Studio BAD have been working on a feasibility study for Gosport Borough Council, as part of the governments ‘Welcome Back Fund’ initiative, reimagining and activating city centres to assist with economic recovery. The government has already pre-selected areas across the UK to receive these grants, Gosport was one of these.
Our feasibility work has focused on ‘Re-seeing’ Gosport, reviewing the existing town and working at how it can be enhanced by understanding its fabric and creating connecting visual nodes and zones along the spine of the High Street, ferry terminal and shopping centre, with activate key spaces which can be used through a calendar of events. We have identified streets for events, walls for activation through street art, reviewed historically important buildings, all woven into a coherent ‘Welcome Back’ plan.
Our designs are tailored to the specific area, we celebrate the heritage of the town, promoting traditional crafts and restoring or enhancing the existing architecture with a focus on the ceramic history of the area (see our Ice Cream Parlour project for more information.)
By working on a strategic review of the town we have forensically lifted the many layers off the High Street, looking into the local community, the history and design heritage with a view to use such these commodities to enhance and reactivate. Each town has its own unique identity, based on history and heritage, often these elements get forgotten or overlooked over time, our work looks to uncover these to create powerful moments. By using the unique assets from the past, we can create a vibrant town centre that is interesting and engaging for the whole community.
One key area we are looking to reactivate is the waterfront area of the town, which we believe holds great potential. We want to make Gosport more visible from the water, and from the neighbouring city of Portsmouth, restoring the visual confidence of the town. One idea is to install contemporary Corten metal ‘frame’ structures along the waterfront, these create a framed the view for those on the shore, becoming a focal point for people to see and interact with.
Another key area is the ‘Pavilion: Sundial’ which creates a central event space adjacent to the waterfront, with a painted pavement to create a distinct zone, and installed with informal seating. The temporary structure takes design reference from the local church, in proportion and size but built from simple scaffolding and plastic corrugated sheet which can be illuminated from within, totally changing the look and feel of the structure to great effect.