Fisherman’s Dock, Poole goes to virtual public consultation
Plans are being put forward to regenerate Fisherman’s Dock, a key vantage point along Poole’s historic quay with unprecedented views looking out across the harbour, Brownsea Island and the Channel beyond. It is hoped that this will soon be taken advantage of by the proposed 228 Apartments and the 120-bed Hotel.
Working with our experienced and visionary client, MHA London, and to a tight project timeline, has meant that we have had to conduct the public consultation during the current pandemic. As with many individuals and businesses throughout the UK, we have had to adapt to these uncertain times and we are fortunate enough to be able to continue with the consultation virtually. With the creation of a consultation website and animated sketch video, a digital platform has been created on which people are able to comment and interact with their local development.
Not only is Fisherman’s Dock (The Thistle Hotel Site) one of the most sought-after quayside sites; it is strategically positioned along the Quay, marking the transition from the town centre to a more residential neighbourhood. A prominent gateway that helps people to navigate Poole and should offer a strong, permeable frontage to the Quay.
Our approach to the design of Fisherman’s Dock has been inspired by Poole’s rich history. The Quay is a fundamental part of the town’s character itself documenting years of change in its eclectic mix of architecture and uses. Materiality is key to Poole, and the Quayside illustrates the range of materials present, from the famous glazed tiles of The Poole Arms, to modern materials used on more recent developments. This variety of scale, heights and forms are a fundamental characteristic of the town and directly related to its industrial past.
The site was previously occupied by part of the East Quay Gasworks and offered a valuable mooring point for coal ships coming in and out of Poole. To the rear of the site sat three distinctive industrial buildings of significant scale, each with a very different form to its neighbour. These key buildings would have been visible from across the town and their forms directly influenced our concept for the redevelopment of the site:
• Three residential blocks recreate these historic forms, running north-south across the site, housing 228 apartments. Publicly accessible spaces weave between, recreating the permeable street frontage seen further to the west along The Quay and enabling direct pedestrian routes through the site to the waterfront;
• On the quayside, sit three commercial spaces, enlivening and extending the existing Quay frontage further east towards the RNLI Museum;
• At the eastern most corner of the site, a 120-bedroom hotel is proposed, complete with a rooftop restaurant and bar. This publicly accessible space will offer stunning views across the harbour towards Brownsea Island.
• Working with ‘Place Landscape Architects’ public routes have been designed to meander through the site, providing gateways through to the waterfront. Beneath these are 264 underground parking spaces as well as secure cycle spaces which will be provided for every residential unit.
To get to this stage, we have met regularly with the planning department and Historic England, to sculpt our proposals through various design iterations. The process began with educating ourselves with a thorough understanding of what makes Poole so unique and working carefully with Montagu Evans planning and heritage consultants to ensure our scheme has been developed in an appropriate and considered way. We have created a concept video, which explains how our inspiration and resulting scheme have evolved from the site’s industrial past, creating a proposal which maximises the potential of this key waterfront location.
Working alongside Newgate Communications, our design team have adapted to create an engaging consultation process. Together, we have launched a consultation website, presented to online forums, and will be engaging in one to one video conferences over the next month with local residents.
The consultation website can be viewed here from where you can find out more about our emerging proposals.
We believe that the emerging proposals offer a significant opportunity to celebrate Poole’s past with the Hotel overlooking the lifeboat museum and creating a book-end to the Quay. Above this, the destination restaurant and bar encourage visitors and locals alike to take in the outstanding views across Poole harbour.
Our clients, MHA, have placed emphasis on local and artistic engagement, and are exploring the potential for local artists to contribute to the scheme. Alongside consideration of including a gallery space within the commercial offering, MHA hope to host a competition encouraging artists to put forward their proposals for the renovation and enhancement of a pumping station on the site. This competition would seek to enhance its appearance, whilst maintaining its function.
This scheme is close to our hearts, as it has taught us that we can successfully adapt as a complete design team, whilst ensuring this exciting opportunity is brought forward.