The Highams Park Gates
Merrett Houmøller and Colin Priest
The experience of The Highams Park begins sooner than expected, as visitors walking toward the three different entrances see the park beyond before crossing the threshold into its wide and undulating landscape. This is an important historical and contextual spatial narrative and a unique quality of entering the Humphry Repton designed park; instead of a ‘wow’ gateway moment commonly found in other metropolitan parks, this sequence offers a more gradual, gentle reveal.
With this in mind, the three new bright, contemporary new gateways simultaneously acknowledge the park’s past, present and future. Each entrance will have a different colour accent and has been designed to provide inclusive access for all park users.
Peter Merrett & Robert Houmøller formed Merrett Houmøller Architects in 2014, bringing with them a broad range of experience in architectural practice, teaching and research. They share an interest in architecture as a response to the specific social and urban context of the project, in creating successful public and communal spaces, and in design as a process of ‘making’.
Colin Priest is a London-based artist, architect and academic. He is currently Course Leader for BA (Hons) Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts. He has exhibited across the UK and further afield, with site-specific works incorporating installation, writing, film, performance and archival material associated with spatial production.