Tag Archives: Courtyard

The Dell – Southampton FC & Matt Le Tissier’s Right Foot

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Matt Le Tissier stud-printed relief cast concrete retaining wall. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

In 2001, was commissioned by Elizabeth Smith, the Public Arts Officer for Southampton City Council to collaborate with the project client Barratt Homes, to create an interpretive landscape artwork for the central courtyard of the former Dell Football ground. The Dell was demolished in 2001 by Hughes and Salvidge. I was able to visit the ground to document the site just before this process began and just after the last game had been played.

The Club moved from the Dell in 2001 to the brand new St Mary’s Stadium. 

 

“a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and lofty aspens” Philip Brannon 1850

 

“On 19 May 2001, midfielder Matt Le Tissier, (who retired from playing a year later) said goodbye to the stadium that had been host to his entire professional career by scoring a volley in the final minutes of the final league game securing a 3–2 win against. Le Tissier has the distinction of scoring the last competitive goal at The Dell. On 26 May, the club’s fans said goodbye to the Dell by stripping all of its seats, the pitch and even an advertising board after Southampton’s last game at the stadium, a 1-0 victory in a friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion, the first and last opponents at the stadium. The last goal ever scored at the Dell was by Uwe Rosler”. Wikipedia

“The final league goal witnessed by the Dell was Le Tissier’s 89th-minute winner against Arsenal, a fitting tribute from the forward to his home for 16 years and to the fans who could not imagine life without him. Club fortunes fluctuate, players come and go but Le Tissier has infected those who have witnessed his feats on the south coast and their worshipping will go on long after his boots are finally hung up”. The Guardian 21st May 2001

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design: Christopher Tipping. Images: Joe Low

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design: Christopher Tipping. Images: Joe Low

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. External view of the site with Marketing Suite. Central Courtyard artworks on site. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke cast red & white terrazzo benches by Pallam Precast arrive on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Maps & Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Maps & Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

‘The site on which the ground was built was described in Philip Brannon’s Picture of Southampton, published in 1850, as “a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and lofty aspens”. The stream is the Rollsbrook which flows out of Southampton Common, running parallel to Hill Lane before disappearing under Commercial Road and Southampton Central Station, from where it is conduited under Southampton Docks into Southampton Water.

The land had been purchased in the 1880s by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway to enable them to continue their line from Winchester via Twyford, Chandlers Ford, a tunnel at Chilworth and Shirley where it was to pass to the North East of what is nowSt James’ Park, Southampton and St James’ Church. From here the line would have travelled south across Hill Lane to run through the dell and onto an embankment leading to a viaduct over Commercial Road and the London and South Western Railway line before terminating on the Western Esplanade North of the Royal Pier.

The dell was stripped of vegetation and the stream channelled into a conduit with work started on the embankment, which survives behind property to the North of Commercial Road but was never used, and the viaduct which was part built but later demolished.’  Wikipedia

 

I wanted to recreate this idea of ‘a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and trees’, as well as represent something important about the history of football and of Southampton FC on this site. It appeared that the centre circle of the pitch was exactly where the stream had originally passed through and was now culverted underground. The radius of the centre circle on a football pitch is 9.15m. My design reflects this. The centre spot is in exactly the same space it would have been on any match day. 11 trees are planted around the circumference to reflect the squad of 11 who would have played each game. The raw cast concrete retaining walls, steps and planting beds retain something of the look and feel of the original football terraces. Several bespoke cast terrazzo benches with white aggregate in a red cement matrix face into the centre. These reflect the club colours.

The most notable detail is the textured low-relief elevation exposed around the centre circle. This is the stud print of Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot – or so I was led to believe. We contacted the club during this project and this was the boot I was sent. I so want to believe it. I wore the boot to  make the original mould, by running over a bed of clay. I still have it. The idea was to recreate and remember the raw play and boots on muddy ground which embodies the spirit of play.

I approached Patterns & Moulds Ltd, a fantastic company, I have since worked with on several projects. Established in 1967, Patterns & Moulds remains the largest independent and privately owned mould maker in the UK.

 

Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot. The Dell, Southampton 2004. Development of cast concrete relief moulds. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot. The Dell, Southampton 2004. Development of cast concrete relief moulds. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot. The Dell, Southampton 2004. Development of cast concrete relief moulds. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot. The Dell, Southampton 2004. Development of cast concrete relief moulds. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Maps & Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Concept Drawings. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Plan Drawings for setting out. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2003. Final Draft Artwork. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2003. Final Draft Artwork & Planting Scheme. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Dusty footprints & concrete terraces. Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Concrete terrace number 5. Who would have stood here on match day?Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Turf had been stripped off the pitch by fans eager to take a piece of footballing history home with them.

