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Design for Bradford city-centre pool unveiled - image

Landscape designer Gillespies has released the first image of its proposed new 'mirror pool' park in the heart of Will Alsop's masterplan for Bradford city centre.

The scheme, which has just gone out for consultation, is effectively a pared-back version of Alsop's original vision to flood a large area of the centre of the West Yorkshire city.

Last year, SMC Alsop's ambitious designs for a huge lagoon in Centenary Square were reduced in size by a third in response to public concerns about safety and upkeep (Alsop pares back plans to flood Bradford city centre).

However the new £17 million park project - which Gillespies won in a design competition ahead of the likes of Olympic masterplanner Edaw last November - is still set to become the key focus of Alsop's larger 'Bowl' neighbourhood framework.

Among the features currently being 'explored' by Gillespies include a drainable pool which can be emptied to host events; 'atmospheric' fountains; and a 'signature daily waterworks display' - a similar concept to the 'One O'Clock Gun', fired daily from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

The pool has also been designed to reflect the 'diginity' of the Grade I-listed town hall.

Once public response to the designs has been received and collated, the proposals will form part of Bradford Centre Regeneration's Living Landmarks Lottery stage two bid, which is due to be submitted in May.

Councillor Andrew Mallinson, portfolio holder for regeneration for Bradford Metropolitain District Council, said: 'All four of the neighbourhood development frameworks for the city centre have included really headturning plans and non more so than the Bowl, which includes some very innovative proposals.'

by Richard Waite

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