Work undertaken by Britannia Construction Ltd., specialist civil engineering main contractors, at Victoria Dock in Gloucester has led to the development being honoured in the city’s Civic Awards. The £2.7 million project was designed to breathe new life into the area around Victoria Dock, including Back Badge Square and Albion Dock, and has been recognised with the award for Most Improved Public Area.
The Gloucester Civic Awards are run by Gloucester City Council, together with The Civic Trust, The Citizen, the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company and Marketing Gloucester. They aim to reward those involved in achieving high standards of architecture, design and delivery as the city undergoes its biggest ever regeneration.
Britannia contracts manager Robert Rees says, “There have been a number of significant schemes completed in Gloucester, so it is with immense pride that we have accepted this award. The restoration of this key area has been an important contribution not only to the city’s heritage, but has become a landmark development for the overall regeneration of the Gloucester Docks.”
The panel of judges included an independent architect nominated by the Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company, the Editor of The Citizen and representatives of the Gloucester Chamber of Trade, the City Council and the Gloucester Civic Trust.
Britannia undertook the regeneration project at Gloucester Docks on behalf of the South West RDA.
Specialist craftsmen installed a natural granite square and events area, enhanced with specially commissioned public art, tree planting, and viewing lecterns at vantage points around the site. Granite benches were modelled into a 100m retaining wall where the natural landscape slopes down to the docks. Due to the social importance of the site, a local historian was consulted throughout the project. During the excavation work, hidden culverts and an old flour mill were uncovered.
Three pieces of public art were commissioned for the new square: a floorscape from artist Katayoun Dowlatshahi, which uses a series of curved timbers flush with the slate paving to represent boats entering the docks; a 23m high steel candle sculpture created by Wolfgang Buttress, which is surrounded at the base by words from renowned war poet and composer Ivor Gurney; and reflecting the square’s industrial past, an original five ton hand operated crane, refurbished by Britannia, operated by Midland Railway in Gloucester Docks circa 1850.