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A Gateway to New Malden Shortlist Revealed


We’re thrilled to announce the shortlisted teams for ‘A Gateway to New Malden’, the design competition we launched earlier this year in partnership with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. The competition invited proposals for a permanent public realm improvements to New Malden’s Fountain Roundabout and nearby pocket-park.

Kingston Council identified the need to improve the pedestrian environment, which is a frequently used entry point into the town centre for visitors, commuters and residents, while also enhancing the offering of green space and increasing biodiversity. This should create a beautiful, inspiring and accessible space for those who encounter it. Judges were seeking proposals that celebrated the character of New Malden, its local context and heritage; carefully considering the contemporary community.

Applicants were encouraged to use a co-design and community engaged approach in their proposals, exploring ways to make provision for community planting and ensuring that the re-landscaped site can be maintained throughout seasons.

The shortlisted design teams are:


Ciaociao Design and Xinli Du

Ciaociao Design is a design studio focusing on landscape architecture and art installations, founded by Chao Gao in 2020. Ciaociao Design’s ethos is to create sustainable and memorable spaces for everyone. Chao is a chartered Landscape Architect who has over ten years experience. She has successfully designed and delivered many notable UK and international projects. Ciaociao Design is delivering the Aldgate public realm activation for Aldgate BID and LFA this summer.

Xinli Du is a landscape architect and designer. She has intense experience in delivering multidisciplinary projects both in UK and internationally. Xinli believes that each site has its own unique character and should be treated with a considered and site-specific approach. In addition to landscape projects,  Xinli has compeleted several interior and branding projects that broaden her perspective as a designer.

Chao and Xinli studied together in the University of Sheffield where they met. With similar belief in design, they become close friends and collaborators.  Chao and Xinli tackles design through multiple lens in a fun and subtle way.


James Grayley Architects and SEED Landscape Design

James Grayley Architects and SEED Landscape Design are small nimble design practices who enjoy collaborating with each other, with other designers and makers, and with local communities.

James Grayley Architects has a rich track record of working across a broad spectrum of sectors and scales, from furniture and exhibition design to masterplans, to create well crafted, rigorous architecture.

They undertake meticulous research, unravelling the built and social history of a site, embedding proposals in the culture of their place. The practice seeks to embrace the latent potential of complex sites and the imaginative reuse of existing structures. They enjoy collaborating with skilled craftspeople and artists and exploring technical possibilities of natural and local materials to create low impact, durable and delightful projects.

SEED is a collaborative Landscape Institute registered practice seeking to enrich lives and landscapes by creating a sense of place, involvement and ecological betterment. Their work encompasses a broad range of projects that include community focused public realm schemes, education projects, parklands, new homes and private gardens.

The common thread running through their work is the creation of dynamic landscapes for people and nature, with a particular emphasis on carefully considered planting and the natural environment. They carry out detailed research and responses to the site and its natural and human context, ensuring that proposals are always anchored in the spirit of the place. They understand that landscape, nature and plants can be powerful ways to reach out to local communities.


PATALAB ARCHITECTS in collaboration with Adolfo Harrison Gardens, and students Kyungjoo Min and Jang-hee Lee

PATALAB ARCHITECTS is an award-winning practice based in London and Berlin. Inspired by ‘Pataphysics – a philosophical and artistic movement dedicated to exploring the imaginary – the practice is interested in the poetic potential of architecture. We produce sensitive but powerful designs that are accentuated by rich materiality, attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship.

With public works, PATALAB ARCHITECTS takes site-specific approach that engages the social-cultural and contextual aspects of architecture. Our award-winning completed work demonstrates significant experience in delivering complex projects across a range of typologies and scales.

Adolfo Harrison Gardens creates award-winning public gardens specialising in environmentally low-impact design solutions that are central to theri design ethos. They aim to bring a dynamic approach to the urban environment by creating innovative gardens and installations that are surprising, accessible, and inclusive.

Kyungjoo Min and Jang-hee Lee are master degree architecture students with strong inclination towards urban design. Originally from Korea, they bring to the project their personal understanding of Asian cultures that form an important part of New Malden diverse neighbourhood.


Hayatsu Architects + 121 Collective, Hortus Collective

Hayatsu Architects’ work is characterised by crafted, sensitive and playful approaches tailored to unique situations and the requirements of users, involving stakeholder and community engagement built into the design process from the early stages. Collaborations form the core of Hayatsu Architects’ work with a range of client bodies and consultant teams, in both private and public commissions including Southwark Council, Lewisham Council, the OPDC, and arts and community organisations such as Grizedale Arts and The Community Brain.

121 Collective is a young local architectural design and make studio based in Tolworth. Over the last 5 years, 121 has been working closely with various local charities and community organisations with a hands-on and community-led approach as designer-makers.

Hortus Collective is an emerging landscape design practice whose work delivers landscapes with a strong sense of place and ecological conviction through a natural and crafted aesthetic. Working across a range of scales from concept to completion their work is underpinned by a marriage of creative exploration, attention to detail and an understanding of natural processes.

Takeshi Hayatsu, Salah Krichen and Francesca Merton teach a MArch unit at Kingston University, focusing on community co-design and local production around Surbiton, Tolworth and Kingston town centre.


Ludwig Willis Architects, Robert Bray Associates, Where Pathways Meet, Polimekanos and Sophie Porter

Ludwig Willis Architects are dedicated to making buildings and places that are imaginative, sustainable and enduring. Working in the public realm they consider the narratives of people and places to understand the specifics of local communities and to make generous contributions to the everyday by creating places where people can come together.

Together with Where Pathways Meet (WPM) they develop public realm strategies based on our longstanding experience working with stakeholders across a range of scales and managing the practical delivery of neighbourhood placemaking projects.

Robert Bray Landscape Architects, a pioneering and award-winning studio, provide expertise in designing and delivering climate resilient, biodiverse and community-focussed urban landscapes. Sophie Porter, a Landscape Architect graduating from the MA Landscape Architecture at Kingston University brings local knowledge, youthful creativity and perspective to the team.

Polimekanos specialise in creative wayfinding and site specific place marking strategies to help communicate and make legible our concept for a new Gateway to New Malden with reference to its historic story and contemporary character.


Campbell Cadey + Griselda Kitching

Campbell Cadey is a south London architecture and landscape practice who are passionate about sustainable placemaking. Ruth Campbell has been exploring how to create more engaging public spaces since her research at the RCA, and now works with Franca Carassai and Lily Bakratska to design and deliver landscape and regeneration projects over a range of budgets.

As a team they seek out and listen to local voices and, through thorough engagement and consultation, they have a unique ability to design community spaces that make everyone feel engaged, joyful, and safe. Each project is highly tailored which allows us to investigate new approaches that support sustainable and resilient communities and can be easily adapted to take on new challenges – be that budget, antisocial behaviour, or lack of inclusivity. They have teamed with artist and printmaker Grizelda Kitching to bring a fresh perspective, drawing inspiration from the overlaying of narrative, emotion, and memory into the production of a space.


The judging panel for round one was:

  • Benjamin O’Connor, NLA, Director (Chair)
  • Nkechi Okeke-Aru, The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Highstreet Recovery Lead
  • Pat Dobson, Kingston Environment Centre, Director
  • Melodie Leung, Zaha Hadid Architects, Associate Director
  • Michael Cowdy, McGregor Coxall, Director
  • Hadi Yassin, First Year Architecture Student at Kingston University

Congratulations to all shortlisted teams! We can’t wait to see how the designs develop for round two.

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