Walkergate successfully regenerated a brownfield site which had been vacant for almost 40 years. We were the lead consultant and masterplanners for the project. A key feature of the scheme is the inclusion of three landscaped pedestrian squares, linked by a series of lifts and stairways to provide improved connectivity between Durham’s historic city centre and the River Wear. Through partnership with the Council and the scheme’s occupiers, these high-quality squares are used for a variety of events, enhancing the city’s leisure and tourism offer.
The site set in the heart of Durham and adjacent to a World Heritage site posed a number of major issues that demanded a sensitive yet bold response that further respected the newly completed Millennium Hall.
The complexity of the scheme both from a technical and political perspective was at the heart of the scheme’s realisation, in particular, the interface with the various restaurant tenants, the hotel operator, politicians and residential agents posed considerable co-ordination challenges.
The sensitive nature in which the Walkergate scheme was located (adjacent to a World Heritage Site and in the Durham City conservation area) required a delicate design response. This was realised only as a result of considerable and ongoing dialogue with all key stakeholders ensuring that the end product satisfied both the local and regional objectives / expectations. This created a scheme of substance and quality that recognised the existing architecture of Durham.