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Town Design – Frederick Gibberd – Google Books
Master Planning Project stage: The original Master Plan for Harlow was prepared by Sir Frederick Giberd in and has been the framework within which the development of the town has taken place. Sir Frederick was responsible to the Development Corporation for the design of the new town and he advised the Council on their major development proposals. Desin for new towns round London were identified in the Greater London Plan ofthe New Towns act passed two years later made them possible.
The purpose of these new towns was to house people and industry, they were intended to be self- contained, balanced communities rather than satellites to London.
The site for Harlow new town was identified to lie west of the existing Old Harlow village. The site was ideal for a new town; reasonably close to London, a large undeveloped rural area at the intersection of a motorway and with a main line railway.
The Master Plan was a design for the town as a whole to provide a framework for its development. These three arts are fused to become town scenes or townscapes, the making of which is the art of Town Design. The Master Plan laid down principles of design which have been carried out over the years and give Gibbedr an individual character.
The original plan has an irregular bourndary, produced by the reorganisation of field patterns of surrounding farms and the use of natural features such as woodlands. Harlow was designed for a population of 60, but the experience in the first frrederick of construction showed that more economical use could be made of the land and as a result the population was increased to 80, without change to the master plan.
The basic functional plan of Harlow was developed from the kind of urban environment most people prefer. The plan defines distinct areas for living and industry with the focus of the design the town centre. The character of the existing site was used to give Harlow its own personality.
Harlow Master Plan
The design used the form of the land as a foundation tosn which the design was built. Existing features including trees and buildings were preserved to give variety to the new town and provide a link with Harlow’s historic past.
The layout of building groups was arranged to preserve woods and tree belts, these were used to seperate built-up areas. Old lanes with headgrows and grass verges were twon within the master plan to become foot and cycle paths.
The town centre is a long way from much of the housing, the town is divided by landscape into four districts, three of these have large shopping and social centres whilst the fourth relates to the Town Centre, each district was given its own identity with the feel and size of a small town. Dwellings of all kinds were built with large amounts of accommodation being sesign housing within the cost limits imposed by the Government at the time.
The Lawns was one of the first tower blocks to be built in the country and helped to give the town urban scale. The vertical design and careful sighting allowed seven mature oak trees to be retained on the site.