, as a priority, the need for more accessible outdoor spaces and we are likely to see a significant increase in the importance of, and inclusion in, the Built Environment agenda.
So what role does Landscape Architecture have in responding to the pandemic?
Post Covid, Landscape Architecture is recognised as an essential way to facilitate both social interaction and infection control. Good Landscape Design has the ability to increase social interaction and provide a sense of community, responsibly. The pandemic has been a spring board for raising awareness of the importance of protecting and improving our outdoor spaces.
Earlier in the year, we discussed the benefits of bringing nature indoors, clearly illustrated in our biophilic design approach, in Mental Healthcare Design and beyond; as the design of parks, gardens, streetscapes and roof spaces becomes ever more important – the reverse is true. Now we bring indoors outside to create external “rooms” where we can work, play or relax; together or solo.
So, what is the future of Landscape Design?
We are likely to see an increase in the introduction of linear parks in urban cities as strips of available public land are transformed into recreational spaces. In schools, outdoor learning is benefitting from a fresh focus as Education Design starts to create flexible spaces for study or play, whilst facilitating a reduction in the spread of airborne disease. Landscape Design is now integral to Education Architecture where green roofs and inspiring outdoor recreational spaces are increasingly visible. New developments have recently become legally bound to provide different varieties of landscape habitats in order to augment wildlife diversity. Designed to be enjoyed by the children too, these can serve as teaching tools.
Landscape Architecture will be adapted for social distancing. Access to external spaces for wellbeing and exercise will be designed to accommodate social distancing with wider and one-way paths. There will also be an increase in the design of covered outdoor spaces where residents, staff and visitors can enjoy green spaces – even balconies – when the great British weather strikes.
In Later Living and Care Home Design we’ve seen the social benefits external amenities can play, such as gardening in raised beds to encourage dialogue between residents or a chat across a balcony, promoting a sense of community and in turn, reducing loneliness and improving wellbeing. Balconies bring additional benefits with their easy transformation into small garden areas, creating meaningful activity for inhabitants, even during lockdown.
Housing Lin’s Design Principles for Extra Care schemes specify the inclusion of at least one sunny terrace or outdoor area able to accommodate events for residents to occupy on warm days. Gardens should also have interesting features and where ground level garden space is restricted, roof gardens should be implemented with careful consideration given to risk management for those residents living with dementia.
Landscape Architecture at Quattro
At Quattro, our Landscape Architecture Team has extensive experience delivering a diverse range of outdoor projects in both urban and rural settings. From leisure parks, care homes, hospitals, SEN schools, housing estates, communal and private gardens to sporting sites, outdoor learning spaces and sensory therapeutic gardens, our Team is on hand to create and deliver striking and sustainable Landscape Architecture.
As well as qualified Architects and Landscape Designers, our Team also includes RHS qualified Gardeners.
Natural solutions remain integral to our designs; we use native planting and local materials where possible in the endeavour to provide pleasing, manageable outdoor spaces for clients, users and visitors, whilst maximising the ecological value of the site.
Changeable climate conditions require expert specification of both plants and materials. Who could have thought that both drought and flood resistant plants, as well as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Rainwater Harvesting, would become essential considerations for UK Landscape Design?
Collaborating closely with other environmental professionals, we approach every scheme with a detailed ecology strategy to mitigate for any loss of wildlife habitat engendered by the development and to contribute to local species diversity.
Passionate about green space design and fully aware of its positive impact on human wellbeing, we also examine optimum solutions to improve our natural environment, designing schemes that promote nectar and pollen provision and linking elements for green corridors and devices to create new wildlife homes.
From concept to delivery, Quattro’s Landscape Team create striking, sustainable and transformative designs across a diverse range and scale of projects, including natural and built environments.
As Community champions, changing lives for the better remains at the heart of every individual Quattro design and Landscape Architecture can play a crucial role in achieving this…