HOK’s design transforms underutilized land along the Piccadilly and District London Underground lines

transforms underutilized land along Underground lines

Ealing Council has approved a master plan for redeveloping a half-mile-long, narrow stretch of land along Bollo Lane, W4, in Acton, West London. The development will provide 852 new homes, including 50 percent affordable housing, and is being delivered by Transport for London (TfL). Designed by HOK, the scheme consists of an undulating, accessible series of buildings ranging from 4 to 25 stories.

The tallest one is a mixed-use tower near Chiswick Business Park that will be built alongside the Piccadilly line tracks. The proposed development includes a new train crew accommodation building for Piccadilly line drivers. A new green corridor linking the Acton Town and Chiswick Park underground stations is central to the scheme. A series of public spaces and private terrace gardens will line a human-scaled colonnade that connects ground-level offices, makerspaces, shops and cafés.

A dedicated service road runs along the tracks, supporting a ‘healthy streets’ approach and ensuring that Bollo Lane will be free of lay-bys and provide a safe pedestrian experience. The development encompasses land currently used for operational space by TfL (including buildings and staff parking) as well as some small local businesses. On-site work could begin by the end of 2022.

“Our approach to placemaking and high-quality architecture seeks to reinforce the identity of the neighborhood and celebrate urban living while ensuring a lasting legacy for this development,” said David Weatherhead, RIBA, design principal for HOK. “It’s an exciting new way of thinking about transforming the underutilized parcels of land that are so common around London’s transport infrastructure into wonderful spaces that enrich people’s lives.”

East is leading the landscape design and Mott MacDonald is providing full engineering services. The design draws inspiration from the history and commitment to design excellence of TfL, which has helped shape modern London. The design team has looked to the legacies of Frank Pick, first chief executive of London Transport, and architect Charles Holden, who together in the early-20th century developed an iconic architectural identity for the city’s transport system.

To inform the scheme, the team undertook an extensive public engagement process that included several public and pop-up exhibitions for residents and transport users and a newsletter/email outreach campaign. “Along with the climate emergency, the pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of having an abundant amount of pedestrian-friendly and green spaces in our cities,” said Weatherhead. Source and images by HOK.

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