Chipping Barnet Church Gardens scheme funded by Mayor’s Outer London Fund
Opening up and restructuring the churchyard at St John the Baptist Church has long been seen as an opportunity for improving the appearance and amenity of the public realm in the Chipping Barnet town centre. The churchyard is an ancient burial ground between two listed buildings and falls within the Wood Street Conservation Area. A number of protected trees and a retained war memorial sit within the boundaries of the site.
Following London Borough of Barnet’s successful Outer London Fund round 1 application, Metropolitan Workshop was appointed as architect in October 2011 and planning permission was granted in February 2012. The fast-track programme, diverse range of stakeholders and challenging site conditions required a sensitive and pragmatic response to the design which was well received by the client and local groups.
The overall aims for the project have been to increase connectivity along Church Passage, improve visibility into the historic churchyard, open up views to the war memorial and St John the Baptist Church and provide an attractive green space in the heart of the town centre. The scheme forms part of a wider high street improvement programme that includes shopfront regeneration.
The main features of the scheme include a new terraced public space (a design solution arrived at due to the no-dig construction technique) with Cor-ten planters and an 18m-long Iroko bench. The bench was designed in consultation with stakeholders to overcome a perception that smaller benches were considered occupied when a single user sat down.
Architects and team leader - Metropolitan Workshop
Cost Consultants - Bernard Williams Associates
Arboriculturists - Writtle Park
Contractors - Blakedown