Design Team: ECUS (Environmental Consultants Sheffield University)
Jon Carr from Anthony Hunt Associates (Project Engineers), designers of the Eden Project, Cornwall, Irene Rogan (Lead Artist), Sharpe and Chambers (Quantity Surveyors).
Neptune Inn was chosen on the basis of its proximity to the main road and the high visibility for this ‘landmark project’ to passing traffic. and induce people to stop and explore the revitalised Gainsborough waterfront. The initial design brief was to develop ideas for an accessible viewing platform, a new public open space and landmark feature with a strong sculptural element.
As as well as the the new flood defences my ideas encompassed not only the immediate implications of the river within Gainsborough but delved further into the more abstract concepts of an overwhelming force; interpreted both physically and emotionally. The flood is consistently used to illustrate the power of nature and has significant currency in mythology imparting a range of meanings. It may also be interesting to note that there are significant links between Gainsborough and King Canute.
The design solution represents, by its location and scale, an optimistic statement to the residents and visitors of Gainsborough. The proposed design for the Lookout is based on a waveform resonant of the idea of a wave of water being returned to the river. This can be seen to symbolise the repelling of adverse forces. In addition the lookout function can be seen to represent continued vigilance from a protected standpoint
The design proposal sought to provide a visual interface between the river and the riverside architecture, exploring and reflecting the relationship between the two, one necessitating the collaboration of landscape designers, architects, artist and engineers to produce a cohesive end product.
The ‘Lookout and Landscape’, Neptune Inn. (Whoosh Background information)
Design development by Irene Rogan