Worcester is a town of roughly 100,000 people to the north of Gloucester. Much like Gloucester, it has a long history and a present which is seeing some significant changes.
We went up there to check out two local features – Gheluvelt Park and The Hive.
Gheluvelt Park is a memorial park built in honour of those lost during the First World War and has recently won a £1.4 Million Lottery grant to improve the facilities, including a new war memorial, playground and water play feature.
The second part of the trip was a presentation and viewing of The Hive – a combined University of Worcester and City Library facility, designed by Stirling Prize winning architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects (FCBS).
The extremely vibrant and dazzling exterior is contrasted inside with a more subtle and plain design which I feel is appropriate for the library use. The shape of the building was the result of a pure approach to the building’s heating and cooling, with the turrets chimneys enabling an efficient passive cooling system to operate. Although there is a reference in the name ‘The Hive’ there apparently wasn’t a connection to a bee hive, which is a bit of a shame : )
This building is already on the 50-strong long-list for this years Stirling Prize and it’ll be interesting to see where it finishes, if it makes the short-list.
Some significant progress made with two of the city centre’s major developments. The scaffolding and tarpaulin coverings have come down around the language immersion centre and Merchant’s Quay apartments.
Obviously both are a work in progress but much of the work has been done now. Also some retro-fitting of the shared space around Kimbrose Triangle has taken place, with narrowing of the highway around the main crossing area between town and the Docks. This is to make it easier for people to cross over as cars had been basically not stopping for people, meaning a long wait to get over.
Another regeneration scheme in Gloucester. The £5 Million Language Immersion Centre, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and provided by Gloucestershire County Council.
The image on the left of the row was the previous building, used as a mechanics and the next one is a visual of the final scheme.
The centre is intended to immerse the student within an environment suited to the language they are learning. So, if it’s Mandarin, there would be a Chinese theme throughout the centre and no views to the outside world! This apparently speeds up the process.
There is an open-air courtyard area with windows onto this, to maximise natural light into the buildings and to provide a feeling of space. The centre is adjacent to, and forms part of the perimeter, of Blackfriars Priory, which contains one of the first libraries in Europe.