The primary objective of the proposed public realm improvements was the creation of a large, flexible ‘shared space’ to meet a number of specific needs. The space strives to combine rather than separate the functions of the street, creating a welcoming series of spaces that can adopt the following activities:
- Markets and event space, equipped with access to power and water to facilitate such functions, to be kept relatively clear to make it as flexible as possible.
- Café and leisure space Cedar Square, already the site of three cafés will act as the café and main seating space for the area. Shaded by trees and with the relocated Flagstaff fountain, the space will provide a more relaxing atmosphere away from the bustle of the main space in front of the church.
Approximate Map Location
Planit Intelligent Environments LLP
Commended, Design 1-5 ha category, LI Awards 2010
Development of a large, single level flexible shared space, creating space for markets, event and cafes.
Project management, QS and CDM Co-ordinator: Blackpool Council | Sculpture: Lucy Glendinning
Blackpool is exposed to strong saline winds bearing large quantities of airborne sand. The granite surface material needed to reflect the traditional segmental arch pattern but avoiding the use of cropped setts, which had been rejected by the access groups. The solution was four colours of setts with five sizes and varying depths to accommodate vehicular traffic.
A variant textured surface was also used to define the carriageway. In all 60 different types of sett were need to create what looks on the ground like a simple fan pattern. Liaison throughout the detailed design process with the Councils engineers and public transport providers ensured all materials would withstand these pressures.
In Blackpool sand gets everywhere and water features are no exception. Within the square two features have been introduced and both have required careful detailing to avoid damage by sand and feature automated adjustment of the jets proportional to the wind speed.
Blackpool's environment conditions make most metallic surfaces within a mile of the seashore prone to corrosion. The sculpture commissioned by Blackpool Council- The Wave - is mirror polished Duplex stainless steel, which acts like a hall of mirrors. Patterning derived from the winter gardens and stained glass of St Johns Church was cut into the steel, then inlaid with glass and colour change lighting. A figure cast in clear blue resin dives from the wave top, gesturing towards the seashore adding a dynamic energy to the square and contributing to Blackpool's illumination heritage.
The Casey Group, Hardscape Invent, Water Features, iGuzzini Specimen
Blackpool's town centre has no trees, due to extremes of wind, and water deficiency. The Plane trees planted each have in excess of 10m3 of soil within specially designed planters and moisture content is carefully monitored with automated irrigation.
The square is accesible only to buses and taxis, responding to concerns about the volume of traffic as it relates to safety. Textural markings are in place to assist groups that are more likely to experience a higher level of uncertainty when using the space, for example people with visual impairment or learning difficulties, the very young, and elderly people.