Students transform disused urban space

Architecture students and staff get ready for the #IHeartPompey launch.

Architecture students and staff get ready for the #IHeartPompey launch.

University of Portsmouth students have brought a disused urban space back to life in a community partnership involving local youngsters and the city council.

The #IHeartPompey project, led by the University’s School of Architecture, saw the Odd Triangle – a neglected area at the end of Guildhall Walk – transformed with the construction of an intricate timber pavilion.

Based on a winning competition design by Master of Architecture students Richard Williams and Joshua Brooks, the structure was assembled by students in the week leading up to its launch this afternoon – coinciding with the start of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural IndustriesGraduate Show 2016.

Youngsters from the Brook Club, in Somerstown, have been involved in the project since last year, taking part in regular workshops with School of Architecture staff to help design the timber structure and make tiles and other clay decorations.

Senior lecturer and architect Guido Robazza said: “This is all about creating a playful and inclusive space where people can socialise and interact. There is abundance of under-used spaces in our cities, and Portsmouth is no exception.

“Encouraging local people to take ownership of these spaces, decide on their use and take action on shaping their own city can really contribute to making public areas like this different and better places.

“Working with the Brook Club and the city council has been a mutually rewarding process. Hopefully the Odd Triangle will now become a place with a personality of its own and have a positive impact on the life of students and the local community.”

Above and below - working with the Brook Club.

Working with the Brook Club at Clay Station.

The project was developed in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, allowing the University to use the Odd Triangle and providing £1,500 in match-funding. They also helped to pick the winning design.

Councillor Steve Wemyss, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’m really pleased that Portsmouth City Council is working with the University to bring this innovative project to fruition. The completed piece looks fantastic in situ and really breathes life into this piece of empty land.”

I Heart Pompey clay workshop 2 - WEB

Brook Club youngsters create clay tiles.

The project was developed in collaboration with the University’s School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies and School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, with additional support and materials from Clay Station ceramics studio, Totton Timber and Jonathan West of the Whitelands Project.

The pavilion will stay in place for six months.


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