Woolston Millennium Garden
Submitted by: pete codling
A town square with public art works from the epic to the miniature.
This is a reclaimed bomb site in the heart of a small suburb of Southampton. The community association commissioned me (a sculptor) to design them a millennium garden, to celebrate their rich history and aspirations. I have nominated it not just for the artworks (I am biased), but because the community has shown such affection and commitment to it.
What Makes Woolston Millennium Garden a Great Place?
The garden is open and accessible to pedestrians only. It sits on the junction of the two main roads passing through the town.
The land is owned by the community association at a pepper corn rent from the local authority. They clean the garden themselves with a rotation of volunteers and community groups.
It has proved to be a very popular place at lunch times for local residents and workers.
The garden was built with a huge amount of local sponsorship and help in kind. It has suffered very little vandalism despite its location and social problems. The garden was designed to be visually safe, i.e. there is no place to hide, no dark corners, and a security camera was negotiated from the local council to oversee the garden and adjacent streets.
History & Background
Woolston Millenium Garden was created to celebrate the millennium and Woolston’s extraordinary aviation and maritime heritage. The project covered 300 square metres, with a theme of Flight & Float.
The garden comprises three landscaped areas that represent the elements of land, sea and sky; constructed in grassed earthwork, granite blocks, and resin bounded stone and blue glass. A brick path in the form of an aeroplane propeller runs across the site, unifying the space and drawing people to its focal point, a 10 metre high stainless steel and glass ‘feather’ sculpture. Created in collaboration with the local ship builder, Vosper Thornycroft, the sculpture symbolises the famous Spitfire plane and community friendship.