16 July 2014

An architect explains Parkleys

If I had to design my perfect outing it would be something like this.

I am a fringe member of Ham United Group (HUG), which means I go to some of their meetings and at one of those meetings local architect Richard Woolf suggested that HUG got out and about a little to learn more about the area. The upshot of all that was that he ended up giving a talk on local development Parkleys in Parkleys.

A talk on architecture about a development that I like and is just a minute's walk from my house was not something that I was going to miss. Plenty of other people thought so too and a good crowd turned up to listen and learn.

Parkleys was designed by Span the driving force of which was architect Eric Lyons. The name Span was chosen to indicate that the design spanned the whole development, i.e. the spaces between the houses as well as the houses them selves.

It is the combination of the broad design of the site and detailed the detailed design of the features (including paving and lighting) that mean that places like Parkleys are still very attractive and popular today.

Richard had done a fantastic amount of research for his talk and had found some good illustrations to explain his points. This map shows the greenhouses that were on the site before and in red is an early outline of what the site could look like. It is very close to what was actually built.

Richard's talk covered other works by Lyons and he was helped in this by somebody who had worked for Lyons for a while (but whose name I forgot to write down).

It was a brilliant and fascinating talk that continued in the pub afterwards where Richard was able to claim a corner of the garden and display all of his posters so that we could examine them at a more leisurely pace.

This was something of an experiment for HUG and for Richard and given its great success I am hoping that there is more like that to come.

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