Leeds-based public realm specialists re-form Landscape Architecture have unveiled new visuals for Hull’s planned £25 million public realm project, which will see the complete re-design of the city’s streets and public spaces ahead of its UK City of Culture status in 2017.
Located at Tower Works, the practice was appointed, along with engineering consultancy Arup, by Hull City Council at the end of 2014. The team is working in conjunction with the council, construction consultancy, Gardiner and Theobold, and public art specialists, Beam, to design and deliver the first two phases of the project which is set to revitalise the city centre and help Hull to realise its potential as a world-class visitor destination.
The project will reinforce the special character of Hull, helping the city centre become a place in which people choose to spend time, as well as supporting local businesses. It will be the first major redevelopment of the city centre since World War II and includes 14 streets and four public squares. re-form’s designs connect the railway station with the retail quarter, the historic Old Town and Fruit Market and include the planting of more than 70 mature trees.
The main civic square, Queen Victoria Square, will be transformed with new seating, a large water feature and a lighting installation entitled ‘The Golden Hour’ by light art specialist, Nayan Kulkarni.
The partly excavated site of the historic Beverley Gate, which marks the spot where King Charles I was refused entry to Hull in 1642, will be replaced with a new sculpture by award-winning architectural practice, Tonkin Liu and a large public lawn.
The church wall within Trinity Square, in the heart of the Old Town, will be removed to create a flexible public space which features café seating and provides an attractive and fitting setting for the Grade 1 listed Trinity Church.
Hull’s streets themselves will become artworks, as ‘The City Speaks’ project creates a series of imaginative installations with words and stories by British artist Michael Pinsky and local poet and writer Shane Rhodes, that will lead visitors through the city centre.
Work is set to start on site in September and is due to be completed by the end of 2016.