Breathing life into a neglected piece of North London landscape for children to play, learn and explore
Set within Crouch Hill Community Park, Ashmount Primary is a carbon-negative school in Islington, North London. It’s the UK’s first Primary School to achieve the ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM rating and received the top environmental award for sustainable design.
Set within a neglected piece of Metropolitan Open Land, this new school and children’s nursery was a catalyst for reengaging the community with this important piece of North London Green Infrastructure. The space stretches along a former railway line from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace.
Reconnecting Children with the Landscape
Working alongside Penoyre & Prasad Architects, Wilmott Dixon and the Ecology Consultancy, the designs created opportunities for children to engage with the landscape, providing a valuable resource to teaching inner-city kids about the environment. The use of natural materials, natural play and woodland habitat enhancements has created a safe, robust and stimulating environment.
The central green space gives the public access to a shared games court that can be used out-of-hours.
Other outcomes included:
- New ‘all-ability’ paths linking local housing and the Parkland Walk to attract visitors and improve safety.
- The whole site is more permeable and accessible
- Easy-access routes for wheelchairs, young children and parents with pushchairs.
- Paths through existing trees are designed as raised boardwalks to reduce potential impact on tree roots
- A sensitive lighting strategy to improve community safety in key areas, while respecting bat foraging corridors.
Founder director Phil Deacon was the Senior Landscape Architect for this £13 million Crouch Hill Community Park scheme whilst working at Whitelaw Turkington.
London Borough of Islington
Penoyre & Prasad, Willmot Dixon, Ecology Consultancy