William Eichler 24 June 2019

Pedestrian Environment Runner-up: Keel Square, Sunderland City Council

History does not have to remain stuck in the past, as Sunderland’s Keel Square, a celebration of the city’s maritime and industrial heritage, demonstrates.

When Sunderland developed out of three medieval settlements during the Industrial Revolution, the city centre was laid out in a grid around the historic high street. A square was never incorporated into the centre’s design.

Sunderland City Council, however, decided it was time the city had its first major civic space and Keel Square, was the result.

The new space has been designed to complement the adjacent Grade II listed Magistrates Court and provides what the council describes as a ‘smooth pedestrian transition’ between the Vaux site and the retail centre.

As a celebration of the city’s maritime heritage, the square has running through it a 292m line which represents the Naess Crusader, the longest ship ever built on the Wear.

The Keel Line has the names of the 8,102 ships built in Sunderland’s shipyards since 1786. They were etched onto the flag stones by the artist Bryan Talbot, author of the graphic novel Alive in Sunderland.

At one end of the Line, there is a sculpture of a giant propeller made of glass and bronze - called ‘Propellers of the City’ – which bears the faces of over 300 shipyard workers.

The lighting columns and bins in the square, which are accompanied by a fountain with in-ground ‘dancing’ jets, stick with the shipping theme. The former are clad in timber with bronze bases and the latter are reminiscent of a dorade box found on a ship’s deck.

The scheme has proven to be a catalyst for the development of key sites in the city centre. The first phase of the Vaux site, the major employment site in the centre, is nearing completion.

A hotel, travel shop and police station are also looking to move to the centre.

Submitted by: Kevin Johnson, principal landscape architect, Sunderland City Council

Design and contract administrators: Sunderland City Council Landscape Design Services and Highways Engineers
Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Public art consultant: Broadbent Studios
Lighting consultants: Balfour Beatty Living Places

You can visit the Street Design Awards website for further details about the competition.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior QS / Framework Manager

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£48,474 - £51,515 (Pay award pending)
We are seeking an enthusiastic Principal Quantity Surveyor / Framework Manager to work under the direction of the Building Design Team Manager. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Development Control Manager

Wirral Borough Council
£50,512 - £53,204 plus benefits.
A permanent opportunity has arisen within the Highways Development Control Team. Wirral, Merseyside
Recuriter: Wirral Borough Council

Chief Operating Officer

Cornwall Council
Up to £165k + relocation
Candidates must bring an impressive track record of achieving lasting change. Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Council

Enabling Support Worker x 3 posts

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,294 - £25,979 pro rata (pay award pending)
Do you want to help people to gain more control over their lives? Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Care Support Assistant (Obelisk House)

West Northamptonshire Council
£13.19ph
Obelisk House provides exceptional levels of support in residential and Dementia care. It is situated in a residential suburb in Northampton and it offers a wonderful living environment in which our residents can enjoy an enhanced quality of life. We ha Northampton
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.