TIMELINE Scheme emerged in City centre policies 2003 - 2006 Estell Warren appointed 2007 Concept design approved by WMDC Cabinet 2007 Design detailing (WMDC engineers with EW used ‘on call’ basis) early 2008 Construction period mid 2008 – late 2009
APPROACH Research history of place Understand policy/ strategic context Identify people & vehicle movement patterns Analyse character & views Clarify brief & design objectives Prepare & refine concept design (including consultations) Develop detailing (to reinforce concept & objectives) Deliver scheme (always check changes against original concept & objectives)
HISTORY Urban form - changed considerably over time, space has always been a node, previously connecting narrow, intimate Medieval streets. Triangular form of the space was lost in the 1940’s/ 50’s due to highway improvements. Previous uses – was the original market place for the old town of Wakefield. Name – there was a ‘Bull Ring’, stone set in ground with steel ring that bulls were chained to.
Queen Victoria statue in centre, how dare you move a former Queen…..
Overall - cluttered, confused space with no distinct character
High numbers of pedestrians moving through (from bus station & markets)
Reasonably well-contained space, some good buildings
Strong views to Cathedral spire
Some existing café uses to edges
MORE ON CONSTRAINTS …… Be aware of them, make sure they are addressed but don’t let them drive the design unless that is the intention. Bull Ring constraints included: Traffic (vehicles themselves, noise, fumes, geometry of road alignment, traffic controls). Queen Victoria statue (in difficult location at centre of space). Utilities (prevent tree planting, expensive to move 250K for BT box). Flush surfaces (controversy over suitability of flush surfaces for blind and visually impaired people). Public attitude (‘ey up lad that’s a waste of money…. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, identify what matters most and stick to it). Political/ officer attitude (fear of criticism, things going wrong), use case studies & examples to help, work through difficult issues rationally. Budget – expensive is not always good, focus available money on the things that really matter.
FURNITURE & GREENERY Adapted light columns – event & feature lighting, columnar hanging baskets, banners, festive lights, coloured square at night Trees – large semi-mature to give immediate presence, single species to create visual consistency along the street (suggest London Plane) Floral colour (& scent) – introduced through innovative stacked hanging baskets, creating a much bolder impact than individual baskets & avoiding clutter of planters at ground level. Seating – comfortable off the peg benches at regular intervals + bespoke linear seats at the Bull Ring