17 Oct 2009

Thames Barrier Park

Alain Provost of Groupe Signes won the 1995 competition to design the Thames Barrier Park. The rectangular park is split up by dominating diagonal lines slicing through it. Alain Provost is known for his use of geometric shapes, & the Thames Barrier Park has been likened to another of his projects; Parc Citroen, in Paris.

There are strong steel bridges running across the lowered central garden, these are unattractive & really not in fitting with the other aspects of the site, in colour or in material. I cannot understand why such an unsightly material would have been used, why not wood or brushed steel..??

Wildflower area with silver birches

The small cafe is set back in a large lawn area, bordered by pines & silver birch trees.

In the spring & summer the lowered garden is beautiful, with a great variety of plants & flowers. However, it is not particularly to my taste, especially with the heavy hedging lining the garden.

A series of residental apartment blocks over look the park.

By the river's edge is a large decked area with bespoke wave benches, & a large steel canopy. From here you can see very close up to the barriers themselves that gave this site its name.

Grassed sloped leading onto decking with canopy, & the Thames Barriers in the background

There is a varied use of materials, however the design has been clever to allow them to easily & fluidly run into one another, without any obvious clashes

Steel pillars hold up the canopy

The Thames Barriers at a low tide

I have been to Thames Barrier Park several times now, & each time I want to enjoy it more, but I never seem to be able to. As I said, I am not a fan of the lowered garden, but purely for the plants used, however, the remainder of the park is great. I love the use of decking & grass slopes, the large lawned areas edged with rows of trees, & I especially like the wildflower areas that are dotted around the site. Perhaps it is the lack of people in the park, due to its 'out-of-town' location, there are never many visitors at any one time, it has diminished the usage of the park. I think it deserves more visitors definately, but to attact them to the area it may take more than a small, albeit very nice, cafe, especially after such a long journey on the DLR.

No comments: