Press Release 18.08.2020

Gillespies' urban design team wins a competition to reimagine St Helier’s Waterfront

Gillespies has been appointed to lead a team of experts in the delivery of a landscape-led Visionary Framework to reimagine the southwest quarter of St Helier in Jersey.

Following a comprehensive and competitive design competition launched by The Jersey Development Company (“JDC”) in conjunction with the Design Council, Gillespies was selected to lead the designs for four of the Key Opportunity sites within the area covered by the Southwest St Helier Planning Framework (SWSHPF).

The Visionary Framework will establish the overarching narrative for the Key Opportunity sites known as 1, 2, 3 and 7 and set the design parameters for a high quality, landscape-led proposal for mixed use commercial and residential development. This design work will culminate in an outline planning application being submitted for these areas.

The proposals will address the existing disconnect between the waterfront and the town centre through Gillespies’ unique landscape-led approach to masterplanning, which fosters a ‘people first’ approach to design. The approach is to transform the existing waterfront and surrounding land into a vibrant mixed-use quarter that provides a series of green open spaces, including a park and programmed waterfront that will support the island’s needs.

The visioning framework includes a strategy for public realm improvements, the creation of new public spaces and parks, enhanced connectivity across the four sites, as well as the design of several new buildings across the development with a mix of uses which will strengthen the sense of community and vibrancy in this quarter of St Helier.

Gillespies’ winning concept proposal includes the following:

  • a new public park and new landscaped gardens at Les Jardins de la Mer including an underground public car park.
  • a redesigned indoor public pool and gym and new outdoor public 50m saltwater pool.
  • a National Art Gallery, seaside amphitheatre and boardwalk pier.
  • 1000 plus residential units of accommodation with ground floor space for a gym, crèche and food and beverage facilities.

Gillespies are leading the masterplanning, landscape design and public realm design, with HETA Architects delivering the architecture and ICENI, Waterman Group and WSP providing stakeholder and community consultation and infrastructure expertise respectively.

As a part of the design process an in partnership with JDC, Gillespies will undertake an extensive programme of community engagement to reconnect Islanders with St Helier’s Waterfront. Working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders and the community to ensure they are key partners in co-designing this new part of St Helier for present and future communities. The engagement will serve to encourage a two-way, meaningful discussion with the community as to the suitability of the scheme within the context of the framework with the end goal of creating a sense of ownership and pride in St Helier’s Waterfront.

Stephen Richards, Partner at Gillespies, commented on the appointment:

“Following a comprehensive selection process, the urban design and landscape team at Gillespies are thrilled to have been chosen to partner with JDC in the delivery of a bold vision for the future of St Helier’s Waterfront in Jersey. Working collaboratively with JDC, and our experts HETA Architects, ICENI, Waterman Group and WSP, our landscape led proposals plan to sensitively transform the existing waterfront, into a mixed-use quarter set within a green framework of beautiful new squares, courtyards, roof terraces, green corridors and parks. The transformation of this historic site will help meet the island’s future needs, creating a vibrant and sustainable new destination for St Helier. We particularly look forward to working with the communities of St Helier in the coming months, to help shape these exciting proposals.”

JDC’s Managing Director, Lee Henry said:

“This will be a real step change for St Helier’s important waterfront. Following last year’s adoption of the ‘Southwest St Helier Planning Framework’ as Supplementary Planning Guidance by the Environment Minister, we jointly launched a design competition in order to appoint a highly motivated and creative team to develop a landscape-led, Visionary Framework for some of the ‘Key Opportunity’ sites within the Southwest St Helier area.

“We’re delighted to have Gillespies as our design partner for the next chapter of work on St Helier’s waterfront. Gillespies’ proposals focus on landscaping and connectivity of this new area of St Helier which resonates with the feedback received from the 2019 public consultation. The selection panel was unanimous in its decision and JDC is excited to be advancing proposals and remains committed to delivering a Waterfront that will be landscape led, environmentally focused and available for all members of the community to enjoy.”