How do you sensitively remodel the streets and public spaces of a heritage city like Bath while still bringing it into the present day? This was the question set to the studio, when we were asked to design the city’s wayfinding system, bus shelters and street furniture. The project, emerged from a wider public realm and movement strategy entitled ‘Creating the Canvas for Public Life in Bath’, which aimed to transform the streets and public spaces of the city, revitalise its economy and redefine its identity as a 21st-century city.
Our research led to the geometric forms of the city’s predominantly 18th-century architecture and its status as a model city in the Age of Enlightenment. This resulted in the development of a circular, vitreous enamel map, referencing the compass, lens and sundial, which we set within a rectangular bronze monolith. This bold geometric aesthetic is shared by the bus shelters, composed of a series of bronze blocks. Collectively, these products have a powerful, modern presence in Bath’s streetscape, complementing Bath’s local stone and slate roofs through their own materiality; whilst also being easy and cheap to maintain and acquiring a beautiful, rich patina over time.
Collaborating with CityID and FWDesign, Pearson Lloyd developed wayfinding graphics that successfully merge pedestrian and transport routes and promote walking in the compact city. The wayfinding is complemented with a series of benches, bins, bollards, water fountains and bike stands.