The Greenway Platform was shortlisted as one of two solutions for the public art tender for Block J in Brighton, UK.
The design solution, a joint venture between Cara Courage, Nicholas Dexter, Yelo Architects and Wolfstrome took its inspiration from the heritage and visual elements of the station – a creative placemaking approach to creating a space in the city that those that live and work in the immediate vicinity will want to linger in, a social space for all ages, a play space for young families, and a welcome respite for commuters and waiting area for those coming to meet them from their journey.
It proposed the following:
The Greenway Platform was suggested as a name not only to extend the station and railway metaphor running through the site design and the performative relation to a social stage area, but also to create a new place for the people of Brighton & Hove, emotionally placing this place on its psychogeographic map.
Seats and steps, designed with riser heights that would act as both step and seat, settled in a freeform manner that encourages serendipitous social interaction. The dual-design and use would create walkways, pathways and social spaces within the space. The seat-steps are placed along the contour lines of the site, leading the eye and the user into and through the Greenway.
The two step-ways down from the road level into the site were placed to not only create a seating bank, but also anticipate the inevitable cut-through desire lines of place users entering and exiting the Greenway Platform to the car park area of the site.
Phrases and texts would have been incorporated into the platform seating-steps that took their inspiration from the lexicon of rail travel. They would have been playful and evocative of the station, of rail travel and the railways and bring an additional textural layer to the creative placemaking design.
The vision for the Greenway Platform was for it be become more than just a functional thoroughfare – but for many, a thoroughfare is just what it would have been. Therefore, essential wayfinding texts would be incorporated into the design, signposting the station, bike station and lift, and the sea, North Laine, New England Quarter and London Road, as well as the route to the lower Greenway. The wayfinding text would include a colour element so it will be easily seen by the busy or lost visitor.
Haphazard strip lights, the colours of water and molten metal, the elements of the station and the city’s formation, would flow down the pathway as well as light the seating-steps of the Greenway Platform. The lights would lead people through the space; give a warm glow to the space, creating intimacy in a place otherwise surrounded by monumental architecture.
The two main step-ways through the platform proper would be demarcated by lighting. Appreciating that the Greenway Platform would be used in the dark hours of the early morning and late night by commuters especially, the lighting element would also help create a safe, accessible space.
The design elements of the lift, appearing as effects on its glass, link to the design of the Greenway Platform, but carrying on the lighting and narrative elements, to create an integral design when seen as one whole, but that also as a successful standalone element when seen from the perspectives from New England.