Jersey Development Company (JDC) has announced its partnership with an award-winning landscape architecture practice to transform the southwest waterfront area of St Helier.
New parks and public places will be created alongside green and open spaces providing enhanced connectivity and more vibrancy, strengthening the sense of community for residents and visitors to St Helier.
Gillespies, a multi-award-winning organisation, which works with clients and partners to deliver transformative landscape design, urban design, masterplanning and landscape planning was selected following a comprehensive and competitive design competition launched by JDC in conjunction with the Design Council. Gillespies’ winning concept proposals includes the following:
- a new public park and new landscaped gardens at Les Jardins de la Mer including an underground public car park.
- a redesigned indoor public pool and gym and new outdoor public 50m saltwater pool.
- a National Art Gallery, seaside amphitheatre and boardwalk pier.
- 1000 plus residential units of accommodation with ground floor space for a gym, creche and food and beverage facilities.
The southwest waterfront area would also be linked to the rest of St Helier via a landscaped bridge over Route de la Libération.
JDC’s Managing Director, Lee Henry said: “This will be a real step change for St Helier’s important waterfront. Following last year’s adoption of the ‘Southwest St Helier Planning Framework’ as Supplementary Planning Guidance by the Environment Minister, we jointly launched a design competition in order to appoint a highly motivated and creative team to develop a landscape-led, Visionary Framework for some of the ‘Key Opportunity’ sites within the Southwest St Helier area.
“We’re delighted to have Gillespies as our design partner for the next chapter of work on St Helier’s waterfront. Gillespies’ proposals focus on landscaping and connectivity of this new area of St Helier which resonates with the feedback received from the 2019 public consultation. The selection panel was unanimous in its decision and JDC is excited to be advancing proposals and remains committed to delivering a Waterfront that will be landscape led, environmentally focused and available for all members of the community to enjoy”.
As a part of the design process, JDC will partner Gillespies to undertake an extensive programme of community engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure they are key partners in co- designing new areas of southwest St Helier for present and future communities. The engagement will serve to encourage two-way, meaningful community discussion as to the scheme’s suitability within the context of the visionary framework.
The Visionary Framework will establish the overarching narrative for the Key Opportunity sites known as 1, 2, 3 and 7 and set the design parameters for a high quality, landscape-led proposal for mixed use commercial and residential development. This design work will culminate in outline planning applications being submitted for these areas.
Placemaking and community focus will be at the heart of the Waterfront and fundamentally, JDC’s objective is to ensure a coherent, signature character across the area, creating an available and accessible landmark district for the town and Waterfront of which Islanders can be justifiably proud.
Quote from Stephen Richards, Partner of Gillespies: “Following a comprehensive selection process, the urban design and landscape team at Gillespies are thrilled to have been chosen to partner with JDC in the delivery of a bold vision for the future of St Helier’s Waterfront.
“Working collaboratively with JDC, and our experts HETA Architects, ICENI, Waterman Group and WSP, our landscape led proposals will sensitively transform the existing waterfront, into a mixed-use quarter set within a green framework of beautiful new squares, courtyards, roof terraces, green corridors and parklands. We are particularly looking forward to engaging with the communities of St Helier over the coming months, to help shape these exciting proposals”.
Quote from Simon Crowcroft, Constable of St Helier: “I am delighted to know that St Helier is going to benefit from the experience, skills and advice of a major firm of landscape architects. The Jersey Development Company has already shown its
commitment to including high quality public spaces in its developments, notably in the recently completed Trenton Square, and we now have the opportunity to see much more green space for people to enjoy in this part of St Helier. I am confident that this busy part of town will become not only more attractive as a result of this appointment but it will also help our visitors and local residents to move around the waterfront more easily”.
Quote from Sue Morgan, Director of Architecture and Built Environment, Design Council: “Design Council have been delighted to have been involved in the process for securing a Visionary Framework Partner for Jersey Development Company. We’re particularly impressed by the calibre and quality of bids that we saw, along with the creativity and imagination that all the entrants displayed.
“Each of the shortlisted practices demonstrated a clear understanding of this unique opportunity to connect the town centre to the Waterfront and we wholeheartedly commend their vision and approach. We now look forward to seeing how their concepts develop into the next stage of this exciting vision”.