Urban design specialists Broadway Malyan has completed a public realm project aimed at improving connectivity between Chester Station and the city’s new business quarter
The Chester Station Gateway project has seen a total of £11m invested over the past five years upgrading the station and the surrounding area. Broadway Malyan’s public realm works connect the station to the first office building in the Central Business Quarter, One City Place, which officially launches this month and has been developed by Muse.
The Quarter also includes a landmark Waitrose supermarket and the soon to be redeveloped historic Shot Tower and Former Leadworks, both Broadway Malyan projects led by Matt Brook in the firm’s Liverpool studio.
Broadway Malyan worked alongside specialist heritage architectural advisors on the public realm scheme which has seen the creation of a new winter garden and a 30m green wall which runs underneath the original Grade II listed Porte Cochere that forms a key entrance to the station.
The public realm scheme, delivered by Cheshire West and Chester Council and supported with a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, has also seen the creation of a dedicated space for events and live performances within a renovated section of the station, providing their only covered outdoor space within the city.
Broadway Malyan director Danny Crump, who led the project from the practice’s centre of urbanism in Manchester, said the scheme was part of growing drive in many towns and cities to join up generations of improvised development, with the practice currently working on similar projects at New Street, Moor St and Snow Hill Stations in Birmingham.
He said: “When stations were originally built they were often the focal point of a town or city but over time the links that connected them have been severed by the development of additional infrastructure.
“With public transport now at the heart of many long-term urban strategies, we are seeing a growing drive to re-establish these connections with the objective of readjusting the balance of pedestrians and cyclists over cars and improving the overall user experience.
“Chester is currently experiencing a significant investment boom aimed at attracting more people into the heart of the city and the Chester Station Gateway project is an important part of the approach of making public transport users a real priority.
“This project helps delineate a new route between the station and the city centre by opening up the Grand Union Canal, bringing a new urban purpose to the Grade II listed Shot Tower and providing a coherent vision between the station and the Waitrose development.”