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The living streets of Southsea will become a reality

Posted: Jan 19, 2022 4:37 PM
A new project to encourage green spaces and community interaction has been designed by students from the University of Portsmouth.

Design submitted by winning students Jack Clark and Charlotte Hubbard

Residents will see the ‘Living Streets’ project appear as ‘parklet’ spaces on Albert Road and Highland Road in Southsea this spring. Parklets are a small seating area or green space created as a public facility along a sidewalk.

The project was a competition organized by the social enterprise FORM+FUNCTION for students from the School of Architecture to design a series of spaces with the aim of revitalizing and greening local streets, providing community spaces and support local businesses.

Sixteen proposals were submitted and students Jack Clark and Charlotte Hubbard as the “Circulus” team won first place, creating a design for outdoor seating and greenery outside commercial premises on both streets. They will work in collaboration with local partners and international architectural firms to develop their ideas, in consultation with nearby businesses.

The judges gathered in the University’s Eldon building to award the project and celebrate with all the students who participated. Local councilor George Fielding joined Portsmouth City Council landscape architect Antje Eisfelder and chief architectural designer of BIM Olufemi David Olaiya. They were joined by professionals from architectural firms Liam Watford (HOP Architects) and Rishi Patel (IDL Architecture), and Annabel Innes from the social enterprise FORM+FUNCTION, as well as staff from the School of Architecture.

Guido Robazza, who helped organize the competition, is senior lecturer in architecture and coordinator of the Project Office, a practice-based research and teaching environment that promotes civic engagement in urban and architectural practice.

He said: “There was a range of incredibly high quality proposals submitted by multi-disciplinary teams of students from the Architecture course. The Circulus proposal sets up an excellent set of functions that can stimulate local life and provide opportunities for interaction within the community. Their work is excellent and I wish them success as they embark on this journey to engage in a concrete project in a professional setting.

Professor Oren Lieberman, Director of the School of Architecture, said: “The proposal is simple without being simplistic and has the potential to integrate the community through its “undefined” configurations, which leave space and time for user participation to bring it to life.”

Sean Clubb, Senior Partner at IDL Architecture, said: “The winning design is a solid approach to using a public park or parklet not just as a space for greenery and seating, but as spaces to encourage local interaction, learning, rest, play and work. This design takes all aspects of the larger, more typical park concept and creates an accessible, engaging, and publicly accessible narrative within the urban landscape.

The project is a collaborative effort between several local partners in the city-building process, bringing them together in a joint civic and environmental effort to improve Portsmouth’s public spaces.


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