The transformation of Hartfield Walk from a bland thoroughfare to a place where you can sit, play, get educated and pick up some delicious treats, came about from the request for more seating in the town centre, a greener environment and something a bit different. Love Wimbledon instigated the reimagining of the space at a time when outside spaces are even more important to us all, and the need to experience something different has grown stronger.
Hartfield Walk will be a space for the local community to stimulate ideas and encourage a shift in mindset towards a more eco-conscious life. Every aspect of the new space has been carefully designed with sustainability as the core focus, from bee-friendly and carbon-capturing plants, to furniture and seating which has been sourced from sustainable/ethical suppliers or been reclaimed, recycled and is biodegradable. New murals and children’s floor games have also developed the environmental language – more details to come!
The project itself was developed in collaboration with Wimbledon-based creative agency Firecracker Works, a majority local team, who have a dedication to sustainability and consideration of the environmental impact of the materials they source and use. The organisation has recently become a member of Isla, a non-profit organisation focused on accelerating and transitioning the events industry towards a sustainable future, and hence offers solutions that are efficient, economical, and sustainable.
The much-needed seating in this space, has been constructed from oak, reclaimed from The Grand Union Canal lock gates. The gates are replaced every 25 years, and in the process, they are dismantled and the metal within is recycled. It is the metal content, bars and pins that create the black and blue tannin staining which you can see present on the seating.
The construction of the kiosks, planters and seating in Hartfield Walk has also seen use of locally sourced and responsibly grown timber and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). The former derives from well-managed forests and/or verified and recycled sources, approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whilst the latter is a material made from waste – large wood shavings that are formed together to produce a sheet material. Plus, the kiosks have been finished with shade-tolerant meadow flowers covering the roof!
Decorating with a Difference
Water-based paints were chosen, where possible, to add a pop of colour to the Harfield Walk furniture. Such paints have a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional solvent-based products, due to their low level of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful chemicals carbon-containing substances that vaporize at room temperature and enter the atmosphere. Over time, these chemicals are be released into the air through a process called off-gassing.
Selecting paints that are highly durable, last longer and don’t require repeated cleaning, was also considered, to reduce maintenance cycles and limit the amount of paint used, on aspects such as the kiosks.
Outdoor festoon lighting will help to continue the ambience of Hartfield Walk into the evening. The lights are all LED, which is known to reduce waste as the bulbs rarely require replacing, and are also controlled by light sensors.
The large variety of plants that can be seen throughout Hartfield Walk, include a range of climbers, bulbs, herbs, shrubs and perennials, species that are powerful in their pollinating properties and have bee-friendly flowers, as well as those which help combat pollution, such as Amelanchier and Betula. These plants can capture and temporarily hold pollutant particles, take up gaseous pollutants and absorb heavy metals from soils. 50% of the plants in Hartfield Walk are also drought tolerant, meaning that they can continue to boost local biodiversity, even in less ideal conditions.
Hartfield Walk will be fully open to the public in late March. Check our social media for regular updates.
Remember to Love Wimbledon, Be Local and Love Local.