Exemplary public realm with concrete

Shortlisted for the 2016 Stirling Prize, Trafalgar Place near London’s Elephant and Castle provides an exemplar for high density development and the exceptional public realm that helps define the project, featured in an important new case study from the trade body Interpave.

The carefully designed external spaces which help define the project are a result of the close working relationship between landscape architects Randle Siddeley and an Interpave member paving manufacturer. Both detailing and execution are consistently high quality throughout.

The entrance square, central pedestrian street and access ways to dwellings are characterised by high quality concrete block paving set out in patterns using five different sizes for visual richness. With a combination of three shades of grey, the paving blocks have been shot-blasted for a sparkling, textured surface. For the more homely northern route and play area less formal, ‘rumbled’ concrete block paving style was used in warmer rustic colour tones.

At first floor level, over enclosed car parking, a communal courtyard garden provides a flexible, usable space for residents. Concrete flag paving provides level access around the courtyard linking the various spaces generated by raised planters of varying heights. The concrete flag paving incorporates up to 60% recycled and reclaimed materials, with granite aggregates providing exceptional performance and durability. A bespoke version was also created for the project using a double process to expose more aggregate, giving a contrasting finish to the main polished flag paved areas.

Trafalgar Place provides an impressive demonstration of the potential for precast concrete paving to enhance housing and other developments while meeting today’s performance criteria. The new case study is one of many, freely available to download via www.paving.org.uk where you can also request regular e:Bulletin updates from Interpave.