We’ve been busy developing a wayfinding strategy for a new community close to Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Berewood is a unique residential-led development on the outskirts of Waterlooville, about two miles north of Portsmouth. The first phase is already in place but the entire site is expected to take a decade to be built out in full. When complete, Berewood will provide 2,650 new homes, two new primary schools and a new local centre with shops, services and community space.
But notably, in amongst the new buildings, the development will also deliver huge swathes of quality green and blue infrastructure. A new town park, community nature reserve, skate park, allotments, meadows and riverside walks – all connected by green corridors – will encourage active travel on foot or by bike. It’s an exemplar scheme, developed by Grainger PLC, that puts public health and quality public realm and biodiversity at the heart of the design.
Our role has been to develop a comprehensive wayfinding strategy, with a toolkit of signs that can be implemented in phases as Berewood develops. Baseline analysis – defining character areas, pinpointing destinations, identifying main routes and understanding navigational challenges – helped us to develop an engaging and cohesive scheme that responds to the unique environment and communicates Berewood’s past, present and vision for the future.
We’re designing signs for eight connected interpretation trails, each giving a narrative about the unique local ecology and site’s eco credentials whilst helping users to navigate to key destinations. The routes will open up the river area, bringing it fully into the community, so that residents and other users will directly benefit from these natural assets.
This intentional placemaking will make sure that even though delivery at Berewood is being phased, the development will feel like one cohesive and connected place, and will encourage people to explore through active travel.
Guy Warren, Placemarque’s Design Director, said:
“Urban extensions, when done properly, can deliver significant benefits to new and existing residents. When new developments are designed to respond to the natural environment they can have a tangible impact on public health.
“Good urban design, complemented by quality placemaking and wayfinding, encourages people to take up active travel, explore their local area and connect with nature. At a time when new housing can sometimes be criticised for being characterless and homogenous, Berewood is a fantastic example of large-scale development that has its own unique identity and will attract people to enjoy and explore its many natural assets.”