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Northala Fields Park

London, UK

Winner 2008 Landscape Institute Award for projects over 5ha
Green Flag Award 2009
WAN urban design award finalist
Winner HW Landscape Amenity Award Most outstanding commitment to the community

Client: Ealing Borough Council
Lead designer: FoRM Associates ( partners in charge Peter Fink + Igor Marko) , Peter Neal ecology
Area: 27 hectare

arhchitettura del paesaggio.pdf (5 MB)

Design week_northala_2010.pdf (1 MB)

Garten+Landscharft_Northala Fields_Low Res.pdf (2 MB)

green places_article_issue 32_february 2007.pdf (82 MB)

China_Northal_low res.pdf (2 MB)

Landscape Institute Awards 12 2008 - Northala 02.pdf

northala & quito_THE NEW EARTHWORKS_book.pdf (43 MB)

northala field_BBC_2008-05-13.pdf (4 MB)

northala field_LAT_2012_08.pdf (2 MB)

Northala Fields_nature+scape!.pdf (1 MB)

Northala_ela_2011_web res.pdf (1 MB)

Northala_igloo_2011_web res.pdf (2 MB)

P Northala_web resolution.pdf (390 KB)

Paisea_high res.pdf (5 MB)

Sculpture_Northala_April 2010.pdf (2 MB)

Northala Fields is the largest new London park for a century. Arguably the most significant feature of the Northala Fields design is the construction of a new monumental landform on site, utilizing substantial volumes of imported construction rubble from a pool of London-wide development projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5, White City and Wembley Stadium. The controlled deposition on site has successfully delivered £6 million of income, delivering the project at no cost to the tax payer. This approach to recycling has also significantly contributed to shrinking the ecological footprint of London by avoiding 165,000 lorry journeys several hundred miles long to outlying tips.

The new landform provides a solution to a number of site and development issues; mitigation of impact from the adjoining A40 (particularly noise, visual and air pollution); the provision of new recreation opportunities not currently available in the generally flat London Park; and the creation of new ecological opportunities through new topography and soils.

Four large conical earth mounds along the A40 edge of the site help to reduce visual and noise pollution and provide a major piece of ‘land art’ that is a landmark gateway for West London. In particular, the viewpoint on top of the tallest mound provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area including central London and Canary Wharf.

A series of clearly defined key routes support recreational uses and activities of the new neighborhood park. A network of primary and secondary paths connects with adjacent open spaces that make up the rest of the Countryside Park. New playground is set along the central spine of the park along with a series of open meadows and semi-formal planting and seating areas for more contemplative activities. Water is another major feature of the park, with a network of six interconnecting fishing lakes, a model boating lake and wildlife ponds, streams and wetlands.  

Enhancing the ecological values of the site has also been a focus of the new design. A range of new habitats was created: Woodland both around the perimeter and within the site adds to the diversity of the existing woodland habitat; meadow and grassland types are the dominant vegetation in the development; water and wetland in the form of new watercourses provide opportunities for water and wetland flora and fauna that are were not present on the site. The approach to the design of Northala Fields has been a careful balance of providing a significant contribution to biodiversity in the area, whilst ensuring that the design meets the requirements to minimize potential bird strike hazard to aircraft from the nearby Northolt Aerodrome. Each mound has been created with varying soil conditions that supports wildflower and grass seed mix to give four distinct habitats.

Project Gallery:

Eastside Park


Second Prize International Design Competiton
Date: 2006
Client: Birmingham City Council
Team: FORM Associates ( partner in charge Peter Fink) with BM

In the 21st century cities will be de¬fined by information networks. We have envisaged Eastside Park as a live and interactive part of such a network using the analogy of a dig¬ital circuit. Eastside Park is seen as a central processor with the surround¬ing urban fabric functioning as the digital circuit activated by the People of Birmingham providing the “elec¬tricity” and “energy flows” that peak and dwell along the circuit. Eastside Park in our design is a node of ac¬tivity that hums with information and energy at the core of the city. Our approach uses the linearity of the site to develop a cohesive landscape and funcionality narrative.

