Architect: Hawkins Brown
Client: Transport for London
Project completion: 2008
The principal aim of the project was to devise a public realm improvement scheme that would partially pedestrianise the square, improving accessibility and the visitor experience, while enhancing the area’s identity, its historic character and its national and international significance.
The Access Audits undertaken by David Bonnett Associates indicated that the Parliament Square Improvement Project could prioritise convenience, comfort and safety of all users by applying the recently developed principles of inclusive design. The design should be inclusive and avoid special features that separate disabled people from mainstream routes.
Many of the access problems identified by the audits were resolved by the project, though some will need further examination if the design progresses. These include the introduction of a quiet area as a refuge from the surrounding traffic noise. Also the location of strategic crossings to maximise pedestrian flows while minimising the circulation of vehicular traffic.
The proposals for Parliament Square, currently in abeyance, represent an unrivalled opportunity for establishing new benchmark standards for accessibility that will be replicated elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
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