The competition sought a new cafe and community space for the park in the centre of town. The local area is particularly wet and this climate helped foster the great linen and weaving industries nearby. The park itself was created for relief work during the cotton production hiatus during the American Civil War.
We wanted to bring a new understanding of the park landscape and history to the user. A delicate canopy roof was conceived as giant loom, with an intricate structure that celebrated the rainfall in the wettest part of the UK.
The proposal gives a new locus to the existing paths coming together in the park. The different routes arrive under the canopy and make a gathering place between the buildings. A riverside avenue of trees divides the space of the natural ampitheatre in the park and the space of the river. The building canopy weaves across the avenue to connect the two spaces of the park together. The position of the café and bar hovering over the river, opens up a whole new front for the park. This is a south facing space with a glorious view. It makes the river part of the park.