Croydon Public Realm

Planting masterplan for a new public realm square adjacent to Croydon’s main arts venue.

Renders courtesy of MICA Architects

The London Borough of Croydon


with TerraFirma Landscape Architecture and MICA Architects

2019 – to present day

An exciting new public square for Croydon adjacent to the Fairfield Halls, designed by MICA Architects and Charles Holland Architects, required an appropriate dynamic tree and planting scheme to reflect the clients desire for a world class and contemporary public space.

Croydon has a rich and unique landscape history and that this can be seen most evidently in the heathland and acid grassland that stretches like a belt across the local area.

There is a direct relationship between the use of water and the planted margins that have been created in the design and were used to inform the choices of planting and trees to create a robust, sustainable and decorative version of a local landscape type.

In addition we can also related our approach to a local landscape hero, the Reverend Wilks of Shirley. He was also inspired by the natural movement and how taking that natural landscape it could be reworked to enhance it and provide a place of beauty.

The planting acknowledges the work of a new landscape hero, Nigel Dunnett, who has created a movement of naturalistic planting that fits in with our desire to be inspired by the local landscape, embellish the native species as Wilks did but is rooted in a philosophy of drought tolerance and low maintenance.