Voice 8 - Chris Simmonds - Making Places

/ Chris Simmonds / Places to live

A bit of a break with our Monday Word tradition here with Chris Simmonds exploring a personal journey of twenty-four years of practice in place making. Rather than a timeline of memories, Chris decided to actually revisit his projects to see the longer-term achievement of his place making agenda. Pushing the communication boundaries even further, a provocation of this 40 Monday Word voices series, Chris shared his visit with us in a filmed monologue of the aspirations of the projects, memories of their building and observations of what each setting has become.

What was striking was how in each, the built form had been absorbed into its landscape urban setting shaped by our common partner in these projects, Ian White Associates, landscape architects. Their careful anticipation of how their landscapes grow, vindicate our collective concern that shared quality of life is a consequence of building and nature brought together.

At Moffat Gardens for New Gorbals Housing Association in Glasgow, the delightful garden square has become embedded in the townscape as a verdant dignified and elegant focus for its neighbourhood.

At St Francis in the Gorbals for Miller Homes, the from the street visible garden relating to the grouping of houses has become an oasis backdrop to the residences and neighbouring community facilities in the church.

At Wauchope Square in Edinburgh’s Craigmillar, it was to see the realisation of the vision of an alternative density of development in the form of a typology at the time called ‘homezones’ of shared vehicle and pedestrian space placed close together with gardens squares at street junctions.

The film can be viewed here