THE designers behind Redcar's dazzling new seafront have revisited the town to see their vision come to life.
The new promenade and landmark “Vertical Pier” are just part of Redcar and Cleveland Council’s £75m-plus regeneration project breathing new life into the seaside town.
Four years ago, landscape architect Kate Curtis who works for Smeeden Foreman, won a design competition run by national architecture organisation RIBA, to shape a seafront for the town.
The firm teamed up with partners including Seven Architecture, where architect Lisa McFarlane came up with the design for the iconic focus of the scheme – the Vertical Pier.
Curtis said: “There is still a lot of work to do and finishing touches to put in place, such as the shelters, lighting and the public art but it’s really something to see it coming together.”
A major public consultation was launched to determine what the public and visitors wanted from their new-look seaside.
“That was extremely important, because everyone has a lot of memories of days at the seaside, and you need to take that into consideration,” added Curtis.
“We’ve talked to local people and visitors all the way through the project, and also looked at archive pictures to gain more background.
“The key to the design was in the idea of bringing the beach on to the promenade, and taking inspiration from the things that are already there, such as the fishing boats.” Increasing the number of visitors to the resort was a major priority, so the seafront needed something special that would provide a unique tourist draw.
Curtis said: “We knew from the technical sections of the brief that it would be impossible to take a pier out beyond the sea wall at anywhere near a realistic cost, so we decided to take it up into the air instead, and that’s how the Vertical Pier was born.”
McFarlane said: “The building is a recognition of Redcar’s steel heritage, and the foils frame a different view on each floor which makes it quite exciting to climb the tower and the view from the top out to sea and back over the town is amazing.”