NORD Architecture has been commissioned by developers Urban Splash in conjunction with RENEW North Staffordshire to put forward proposals for a masterplan on the North and South banks of the canal at Hanley. The masterplan will create a new neighbourhood which will transform the canalside and the existing Bridgewater Pottery buildings into a mixed use development of residential, retail and leisure facilities. Family housing will be introduced and a key component of the design is the link from the new neighbourhood across the canal giving a pedestrian route to the school and Stoke town centre beyond.
The first completed component of the masterplan is a pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Hanley Canal by NORD. The permeability of the site is not only improved by the access across the bridge structure but also in relation to the canalside. NORD have approached the design of the bridge as both a crossing point but also as a canopy structure, where the design allows for clear physical and visual access to the space below the bridge. The proposed new structure has emphasized the notion of a ‘canopied space’ by designing a sculpted soffit as part of the clear span structural frame. The entire underside to the bridge of 22m clear span is faceted and illuminated to create a visual spectacle for both boat users and pedestrians on the canal bank.