Revitalising Southwest St Helier: A Vision for Sustainable Urban Living
Overview of the Southwest St Helier Regeneration Project
A significant regeneration project has been proposed for Southwest St Helier (SWSH) in Jersey. The ambitious plan aims to transform SWSH into a vibrant, well-connected coastal community and cultural hub. Led by Gillespies, the design consortium includes Heta, who played a key role in developing the visioning framework and leading the architectural character studies and building typologies throughout the character zones of the development.
Project Details and Timeline
The project, which spans over an impressive 11.5 hectares, is set to undergo a drastic transformation over the next decade. The client, Jersey Development Company (JDC), envisions an energetic, climate-resilient urban neighbourhood filled with new destinations, green spaces, and a network of streets. The SWSH area will be infused with life, becoming a beacon of vibrancy in the heart of St Helier.
Community Spaces and Infrastructure
The development scheme promises substantial new community spaces including 32,301m² of commercial, social infrastructure, cultural and leisure facilities. These include an indoor kids’ zone, up to 1,000 new homes, and over 65,755m² of vibrant, fully accessible public realm. The framework allows for change, while also setting fundamental parameters on aspects such as climate, sustainability, biodiversity, connectivity and movement, open space, uses, design, building heights, and views.
London Festival of Architecture 2023: Celebrating Urban Design and Community
Similar to the upcoming London Festival of Architecture 2023, the SWSH development aims to create a central, culturally-focused square that serves as a hub for the development, boasting a lively mix of cultural and entertainment uses. The vision for the waterfront is a ‘landscape-led’ one, with design parameters set to transform the area and deliver significant social, economic, and environmental benefits to the island community.
Creating Distinct Neighbourhood Zones
The site is subdivided into five key zones, each with its distinct identity and purpose. They are connected by a network of green streets, squares, arcades, and lanes, and a cohesive palette of materials and colour. Over half of the site area is dedicated to the public realm, offering a wide range of recreational and social spaces for both new and existing community members.
Designing Public Spaces and Residential Areas
The residential neighbourhoods will be interspersed with green spaces, blending the public and private realms into a seamless and uplifting experience. The framework defines distinct places and public spaces, with a playful architecture that draws on a mix of vernacular elements local to St. Helier.
Engaging the Community
The project team sought consultation from all areas of the community over a ten-month period and were encouraged by the level and quality of the feedback received. They ensured that the submitted plans responded to the public’s views. The landscape-led Visionary Framework recognises the importance of Jersey’s unique character and identity.
Envisioning the Future of Jersey’s Waterfront
These ambitious proposals mark an important step forward for the island and St Helier’s Waterfront. The vision is to provide the island with a Waterfront destination that is a local sustainability exemplar, influenced by today’s islanders, and meant for future generations to cherish.
Change on the Horizon
As the plans are put into motion, the future of Southwest St Helier looks incredibly bright. This project is more than a regeneration scheme – it’s a vision for the future, a testament to the power of community-led design, and an embodiment of sustainable urban living. SWSH is set to become a landmark of cultural and community life in Jersey.
A New Chapter for Jersey
With these plans, Jersey is on the precipice of a new era. The regeneration of Southwest St Helier is a testament to the island’s commitment to sustainability, community, and innovative design. It’s a bold step forward, promising significant benefits for the Jersey community and setting a precedent for future developments.