The My Castle Gateway Open Brief has been read and fully digested by BDP, the designers working on changing the Castle Car Park into York’s new public space. In their first piece of work they are drawing on the Open Brief, to do a further layer of analysis and to identify challenges and opportunities. My Castle Gateway will now use this analysis to develop a series of public engagements – via social media, this website and online events – to explore these challenges and possibilities.
The aim of this phase of the engagement is to start to look in more detail at how to bring the Open Brief to life on the ground. All of the conversations will then inform concept design.
These strands of discussion will help us:
• Develop language: Using creative discussion to generate ideas and vocabulary to use in ongoing engagement.
• Deepen conversations: Drawing on expertise and creativity of all kinds, including local knowledge and enthusiasm.
• Widen out and involve more people: Asking focused questions on social media and via different networks.
The three strands are:
New Public Spaces: Reflection, Remembering and Coming Together
Event: 29th March, 7-8pm. Book here.
The Open Brief set out that we want the new public spaces in the Castle and Eye of York to be reflective and playful, enable big events and moments of peace, do justice to the atrocities of the past and create a joyful present and be a place to spend time without spending money and a place for paid for theatre and music events.
As the designers start work on turning the My Castle Gateway Open Brief into design ideas, we use their initial analysis of the brief to open up a conversation which explores the challenges in the brief more concretely.
We have key questions we’ll be exploring:
• The central question of how might the space be designed for large events and enable community events and everyday use?
• Alongside the more technical requirements spelled out in the brief, how can we design the space to ensure we get events that are big and small, and paid for and free?
• How can the 1190 massacre of York’s Jewish community be remembered? How can the need for reflective space and playful, joyous and noisy space be designed for?
• How has the green roundabout area changed over time and what possibilities might this open up for the future?
• How do we manage necessary access of cars, vans and lorries?
• What are our expectations around quality of materials; how might they influence what we can and can’t afford or whether we can experiment?
• How might we connect the new public spaces to the surrounding streets, spaces, and the city beyond in ways which link movement and meaning?
Bringing the Foss Closer
Event: 30th March, 7-8pm. Book here.
The Open Brief said we want the Foss to be a bigger part of our lives. We want to be able to see it, walk and sit nearer to it and even get our feet wet.
Initial analysis by the designers has identified the very real challenges in bringing the Foss closer – these are physical, technical, financial. Before they start design work on this part of Castle Gateway, we want to open up a conversation which explores a full range of creative possibilities, and suggests a range of starting points for design.
So, we’ll be asking:
• How can we get our feet wet – get on the Foss or even swim – given the challenges presented by the current riverside being former prison wall?
• How might we make the Foss more visible, and what role might trees and landscaping play?
• How can we design routes and space to walk and sit closer to the Foss?
• Are there ways of creating access to the river which might help with managing flood risk?
Trees, Ecosystems and Us
Event: 31st March, 5-6pm. Book here.
We want a bit of wildness to the new Castle and Eye of York public spaces. The Open Brief set out that we want to watch birds gather, spot signs of otters, smell wild flowers, hear the sound of the wind in the trees. Alongside all that, we also need a hardwearing space that is easy to maintain and works all year round.
As the designers start work on turning the My Castle Gateway Open Brief into design ideas and have done further research and analysis on the existing trees and landscaping, we open up a conversation to explore the challenges more concretely.
• How can we work with nature to create a vibrant ecosystem?
• How can the Castle and Eye of York be wild and urban?
• Specifically, what do we want trees to do here? How do we use trees in design to help us with framing views, enclosing space and making Castle Gateway easier to navigate?
Drawing out the connections: Public spaces, the Foss, Ecosystems
1st April, 5-6pm. Book here.
Over the previous three days we’ll have explored different elements of the new public spaces in detail. Join us to pull together thinking from the past few days, to think through the connections between the different areas and issues and to highlight key opportunities for the designers.
You can contribute in many different ways:
• Twitter, facebook, Instagram – we’ll be posing questions and kicking off discussion.
• Via commenting below
• Via email
• Join us for an event