Southampton Station Quarter North was shortlisted for the 2016 Solent Design Awards, which were awarded in November 2016 – A much needed update on the project. Better late than never !
Although our project was not one of the winners… it was very encouraging that the collaborative approach which delivered the project and the role of our Champions Group, which endured throughout the build programme was recognised via the shortlist process.
‘The Solent Design Awards are all about the encouragement of quality place-making; schemes that create special places, lift communities, create richer experiences … not just iconic buildings, but also the places in-between’.
The following set of images from the site were produced by Wilson Massie of Balfour Beatty Living Places – thanks Wilson !
The artwork ‘Canal Shore’ runs for almost 200m along the South side of Blechynden Terrace. Bespoke extra wide Black Basalt kerbs are inset with white granite text referencing the site.
With thanks to Hardscapefor their excellent collaboration on the ‘Canal Shore’ artwork.
Monday 28th September 2015 – Station Quarter Visit –
The kerbside artwork ‘Canal Shore‘, which is a vital part of the Station Quarter programme, is very nearly completed. Only a short section remains to be finished, once the Station Forecourt area is completed. ‘Canal Shore’ is a 205m long black basalt kerb with inset granite text, which traces the route of the former Southampton to Salisbury Canal and also happens to be the line of the historic shoreline of the River Test Estuary.
The narrative refers to places, people and events which have marked the development of this landscape. Importantly, the work is also a strategic part of the wayfinding and placemaking ambitions for the Station Quarter project, as it makes an emphatic statement along the main east to west pedestrian route to the Station from the Above Bar area of the city and the Cultural Quarter.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on the Station Quarter Project –
I met up on site with Simon Taylor – Urban Design Manager, Balfour Beatty Living Placesand Pete Boustred – Transport Policy & Sustainable Travel Team Leader at Southampton City Council. I was first commissioned to work on the interpretive and site responsive elements of the project by Simon at BBLP in 2012. We have worked together several times previously in the City. BBLP are delivering the project for Southampton City Council.
Massive changes since my last visit if you look at earlier posts, but brilliant to see the project coming together so well. The amphitheatre steps, part of the Phase 2 works on Wyndham Place have arrived and have been lifted into place. There are a number of other structures still with the manufacturer and these are expected to arrive over the coming weeks. The installation of the large-scale bespoke cast concrete benches, amphitheatre steps and retaining structures manufactured by CCPwill continue over the coming weeks. Hopefully I will get down to Southampton again soon to record more progress.
What was a real pain was that although it was a brilliant blue day – this part of the site was in deep shadow, so the images are a bit too dark to do the work justice !
Other cast concrete works are also on site –
These benches are on the Station Forecourt, immediately as you enter or exit the Station building. This is one section of a large curving two tier bench and way-finding feature within the scheme.
The project was nominated by the Margate Civic Society. In 2014, the project had been awarded a Civic Award by the local group and it was on the back of this that the nomination for the Civic Voice Award was made. I attended the event with Geoff Orton of the Margate Civic Society.
This project was delivered by a large and diverse integrated design team. I think part of it’s success as a project is certainly down to the collaborative nature of the scheme and that this process was something which contributed from the outset of the works, influencing and challenging the design process at each stage.
The images clearly show the scale and impact that the Coastal Protection Project has had on the local area. The additional public realm and and amenity space that the works have provided is shaping the way that the seafront engages with the Old Town and Harbour. Even at high tide, the Old Town is accessible from the beach, which had previously not been possible. The wonderful coastal setting which has become the backdrop for the regeneration of the Harbour Arm, Custom House, Turner Contemporary, Old Town, Margate Steps and now finally Dreamland coming on stream has really made Margate magnificent once again.
‘Outside Wyndham Court a great deal of the footpath and landscaping is down and this gives a glimpse of how the scheme is going to look. Block paving of the public car park has started, trees are in and yesterday the first of the new bespoke stone benches was crane lifted into place.’Taken from the Southampton Station Quarter update bulletin, 18th March 2015, Balfour Beatty Living Places.
Bespoke benches during installation. Unfortunately, one of the 6 units has a lighter finish than the others. This can be remedied post installation on site by the manufacturer CPP Ltd.
I recently saw some new aerial images of Margate Steps at low tide taken by the project contractors Breheny –
Breheny have very kindly allowed me to publish them on my blog. Notwithstanding its success as an example of coastal engineering within an urban setting, these images of the project really show to good effect the scale and impact of the project. As a public realm & additional amenity space which the step revetment provided for the town, the project was also successful as demonstrated by the awards it has won.
I was commissioned as the project Artist by MACH – Margate Art & Cultural Heritage, Thanet District Council & the Environment Agency. My role was to supply an interpretive & contextual backdrop developed with which to influence the design process & inform the structure, detailing & interpretation of this major sea defence works. The total budget for the project was £6m.
On Thursday 8th May 2014, at an event at the Walpole Bay Hotel in Cliftonville, the Margate Flood and Coast Protection Scheme, aka ‘Margate Steps’ was awarded a Town Pride Award 2014 by the Margate Civic Society.
This follows the 2013 award given to the project at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South East England Engineering Excellence Awards 2013. This award was particularly welcomed as it recognised the benefit of the project in enhancing the experience of its host community. The project team behind the scheme received the award from ICE Senior Vice President, Geoff French, at a ceremony which was held at Leeds Castle on Friday 7 June. The awards recognise the best civil engineering projects across South East England with the judges looking for projects that deliver a real benefit to society through the knowledge, skills and professional expertise of civil engineers.
The revetment steps are now almost a year old and appear to have been really taken to heart by both the community & visitors alike. As well as fulfilling a vital role as protection from the risk of flooding, the defences were designed as a stepped revetment which accommodates integrated seating and lighting to provide an incredible amenity and public realm from which to enjoy Margate’s famous coastal views and sunsets.
On 9th May 2014, the Margate Flood & Coast Protection Scheme, aka the Margate Steps will have been officially opened for a year. It is rewarding to see that:
1. The sea defence works are working !…the storms over winter clearly tested the engineering.
2. That the wonderful amenity space we envisaged (over and above its primary function as a sea defence works) would have become such an addition to the Margate sea front environment. I will be posting images and text from the project’s history over the coming weeks.
It was an amazing project to be involved with. I promised myself I would swim off the steps at high tide to celebrate the opening. I missed my opportunity, so am trying again ! Look out for the guy in a wet suit trying hard not to look cold !
A video of Margate Steps can be seen here on its official opening day on 9th May 2013.
I think we can safely say that Margate Steps has benefitted the community.
The blue text outlined below formed a much larger visual narrative prepared to support & inform the designs for the sea defence works. It is made up of historic, anecdotal and real time events which occurred along the length of the new sea defences.