Award winning international landscape architectural practice, Gross Max, has been appointed to deliver the public realm of Coventry’s new Friargate development.
Proposals for the 37 acre (15 hectare) site feature a total of 25 new buildings, including 14 Grade A office buildings, two hotels and new residential. Gross Max will be responsible for the design of all public spaces, streets, squares and parks within Friargate.
Sitting adjacent to Coventry Train Station – less than one hour from Central London – Friargate is a leading office-led regeneration project totalling 300,000 m2 (3,200,000 sq. ft) of mixed-use development. The project will be delivered by developer Friargate Coventry LLP in partnership with Coventry City Council.
Friargate Coventry LLP appointed Gross Max following a competitive selection process, in which they presented their initial ideas for the scheme’s public realm.
Stephen Reynolds, Friargate Coventry LLP, said: “Gross Max share our vision for place-making with an excellent track record in creating sustainable environments that have a traditional feel and contemporary style.
“Friargate is about far more than creating new office buildings; the master plan will establish new walking routes and public spaces to encourage pedestrian movement from the train station to the city centre. The new public realm will define the master plan and establish Friargate as the new gateway to the city centre”
Gross Max is renowned for its high-profile, international projects, with a portfolio that includes the Shi Ling Park, Chengdu, China and the transformation of the 380 ha former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin into a contemporary public park.
Closer to home, the practice has successfully completed work on the public realm around the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Botanical Gardens in London, the Turner Contemporary in Margate and Glasgow’s Museum of Transport.
Eelco Hooftman, Director, Gross Max, said: “Our specialism really lies with larger strategic projects, so Friargate is a very natural fit for us. Just as with other large European city projects, the big developments take place in and around key transport hubs, especially railway stations. With Coventry’s location midway between Manchester and London, the railway is Coventry’s lifeline, further emphasising the importance of this development to the future of the city.
“This project offers us the opportunity to create new links between the station and city centre, tying these spaces back together. It is important for us to be an integrated part of the masterplan team, along with the architects, engineers and our client, working collaboratively towards a common purpose in terms of the design and feel of the spaces, ensuring that there is one seamless development, rather than a series of disjointed spaces.”
Work on the strategic regeneration project – which will be delivered in phases over the next 15 years – is expected to commence in late 2013.
Friargate Coventry LLP will be attending MIPIM 2013 as part of the Coventry MIPIM partnership, which will highlight the city to an international audience of more than 30,000 developers and investors. This is also the 20th consecutive year that Coventry has attended the international property event.
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