Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The distinctive street design being created in Exibition Road is creating a spectacular single surface spanning from South Kensington Station to Hyde park. With technical support from Project Centres highway engineering team. PCl highways engineers have been involved from the start providing RBKC team with the technical advice to steer the design and implementation of this visionary design. The vision is to create a single surface with large clearly defined pedestrian zones to return priority to pedestrians and create a safe and accessible space for everyone
The single surface will extend some 800 metres, from the south of Exhibition Road, near South Kensington Station, north to Hyde Park. The finest dark and light granite will create a chequer design that will bring together the world-class museums and institutions in the area and encourage people to explore. The design aims to recognise the needs of all disability groups to make Exhibition Road the most accessible cultural destination in the world. Kerbs present a difficulty for many and the single surface will significantly improve access, particularly for those using wheelchairs, push chairs and motorised buggies as well as elderly people and partially sighted people. PCL engineers have risen to the challenge to design a new road surface that meets the architect vision of a single surface whilst maintaining access to the numerous thresholds along the route.
PCL Engineers have taken particular care in designing a surface water collection system that meets the needs of this project. A drainage channel set four metres out from the building line on each side of Exhibition Road has been designed not only to performs its vital drainage function but ‘to provide a clear signal to young children and partially sighted people that these sections of Exhibition Road are ‘safe areas’.
Wide strips of ‘corduroy’ warning tactile – ridged paving used to warn blind and partially sighted people of a hazard and to proceed with caution are designed alongside the drainage channel covers, to alert blind people to the edge of the ‘safe area’. PCL Engineers have provided the technical knowledge to be able to select specialist materials such as the granite setts, bespoke black channel greats and the granite ‘corduroy’ warning tactile.