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Choose the best design for Arnold Circus

June 5, 2009

This is your chance to influence which designers get the job to renew Arnold Circus (a.k.a Boundary Gardens).

An exhibition of  sketch proposals (below) by each of the five shortlisted teams runs from Saturday 6th June – Sunday 14th June in the windows of 11-17 Calvert Avenue. There’s also a mobile display on an Ape van, scootering somewhere near you soon.

Make sure you have your say by filling out this simple online form before 14th June. Paper versions are available at shops across the Boundary Estate.

All comments will be fed into the steering group, including representatives of FOAC, Tower Hamlets and English Heritage, who will interview and decide in the second half of June.


A. Adams & Sutherland

A. Adams & Sutherland - 1

A. Adams & Sutherland - 2

B. Cracknell

B. Cracknell - 1

B. Cracknell - 2

C. LDA Design

C. LDA Design - 1

C. LDA Design - 2

D. Scott Wilson

D. Scott Wilson - 1

D. Scott Wilson - 2

E. Whitelaw Turkington

E. Whitelaw Turkington - 1

E. Whitelaw Turkington - 2

Fill out the online form before June 14th to influence the next century of Arnold Circus.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Dorothy Hodgson permalink
    June 5, 2009 11:13 am

    I’m into B- Cracknell. The play stuff looks inviting.

  2. Councillor Tim O'Flaherty permalink
    June 5, 2009 11:58 am

    As an elected Councillor for Tower Hamlets Council Weavers Ward, please include me on any further evaluations, decisions and consultation on the Arnold Circus project
    Thank you

  3. Jools Mahoney permalink
    June 10, 2009 11:25 am

    I do not like the B Cracknell scheme. It looks far too busy and detracts from the architectural integrity at the heart of the project. I resent the incessant infantilising of everything to do with civic projects when for, and or in, less socially advantaged populations/areas. It’s like giving the natives shiny beads to placate them – in this instance shiny plastic in primary colours. Are we not a bit beyond that? I respect the A Adams & Sutherland proposal as it acknowledges the importance of the existing architecture and it’s treatment of the scheme appears holistic whilst delivering on the brief and using a light touch to provide appealing improvements. I think the AA&S respects the architectural integrity of the Boundary Estate as a whole with Arnold Circus at it’s heart.

  4. Rachel King permalink
    June 13, 2009 4:44 pm

    I really like A (Adams and Sutherland), it stands out for me in its simplicity. The others seem a bit too busy. Interesting project and great that Tower Hamlets are putting money into this kind of regeneration. People need these kinds of spaces to help them feel alive and happy in this crazy fast paced city. Rachel (resident of London Fields)

  5. June 14, 2009 9:22 pm

    I like Whitelaw and Turkington’s proposal the best. Moving parking bays is an excellent idea. Reestablishing original kerb is a good idea. They are not trying to change much – only trying to improve it. Banning buses from the circus would be a great idea. Rebuilding the bandstand out of fireproof materials should be considered. I like the idea of having a cafe on the circus. I have imagined that the cafe could sink into the ground when not open. I have also thought that the circus could be excavated to reveal the rubble underneath – possibly providing a subterranean cut-away viewing of the stuff that is down there.

  6. Finn permalink
    June 14, 2009 10:45 pm

    Largely I think Adams and Sutherland is addressing the needs of the community. I like the general idea of Cracknell, but am concerned that the firm’s previous projects are too design-based. I do not like the carpet idea of A. Instead I think the Bandstand would be best served by:
    1. reduced traffic circulation
    2. increased security to reduce vandalism (i.e. lock from 11 pm-6 am; lighting)
    3. additional seating on top tier
    4. introduce picnic tables and possible barbecue pits for outdoor eating for residents living in the area without private outdoor space
    5. preserving idea of bandstand not attempting to create formal playground for children or commercial space. instead thinking of community needs and use (i.e. sandpit for small children; benches for all; open bandstand space for neighborhood musicians to practice.
    6. increased gardens and possible community vegetable patches

    Suggest introducing reference to local history (ie plaque)
    I don’t like the idea of commercial cafe etc on top of bandstand. I’d like to see more neighborhood patrols, less bus traffic and safe pedestrian crossings to get to the bandstand.

  7. Brian JOnes permalink
    June 14, 2009 10:55 pm

    I completely agree with Finn. A formal (planned) playground for children is a bad idea.

  8. finnwilliams permalink*
    June 16, 2009 12:09 am

    Thanks for all the interest and feedback everybody – and good to see another Finn involved!

    We’re collating all the responses now and will be posting the results of the survey online in the next few days.

  9. James Dunphy permalink
    June 17, 2009 5:12 pm

    I like Whitelaw and Turkington’s proposal the best. Its a tidy design that is modern but retains original features. The idea of separating traffic and parking from the pedestrianised centre is excellent – it appears to offer the best traffic calming opportunities.

  10. Dorota Sapiejewska permalink
    July 26, 2009 1:02 pm

    I really like A. Adams and Sutherland. However, I would include some of the ideas of E. Whitelaw Turkington of more pedestrianised space, with the easy accessibility for the mothers with babies and the disabled. Personally I wouldn’t go for any commercial cafe, the idea of community use and picnics is better. Keep my fingers crossed for good developments.
    Will come to see how it goes!

  11. Shumon permalink
    July 12, 2010 11:04 pm

    I am for redevelopment for Arnold Circus … but is it all worth it … This area use to be lovely and peaceful a few years back now its full of arts & crap where every Thursday’s people are getting drunk on the streets, leaving bottles on street. Normal people can’t even walk on the pavement because all these arts & crap galleries have there people getting drunk outside.

    Then we move to friday nights where its total madness here …. people pissing on the streets, breaking glass, shouting, partying with loud music and the worse is the women who have no self respect for themselves and piss on the streets. Disgusting women these are … absolutely scum.

    I think being trendy is more like being a working class chav and these artists aren’t normal they are just loose in the head drunk druggys.

    So forget sorting out Arnold Circus sort out the arts & crap people that come round an trust me it will be wonderful to live here again.

  12. Jake permalink
    July 15, 2010 2:12 pm

    I agree 101% with the above statement. Artists are ruining boundary estate with their galleries and getting pissed outside.

    Its about time the locals got together stopped this anti-social behaviour and give some of these artists and ASBO

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