Millwall Docks Floating Gardens


International Competition Finalist
Team: Artist Peter Fink + FoRM Associates

Our strategy seeks to redress the imbalance of the regeneration cycle started in the early 1980’s. Over the ensuing decades the emphasis has been focused on the delivery of high density buildings. We see an emerging opportunity to revitalise the water bodies that form the historic docks. ‘Migratory Green Urbanism’ heralds a radical green urbanism for the post industrial age equivalent to the construction of new public parks during the period of industrialization in our cities.

‘Migratory Green Urbanism’ proposes a gradual insertion of sustainable natural ecosystems combined with opportunities for passive and active recreation on to and into the vacant water bodies utilizing and energizing a forgotten community resource. The intervention forces a realignment of the relationship between water and the surrounding built environment, greater connectivity with the existing dockland public realm and the potential to fulfil the ambition for integrated green infrastructure. A new and dramatically different narrative will emerge, describing a dynamic green and blue public realm within the forgotten spaces of the East End Docks. Designed to be accessible for all this sustainable floating system will be open 24/7 and will champion an energy conservative and carbon neutral footprint.

The gradual introduction of the interconnected floating habitats will start to create a linear park on the water migrating from Millwall Inner Dock into West India Dock. Experimental use of seeded mussel banks may develop to provide water cleansing capacity kick starting further bio-diversity gains, lower concentrations of algae bloom and so on. The new linear park will deliver an extended functionality capable of meeting the needs of people that live and work in the newly constructed metropolis.

Emslie Horniman Park North Kensington


Client: LB Kensington
Team: StudioE + EDAW +  Peter Fink

emslie horniman park_DESIGN FOR FUN-PLAYGROUNDS_2005_web res.pdf (449 KB)

emslie horniman park_THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY_1999-01-31.pdf (2 MB)

An award winning redevelopment of an existing park in a particularly de¬prived neighbourhood of North Ken¬sington. The redesigned park is now a vital local asset in an area where the ratio of open space to population is by far the lowest in London.
The redesign involved major im¬provements to the park, new sports and play facilities focusing on the restoration of its centrepiece, a listed walled garden by the eminent Arts and Crafts architect, CFA Voysey.
The design was informed by exten¬sive consultation with user groups and stakeholders. The annual influx of tens of thousands of people into the park during the Notting Hill Car¬nival was also a significant factor influencing the revitalisation of the space.

Fairlop Waters Park

Location: Redbridge, London, UK

Area: 4 Hectares
Landscape Design: Peter Fink with artists Olivia Fink and Stephen Shiell
Client: London Borough of Redbridge

fairlop waters_ECO LANDSCAPE TODAY.pdf (2 MB)

fairlop waters_LANDSCAPE DESIGN_02-2012.pdf (31 MB)

fairlop waters_PAISEA_2012-09.pdf (4 MB)

This 4ha natural play area is located in the northern area of Fairlop Waters Country Park. The design provides a natural and adventurous play experience for children in particular 8 – 13 year age group. The design focuses on selected areas with maximum potential for imaginative play integrating with existing trees and vegetation as a natural setting. The resulting narrative focuses on an interlinked series of hidden spaces to encourage exploration and discovery.

Play Zones
The natural play area draws on the geology and soil conditions of the space, alluding to the history of the space as a boating lake and Fairlop Fair, and connecting it to the adjacent Boulder Play area and lake. The zones are a sequence of activities/functions aimed to tapping into both the physical and creative aspects of children’s play by creating spaces which challenge them physically ‐ for example through climbing, balancing, running, jumping ‐ as well as such functions as experimental/ experiential/ educational spaces which stimulate their imagination, and encourage them to make up their own stories and scenarios. The aim was to create stimulating environments which invite children to take a hands‐on approach to explore their surroundings as well as inclusive social interaction. The design provides an environment where parents and carers can monitor the children’s activities without affecting the atmosphere of natural play.

The zones are linked together through consistency of materials, such as timber species for all timber structures, bespoke bell towers each with a different tone when struck for interactive play between play zones, woodland planting in the overall site backdrop and swards of wildflower meadow planting throughout. The site also borrows from the material palette of adjacent Boulder Play site, namely Coxwell gravel for the soft-fall area to the Log Play and smaller boulders for informal seating.

