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Coventry seeks architect to restore Paxton cemetery

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Coventry City Council is on the hunt for an architect to overhaul its Joseph Paxton-designed Arboretum Cemetery

Planned to complete in 2018, the £1 million project will restore the Grade I-listed landscape and several Grade II*-listed structures to create a new visitor attraction on the high-profile site.

Designed by English gardener, architect and MP Joseph Paxton – the Arboretum Cemetery – also known as the London Road Cemetery – is recognised as one of the top five historic graveyards in the UK.

According to the brief: ‘The project involves the reinstatement of original landscape design, repair of major features including the promenade and listed Anglican chapel along with multiple monuments and graves.’

The document continued: ‘In addition to the capital works the project involves interpretation, education and outreach on both the cemetery and the important Victorians buried within it, who had a major influence on the city’s engineering history.

‘This will include increase in community engagement and the empowerment and training for increased volunteer activities to improve future maintenance.’

Located around 1.5 kilometres south of Coventry city centre, the 17 hectare cemetery was constructed in 1847 on a former quarry next to the West Coast Mainline connecting London to Glasgow.

The project completed around seven years before Paxton’s most famous building – the 92,000 m2 Crystal Palace exhibition centre – was constructed.

Landmarks within the cemetery include an entrance lodge, the Prospect Tower, an Anglican chapel, Jewish chapel and a decaying non-conformist chapel (pictured) which has been disused since 1945.

A memorial to Joseph Paxton – designed by Joseph Goddard – was also erected in 1865.

The winner of the estimated £140,000 contract – set to be announced 10 August – will develop the scheme from RIBA stage 0 to 3 ahead of a stage 2 HLF funding application.

Concept plans for the landscaping works have already been drawn up by Land Use Consultants while PCPT Architects has drawn up an options study for restoring two of the chapels.

Bids will be assessed 30 per cent on price, 30 per cent on previous experience, 30 per cent on design approach and 10 per cent on stakeholder engagement.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 4 August.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Coventry City Council
Procurement Team
New Union Street

Tel: 024 7683 3757
Email: procurement.services@coventry.gov.uk


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