PMSA presents Marsh Fountain Award to Bradford
The Lord Mayor received the prestigious Marsh Fountain of the Year Award on behalf of Bradford Council, which was joint winner in 2013, with the Fountain Workshop, for their collaboration on the City Park water feature.The City Park is a six-acre public area in the centre of Bradford, which has been of critical importance in the City’s regeneration plan, which began in 2003.
Bradford Council and The Fountain Workshop received the Award for ‘the best use of moving water in the regeneration of urban public space’ and it was richly deserved. The project, which also involved a multi-disciplinary design team including Gillespies, Arup and Sturgeon North has transformed the heart of Bradford. The impressive City Park they have created is the largest urban centre water feature in the UK, comprising over 100 fountains, the tallest of which can reach over 30 metres in a 4,000 square metre mirror pool.
The City Park is surrounded by the Grade I listed, nineteenth-century City Hall, the Cartwright Art Gallery and other leisure facilities including cafés and outdoor seating. At the presentation, the Lord Mayor spoke of the City’s justifiable pride in the fountains, adding: ‘…this water feature acts as a magnet for both locals and tourists.’
The water feature is designed to engage with the public and Jolyon Drury observed that this had been successfully achieved : ‘City Park and the fountains are unique because they draw together a community in both modern and old buildings in Bradford and in its very spirit, produces a beautiful place for both the young and the old.’ Whatever their age, people have access to the water feature. In the middle of the mirror pool is a walkway which allows visitors to walk over it, while at the pavilion end of the pool there are 40 low-power play fountains. Jolyon Drury was delighted that ‘…in the summer when I was judging … nobody told anyone to get out of the water. You can see people enjoying themselves and I think that’s what city centres need.’
Bradford City Centre’s water feature is not only visually impressive, it is also designed to be functional and sustainable. The water to the pool is partly supplied by a 240 metre deep bore hole and great attention is paid to detail in maintenance of the pump and filter chamber and the water quality.
The Public Monuments and Sculpture Association administers the Marsh Awards on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust.