Radical Plan for Greening of Hogarth Roundabout

Architect's scheme aims to reunite two halves of Chiswick

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A new plan envisages a transformation of the area around Hogarth Roundabout which will reunite the northern and southern parts of Chiswick currently divided by the A4. The scheme, which is the brainchild of architect Richard Gooden, has been shortlisted for a prestigious RIBA Forgotten Spaces 2011 award.

A new green would be created shielding the houses from the traffic noise and moving a section of the A4 underground. A terraced landform would rise to cross the realigned A4, gently descending to Homefield Park on the current line of the traffic ramp. As the terraces intersect Homefield Park, they would drop below ground level to reunite the park, forming a continuous circular pedestrian and cycle route between the north and south sides of the highway.

The road pattern would be reconfigured with predominance given to the A4. The traffic along the A316, Burlington Lane, would join the A4 at a grade level light controlled junction. Mr Gooden believes that modern traffic engineering could create a more satisfactory result for all rather than the current 'semi-derelict arrangements'.

The plan would do away with the Hogarth flyover which the architect regards as an anachronism. Originally constructed in 1969 it was only intended to be a temporary structure. Mr. Gooden believes that given the type and weight restrictions on vehicles using the flyover it is of little value in relieving congestion or easing traffic flow.

The removal of the Hogarth flyover and reconfiguration of the roundabout junction would create a new public space - the Hogarth Eyot, linking the riverside to the north side of the A4. This will occupy useless space dedicated to ramps and traffic intersections and will link Homefield Park, on a continuously accessible route over the road, to Church Street (see scheme drawings below).

hogarth eyot

hogarth eyot

He says, "Re-planning the space occupied by the flyover, ramps and the roundabout would contribute towards healing the scars created in the recent past and providing much-needed connections across this part of the city. Up until the 1950s, the historic street pattern remained legible and useable. Development of the A4 into a six lane road severed connections between the north and the river, leaving incoherent and marooned fragments of parks, streets and terraces. The contrast between the riverside walk along Chiswick Mall to the historic Church Street and the grinding traffic noise at the roundabout could not be more extreme or abrasive."

The plan would also aim to reunite the two parts of Homefield Park so that you could walk down towards the river. The park would gently slope down toward the A4 and pass underneath it whilst noise barriers would avoid the din of traffic spoiling the experience

He has called his project the Hogarth Eyot which is a reference to Chiswick Eyot which was formerly used for the growing of grass for cattle fodder and osiers (willows used for basketry, furniture & cart-making). He feels this verdant haven in the Thames is a perfect metaphor for the proposal.

When asked about the chances of his plans ever being implemented Mr. Gooden said, "This is a competition entry at a fairly strategic level. We believe that the proposals make good sense, are workable and could be enacted. However, if any such intervention were ever to be put into practice, the details would need to be developed with the highway authority, the local authority and, of course, the local community. We would love to have the opportunity to do so."

We asked Hounslow Council for a comment on the scheme and whilst promising to come back to us later in more detail they dismissed the idea that the Hogarth Flyover did not aid traffic flow.

June 30, 2011