Walking Paths: Gravel, grass
Furniture: Felled logs
Illumination: No lighting provided
Plants: Native tree species, native grass mixes
Others: The scheme is constructed on top of a landfill.  The design interventions were limited to a maximum of 300mm depth into the ground to avoid damaging the clay capping of the landfill.

Vinnytsia City Park


Second Prize International Competition
Client: Vinnytsia City Council

“A great park for the people” - an exemplar of sustainable, responsible
public realm design – a bold statement of future urbanity of Vinnytsia."
The redesign of the City Park was seen to be as much about the preservation and restoration of the existing green infrastructure with many large established mature trees as it was about the creation of a dynamic people centred 21st century active park.
The main emphasis was placed on restoring the value of a major green park
within close proximity to the predominantly hard landscaped town centre as well as maximising the benefits of this relationship.
As a part of the strategy of developing City Park into a key regional and national public realm the differing principle activities in the park were spatially consolidated into distinct zones of activity focusing on: Sport, Culture + Education, Entertainment and interaction with Nature.

Sherpherd’s Bush Common


Client: Hammersmith and Fulham Council
Team: FoRM Associates ( partners in charge Peter Fink + Igor Marko) + Grontmij ( formely Whitelaw Turkington)

The restoration and transformation of the Shepherds Bush Common provides a focus for a regenerated town centre complementing the extensive new public spaces in the White City Westfield Shopping Centre. The open and green character of the Common is maintained and enhanced whilst new and improved amenities which are compatible with its protected status under the Metropolitan Common's Acts are provided. The design aims to achieve a timeless but innovative quality and detailing and deliver a modern functioning space which respects the established fabric of historic landscape elements and creates a breathing space and escape from the bustling urban surroundings.

Tulpenallee study - Kassel


Invited International Competition 2009
Client: Land Hessen, Kassel City Council
Team: FoRM Partners (Partner in charge Peter Fink and Igor Marko) + Alan Baxter Associates

Kassel located in the centre of Germany and Europe is currently undergoing an ambitious re-organisation of its cultural landscape with the aim to strengthen its position against other cultural centers in Germany, mainly Berlin, Munich and Dresden. The re-organisation of the Tulpenallee museum landscape is also seen as a major support for Kassel's application for UNESCO world heritage status.
The maintenance, regeneration and conservation of the large baroque gardens and parks Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, Karlsaue and Wilhelmstal is to be seen in this context. The park is the largest mountain park in Europe and of international value as a unique combination of an English country park and baroque park known for its water displays, the Hercules, the palace Wilhelmshöhe and the Löwenburg (Lion castle).The Tulpenallee project involves the re-landscaping of a highway running on the edge of the park with the aim of developing a new landscape narrative focusing on the scenic progression and placemaking rather than only the efficiency of transport design. In addition the project looked at how the two main public realm spaces through which the Tulpenallee passes could be redesigned to meet both the requirements of contemporary visitors as well as compliment and reflect its historical settings.
As a part of the landscape transport combined design approach the project also involved the redesign of the park's main car park with the aim of greater functionality and more subtle integration with the surrounding landscape.

Belvue School Playground

Design: Studio Fink
Location: London
Date: 2013
Size: 400m x 400m
Materials: safety rubber surface, landform , timber, tarmac

The project involved the re design of the external communal spaces in a school dedicated to the education of young people with global learning difficulties and associated complex needs including Autism spectrum disorder, mental health, Down syndrome, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and communication and sensory difficulties.

As a dedicated ‘Inclusively designed’ outdoor space the design enables and empowers young people with special education needs and disabilities to participate fully in the life of the school through creativity, play, sports and social interaction. The research by the artist has established that the understanding of social and educational needs of young people with global learning difficulties is yet to be expressed successfully in the design of external spaces, making this project a valuable and pioneering undertaking. The project further extendis the impact of the adjoining Northala Fields project through the incorporation of the overgrown Northala into the school grounds as a “ Magical Forest”. Originally under the auspices of the Highway Agency as green infrastructural planting next to the A40 the extensive woodland was legally transferred to the school as a safe and protected unique landscape in support of imagination, creativity, social interaction and education.

The delivery of the project involved a close collaboration of the artist and the schoolteachers, pupils and parents.