Van Gogh Walk is a community street at the heart of efforts to ‘green’ the neighbourhood of Lambeth, South West London to encourage walking and cycling, and promote a friendly active community in the area where Vincent Van Gogh lived when he was in London in 1873. Van Gogh Walk is a reincarnation of Isabel Street SW9 and is a special outside space in an area of London where many people do not have their own garden. The landscaping celebrates the fact that a world famous artist lived here, and that he enjoyed walking, gardens and nature as a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The colours, arrangements and choices of planting and features are inspired by Van Gogh’s paintings, and quotes from the letters he wrote when he was staying here are carved around the edges of the planters. New trees, shrubs and perennials were planted in March 2013 and will become established over the coming months and years. Atmospheric cypress and olive trees, a yellow and blue planting scheme, and a swish of tough grasses will be the backdrop for everyone wandering through.
There is still room for informal ball games and there is a new basketball hoop on the carriageway. The developments are already encouraging local people to enjoy our area even more, to be happy walking, cycling or playing outside, and to look out for each other. Part of the street is now completely closed to motor traffic. In the rest of the area, as well as traditional methods to slow passing cars, there is a focus on encouraging social use, and improving quality of life. Trees, planters, playful sculptures and shared surfaces all signal to drivers that they are guests sharing the space.
The Resident group, Streets Ahead worked with Lambeth Council’s design team to create a communal outside space that would offer a cleaner, greener, safer community area. Contractors FM Conway were hired to carry out the transformation and regeneration of the award-winning area. Shape Landscape Architecture were responsible for design of planting and the majority of play elements.
Hardscape supplied a mix of granite setts including Eaglet Red, Kobra, Royal White and Magma. Crystal Black granite was used for the Artscape features including curved walling and stepping stones.
Images courtesy of Haibat Abro.