2009 – ongoing
City of Westminster
Soundings were appointed by Qatari Diar in 2009 to lead public consultation on the Chelsea Barracks Masterplan with an aim to determine the developmental aspirations and concerns of local people, who were bitterly disappointed with the former scheme. Throughout the consultation process Soundings hosted and facilitated a series of events to engage the local community, establish development parameters and to develop the masterplan. Most of these events were held in the dedicated Consultation Hub which was set-up by Soundings for two years.
Following public consultation, Soundings developed a high-level spatial strategy summarising site layouts, locations of non-residential uses, public space types and layout, urban form, traffic & pedestrian movement and architectural styles which helped to select the preferred masterplanning team from the shortlisted contenders. Soundings then worked closely with the masterplanning team throughout the design process to co-ordinate all aspects of the public consultation.
A fundamental part of the masterplan was to create a world-class development with animated, attractive and well-used spaces. Given that the masterplan is open to the public, led to significant local buy-in, and subsequently the landscaping was crucial to shaping the scheme. The masterplan offers well-connected spaces through walking and cycle connections supporting active spaces through a mix of activities.
When the scheme was approved in 2011, the chairman publicly congratulated Soundings for raising the benchmark for meaningful public consultation. Subsequently, Soundings ran detailed co-design workshops with the resident and community liaison groups in accordance with the parameter plans and design code. Currently, Soundings are helping to form the Chelsea Barracks Chapel Trust, which will help to oversee social, cultural and education activities at Chelsea Barracks.