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Just prior to demolition works starting. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sunburn

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: All the concrete works were delivered in-situ, with timber formwork constructed on site. The concrete retaining structures and curving walls created a series of interlinked paths and terraces, which were then backfilled with soil or compacted gravels to create the finished terrace levels. The Matt Le Tissier stud-print concrete feature relief-wall was also cast in-situ on site with bespoke rubber moulds and timber formwork. The raw, unfinished concrete surfaces emulated the original hard terrace construction at the Dell Football ground.

Matt Le Tissier’s right football boot. The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

Above: Elizabeth Smith, Public Arts Officer, Southampton City Council 1998 – 2011, talking with the Project Site Manager.

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2001. Concept Drawings. Section through terraces and stream. Designs & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Above & Below: The Rollsbrook Stream was re-imagined as a shallow rill flowing through the courtyard.

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. First of 11 trees in place. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Ground lighting being installed. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton. Groundsman preparation of the pitch was a thing of beauty & skill. Image: SFC Date Unknown.

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Bright green turf being laid. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke in-situ cast concrete. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke cast terrazzo benches by Pallam Precast arrive on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke cast terrazzo benches by Pallam Precast arrive on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke cast red & white terrazzo benches by Pallam Precast arrive on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Bespoke cast red & white terrazzo benches by Pallam Precast are installed on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

The Dell, Southampton 2004. Central Courtyard works on site. Design & Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Seen in a new light…a bronze dog & a surgeon’s leg

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs with assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

Above: Bespoke inlaid flooring with a Surgeon’s leg.

 

I have worked at Dorset County Hospital on two previous occasions, both memorable. My association with the Trust and its Arts in Hospital Team goes back to 1993, some 26 years! This recent visit to start a new project for the Radiotherapy Unit at the recently completed Robert White Centre, was quite poignant, because I made a concerted effort, whilst there to re-connect and revisit two commissions I had previously created for the Hospital, in 1993 and 2009 respectively. I have deliberately not looked back at the files for these projects, in fact I am not sure I still have the 1993 project on record. That was definitely pre-digital.

Interesting to see things again – unplanned and in the moment and experience them anew.

 

The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital 1993. Bronze Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink. Courtyard Landscape by Christopher Tipping

 

The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital seen through rain spattered windows on a bad weather day. I couldn’t access the courtyard directly yesterday due to the weather. The bronze dog is by Dame Elisabeth Frink, who I was extremely privileged to meet at her home in Blandford Forum in 1992, when I was taken there by my commissioner Val Pitt-Rivers, the founder of Arts in Hospital and a great friend of Elisabeth’s. Elisabeth Frink died in 1993. The courtyard was designed and created around this beautiful sculpture and was loosely based upon a roman villa garden.

‘In 1987, the Vice Chairman of the hospital, Val Pitt-Rivers, started Arts in Hospital with the help of a few friends. Since her retirement in 1998 she has continued to support us as an active patron. Her first committee was responsible for some of our most iconic artworks such as the Red & Blue Crayons by Peter Logan and the Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink, a founder patron of Arts in Hospital.​
After the opening of Phase 1 of the new Dorset County Hospital in 1987, the internal courtyards became the main focus of the arts project. The first to be completed was the Waterfall Courtyard by the sculptor Hamish Horsley. Soon after followed the courtyard to house Elisabeth Frink’s Dog, which was designed by artist Christopher Tipping, and then the Bird Garden designed by John Hubbard with stone fragments engraved by Richard Grasby’. Arts in Hospital

The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital 1993. Bronze Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink. Courtyard Landscape by Christopher Tipping

I love to see the lichens growing everywhere…a sign of age…as well as the Box and Bamboo topiary, maintained as cubes as per the original design.

 

The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital 1993. Bronze Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink. Courtyard Landscape by Christopher Tipping

 

The Dog Courtyard at Dorset County Hospital 1993. Bronze Dog by Dame Elisabeth Frink. Courtyard Landscape by Christopher Tipping

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs with assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

The Hospital Streets project was completed in 2009 & was commissioned by the then director of Arts in Hospital, Alexandra Coulter.

The project was focussed on colour and wayfinding over three floors of the hospital, with the inspiration coming from two days spent walking & exploring along the Jurassic Coast and another day buried deep in the archives of the Dorset County Museum fossil collections. We collaborated with Tarkett flooring and created bespoke motifs which were inlaid at key points along the Hospital Streets such as lift lobbies and stairs. The work is now almost 10 years old and still looks remarkably fresh considering the heavy traffic.

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted belemnites by the Chapel entrance. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted found objects. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs & trolleys. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs & trolleys. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & hospital beds. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & fossil sea urchin. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & assorted hospital legs. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs with fossil sea urchin & yellow truck. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019

 

 

Hospital Streets Project at Dorset County Hospital completed 2009. Tarkett vinyl flooring with bespoke inlaid motifs & an obliging hospital porter. Image: Christopher Tipping 2019