Finalists announced as design contest reaches second stage

Barnet Council in partnership with the Landscape Institute launched a two-stage design contest in July to select an outstanding designer or team of designers to prepare proposals for a wide-ranging and comprehensive package of improvements to transform the West Hendon Playing Fields from its current form to an exemplary destination park.

Nineteen entries were evaluated by a team of highly qualified judges. The brief looked for innovative ideas and proposals that took advantage of the unique constraints and opportunities of the site, creating a transformational green space for the local community. They were seeking innovative ideas and proposals that made the best use of the unique constraints and opportunities of the site. A locally distinctive design promoting Garden City principles, that responded sensitively and creatively to the site, and reflected the character of the area, showcasing, how green infrastructure and public space deliver and support the other principles.

West Hendon Playing Fields is a large public open space located in the London borough of Barnet. It is a well-used community and sporting resource, offering a range of outdoor leisure facilities, including football pitches, tennis courts and a cricket square. It is home to a nursery, martial arts club, and lawn bowls club, situated within a building (The Pavilion) in the north-east section of the site. The site has been identified for investment in facilities, access, and its identity and relationship to the community. West Hendon Playing Fields is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so the development will protect and enhance the area’s ecology and biodiversity.

The judges evaluated each entry individually and the scores were then moderated. This process identified the three highest-scoring entries that have been put forward to Stage 2 of the contest. The three finalists are: LDA Design, Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd and Southern Green Ltd.

At the second stage, the design is developed further and details of the design team, project process, and proposed costs are submitted.

The LBB intends to award a contract to the winning entrant for the development of the winning scheme, which has a total estimated project budget of £18.3m.

Stage 2 timeline (*subject to unavoidable change)

  • Stage 2 Contest Documentation Published – Tuesday, 15 November 2022
  • Deadline for Stage 2 Contest Entries – 12 noon, 4 January 2023
  • Official notification of contract award to successful and unsuccessful entrants (envisaged) – w/c 27 February 2023

A Barnet Council spokesperson said:

“The design submissions we have received have been outstanding, each displaying innovative and creative ways that we can transform West Hendon Playing Fields. Our parks and greenspaces are one of our borough’s greatest assets. We want to provide first-rate facilities and amenities which cater for our residents’ health, wellbeing and pleasure. We are also committed to protecting and enhancing the area’s ecology and biodiversity.

“Partnering with the Landscape Institute to run this competition and attract such talent to help us codesign will ensure we continue to transform our borough into a place that can be enjoyed by all.”

Further information about the competition is available at:

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