If you know Southampton well – you may never really notice the Station signage. Things may be a little tricky if you are a visitor. The arrival and departure from a great sea city like Southampton surely needs a bit of a signage upgrade. I am no typographer and this is a specialist area – but I can’t resist an opportunity –
There are many ways in which the Chatham Placemaking Project can communicate with the local community. Large scale visuals can be really effective – such as these mock-up ideas drafted onto a series of primesight billboards on Railway Street.
The Chatham Big Screen too would provide a great opportunity for us, as we could post film and moving images as well as sound.
Tuesday 15th March 2016
I have to admit that this is the first time I have been inside the multi storey car park at the junction of West Park Road and Kingsbridge Lane. The first time in over 12 years coming to Southampton. What a good view down Blechynden Terrace !
The main pedestrian routes on the north and south sides have been re-surfaced and the public artwork “Canal Shore’, a 205m long wide basalt kerb detail with inlaid granite text, forms a strong and robust visual desire line on the south side of Blechynden Terrace all the way to the Station Forecourt.
The footpath just visible at the bottom left corner of this image is the start of Kingsbridge Lane, which is the main pedestrian route from the Station to the City Centre and Cultural Quarter. This route is very well trafficked and very busy at peak times, with a flow of people at all times of day. The visual and physical connection to the Station Quarter Project is currently poor and we are now scoping this route to consider an approach to regenerating the site and improving connectivity and user experience.
Tuesday 15th March 2016
Very much earlier in the project – back in 2012 – one of the Urban Design consultants on the project – I think from Urban Initiatives – managed to get access to the roof of Overline House, which sits adjacent to the train lines and overlooks our site.
A short film from this vantage point can be seen by clicking on this link – Station Quarter from Overline House
This image is seen below – along with another taken this week from a similar vantage point on the roof.
Tuesday 15th March 2016
I spent March 15th in Southampton on a site visit to scope out an extension of our current Station Quarter Project to include Kingsbridge Lane – which is a vital pedestrian route to and from the Station, City Centre and Cultural Quarter. I am working again in collaboration with Balfour Beatty Living Places for the client Southampton City Council. Kingsbridge Lane will be a separate storyline on the blog. Look our for that !
You can see a short film of a part of the site by clicking on this link Wyndham Court from Frobisher House
Couldn’t resist the opportunity to take more images of the Station Quarter Project, now that it is nearing completion. I was last in Southampton on Tuesday 9th February. Not a massive difference in the work, although it has definitely moved on – but the weather yesterday was a whole lot nicer – blue sky and great light – perfect chance.
Tuesday 9th February 2016
I was invited to attend what was possibly the final Champions Group meeting to review the regeneration work coming to a close at Southampton Station Quarter North. This group of people, representing every walk of life in the local area and community, have been responsible for championing, challenging and keeping the project on its toes since the dawn of the scheme way back in 2012. They have been an invaluable part of the project and I hope that they collectively approve of the work done thus far. Pete Boustred – Transport Policy and Sustainable Travel Team Leader at Southampton City Council, led the walk around site, assisted by Antony Cutajar, Site Manager for Balfour Beatty Services & Wilson Massie, Stakeholder Engagement for Balfour Beatty Living Places.
The last time I had been to site was 28-09-2016 – click this link or scroll down to see this post.
The landscape forms – bespoke cast concrete seating, amphitheatre steps, ramp and retaining walls are now all installed. Some snagging was still to be completed and soft landscaping was still in progress. As this was February, there was not much to see in terms of greenery ! Meadow seed planting has been carried out – & hopefully the impact of this will be seen later in the year.
This is a simple photo essay of the walk around the site looking at what has been completed.
Every visit to Chatham throws up more detail and insight to add to the Chatham Placemaking Project –
The open yard seen through the bridge / viaduct is the former Scott’s timber yard site.
There is some real potential for change of pace here if the arches could be opened up to new local businesses – coffee / food / cyclists –
Friday 12th February 2016
The archivists and librarians at Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre in Strood have been brilliantly helpful during this project !
Norma Crowe, Cindy Ohalloran and Irina Fridman have been invaluable in helping me search for images and text references. We have now obtained several wonderful archive images taken along our route from Chatham Station to the Riverside, along Railway Street and Military Road, which MALSC have given us permission to use.
This site has remarkably changed very little in over 100 years – only the ironwork railing and lighting columns have gone.
The Dutch Gable ended building on the right is still here. The New Road Viaduct built in 1794 was demolished in 1900 to make way for a new bridge viaduct under which Trams could pass safely. Note the double kerb on the left of the image – this is no longer there, but similar kerbs still exist outside the Railway Station.
What we have all found impressive in this image, is the clarity within the public realm. Clear pavements with contrasting and well defined kerbs. Obviously not as much traffic ! The street frontage to St John’s Church and the clear flow of movement toward the Town Centre is great to see, in light of the current experience for both drivers and pedestrians.
It is clear to see how, in the image below taken in 2015, how the landscape and clarity of wayfinding has been considerably interrupted, physically and legibly. Navigating to the town centre and riverside for pedestrians is now a very conflicting and varied experience.
This wonderful image shows the Royal Marines on Military Road with Coopers & Bernards Store on the left and The Paddock on the right. All the shops on the left hand side were demolished to make way for Mountbatten House and the Pentagon Shopping Centre. The idea and concept behind ‘Chatham Patterns’, comes partly from the memory of these military parades and formations, which for a century at least have been woven and imprinted into the very fabric of the town. The presence of many Military Outfitters along our route is also a great influence in terms of the images they conjure up about ‘fabric’ and ‘pattern’ and the people who wore them.
I was put onto this thread via an online forum group called Kent History Forum, where a fair amount of detail and social history about Chatham is recalled.
The walk to Strood from Chatham Station gives a wonderful insight into the architecture and industry which developed along the banks of the Medway. Lots of detail and interest to record !
On Friday 6th February 2016 we ran a creative consultation drop-in event in Chatham. These were held at Sun Pier House from 10am – 1pm and then at Nucleus Arts from 2pm to 5pm. We presented the same information as the public consultation events – and the creative consultation events were also open to anyone to attend.
Chatham and Medway has a lively and very creative and well established arts scene. It is important that we make the project as open and available to all to engage with. The afternoon session at Nucleus Arts turned into an impromptu talk and discussion about the wider regeneration project and the creative contextual research with which we hope to influence and inform the design process. This was really well attended, with some artists and practitioners asking about the temporary programme of commissions which will run prior to the permanent works beginning on site. Engagement in this way is the real catalyst for change, creativity and promoting a common sense of ownership.
A big thanks to Claire Poynter, Natasha Steer and Genevieve Tullberg of Nucleus Arts for making this event a success and providing the space.