CJ Lim shortlisted for seafront redevelopment
2 February 2009
Professor CJ Lim (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture) has been shortlisted for the Redcar Seafront Development International Competition to redesign a seafront promenade in the north-east of England.
The Environment Agency, the leading public body for the protection of the environment, is planning to install a new sea wall in Redcar over a two-year period, starting in 2010. To accompany the coastal defence scheme, the Environment Agency, in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), called for design proposals for the improvement of public sites on the seafront.
Professor Lim's idea is to develop a relaxing 'public living groundwork' that will complement the active elements of the sea in all seasons. In the summer, the groundwork would highlight the beach and other natural features, while in winter, it would become the main attraction, offering a range of activities beside the sea. The development will be sustained by renewable energy, generated by the use of evacuated solar heat tubes.
The living groundwork will be built through a 'kit-of-parts' system. Each element from the kit will be added and adapted over time, depending on user demand and funding. The 'kit-of-parts' also allows for flexibility, making the seafront a destination for visitors all year round. Steam baths and pools will be drained once a month for cleaning, presenting an opportunity to turn them into dancing venues. Another innovation of the proposal is the concept of musical gardens: landscaped flora will hover over the promenade and invite visitors to enjoy classical and pop music beneath the feature.
In addition, the proposal makes use of '2D treatments'; bold graphics to demarcate boat storage areas and street parking. Ultra-violet paint will be used to emphasise floor patterns thus enhancing the long footpath which leads towards the city centre. The buildings along the promenade will also benefit from a maintenance programme, which includes painting and renovation every five years.
At the core of the living groundwork is the synergy between environment and urban space, improving and sustaining the resources of the area while retaining sensitivity to the needs of the community.
The winners of the competition will be announced in early February and will be appointed by the Environment Agency.
To find out more about the story, follow the links at the top of the page.
Top: the promenade, with dancing pools and flower clusters
Bottom: boat storage and street parking graphics demarcation amongst outdoor steam baths