CASE STUDY // Playing // Working
Ards and North Down Borough Council
Contractor / Lead Consultant
Northstone NI Ltd. | McAdam Design
We were appointed to an Integrated Consultant Team (ICT) on the second phase of extensive public realm improvements within the town.
The design proposals had five main objectives:
- to accentuate and enhance the area as a gateway to the town centre
- to create an attractive civic space for passive recreation and public events
- to introduce an appropriate boundary to the A2 bypass that provides visual and acoustic screening
- to relocate the existing war memorial sculpture into a commanding position within the newly created space
- to retain the bus turning circle, maintain access to local businesses and public car parks, and allow for potential vehicular and pedestrian access to the development site immediately to the north
The scheme proposed extending the treatment of the completed Phase 1 public realm scheme, with granite kerbs and porphyry paving along the streets and across the entire pedestrian surfaces of the square.
To slow approaching traffic, and improve pedestrian security and movement, carriageway crossing points were raised to footway level.
The war memorial was moved approximately six metres to become the focal point of the new design. A new natural stone stepped plinth and the four existing lights on wrought-iron columns were replaced with more subtle uplighting.
A layby was proposed to accommodate waiting taxis and new bespoke sculptural seating with feature lighting is included to enhance the amenity value of the new civic space.
Probably the most critical element in the proposed scheme is the interface with the A2 bypass. The chosen solution was a timber acoustic barrier within an “instant” yew hedge. On the inside of the barrier is a low raised planting bed with semi-mature trees, colourful seasonal shrub and herbaceous planting and columns for hanging baskets.
To emphasise the gateway effect, distinctive sculptural signs were installed, incorporating the new corporate identity for the town. These are supplemented by colourful planting and discreet lighting.
This was a particularly complex and demanding project with many technical issues to resolve as well as a wide range of public and stakeholder concerns to accommodate. The result provides a distinct identity for the environment, answers the practical concerns regarding traffic flow and trader access, and delivers a sensitive solution to the siting of the war memorial.