Landscape architect CW Studio launches new landscaping for Oldham town center

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Manchester-based CW Studio designed the landscape elements for the Spindles Town Square redevelopment project in Oldham, in association with AEW Architects and Oldham Council. The wider redevelopment includes the removal of the old TJ Hughes building and a new market hall, with arts and culture event space and heritage archives, bringing more people to the town centre. The proposals have been submitted to Oldham Council’s Planning Committee for consideration.

With sustainability at the forefront, the landscape plan includes planted areas to act as rain gardens, incorporating urban pollinators and leading to an overall reduction in the amount of impermeable paving to reduce surface water runoff. Existing Yorkstone paving will be reused where possible and existing trees and lighting will be retained.

Carolyn Willitts, Managing Director of CW Studio, said: “This is a fantastic project led by Oldham Council, who bought Spindles Shopping Center in 2020 to boost the town’s economy through redevelopment. We have designed a fresh contemporary outdoor space for visitor enjoyment, while emphasizing sustainability and biodiversity.

“The new interface in Parliament Square will see more planted areas and seating formed by terraces to respond to the sloping topography of the square. A variety of seat types allow people to enjoy the new development. The proposed planting scheme brings bright, colorful plants, including flowers for pollinators, and year-round interest, from spring bulbs to fall flowering plants.

Phil Hepworth, Principal at AEW Architects, said: “These transformational proposals combine retail with a new product and food marketplace, high-quality workspace, and performance and cultural spaces. Combined with high quality landscaping and improved connections, the project will provide improved facilities and a dynamic full-day offer for the local community and visitors. The program will also provide a platform for future development by freeing up adjacent sites and adding to a growing number of already successful interventions in the city.

The aspiration is for artwork to be designed in the seating area, including the long-eared owl which is Oldham’s civic symbol.

The materials were chosen to complement the existing character of the square and harmonize the proposed market and events building within Parliament Square.

A rooftop terrace, integrated into the new building, will have space for both events and biodiversity and will feature an expansive low maintenance sedum green roof, reducing rainwater runoff and increasing plant life and animal.

Subject to planning approval, main construction work is expected to begin later this year.

CW Studio was founded in 2012 by Carolyn Willitts and has an office in Manchester city centre.

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