By the end of the 1990s, St John at Hackney Churchyard was near-derelict in condition and was being used as a dumping ground for rubbish and even unwanted cars. With an eroded historic fabric and a wrecked appearance, the Churchyard was unused and dangerous. LUC set out a strategy for the restoration and enhancement of the site in a manner which celebrates the Churchyard’s past whilst also satisfying the needs and aspirations of contemporary site users.
The local community were extensively consulted during the design process and LUC conducted thorough historic research of the churchyard, which dates from the 12th century. Our full interpretation of the site’s landscape and features, even down to researching individual significant tombs, is reflected in the quality of the design work.
The abandoned site has now been transformed into one of the London Borough of Hackney’s best used public spaces. An area which was previously an abandoned ‘no-go’ area has re-emerged as a vibrant and delightful public space, which now celebrates its past development over eight centuries, but also looks forward with 21st century facilities which are relevant to contemporary users.
In addition the area, which was previously extensively hard-surfaced, has been rejuvenated using sustainable design principles in keeping with Government Climate Change policy.
The LUC landscape team demonstrated powerful and committed skills on this project, transforming the site into a vibrant, welcoming and dynamic public open space over a seven-year period. Our work has been praised for its ‘light touch’, as the resulting scheme displays both clarity and quality.
This project won a 2009 Landscape Institute Award in the “Heritage and Conservation” category, and a Hackney Design Award in 2008.