Gillespies completes fascinating mirror pool in Bradford with tallest urban fountain in UK
City Park in Bradford, designed by Gillespies landscape architects and urban designers on behalf of Bradford Council and supported by a multi-disciplinary design team, will be officially launched today: March 24, 2012. This landmark public space contains the largest city-centre water feature anywhere in the UK, a 4,000 sq m mirror pool, and the UK’s tallest urban fountain which reaches a spectacular 100ft.
City Park stems from a city centre masterplan drawn up in 2003 on Bradford’s behalf which provided a vision of opening up the city centre and creating a public space that would act as a focal point. Bradford Council took the lead role in turning this vision into a viable plan and Gillespies, Arup, Sturgeon North, Atoll and The Fountain Workshop developed this early concept into a detailed design which was submitted for planning permission and funding in 2007 before construction started in late 2009.
The final design builds on the original vision of a city centre for Bradford and has created a flexible dynamic centrepiece in the form of a vibrant 2.4ha public space including the mirror pool, fountains and public art. The park centres on the Grade I Listed, 19th Century City Hall and helps to connect major visitor attractions like the National Media Museum and the Alhambra Theatre with transport hubs and the rest of the city centre. It enhances the overall image of Bradford and helps create a landscape for investment by setting Bradford apart from other cities.
The development and implementation of City Park’s design by Gillespies from the original masterplan has been founded on three fundamental design concepts: Hinterland: Bradford’s setting is that of a city surrounded by visible hills and countryside. The design for City Park seeks to suggest the meeting of urban and rural. Gillespies wanted the idea of hinterland to reference the outside towns and villages looking into the City, and the City looking outwards; Water: The unifying element of City Park’s design is water. Water provides a deep-rooted connection to Bradford’s industrial energy. Mirror: City Park’s space provides a place to reflect. Its mirror pool provides an architectural mirror to Bradford’s city centre, skies and weather. The mirror pool brings this public space alive and provides a mirror for events, people and culture.