Wickersley Park
Wickersley Park

Year | 2014
Location | Wickersley Park, Rotherham, UK
Client | Wickersley Parish Council

Wickersley is a small village located in the Borough of Rotherham. The residents have a close sense of community, with a myriad of groups supported by an active parish council. Yet Wickersley Park, at the centre of the village, presents an underused and somewhat irrelevant space to the area.

The Live Project looks to transform the green space into an asset for the community, building on the potential of the land to create something special for all people of Wickersley. Our process through the project revolved around ambitions to engage people with their park, involving them in change, towards working with their input. Developing the brief with the client, we moved from producing a final masterplan to setting up a framework for the client to continue as the live project comes to an end. This was approached by testing methods for continuing consultation, through an event in the park, and the development of a set of design tools to be applied in response to time, budget and local feedback.

Occupying an area of the park for a day, an event was held to start conversation over its current state and potential changes for better use. A variety in stakeholders, both existing and possible users of the park, were invited to appreciate their park, sparking an interest to participate in forming its future. Facilitating this engagement, we developed a set of methods based on play, but for all ages. From pinning up comments onto our structure to capturing elements of the park with disposable cameras, a range of interactive activities illustrated a wealth of opinion. This is to be tapped into through a development of these methods, together with re-use of our identifiable structure built from recycled materials, by the parish council particularly at their annual gala.

We decided the production of a design document would be most appropriate to feed into the continuing process, raising ambitions of the council to show how elements of the park could be developed. Design elements were rigorously investigated, showing the process of our thinking towards a series of potential visions, as opposed to producing one final plan. A variety of precedents, written material, visits to local exemplar parks and historical research has informed our work. Exploration into pathways, seating, lighting/energy, planting, event infrastructure and play facilities provided a set of design tools to be applied in response to time and funding, further informed by ongoing consultation. Handed over to the client, the document will aid the council in moving the project forward and continuing the pace following the end of the live project.

We would like to thank the people of Wickersley for their time, and the Parish Council for their collaboration throughout the process.

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