Broadway Malyan completes Chester public realm project

A winter garden and 30m green wall are part of the new public realm space aimed at improving connectivity between Chester Station and the city's new business quarter.

Green walls in Chester Gateway. Image: Broadway Malyan
Green walls in Chester Gateway. Image: Broadway Malyan

The Chester Station Gateway project has seen a total of £11m invested over the past five years upgrading the station and the surrounding area, with Broadway Malyan's public realm works connecting the station to the first office building in the Central Business Quarter, One City Place.

The design firm worked alongside specialist heritage architectural advisors on the scheme, which has seen the creation of a new winter garden and a 30m green wall which runs underneath the original Grade II listed Porte Cochere that forms a key entrance to the station.

The public realm scheme, delivered by Cheshire West and Chester Council and supported with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, also contains a dedicated events space within a renovated section of the station, providing the only covered outdoor space within the city.

Broadway Malyan director Danny Crump, who led the public realm project from the practice's centre of urbanism in Manchester, said the scheme was part of growing drive in many towns and cities to join up generations of improvised development. The company is currently working on similar projects at New Street, Moor St and Snow Hill Stations in Birmingham.

He said: "When stations were originally built they were often the focal point of a town or city but over time the links that connected them have been severed by the development of additional infrastructure.

"With public transport now at the heart of many long-term urban strategies, we are seeing a growing drive to re-establish these connections with the objective of readjusting the balance of pedestrians and cyclists over cars and improving the overall user experience.

"Chester is currently experiencing a significant investment boom aimed at attracting more people into the heart of the city and the Chester Station Gateway project is an important part of the approach of making public transport users a real priority.

"This project helps delineate a new route between the station and the city centre by opening up the Grand Union Canal, bringing a new urban purpose to the Shot Tower and providing a coherent vision between the station and the Waitrose development."

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure for Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: "This project is a great example of partnership working. The Central Business Quarter is part of an ambitious programme of development and transformation for Chester, and this is the first phase of an exciting new commercial quarter for the city.

"Creating such a high quality gateway between the railway station and the first building was a key part of the project, and collectively we have achieved something really special."

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