The Swiss Cottage Open Space is one of four interlinked landscape projects in Camden, including the Swiss Cottage Library entrance, Eton Avenue Market and the Leisure Centre landscape. Within the context of these related projects and additional new architectural elements, the scheme unites a collection of loosely related functions into a coherent, communal urban setting.
This Central London project concerns a diverse local community with a high ethnic minority population. Local residents include new occupants of both, luxury and affordable housing developments, a residential care home, and facilities comprising an existing public library and a new leisure centre, community centre, theatre, offices and street market. All users and building types shared the same public space, which had to be very adaptable to accommodate such diversity. This also applies to public transport infrastructure, which has to accommodate a wide variety of users throughout the day, from commuters, schoolchildren, tourists to disabled people.
The water feature at the heart of the scheme provides a focal point and space for play but can also be turned off to create additional event space. The fountain feature invites children to play, and has become the focus of the local community. The open space provides facilities for a wide range of recreational activities, particularly children’s play and sports. Behind the water feature is a children’s playground and a sunken pitch that can be booked through the leisure centre.