Farrer Huxley Associates and James Smith selected from a shortlist of four to improve the public space surrounding Barrow Island’s Maritime Streets
The winning team will work with the community and other stakeholders to refine their design proposals, says the council.
Hosted by the council and run by the Landscape Institute, the competition aims to improve the public realm around a series of four-storey tenement flats that currently have high vacancy rates. Part of the regeneration of the port area of the town, the project has funding from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Clusters of Empty Homes Fund.
The winning design proposes that the creation of ‘a desirable place with great first impressions’ would be the ‘tipping point’ for regeneration of the entire neighbourhood.
‘The new public realm will draw residents back into the Maritime Street, a great place to live with a sustainable and healthy long-term future,’ says Noel Farrer.
Central to the winning design is an ‘unashamedly contemporary’, 8-10m-high illuminated metal beacon which will lead people into the flats and Ship Street.
‘The masterplan envisages further tree planting and a natural extension of the priority zones which will form the works for the available funding and mark the tipping point for the flats renewal,’ says Farrer.
His team’s design for a large central square at the heart of the flat, evolved from the base of all the communal stairways which everyone must use, he adds. ‘The network of crossing and interlocking social paths provides the language for our entire scheme. They hark back to nets, and the masts of the ships named in the streets and make a striking pattern viewable from all the flats and stairways that surround it.’
The Farrer Huxley Associates and James Smith team is delighted to have won the competition, Farrer adds and looks forward ‘to continuing the design and implementation process with the amazing community and Barrow Borough Council’.
The council says it had ‘a fantastic response’ to the competition, receiving several ‘high quality submissions’. The other shortlisted entries were: Chris Brammall Ltd with Iteriad (Environmental Design); Galpin Landscape Architecture working with Brian Clouston and Richard Hollinshead from Grit and Pearl; and Landscape Projects with NB Nicholson Bastik and Research Design (Architecture).