In contemplation of the urban future of a Northern town.

Initially a cross section of the town for MMU Market Place Studios, part of a survey for the benefit of MMU research on Stockport town centre by David Chandler.

A series of design interventions; a re-imagined square at Adlington Walks, a traffic-free public space between Market Hall and St Mary’s Church, a temporary arts space in the Co-op Car Park, Carillon Square, a new civic space with bells, and so on...

2022 Aurora

A recently built huge and permanently empty car park represents an epic waste of land by a council in thrall of highways.

An excellent site for riverside housing around peaceful private gardens. Opportunity for public space at the River Mersey bridge, and for access down to the river bank.

2021 Confluence

3/4-storey over shops, mixed use on the site of a defunct Sainsbury store at the confluence of the Tame and Goyt Rivers. Park with 4-storey villas. Trees. Close Knightsbridge. Public space. Recognition this is the start of the River Mersey with access to river level.

2018 Carillon Square

Following a call for ideas to name a new square in Stockport fronting the Carbuncle Cup winning Redrock development.

"Carillion, a corruption of the word carillon (a peal of bells)" (Wikipedia). 

In memory of Stockport's former property and development partner, the square is embellished with a carillon of 5 bells recalling the 5 bells stolen in 1977 from Christ Church Heaton Norris, the other side of Heaton Park, now walled off from the town by Redrock.

2018 Merseyway: Et in Stopfordia Nos

One day, urban explorers may be hacking back the brambles in Stockport and discover the concrete relief Panels by Joyce Pallot and Henry Collins, commissioned in 1978 on a BHS store. Did folks really live here once?

One future of Merseyway may lie in the creation of an urban park; just as IBA Emscher Park is post-industrial, so Stockport could be post-retail. And re-connected over the M60 to the Heatons.

2017 Pedestrianise Millgate

Millgate in its current form is little more than an Asda and Peel Centre car park approach road, unpleasant and dangerous. It constrains the potential of the Market’s external space, whilst cutting off St Mary’s Parish Church from the town centre A situation reinforced by bollards, cctv, road markings and kerbs; the ‘language’ of highway engineering.

A New Millgate could be closed permanently to traffic, be safe and pleasant, with opportunities for market traders and adjacent retail space. Connectivity with St Mary’s Parish Church. Highway engineering replaced by people. Submitted 2017.

Postcript: from 2022 a temporary-looking island with bollards blocks the rat run!

2017 An Urban Ramble

A web-based and pdf situationist perambulation around the contemporary town linking its heritage sights, 2017.

This rewarding dérive reveals the B side of our heritage and culture, an antidote to the country walk, and one which for many folk is right on their doorstep. It explores the unique post-occupancy landscape of a Northern town where the rot has set in, viewing iconic heritage sights from the relative safety of the pavement.

Situationist in spirit, the work is published by Hikideas / Visorando, but has taken a couple of refusees, the walking website of tv celebrity Julia Bradbury deeming Stockport unsuitable for a family friendly walk. Cheshire Life did not reply.

Link: "Stockport, A Ramble"

2017 Kunsthaus Co-Op

There are few magical spaces in Stockport. The Co-op Car Park, with its concrete paneling designed by Alan Boyson, is one. However in its present form it is no more than a car park, unpleasant and dangerous to use through poor definition of pedestrian routes. Although a ‘landmark’, it is doubtful that Stockport Council understands civic works (having removed the clock from the adjacent clock tower), and the town centre in general and Merseyway in particular lacks diversity and culture.

This proposal is for a New Co-operative, closed permanently to traffic. Level 2 glazed and made internal or tempered with a new contemporary arts space with workshops: “Stockport Contemporary”. A roof-top garden terrace overlooking the town. A new civic focal point. Highway engineering replaced by people. Submitted 2017.

2017 Torri Scandalosi

A slightly tongue-in-cheek proposition from 2017, that if Stockport wishes to become a progressive centre, then following a historical precedent such as 15th century Florence it should create a ring of towers, in this case residential rather than military.

The project envisages pencil thin towers, see Hong Kong Pixel Homes This terrace-on-end form reviews historical and contemporary conditions whilst investigating the imminent typology of housing in the town. Provisional sites sit alongside Stockport's urban ring road. Together with this "wall" of tarmac, steel and particulates encircling the town, they form a contemporary visual if not functional version of the medieval defensive curtain, but here celebrating rather than denying access.

Not submitted beyond immediate contacts - I daren't, they might.

2016 Adlington Market

Chestergate turned into a piazza extension of Adlington Walk with a street market. The space is sunny and links to High Bankside and the Air Raid Shelters Museum.