Overbury Road Parklets
Enhancing the community feel of an existing 'warehouse living' street
Overbury Road is a distinctive area with a noteworthy twentieth century industrial character. The buildings have retained their typical warehouse typology, with wide plot widths and saw-tooth roofing. Alongside the distinctive architecture there is an equally distinctive residential typology known as ‘warehouse living’. Warehouse living comprises communal kitchen/living areas with multiple bedrooms branching off them, though many residents use these communal spaces as a further workspace. The communal nature of the units, with 3-15 residents living in each, creates an area rich in culture and community.
Currently waste and traffic are the key issues that make the existing road less engaging. The refuse issue is multistranded, with fly-tipping, ‘bin diving’ and commercial waste being dumped on the street, as well resident’s recycling often going uncollected due to contamination. Vehicle traffic is also a major issue, with abandoned vehicles, loitering in cars for illicit and illegal activities and generally the high speed of vehicle traffic along the straight stretch of road. Overall there is a sense that the amount of rubbish; combined with the issue of abandoned vehicles, makes the whole road feel a bit unloved.
Some areas of the street pavement have already been occupied by residents with planting and seating and these areas genuinely feel cared for. Our proposal for the Overbury Road aims to build upon and enhance this communal and convivial nature of the street. A full streetscape overhaul is proposed that can provide residents with the opportunity for input and autonomy by allowing areas for planting, seating and the incorporation of artwork to provide a really amazing place to live.
Our strategy aims to:
• Provide a suitable and attractive storage solution for the waste bins, both general and food waste.
• Provide adequate seating, allowing different groups of varying number to congregate.
• Remove the residents having to sit on the street kerb or on the footpath to socialise.
• Include more greenery down the street and increase biodiversity through the addition of planting.
• Provide visitors cycle parking space.
• Reduce on street/in car loitering and antisocial behaviours.
Traffic Calming is proposed at the corner of Overbury Road, along with the creation of a one-way system and widening of existing footways at either end of the road. Permanent parklets are also proposed which will include communal seating areas, storage for waste bins and recycling and visitor bike parking facilities to further aid traffic calming on the street.
The introduction of a carefully considered waste management strategy and a series of well-designed interventions will provide additional pedestrian space and make use of the redundant parking spaces, which should provide a level of occupation on the street that would hopefully reduce anti-social behaviour and give a new lease of life to the street and foster community and interaction within the warehouse district