Pennine Lancashire Squared Accrington
CLIENT Pennine Lancanshire Squared / STATUS Competition Finalist, 2009 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / s333 / QUATRO / Larry Barth
The Design for Pennine Lancanshire Squared competition aimed to protect and enhance Accrington’s strongest features, to incorporate new ones from its own history, and to create a distinctive and timeless space with elements, which strengthen the local character, offer new opportunities, and engender civic pride. Through Programmatic Elements Including Radio Free ACCY, a Speakers’ Corner the project brought people together aiding community cohesion.
Peel Square Market Hall has been made the new hub of Peel Square, cornerstone of its regeneration. The hub of activities planned inside and outside (radio station, incubator office, internet café, organic food organization, cabinet for Accrington history display, Speakers Corner, Accrington Pals memorial, see report) all make it the radiating center capable of spilling out in its surroundings and activating them in the form of citizen activities, of additional temporary market stalls, cafes, etc. The space has been designed accordingly as a very simple uncluttered expanse with good quality pavement, an abundance of benches -- which can be reconfigured for flexible spatial arrangements -- and strings of lighting creating a lit-up urban room out of Peel Square. These three elements can be phased. In the end regeneration is about quality of life. It can lead to attracting people to the town and keeping its young people in it. A beautiful place that gives a sense of place, many towns have found , can be the trigger for economic transformation.