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Exhibition Road

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Exhibtion Road
London

Architect: Dixon Jones

Client: Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Project completion: 2011

 

The vision for Exhibition Road was to create a simplified streetscape, better suited to current pedestrian usage and expectations, in response to the continuing increase in the number of visitors to the South Kensington Museums quarter. The resulting transformation, which coincided with the 2012 Games, has positioned Exhibition Road as a world class public space in terms of inclusive urban design.

 

The key aspirations of the scheme were to shift the emphasis to pedestrians and away from vehicles; to develop a wayfinding strategy that reflects the international importance of the area and to remove obstacles to freedom of pedestrian movement.

The scheme improved access for all providing substantially wider and unobstructed pavements; step free surfaces; increased opportunities to cross the road; reduced street furniture, though more seating and clear signage; the provision of additional, and more equally distributed, Blue Badge parking bays and the reduction of traffic speed down to 20mph.

 

At an early design stage The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association advised that some shared surface areas can undermine the confidence of blind and partially sighted people who might thus avoid the area. The Association made a range of suggestions that David Bonnett Associates took into account in advising the design team, with the result that the completed scheme incorporates elegant solutions that respond to these concerns while retaining the benefits that the scheme offers to all other visitors. 

 

The Exhibition Road project has provided a landmark in weighing up the pros and cons of multi- purpose shared spaces.  It is a test-bed for the development of future application by ongoing monitoring of safety in use. 

Awards:
RIBA London Award 2012.
Civic Trust Award Winner 2013.

 
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