Greenford Quay, London

Sandy Morrison: Partner, HTA Design.

I painted this oil painting for the charity Article25 and their 10×10 fundraising auction. I love oil paint and its flexibility and messiness. It’s a great contrast to the precision and detail of the drawings we normally do as part of the design process.

The painting shows our project at Greenford Quay on the Regent Canal. We’ve built about a half of what’s in the picture, including the bridge and the amphitheatre overlooking the canal. The amphitheatre was created by keeping the demolition material from the old industrial buildings on site, raising the ground level and making a new public space on the bend in the canal. It has become a popular space and is used for music nights, comedy events and other entertainment.

Greenford Quay is a large-scale project (there will be 2,000 homes alongside other uses) and when you are wrapped up in the design, the day-to-day complexity can obscure the central ambition to create a place people will enjoy. The painting is an attempt to get back to that: it ignores some of the detail and focuses on people, movement and landscape.