LEX WALSALL, UK, 2008
Project:LEX WALSALL, UK, 2008
Status:COMPETITION FINALIST, SPECIAL MENTION (132 ENTRIES) ; EXHIBITED AT CUBE: CENTRE FOR THE URBAN BUILT ENVIRONMENT, MANCHESTER
Client:URBAN SPLASH UK AND WALSALL CITY COUNCIL
Budget:30 MILLION GBP
Site:WALSALL, UK ; SITE AREA/ GROSS FLOOR AREA: 9144 m2 / 15500 m2
Program:MIXED USE MASTERPLAN: SHOP HOUSES, BUSINESS HOTEL, DESIGN MUSEUM & PERFORMING ARTS THEATRE
Partners in charge:-
Team:TYPE0 COLLABORATIVE, LONDON
THE WALSALL REGENERATION
Lex Walsall Waterfront Regeneration project is part of a government directed program to rejuvenate the region – to transform the post industrial town of Walsall into a global city.
Our proposal negotiates this overwhelming ambition and the promise of an accelerated transformation with the persistence of the local context and the adaptation of a township.
MASTERPLAN AS STRATEGY
Our strategic layering of the monolith over the shop-houses creates a difference in scale, forming a flexible masterplan and that is both conducive for inward investment and contributes to the growth of the local community.
The preference of a masterplan over a single iconic megastructure allows the project to be phased and formalised gradually in conjunction with the growth of Walsall instead of reducing this regeneration project to a single make or break event.
THE SATURATED GROUND
The ground plane is enriched by saturating the site with a multitude of differentiated pockets spaces framed by modestly sized shop-houses. The two storey shop-houses constitute the DNA of the proposal by simultaneously framing open spaces, blurring the edges of the larger monoliths and dictating their vertical circulation and access.
With the ground as urban grain this proposal creates a subtly layered buffer zone which progressively phases out the hectic atmosphere of the road whilst attracting visitors into a bustling succession of differentiated open spaces.
The concepts of fragmentation, flexibility but most of all urban village have dictated our design so that ultimately the ground plan attempts to encourage a vibrant mix between the township/ community and temporary visitors to Walsall.
The LEX site presents the potential to establish the flagship and window of “local” regeneration.
Observations made by the jury:
The panel thought this to be an excellent presentation that gave everyone a very good understanding of the scheme and the thinking behind it. The suggestion of making the whole scheme porous was well received in that it connected the entire development to the waterfront. The panel thought that the proposals were quite unique and extremely interesting. ( . . . )
Although this was a young team the panel commended the thoroughness and professionalism of the presentation. Structurally the scheme had been thought through carefully and the panel was confident this scheme was deliverable. In the final discussions this scheme was considered to be a close contender. ( . . . )
It was also agreed that it be noted that Type 0 be commended as a strong contender and should deserve a Special Mention