Colwyn Foulkes has been shortlisted to the final stages of a competition with Croydon Council and People for Portland Road, for the redesign and development of Portland Road Bridge, located in South Norwood.
Currently, the space is damp, dark, and uninviting with a deteriorating and damaged community art installation. This is a space that is in desperate need of being converted into a light, bright, welcoming space for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike. The bridge itself was constructed around 1845 and there is significant work to be done to refresh the space.
People for Portland Road is a registered charity and active community in the area, who can see the potential of Portland Road and its surrounding areas – they have a long-standing ambition to transform the bridge, and regenerate the area for the better.
The railway bridge is between Portland Road and South Norwood High Street, and therefore could be a journey, and an enjoyable gateway between the main high streets. However, it’s length (over 26 metres to walk through) exacerbates it as more of a dark barrier, and a route to rush through, rather than take pleasure in.
It’s vital to represent the heritage and character of South Norwood and the nearby spaces, business, and communities, sustain the integral architecture of the bridge, without keeping the dark, dank ambiance.
Working with Hoare Lea, we have devised a scheme that intends to not only improve the aesthetics of the bridge, but also the atmosphere, and overall feeling during the long walk under the bridge, which at the moment, most people want to quickly pass through to get to the other side.
We took photos on our site visit (below) and the art installation, although damaged, is a wonderful way to retain the character of South Norwood from the past, not just the present. Restoration, art and architecture must combine together to create a distinctive and inspiring place for South Norwood, and Croydon.
We are pleased to have been shortlisted for the designs we have submitted, and excited to see what happens next!