Methodic Practice Win Design Competition

Clapham common

Clapham based architects have won a design competition to improve the green space behind Clapham Common Underground Station. The aim of the project is create a new gateway feature into the common and make it an attractive dwell space in the centre of Clapham.

Methodic Practice were appointed by a steering group created to oversee the project. The steering group is made up of local businesses, residents, councillors and members of the Clapham Common Management Advisory Committee.

You can download the winning design idea below. Members of the public are invited to feedback their views on the design proposal. Your views will inform the final design that will go out to public consultation.

Clapham Common Gateway

You can comment on the wining design proposal in two ways:

  • Leave a comment in the comments  section on this page. Comments will be displayed for the public to view.
  • Send feedback to us by email to

The opportunity to feedback on the first design phase will close on 15 June 2016.

The aim of the scheme is to:

• Create a new central fluid space for users to dwell, play or stroll through by bridging between the currently disconnected and underused green spaces. The aim is for the Common to claim back part of the
busy High Street.

• Last year 10 million people used Clapham Common Station. We therefore propose to retain and enhance the existing green space by combining carefully selected surfacing materials to accommodate the heavy footfall and ensure the grass continues to thrive throughout the site.

• On arrival to this new gateway to the Common and by recovering desire line paths that have existed for centuries, visitors will encounter features that give physical and visual access to the wider environment of the Common.

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10 thoughts on “Methodic Practice Win Design Competition

  1. The original concept design included a pathway either through or over the bank that cover WW2 shelters. This approach was not favoured by the majority of the steering group.

  2. The Friends feel that there is still an element of over-design here. With such a small patch, simpler is better. The current layout needs to be revised to remove “6”, surely.

  3. Is it really a problem that the mound presents a visual barrier? Green spaces are full of them. Does there have to be a path over it?

    1. “6” the path through the bank was rejected by the steering group. The uplights in the trees will look good.

  4. There is currently no cycle crossing from Acre Lane to The Pavement – a known desire line.. Could a redesign of this space facilitate such a transition. Have Lambeth’s sustainable travel team been involved?

  5. It’s hard to think of this as connected to the Common when it is surrounded by traffic. Its main function will be to host people waiting for buses or friends, I reckon. Plenty of seating, good maintenance of plants – the grass in particular – good bins and lighting which helps people feel safe are key for me. The beautiful trough should take pride of place.

  6. Comments from the Clapham Society Planning Sub-Cttee.

    Improvements to this area are welcomed but we feel at present the proposals are trying to achieve too much as well as having practical problems.

    1 The mound screens and shelters the site. Cutting new desire lines into/through it will change that visually and functionally. The screening function will be decreased and the grass will be put under even more pressure by increased footfall and the tree root zones are liable to be trampled and compacted.

    2 More investigation into the structure and significance of WW2 air raid shelters under the mound should be carried out first and the outcome inform the design as appropriate. We understand that the MoD would not allow them to be removed when a previous design proposed to do so.

    3 The seating proposed on the mound appears fragile unless the timbers are anchored by digging further into the mound.

    4 The metropolitan drinking fountain should be retained (illustrated on the plan but not the 3d image)

    5 An invertebrate habitat is unlikely to survive next to these busy fume-laden roads.

    6 Pocket planters. It is unclear how these are to be detailed. They are shown around the base of the existing mature trees where soil levels should not be raised above the existing levels, and the locations are extremely shaded and dry which will limit the choice of plants.

    7 The bicycle stands (not illustrated on the 3d image) appear to be shown on grass which will become worn out.

    We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the scheme.

  7. This is a tiny space. A polluted space. Not for sitting in too long. I agree with Keaner that it is good as a waiting area. The path is a waste of effort seeing it is so small.The area should be for pedestrians only and moving bikes discouraged.

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