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Coventry City Centre Masterplan
Warwickshire Development in the Midlands, England, UK – design by Jerde Partnership architects
20 Mar 2009
Coventry Masterplan News
JERDE-DESIGNED MASTER PLAN FOR COVENTRY CITY CENTRE SUBMITTED FOR FORMAL ENDORSEMENT
Design: Jerde Partnership, architects
Plan results from year-long collaboration with the Coventry City Council and citizens
The Jerde Partnership announced that it has completed a master plan that will guide the next 15-20 years of development intended to transform the Coventry city center in the United Kingdom. The master plan, which was unveiled in Coventry on February 27 and submitted for endorsement today, resulted from a year-long collaboration between Jerde, Coventry City Council, three private sector partners, and the community. The master plan vision is valued at more than 1 billion pounds.
Community input has been a critical component in helping to shape the master plan since Jerde was commissioned by the Coventry City Council to create a new heart for the city. From the earliest design meetings, the people of Coventry articulated that they would like to see the city center become a new walkable environment with green spaces, yet remain sensitive to the city’s history. After the first draft of the Jerde master plan was presented in September 2008, more than 3,000 people visited the city center over a six-week period to view the plans and discuss the design details with the designers, development leaders, and city officials.
“I have been overwhelmed and delighted by how passionately people feel about the plans for the city centre,” said Ken Taylor, leader of the Coventry City Council. “This is the biggest regeneration project in Coventry for more than 50 years and it will only be successful if we work with local people and our private sector partners.”
The master plan was envisioned to re-establish Coventry as a dynamic, world-class city. From its medieval urban roots to its role in the industrial revolution, Coventry has a long history as a vibrant civic and commercial center. Working within the city’s historic framework, the master plan reactivates important areas, such as the Sherbourne River Walk, Cathedal Lanes, Broadgae, Hertford Street, and Corporation Street; features new park space and rooftop gardens; and proposed sustainable new development that will contribute to the city’s social, cultural and economic success. The full mix of uses provides amenities for the people of Coventry that will draw people back to the city center as a place to live, work, shop and enjoy.
The final master plan unveiled last week incorporates several key changes based on community feedback that resulted in a more intimate scale. Large green rooftops were divided into smaller parcels to create urban parks and gardens that are more accessible. The Coventry Arena, a space for performances, street theatre and other events, was made more compact to achieve a better balance between the public and commercial spaces. Residential apartments were reduced in height and spread more evenly through the city center while preserving views of the city’s three historic spires. The overall amount of office space was reduced, and some of the remaining office space was reconceived as live-work loft style units to suit the creative nature of the work space. Some of the larger development parcels were broken down into smaller pieces so they can be built in a more and phased way, which will make it easier for them to fluidly adapt to future changes and market demands placed on the city center.
“We have been fortunate to have had a very meaningful dialogue with the citizens of Coventry from the first days of this project. As a direct result of the community input, we were able to come up with a master plan that really fits the historic scale of the city, yet creates a bold vision for its future,” said Stuart Berriman, Jerde partner and design principal. “I am honored to have been part of this master planning process. As it is realized, it will restore Coventry to the city it is meant to be, and, more importantly, give the proud people of Coventry the city center they want and deserve.”
Upon final approval of the master plan, the Council and Jerde will look to develop detailed plans for a phased approach that will allow existing retailers to stay open for business during construction. The plan will also be continuously evaluated to optimally connect it to other regeneration and development plans occurring at Belgrade Plaza, Severn Trent, Friargate, the rail station, and Coventry University, thereby ensuring each piece comes together to create a fully integrated and vibrant city center. A special panel will be established to guarantee community involvement throughout the process. “Agreeing on a master plan is a massive step forward for the city,” added Councillor Taylor. “It sets the standard and binds all partners into working together to create one coherent city centre that works for its people and its businesses. We know how special our city and its people are; now is our chance to show the world what we’re capable of.”
Coventry City Centre Masterplan information from The Jerde Partnership
Location: Coventry, Warwickshire, UK
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About The Jerde Partnership
The Jerde Partnership is a visionary architecture, planning and design firm that creates unique places that deliver memorable experiences and attract 800 million people annually. Founded by Jon Jerde in 1977, the firm has pioneered “placemaking” and designed projects throughout the world that provide lasting social, cultural and economic value and promote further investment and revitalization.
Coventry theatre building
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Coventry University building – architecture competition winner
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Other examples of Coventry Architecture welcome
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Comments / photos for the Coventry City Centre Masterplan Architecture page welcome
Website: Coventry, England