Group ?: Tactical Design Precedents
The Exhibition road project in London is a shared space concept that was initially developed by the architecture firm, Dixon Jones. It started off as a competition organized by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which Dixon Jones won. The scheme has been developed and delivered by a partnership of the Royal Borough, Transport for London (TfL) and the City of Westminster.
Prior to the intervention, Dixon Jones describes the former street layout as inefficient, dominated by traffic with narrow, crowded pavements and street clutter unable to handle the millions of people who visit annually.
“Though used by millions of visitors, as well as students, local workers, and residents the public realm was filled with street clutter and vehicle traffic, it was confusing to visitors and unfriendly to pedestrians.” – The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website (https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/exhibitionroad/welcome-to-exhibition-road)
The project’s primary focus was to make Exhibition road as accessible as possible. This was done with a series of small tactical interventions along the stretch. A ‘single surface, kurb free’ street design that was free of barriers allowed for the creation of larger pedestrian zones. The lack of a defined path tends to slow down vehicular traffic and ensures that motorists drive carefully through the area. The designers introduced visual and tactile lines to safely segregate the traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) flow. Some of the other design interventions included a lowered speed limit and better lighting systems along the stretch.
Dixon Jones (2004) Exhibition road project, London. Available at: http://www.dixonjones.co.uk/projects/exhibition-road-project/
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (1998) Exhibition Road. Available at: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/exhibitionroad/welcome-to-exhibition-road
Moore, R. (2012) Exhibition road, London – review. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/jan/29/exhibition-road-rowan-moore-review