West Quay Marina

Poole, Dorset, UK

Client testimonial

'From the outset the Plan Projects team displayed a keen understanding of our requirements; they went the extra mile to ensure a properly considered strategy emerged from the process of research and consultation with the Borough of Poole and other stakeholders. The resulting document not only identified how arts projects could add value, but were instrumental in securing local authority support for the development’

James Payne, Design Director, Nikal Property Development and Investment



Principal Stakeholders

  • The communities resident in Poole
  • Borough of Poole
  • Calderpeel Architects
  • TPM Landscape


The strategy for West Quay Marina looked at the role of public art practice in the regeneration of this key site on Poole Harbour. The document, the first that had been commissioned in the Poole area, provided the local authority with a model and template that the local authority has gone on to use to develop public art projects in the town in the future.


So as to understand the proper role public art could play within the site, it was necessary to conduct careful research into the history and character of the town. Arts projects could, for example, respond to particular qualities such as the ‘heat effect’ afforded by coastal proximity, protection of the Purbecks and the beneficial angle of the reflecting sun from the harbour.


A key aspect of our contextual understanding came from the consultation carried out with community groups. These included a photography group for older people, the Old Town Youth Club, The Art Works (an artists' studio complex close to the site) and The Arts Pool (a group of creatively engaged residents). Each of these groups was interviewed in the context of a creative workshop, with the intention they be involved in the delivery of projects at the appropriate stage.


The strategy sought to identify how public art practice could support the delivery of an exemplary regeneration project, drawing on the unique identity and cultural resources of Poole.

Key Recommendations

The strategy arrived at a set of proposals dividing the site into four 'zones'. Each of these zones set out a means by which public art projects could optimise the cultural value of the public space in which they take place.

1.    Zone one looked at improving access and legibility through way-finding strategies employing concepts such as a sculpture trail, signage and creating areas of shelter space and points of visiting/rest

2.    The second zone offered a means of supporting ‘pause points’ through paving and sculptural works

3.    The third zone offered large scale works to provide way-finding, a sense of place and adding an iconic presence to the Poole skyline

4.    The fourth set out to assert the identity of the site through projects integrated into the interior and exterior fabric of new buildings and a programme of illuminations.