Gillespies was commissioned to transform the centre of Telford by developing the public realm for the new Southwater One district, a vibrant and identifiable community, leisure and retail destination. Gillespies responded to the brief to create an extension of Telford’s existing town centre and create a distinctive, captivating new landscape that linked the town with the park beyond.
One of goals was to complement the existing retail-orientated indoor environment with a high quality outdoor mixed-use and leisure destination. This was to attract both locals and tourists all year round, provide a benchmark public realm for the area and to help transform the image of Telford. The overall development includes the landmark Southwater One, a new community hub and library facility, the cinema, hotel, multi-storey car park and a number of cafes and restaurants interlinked with a high quality pedestrian streets. An urban square has been created at the transition space between the urban centre and the new lake to provide a visually outstanding focus for the area and a major entry to and from the Town Park. Gillespies incorporated tracts of native plants to encourage wildlife. The distinctive urban beach area features striking marginal and aquatic planting, and offers extensive opportunities for informal use, including relaxed lakeside strolls, seating and play on the chess and boules facilities provided. The Post-industrial character of the town is reflected in materials such as clay brick and cor-ten steel whilst unique artefacts and art installations across the site contribute to the distinct character of the place and create a point of reference and orientation.
Client: Telford & Wrekin Council / Mace Group
Design Team: Gillespies, Curtins, Hoare Lea
Images copyright: Jason Gairn, Gillespies
Location: Southwater One, Telford, United Kingdom