Turner Works has won a competition to rethink Winchester’s Kings Walk town-centre regeneration district as a new creative hub
The London-based firm was chosen ahead of a shortlist of unnamed teams to carry out a feasibility study for Winchester City Council exploring alternative new uses for the predominantly empty local authority-owned area.
The appointment comes four years after the council abandoned contentious proposals by Allies and Morrison for the wider Silver Hill district.
The plans were replaced by a new supplementary planning document for the 4.5ha zone, drawn up by JTP and Snug Architects, which the local authority adopted in 2018.
Turner Works’ feasibility study, expected to complete this summer, will look at ways to support culture and creative enterprise while providing fresh opportunities for younger people in the town centre. Turner Works will collaborate with local firm Worthwhile Works on the study.
Focusing on several currently empty, council-owned properties – the project has echoes of previous Turner Works’ in London, such as Peckham Levels and Pop Brixton, which transformed underused spaces into new creative amenities for local communities.
Kelsie Learney, Winchester City Council’s cabinet member for housing and asset management, said: ‘There is enormous potential to breathe new life into this currently underused part of the city. A creative and cultural hub would provide space for local and independent enterprises to thrive. Turner Works also has a really impressive track record of designing projects that bring benefits directly back to the community, which is really important to us.
‘This project will be a step in creating the vibrant mixed-use quarter incorporating the imaginative re-use of existing buildings envisaged by the Central Winchester Regeneration Supplementary Planning Document, which achieved incredibly strong public support.’
Turner Works founding director Carl Turner commented: ‘We are really excited about the possibility of bringing underused buildings and spaces back to life and creating a platform for young people in Winchester.
‘We are collaborating with Worthwhile Works, who will be reaching and out to people and organisations to garner feedback about the types of spaces and facilities that are missing.’
Winchester is 97km south-west of London and has a population of around 45,000 people. In 2017, JTP was selected to create a new masterplan and supplementary planning document for Winchester city centre.
The appointment of JTP came after councillors voted to terminate a development agreement with TH Real Estate to build the mixed-use, retail-led Silver Hill scheme, which was first drawn up in 2009. The original scheme included 287 homes, 9,100m² of retail space and a bus station.