Riverside - Short Term Scheme
27 March 2003
Joint Development Manager
PFI & PPP
(Our thanks to Mr McKevitt for permission to reproduce
this document and the attached drawings by the Council's artist.)
The scheme is to partially redevelop the former Twickenham swimming
pool site by removal of the changing room building, its replacement
by a hard landscaped garden area, the creation of public access to
the area from Wharf Lane to the Embankment and a range of planting,
environmental improvements and hard landscaping features to the areas
which will be redeveloped. For convenience, the changing/plant room
will be referred to as the "pool building".
The pool facility was closed in the 1980s and has remained unused
since then - with the exception of some voluntary and community group
usage of the river end of the café block. There is currently
one tenant providing voluntary support services.
Virtually all structures at the site are boarded and heavily vandalised,
the general fabric is deteriorating and the areas around the pool
are covered with graffiti, strewn with rubbish and overgrown with
a number of self-seeded plants and trees. At some of the boundaries,
the unrestricted growth of both original and later trees, particularly
from root spread, has caused damage to walls and retaining structures.
Previous attempts to secure the site have resulted in concrete plank
fencing, which runs around the two open perimeters. However, at much
of the perimeter, this has also been damaged and has been augmented
with ply wood panels.
The Council intends that the duration of this scheme will be no more
than five years - and has set out its objectives for a long term
redevelopment. As a long term solution is likely to take a number
of years to implement, this scheme is designed to put in place an
interim scheme to significantly improve the ambience of Twickenham
Riverside, create public benefits by improved amenity, public access,
specific recreational uses for parents & children and overall,
to make the area less threatening and unattractive. The scheme will
also result in a dramatic reversal of the decay apparent at the main
public frontages of this site on The Embankment and Wharf Lane.
The design proposals incorporate features which reflect pre-application
discussion with the Council's landscape architect, the Head of Parks
and Open Spaces, officers responsible for planning seasonal educational
and leisure activities for children, the Metropolitan Police crime
prevention officer and the Environment Agency.
Broadly, works are at two areas of the site. The lower road level
fronting the Embankment and the upper level of the poolside along
The chief features of the scheme are:
- a raised pathway on the Embankment area with seating, planted
areas and hard landscaping features
- the provision of hard landscaped steps linking the Embankment
with a new children's playground at the Wharf Lane end of the site
- fencing, gates and appropriate lighting throughout
- the introduction of access to the site for people with mobility
The chief feature of the scheme on the Embankment is the removal
of the existing pool building back to its existing retaining wall
line to create a recessed and slightly raised garden area.
Brick planters to the rear of
the space will link with a brick cladding to the existing retaining
wall and also the new flight of steps to the children's playgrounds.
The design allows for a seating area to provide enhanced views across
the river and Eel Pie Island (compared to those currently achievable).
The dereliction of the existing building will be replaced by a landscaped
and highly accessible public space.
The screening to be provided above the existing retaining wall will
provide security to the existing pool area. The proposed secure construction
will be clad with decorative timber to provide a more visually acceptable
appearance and will have climbing plants trained on it to provide
a "green" screen.
This screen concept (i.e. securing the derelict pool area) is continued
into the children's playground where it will run to a junction with
the existing fencing on the service road. The internal finish to
the screen in the children's playground could follow a similar approach
- but there may also be scope for a context -sensitive decorative
finish (e.g. a mural). This is currently being researched.
here for elevation drawings of the proposals
here for a drawing of the poolsite showing the plans
here for section drawings of the proposals
The redeveloped Embankment will provide a major improvement to the
amenity of the area. The area currently attracts very high numbers
of informal users (for example, visitors to the draw dock and parents
with young children feeding the ducks). This scheme, by virtue of
the improved ambience and attractiveness of the area, is intended
to significantly reinforce and increase such informal uses.
During the brighter months of the year, the redeveloped Embankment
area is likely to be very well used by those who currently make use
of the area in their leisure time and in the summer months particularly,
will be well-used by those who use the small open space at the junction
of Water Lane and the Embankment.
To each side of the pool building are existing raised areas set behind
brick and railing walls. The walls will be retained and repaired
/ restored (as with retaining structures onto Wharf Lane) and densely
planted for visual amenity. This will further improve the Wharf Lane
approach to the river replacing the currently derelict and rubbish
strewn garden area adjacent to the pavement. The existing trees will
be assessed (in consultation with the Council's tree specialist)
and will be retained where not causing structural damage, with a
programme of tree surgery being implemented as necessary.
The design seeks to eliminate the potential for misuse. By introducing
a very specific use (the children' playgrounds) in an area where
there is already a high volume of potential users of such a facility,
the type of visitor can be predicted with a high degree of certainty.
The scheme not only provides facilities lacking in the area but can
also be viewed as a natural addition to the informal leisure opportunities
which run along the River Thames (including Radnor Gardens & Orleans
House).The scheme will provide a respite for shoppers on the high
street and a higher level view of the river and Eel Pie Island will
be created at the Embankment perimeter of the children's playgrounds.
Public access to the playground (including pushchair/wheelchairs) is
from the corner of Wharf Lane and the service road with an additional
route by steps from the Embankment. The Wharf Lane access gate will be
fitted with staggered barriers to maximise safety for children using the