Barnet Council in partnership with the Landscape Institute launched a two-stage design contest in July to select an outstanding designer or team of designers to prepare proposals for a wide ranging and comprehensive package of improvements to transform the West Hendon Playing Fields from its current form to an exemplary destination park.
Nineteen entries were evaluated by a team of highly qualified judges. The brief looked for innovative ideas and proposals that took advantage of the unique constraints and opportunities of the site, creating a transformational green space for the local community. They were seeking innovative ideas and proposals that made the best use of the unique constraints and opportunities of the site. A locally distinctive design promoting Garden City principles, that responded sensitively and creatively to the site, and reflected the character of the area, showcasing, how green infrastructure and public space deliver and support the other principles.
West Hendon Playing Fields is a large public open space located in the London borough of Barnet. It is a well-used community and sporting resource, offering a range of outdoor leisure facilities, including football pitches, tennis courts and a cricket square. It is home to a nursery, martial arts club, and lawn bowls club, situated within a building (The Pavilion) in the north-east section of the site. The site has been identified for investment in facilities, access, and its identity and relationship to the community. West Hendon Playing Fields is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so the development will protect and enhance the area’s ecology and biodiversity.
The judges evaluated each entry individually and the scores were then moderated. This process identified the three highest-scoring entries that have been put forward to Stage 2 of the contest. The three finalists are: LDA Design, Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd and Southern Green Ltd. At the second stage, the design is developed further and details of the design team, project process, and proposed costs are submitted.
The LBB intends to award a contract to the winning entrant for the development of the winning scheme, which has a total estimated project budget of £18.3m.
Stage 2 timeline (*subject to unavoidable change)
- Stage 2 Contest Documentation Published – Tuesday, 15 November 2022
- Deadline for Stage 2 Contest Entries – 12 noon, 4 January 2023
- Official notification of contract award to successful and unsuccessful entrants
(envisaged) – w/c 27 February 2023
A Barnet Council spokesperson said:
“The design submissions we have received have been outstanding, each displaying innovative and creative ways that we can transform West Hendon Playing Fields. Our parks and greenspaces are one of our borough’s greatest assets. We want to provide first-rate facilities and amenities which cater for our residents’ health, wellbeing and pleasure. We are also committed to protecting and enhancing the area’s ecology and biodiversity.
Partnering with the Landscape Institute to run this competition and attract such talent to help us codesign will ensure we continue to transform our borough into a place that can be enjoyed by all.”
Further information about the competition is available at:
Contact: Barnet Council – Tristan Garrick: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
London Borough of Barnet, West Hendon Playing Fields
- Barnet Council has in recent years, developed a series of key strategic documents designed to shape the delivery of sport and physical activity services and facilities in parks and open spaces across the Borough. These include a Playing Pitch Strategy (2017), a Parks and Open Spaces Strategy (2016-2026) and the Fit and Active Barnet Framework (2016-2021). The documents are underpinned by a commitment within the Council’s Corporate Plan that ‘Barnet’s parks and open spaces will be amongst the best in London.’
- The Council is seeking to implement some of the recommendations made by these strategies by exploring the development of new sports hubs at three identified strategic sites –Barnet Copthall, West Hendon Playing Fields and Barnet/King George V Playing Fields.
- Section 106 contributions arising from the regeneration of the West Hendon estate have presented an opportunity to improve the facilities on the playing fields and surrounding areas with the aim of promoting and increasing participation in sport and physical activity in the locality and raising the profile of the SSSI.
The West Hendon Playing Fields (WHPF) Project aims to deliver significant improvements to a flagship greenspace within the London Borough of Barnet. Through improvements to the quality of the park; the introduction of a community sports hub; assorted indoor and outdoor recreational facilities and improvements to connectivity within and around the site, the Council is aiming to create a premier open space within North-West London for both residents and visitors alike.
The Landscape Institute (LI) is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity that promotes the art and science of landscape practice. The LI provides a professional home for all landscape practitioners including landscape scientists, landscape planners, landscape architects, landscape managers, and urban designers. The Landscape Institute supports its members through advocacy programmes, continuing professional development, events, and numerous networking activities, many of which are organised through its branches across the UK.