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Client: Bornemouth Borough Council
Bournemouth Pier Approach Birds Eye View

Bournemouth Pier Approach: Gateway to a world-class seafront

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Bournemouth Borough Council wanted to develop a world-class seafront that would support and grow its £462 million tourism industry. It selected CEC to work on Pier Approach, which forms part of an ambitious 20 year Seafront Strategy of new and improved facilities that puts design at the heart of public realm regeneration.

The £6.6 million project was implemented in two parts; funded by the Coastal Communities Fund and Bournemouth Borough Council. CEC won the second phase for the design process and was commissioned to act as lead consultant to co-ordinate a team of designers, engineers and contractors including Hydrock, Mei Loci and Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole Architects.

Creating a world-class design

Pier Approach leads to one of the UK’s most famous seaside piers and coastal attractions. The space needed to be welcoming and inspiring to encourage people to stay and interact with the space and new facilities for longer. It also needed to overcome the disconnection between the beach and the Lower Gardens, through a new interpretation of the Bourne stream.

CEC’s hard and soft landscape designs create a multi-functional, unified space which leaves room for interpretative use and play.

The centrepiece of the design is two iconic ‘leaf’ shaped buildings housing the visitor information centre and shelter. These are bounded by a piazza used for outdoor events. A water play feature based on the Bourne stream and designed by Ustigate flows through. Complementing the hard landscaping are a series of raised planters, with salt resistant plants surrounded by bespoke seating walls. Submerged bins keep the space tidy and safe from scavenging seagulls. At night, a vibrant lighting scheme of changing patterns and colours adds to the atmosphere and encourages people to linger.

Bournemouth now boasts a world-class seafront promenade designed around a vibrant, bright and lively space which people naturally gravitate to. CEC’s intuitive understanding of the space and inspiring landscape designs have meant that Pier Approach has become a destination in its own right.

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