The development aims to bring jobs, nurture creative enterprise and attract visitors to Watchet in a flagship £6m cultural enterprise scheme working with architect Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio. The project will bring 40 jobs and 5 apprenticeships and is estimated to bring an increased tourism spend to the area of around £6.7m. The proposals for the 1,094m² scheme include art studios, a gallery, shared workspaces, maker spaces, a print workshop and a café. Overlooking Watchet’s marina, the project is part of a wider regeneration strategy being put into motion by local community interest company Onion Collective.
Well-considered, hihigh-qualityublic realm design has been proposed by LT Studio Landscape Architects. The landscape shall distinguish itself from a conventional mixed use development and will celebrate the maritime heritage setting with industrial roots and uninterrupted views of the coastline. The vision for East Quay is to create a place of civic pride for the whole community. Public space and visitor interaction are key themes, multiple entry points shall encourage people to wander through the site, linger in courtyards, watch makers at work and enjoy the views of the surrounding town, marina and landscape. The flexible external spaces will create a backdrop and a focal point for year-round activities including live music and theatre performances, communal gathering and social space, places to make and places to rest, a restaurant and an art gallery.
The materiality of the scheme will reflect the character of the harbourside environment, drawing on a contextural approach to colour, shape and material source. Existing materials shall be reclaimed and reused notably in the paved areas of public realm between the containers. A rich surface patina of textured ground form shall be created with tree planting to soften the material landscape. Moveable timber seating is proposed along the water’s edge.
“This is a fantastic community scheme for Watchet which will celebrate the strong marine heritage of the town, regenerating the quayside and complementing the rich natural resource of the local area. This style of development sets the bar on what can be delivered with a strong community spirit. Future proofing the development is at the top of our agenda; the landscape design will be robust to cope with the saline environment, with long term management strategies incorporated into the design from the outset.”
Marc Dix, Director, LT Studio Landscape Architects
Images | Courtesy of LT Studio Landscape Architects