• Structures

Transforming Huddersfield's New Street, a blooming regeneration project

Huddersfield, a town rich in history and culture, is undergoing a remarkable transformation as part of the Kirklees Council’s regeneration project. At the heart of this revitalisation effort is the reimagining of New Street into a vibrant “garden street,” where art, greenery, and community converge. The latest addition to this ambitious endeavour is the installation of three towering 40ft planters, designed to breathe life into the town’s centre.

Behind the scenes of this innovative project is the expertise of JMS, a renowned engineering firm commissioned by Circling the Square JMS was tasked with the structural design of the steelwork and foundations for the decorative planters that would grace Huddersfield’s streets. This presented a unique challenge for the engineers, as it required them to think beyond conventional structural engineering and embrace creativity.

Mark Field, the JMS Structural Engineer involved in the project, expressed his enthusiasm for projects like these that push the boundaries of traditional engineering. “I enjoy the opportunity at JMS to work on unusual projects like this that fall outside the typical work we do as structural engineers, It requires thinking outside the box both in terms of how to model the structure and design of the various elements.”

The collaboration between JMS and Circling the Square paved the way for an artistic and functional solution that would not only beautify New Street but also pay homage to the town’s heritage.

The transformation of New Street from a mundane urban corridor to a green oasis is a testament to the vision of the Kirklees Council and the creative brilliance of artists like Tim Ward from Circling the Square.

The crown jewel of this revitalisation is the trio of 40ft vertical planters, each bearing its own unique theme. Constructed from steel, these tree-like structures are designed to have plants flourishing around them, seamlessly blending nature with art and engineering.

The first planter, themed “Contours,” boasts a lattice structure that artfully represents the topography of Huddersfield. As residents and visitors pass by, they are reminded of the natural beauty that surrounds this historic town.

The second planter’s theme is “Waterways,” paying tribute to the town’s aquatic heritage. Its design evokes the flow of rivers and streams, connecting Huddersfield’s past with its vibrant present.

The third planter, aptly named “Commerce,” features a structure that resembles threads, an homage to Huddersfield’s rich textile history. This design serves as a reminder of the town’s industrious spirit and its contributions to the world of textiles.

To further increase the charm of the project, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s poem will be embossed on the paving. This artistic touch will infuse the streetscape with a sense of literary wonder, enriching the cultural tapestry of Huddersfield.

Through the Huddersfield Blueprint, New Street’s development is injecting fresh energy into the town centre. It promises to increase footfall, boost business growth, and create a space where residents and visitors alike can revel in the fusion of art, nature, and history.

As the planters take root and the poem becomes etched in stone, Huddersfield’s future is being shaped by the creativity, engineering prowess, and commitment to heritage that have defined this remarkable regeneration project.

Photo Credit: Circling the Square