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.
I recently posted a very long set of images which formed the basis for a research & contextual study I have produced for the Bus Station Project. I have now managed to sort out how to post a link here to the actual pdf document, which you can now view with much more clarity.
This pdf is only a part of the contextual research which has been done – but forms a good basis on which to reflect upon the influences and threads of research which have caught my attention. Much more work has been done since this was completed and I hope to post more images of draft and concept drawings and sketches very soon.
The first page of the pdf looks like this image below – so you will know you are on the right tracks! Click here:
Monday 18th May 2015 – today I have to revise and update the contextual research document I made earlier in the schedule –
I want to submit this as supplementary research and development to illustrate how the artist (me) has worked with the project team in order to influence the design process. Not easy to reduce and re-define what has gone before, but so much more has happened over the last few weeks, that I have to bring this up to date. Am in my studio here in Ramsgate trying to figure out the best approach. I think it’s going to be a late night !
Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th May 2015 -On Tuesday I travelled up to Cardiff from Ramsgate, Kent for a design meeting with Capita, the project architects. I was accompanied by Simon Fenoulhet of Celfwaith, who developed and is overseeing the Public Art Strategy for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council along with Mererid Velios. Great to have someone with his experience with whom to navigate the project !
We discussed the draft development of the building and landscape and how the creative contextual research and analysis of the site, which I have been doing in order ‘to influence the design process’ is becoming a part of the interpretive strategy for the building. Once this process becomes more involved and collaborative then I hope we will see some really interesting narratives and themes emerging. We are continually having to address the function of this site as a Bus Station and interchange and the demands it brings to the project. That notwithstanding, the interpretation and contextual needs and aspirations for this site have to be seriously considered.
I met with Jason Williams, Lecturer in Art & Design at The College Merthyr Tydfil, and co-ordinator of Level 3 Art. This is just one of a much wider portfolio of courses offered within the division of Creative Industries at the College, which is headed up by Chris Ford.
The Art & Design studios are on the top floor of the building affording the most amazing and creatively aspirational views in the region. Creativity is really significant here. I like to think of this place as a powerhouse of ideas and inspiration – innovation and energy – building a new legacy for Merthyr Tydfil via Education and the Arts.
We discussed the potential for some engagement by students – in this case within Art and Design, but could perhaps encompass the wider Creative Industries Division – to work within and or alongside the Bus Station and Link Bridge developments to take advantage of a live project against which to set and test skills and creativity.
The potential to build this engagement into the Academic year is a tangible one, but something that would have to be developed quickly during this month in order to build it into the next Academic Year.
The College Merthyr Tydfil also shares space at Redhouse, the former Town Hall on the High Street, where all Music, Media, Film, Dance, Technical Theatre and Drama students study in bespoke professional standard facilities.
St Tydfil’s Shopping Centre – I had the opportunity to get up on Wilkinson’s roof for an amazing 360 degree panoramic view of Merthyr and the surrounding hills. Nick Megor, the Shopping Centre Manager accompanied after gaining permission from Wilkinson’s Store Manager.
Nick also had a collection of aerial photographs of the local area probably taken in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s and during construction in the mid 1960’s of the pedestrian bridge linking the west side of the Taff to the east and the new – as then – shopping centre.
At the top left of this image can be seen the Merthyr Tydfil Bus Station – which is now on the move to a new site just out of shot here on the far right of this image on Swan Street.
On 5th March 2015, I made a presentation to the Bus Station Stakeholders Meeting of current contextual research in relation to the Bus Station project and the Link Bridge Study.
I thought it may be of interest to post all these images here. There are a fair few – so bear with it ! – it is useful to know how the research is being delivered and what is shaping my approach. The screenshot image below gives a clear idea of the number of images I am posting – stick with it as there are some great images and quotations…
I have credited all sources of information and am grateful to all organisations and individuals who have assisted me thus far. Where permissions to use images have not been possible, these images have been withdrawn from posting online.
Where Ordnance Survey Maps have been used, they are all out of copyright, however, I have added a credit – ‘Reproduced from the …date… Ordnance Survey Map’, which the Ordnance Survey suggest on their website.
At the scale above – the individual images are not so clear – so I have added all the images individually. It makes for a long post – but hopefully you will find something of interest here ! Here goes – Image No.1 …