To ease us back into the new term, the first three days after our Christmas break were spent working in a team with architects to produce a masterplan for the new North End Urban Village in the north of Leeds.
North End is an island cut off from the rest of the city by fast roads and ravine like motorway cuttings. The area is mostly light industrial but hidden between prefabricated warehouses are architectural gems that have potential.
Between September and Christmas we worked on a live project in Calverton, Nottinghamshire. Our eight person group worked all the way from initial consultations and site visits to resolved technical detail for a proposed new cemetery in the village.
In the United Kingdom we live in a risk adverse society, especially when it comes to children in our cities. This is worrying as 60% of urban dwellers in 2030 will be under the age of 18 and our young people are the future, so what are we doing to create child friendly cities?
On a recent trip with university I visited three cities in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, Malmo and Helsinki. Paying particular attention to how schemes were designed with children in mind, I have written up my thoughts on a few projects that I visited.
For two nights, every year Leeds is taken over… this year by illuminated knights, stern-faced drummers and a whole host of light-based artwork. Light Night is a big part of Leeds’ cultural calendar, a celebration of arts and an opportunity to shine the light on some lesser appreciated parts of the city.
For the past three years, I have visited and every year I am amazed at how the city is transformed into a sprawling arts venue, entirely free. This year was my favourite so far.
The Yorkshire and Humber branch of the Landscape Institute organised a walk around Leeds and its recent and upcoming public realm improvements. We were guided by Andrew Price of Re-form landscape architects.
Cirencester is a Gloucestershire town within the Cotswolds AONB. It has a wealth of history particularly during Roman Britain when the town was second only to London. In the present day, it is the self-proclaimed heart of the Cotswolds.
At the heart of Cirencester is the market place which has been home to a market since the 11thcentury. It is under the shadow of the towering Parish Church and enclosed on two sides creating a linear space. The market place became congested because of the growth in vehicle traffic in post war Britain, in 1975 a new ring road was constructed to alleviate some of this town centre thoroughfare however the market place remained congested, unwelcoming and an unattractive.
On a trip to Scarborough I escaped the crowded beaches and walked, beyond the pyramids of the aquarium and over the headland to the bottom end of the North York Moors. A secluded beach, free from seagulls and holiday makers, to explore in peace.
I was first introduced to the York Gate Garden in first year with a field trip on a chilly October morning. I was keen to return with a course mate in slightly warmer conditions.
York Gate is in Adel in North Leeds and is easily accessible by bus. The garden was created between 1951 and 1994 by the Spencer family and is now open to the public. It is divided into rooms by yew and beech hedges, each small garden has its own theme and style. After Sybil Spencer’s death in 1994, the garden was gifted to Perennial, a charity who help horticulturalists in need. The garden is very well regarded and was listed as the 7thbest garden to visit in the UK by The Times in 2017.