The Landscape Guide

Twinkle Park in Deptford

Twinkle Park won a well deserved award in 1999. Before the re-design, by David Ireland Associates it was an unbelievably derelict 'public open space' strewn with broken glass and smashed outdoor furniture. Since the 1992 re-design it has been attractive and much-appreciated local space. Half of Twinkle Park is a wildlife garden with timber decking around a pond. The other half is a playground shared with a school. An ingenious stainless steel structure, resembling a bandstand, has hinged seats on wheels (designed by landscape architect Nigel Abbott). When school children are present the seats divide the park in two and provide security. After school hours the seats are rolled back and open the space for use by teenagers. They like the seating and the facilities for basketball. An interesting aspect of the project is that it was designed in close co-operation with Greenwich Council (who own the land), with local community groups and with Greenwich Mural Workshops (GMW).

Additional note: The Twinkle Park project began when Rob Muskett, an architect with Greenwich Council, was working on the school adjoining the park. The refurbishment of the park included the school grounds, access, circulation and the Charlotte Turner Gardens. Rob had the idea of sharing the park space with the school and the opportunity was taken to improve a terribly unloved small park. After long and complicated negotiations it was agreed that the school would have use of the large flat area during school hours and that after school hours it would become a Public Park. This led on to the division of the site by the bandstand. It is a focal point and also acts as a safety barrier to the pond area. Greenwich Mural Workshops (GMW) were the project managers. They established the project management committee, found the funding, appointed the other designers, developed the community activities and ran the workshops and the liaison.  David Ireland Associates were appointed to complete the masterplan, the contract documentation and drawings for the job to go out to tender.

I: Watergate Street, Deptford, London

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The wildlife pond in Twinkle Park.

The wheeled seats, the basket ball net and the school.