BARR GAZETAS APPOINTED TO REGENERATE CHRISTCHURCH TOWN CENTRE
POTENTIAL HIGH STREET AT MAYOR’S PARLOUR
Architects and designers Barr Gazetas have been appointed by Christchurch Borough Council to masterplan possible enhancements to Christchurch Town Centre in Dorset. Alan Baxter Associates was the other master planner in the running. Barr Gazetas’ expertise in sensitively reviving historic towns directly contributed to their appointment on Christchurch, a town which dates back to 650AD. Barr Gazetas’ recent planning approval for Greenwich Town Centre was an influencing factor in the Council’s decision, and the same Greenwich team are re-planning Christchurch Town Centre.
The integrity of the historic town centre has been diluted by insensitive modern additions and alterations. Barr Gazetas has been appointed to lead an exciting regeneration and renaissance. The brief encourages wide ranging and innovative thinking to significantly enhance tourists’ and residents’ visitor experience.
POTENTIAL AERIAL VIEW OF HIGH STREET
The proposals will be presented to the public today, Monday 6th October, within the historic Monday open air market. Barr Gazetas’ scheme defines a ‘Heritage Triangle’ of Priory, Castle and Constable’s House to create a new public realm. Ancient town walls buried under 1960’s car parks may be excavated and celebrated in the correct context. Annual archaeological investigations and their findings may be used to re-engage residents and visitors with Christchurch’s fascinating history.
The public exhibition contains many ideas to make the high street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, whilst allowing bus and car access for those who need it. The key to the exhibition is to maximise community involvement, and the ideas presented are intended to stimulate a wide range of comments from local residents.
Cllr Ray Nottage, Leader of Christchurch Borough Council, commented,
‘’There is a very rich heritage context in the Town Centre. Barr Gazetas have immersed themselves in this history and are creating a masterplan which recognises the past whilst planning for the future. I’m delighted that we are now able to obtain community feedback on our proposals to enhance and improve the town centre.”
Alistair Barr said,
“Considerable skill and experience is needed to successfully transform a busy historic town centre that has been damaged in this way. The architects need to keep the best of its functionality, learn lessons from the past and from the community today, and then bring to life a revitalised town centre that is elegantly connected its history yet appropriately modern and capable of developing with the times.”
REPAVED AND REVITALISED CHURCH STREET, ADJACENT TO THE HIGH STREET
Images by Sketch Studio