The Saumarez Park Japanese Pavilion has been undergoing construction this summer to restore the historic structure to its original beauty, only this time with an inclusive reinvention.
The Pavilion has served as a popular duck-watching location for islanders young and old for many years, but its well-loved foundation required serious repairs. While its idyllic spot perched over the pond was a simple matter of restoration, its 1930s design did not feature disabled access provision. Wanting the new structure to be enjoyed by all members of the community, restoration plans incorporated a new bridge, handrails and evenly levelled groundworks.
Project manager Nigel Dorey, who also oversaw the building’s refurbishment in 1989, is pleased at how the work has progressed.
Nigel said: “Throughout the construction we have endeavoured to keep the new Pavilion as closely aligned to the original as possible to honour and preserve its Japanese heritage and the local history of the park. But we felt it was important to digress from its historical architecture in this small but meaningful way so that it can be enjoyed by all. It’s been very exciting to see the Pavilion brought back to life again.”
“We are looking forward to the official unveiling later this month when the structure will be opened by the Bailiff with access then available for the community to enjoy.”
Karen Blanchford, founder of Access for All said: “We’re so pleased to see that the bridge has been added and made this popular community attraction more accessible. Ensuring as many members of the community as possible can access attractions, parks and all areas of island life is crucial to inclusion. We look forward to its unveiling.”
Thanks to their project’s sponsors Butterfield, Resolution IT, the John Ramplin Charity Trust and the Castel Constables, the Pavilion will remain a beloved feature of Saumarez Park for years to come. The site that is so dear to the hearts of Guernsey’s inhabitants promises to return as an even better spectacle, now that everyone will be able to overlook the pond from its brand-new railings.