Civic pride restored
Fellowship Square represents half of a 2023 reworking of Philip Dalton Hepworth’s 1939 Listed Town Hall, the corresponding reworking of the office interiors by Hawkins Brown being the matching half.
Historically, the Civic Building looked out over a large ornamental pool but over 70 years this had fallen on hard times. Churchman Thornhill Finch’s much awarded design provides a reworking of the frontage plaza, complete with circular fountain field referencing the original pool. The pool, the largest of its kind in the UK, has 169 independently programmable water jets, each fitted with its own lighting controls, giving an infinitely variable programme of different visual and audible effects. The bespoke timber furniture, all designed by Churchman Thornhill Finch, provides ample opportunity for dwelling and whiling away hours while toddlers of all ages splash about in the pool. Unusually the square uses very little granite, most of the stone coming from the Isle of Purbeck and the Jura Mountains. Even the granite setts in the fountain bowl come from Scotland. Fellowship Square has proved to be massively popular with both local people and the judges of various national and regional awards including the Landscape Institute and the Civic Trust, with whom Fellowship Square secured Churchman Thornhill Finches first ever national award, a very rare achievement indeed for a piece of public realm