Archive for May, 2015

Burnley Peer Plaques

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

Peer Plaques is the outcome of a two year residency in which we researched the present and future effects of regeneration within the Housing Market Renewal (HMR) intervention areas of Burnley, East Lancashire.

The project reflects local residents’ experiences of HMR including perspectives on how the neighbourhoods have changed and might possibly change in the future as a direct consequence of the regeneration programme starting. A series of 50 heritage style plaques were installed onto abandoned terraced houses in three of Burnley’s HMR areas during February 2008. The work is based on the question asked of many residents: “What is your fi rst thought when you
think about your neighbourhood?”

Peer Plaques was a direct response to a growing sense that residents’ voices were not being heard as part of ongoing formal consultation processes – and as such expressed their ambitions and fears directly through the public artworks.

Blackburn World Map

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

The design of the Stair Tower cladding panels has been developed in collaboration with a joint group of students and staff from
three schools who merged into the new building in September 2012. The design is an abstracted map of the World that wraps around the stair tower, showing the main outlines of the World’s land masses with major cities picked out as circles.

A finer layer of detail will show the main mountain ranges of the World and adds a further texture to the artwork. The material is an embossed (pressed) metal panel that will pick up and reflect the changing daylight and night time lighting conditions.

The map has been drawn using the Peters’ projection of the World, as this depicts each country accurately in relative size to one another unlike many other World projections such as the Mercator Projection.

Arsenal Green Space

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

The open space design is the product of significant consultation with the local residents and school children alongside the Local Authority’s many works departments including the arborocultural, horticultural, safety and access officers, planning, legal, lighting and urban design teams. The key purpose of the scheme is to provide a shared amenity space for the 125 new-build residential flats, and to create a green oasis in an otherwise hard inner city landscape.

One of the key requirements from existing residents was the concept of creating a sense of domesticand organic garden in an urban setting. The design therefore contains a series of horticultural ‘fields’ and natural screens which, when established, will augment the sensory experience of the square through their changing foliage, shape, smell and structure.

Gamlingay Community Terrace

Posted on: May 19th, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

An ambitious and inspirational design for a new public space and community pavilion at the recreation ground on the edge of Gamlingay’s playing fields and adjacent to the Community Centre (see our Eco-Hub Project here at

The young people worked with civic Architects to come up with a core set of design principles. They have used gaming software to study how the outcome will look from all angles and perspectives, reflecting how other users of different ages and interests will see it. And above all they have looked at improving the quality of the whole space rather than at making piecemeal changes. Deborah Fox, Head of Standards and Best Practice, CABE. CABE Space selected the Forward Gamlingay! Youth design project from over 200 other proposed case studies, as a leading example of a public space project where the community is the client.

A to Z Sketchbook of School Design

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

Learning Spaces Magazine

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

civic’s Andrew Siddall charts the process of sustained parent involvement in the design of and fundraising for a new school playground at Edinburgh’s largest Primary School.

Towerbank Primary in Portobello has Edinburgh’s largest intake (5 classes of first years in 2014-15) and yet the least interesting and catered for playground. The City Council do not have any funds to promote change and so a dedicated group of parents has formed a loose working group to search out funding opportunities in order to try and get some physical change to take place in the otherwise barren tarmac playspace.

The article charts their effort so far and  sets out how ‘parent power’ might one day deliver a better landscape for generations of children to come.

Architect of the Year

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 by Dan Jones No Comments

The Environmental Excellence Award recognises the project or building that shows the clearest commitment to meeting the challenge of climate change and raising the understanding of sustainability. civic won the award for their Gamlingay Eco Hub building and were delighted to be able to collect the award with their client team – underpinning our dedication to community led design projects by taking the community with us.

The judges for the award were particularly taken by the way that our building just gets on with being sustainable: the clients believe they now have the greenest community centre in the country.