Metropolitan Workshop was commissioned to put together design proposals for the OLF programme, based on the feedback from the various consultation events.
Design proposals were displayed in Balham library during the Wandsworth Arts Festival (3-19 May). Download interim report on design proposals
The final designs were presented to the Balham Partnership Townscape subgroup in August and were strongly supported .
Hildreth Street proposals
It is proposed to declutter and repave Hildreth Street– removing bollards and light columns to open up the street while creating one shared surface for pedestrians and vehicles. Market stalls are to be retained with provisions for up to 20 stalls during special events. A new lighting system is proposed for the street, with either wall-mounted lamps or a pole-mounted lighting system. It is hoped that these improvements will make Hildreth Street a destination in its own right, and retain the market while encouraging the growth of café culture and al fresco dining.
Balham High Road Railway Bridge proposals
The railway bridge over Balham High Road has been identified as a severance for the town centre, cutting off its busy central stretch from the area south of the railway line. Plans include improving drainage and lighting and improving two shopfronts underneath the bridge to revitalize the streetscape and create a more welcoming gateway to Balham. Some repaving work will be done and the walls of the bridge will also be re-clad with a green faince tile artwork, designed by Tod Hanson.
Community Space proposals
The Balham Community Space (next to Sainsbury’s car park) is meant for a place to gather in Balham – but at the moment, few are aware of its existence and its current state doesn’t lend itself easily to events and activities. The OLF programme aims to open up and activate this space by re-positioning and improving the existing benches, repositioning cycle parking and removing knee rails to improve pedestrian access and providing a small canopy for performances. It is proposed to include a newly created kiosk and canopy for community use and to aid in programming events and activities. The proposed new kiosk will be clad with the iconic green tile design being installed across other OLF sites. It is also proposed to rename the space “Bedford Hill Place” in order to re-brand the space and to make it easier for people to find.
Ugly Wall / Waitrose Car Park proposals
It is proposed that the ‘Ugly Wall’ overlooking Waitrose car park will also to receive an artistic treatment, with a design by artist Tod Hansen printed onto a durable and long-lasting material . . Again using architectural motifs from around Balham and drawing attention to the façade of the adjoining building, Tod Hansen’s design presents bold and creative approach to the wall plaguing Balham High Road, while blending in to the streetscape and visual identity of Balham.