Client: Kirklees Council
Location: Huddersfield Town Centre, West Yorkshire
Project Type: Competitions
This compelling brief sought designs for vertical planters along the main pedestrian thoroughfare in Huddersfield town centre. Three bold greening elements where proposed in lieu of tree planting with the work intending to tie in with Kirklees wider ambition for ‘Green Streets’. Strongly constrained by below ground infastructure, a small footprint (no more than 1.2m) and a maximum height of 2m, the response was expected to have a level of artistic integrity and sculptural quality as well as a feeling of lightness/airiness with a sense of ‘growing from out of the ground’.
Working with renowed fabricators Peal Green and Engineers DP2 XQLA shaped a response which reflects the 4 main concept themes of Threads through the landscape, Threads of waterways, Threads of commerce/industry ‘Made in Huddersfield’ and (finally) the hidden Threads of technology.
Part of the process included 3D modelling of the urban fabric and potential forms enabled a deeper understanding of scale, light and placement to be considered. This resulted in the definition of design parameters for the form to ensure that light levels were not compromised within the street and growing surface areas maximised. Further development of the form was then undertaken to envoke a sense of windswept trees for the forms which are characteristic of the Pennine hill tops. The wrapping of the form in curved, delicately perforated panel work would also increase the opaqueness of the form and provide support for growing plants as well as cast shade patterns on the street. Further embellishment with metalwork integrated in to the surrounding paving was envisioned to provide the sense of growing from the ground.