£40-million Phoenix rising in the Midlands

Coventry regeneration project opens this week

A £40-million regeneration project including a glass bridge and maze, sculpture and water feature opens this week in the Midlands. The Coventry Phoenix scheme was master-planned and landscape designed by Rummey Design Associates, and includes four public gardens, two civic squares and a plaza called Millennium Place. Artwork includes a paving job by Francoise Schein, which is based on the 24-hour time zone. A People’s Bench by Jochen Gerz allows sitters to engrave their names on small plates. Alexander Beleshenko designed a glass bridge, Kate Whiteford a box maze, Susannah Heron a water feature, and Chris Browne a floor sculpture bearing the Anglo Saxon words Cofa and Tree, from where Coventry derives its name. Rummey looked for artworks that would integrate the overall design taking in Priory Gardens, Priory Cloister Gardens, the restored Lady Herbert’s Garden and the Garden of International Friendship. The landscape architect worked closely with the artists and architect MacCormac Jamieson Prichard. Historic buildings have been restored and the design has focused on street furniture, paving and signs. The civic squares are lined with cafes, bars and flats.

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