Radical ESSEX




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The Water Gardens

The Water Gardens, designed by Gibberd with Gerry Perrin of Harlow Development Corporation Architect’s Department in 1958/59, were recently added to the Statutory List at Grade II. They are also on English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens at Grade II*.

The story behind the creation of the gardens is one that brings together Frederick Gibberd’s interest in landscape architecture and his ideas about the importance of the contribution of high quality sculpture to the special nature of spaces. Gibberd began planning Harlow in 1946, acting as masterplanner as well as the architect of many individual buildings. He was unusual for having planning as well as architectural qualifications, in addition to a thorough understanding of landscape architecture.

The importance of public art to Gibberd’s ideas for the town was developed with the help of the Harlow Arts Trust, founded in 1953. The inclusion of sculpture was felt to be especially relevant in places were people meet, such as the Water Gardens.

More information here.

2 Civic Walk, Harlow CM20 1AQ (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: