William Eichler 24 June 2019

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

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

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.

Partnership in SEND provision image

Partnership in SEND provision

Partnerships are one way of nurturing collaboration and developing high-performing systems within a person-centred context, argues Professor Sandy Toogood.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker – Safeguarding Team - Selby

North Yorkshire County Council
£32,910 - £35,745 per annum
We are looking for experienced Social Workers to join our highly regarded and consistently high performing children’s social care team. Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Business Change Analyst Level 1

North Yorkshire County Council
£30,451 to £32,910
We are looking for a Business Change Analyst to join our Change team to undertake business analysis and requirements definition activities to... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Early Years Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum
You must hold a  level 3 Childcare Qualification or above and should be able to... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Construction and Partnerships Advisor

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£32,301 - £35,949 per annum
To be successful in this role you will demonstrate excellent communication skills, including building and maintaining relationships across... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Social Worker – Safeguarding Team

North Yorkshire County Council
£30,451 - £35,745 per annum pro rata 
As Safeguarding Social Worker you will support children and their families to ensure that their needs are met in a safe and timely manner. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue