O. Space Project
This was part of a nationwide scheme designed to raise awareness of regeneration activity taking place throughout the UK in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics. It uses the excitement around the Olympic Games to inspire people about architecture and the built environment.
O.Space in the South West took place in Weymouth, Dorset, the sailing venue for the 2012 games. Pupils from Budmouth Technology College took part in a one-day design challenge to regenerate the Esplanade area on the Weymouth waterfront.
The students began with a site visit; analysing positive and negative aspects of the Esplanade space and this enabled them to identify things in need of improvement.
The students then took on the roles of urban designers and landscape architects. Responding to a design brief, they considered many aspects of design such as: street furniture, lighting, shelter, signage, historic features, activities, access, facilities, art and sustainability. They also thought about the variety of people who use the area and how they could ensure it is an attractive and accessible site to locals, visitors, both young and old.
Working in teams with built environment professionals, they created drawings to show their ideas and then created models of their regeneration schemes. The students developed and presented an exciting range of ideas to improve and enhance the Esplanade area, including new public toilets, pedestrianised areas, a local history timeline embedded in the pavement, improved seating and planting, a bandstand and fossil themed visitor centre.
The O.Space project explored the wider impact of the Olympic Games and helped engage young people in the debate about land-use and regeneration in their local area. The design challenge enabled the students to understand more about the design process, regeneration of public space and environmental sustainability. The process provided students with the opportunity to work alongside environment professionals to learn more about potential careers.
An exhibition of the project was displayed at the Architecture Centre, Bristol in Spring 2010.
A series of teaching resources based on the Weymouth O.Space project were developed by the Architecture Centre. They can be adapted for use on another public space. Explanatory teacher notes and resources to deliver a similar project are available to download. (See downloads 1-7 opposite)
The Architecture Centre would like to acknowledge the following for their kind support of this event:
- Geoff Smith
- Katherine Denman
- Paul Scott
- Kieran Rafferty
- Stephen Hebb
- Ian Cardy