Landscaping at Stoke Quay, Ipswich
James Blake Associates was commissioned to carry out – concept through to detailed landscape design and working drawings/setting out for the construction of new apartments and underground parking, on the beautiful quayside at the heart of the town of Ipswich.
This encompassed landscape handworks and softworks, i.e., surfacing, boundary treatments, furniture, lighting, and artistic features.
Initially, works were required for RIBA stages 1-3, but after the scheme was novated to civils contractor ISG, JBA’s services were retained for RIBA stages 4-7.
The main key challenge was the significant level changes across the site, making all parts very complicated to detail. This was set against the low fixed-fee which presented a massive challenge considering the enormity of the working drawing package and construction details required to build such a complex scheme. It involved complex civil engineering construction including multiple step designs, a disability mega ramp, roof garden, associated podium water proofing construction level info, SUDS provision, play areas, and hard and soft landscape works.
The site also required the provision of a public art scheme, and JBA were also employed to deliver this aspect of the work.
Most of the ground floor spaces are accessible to the public, so planting had to be robust and durable while also creating a welcoming and attractive environment for residents and the local community.
It was important to ensure amenity spaces for children and adults, that were also robust, sustainable and low-maintenance and which delivered amenity enhancement.
JBA’s designs included plant species that encourage wildlife – trees and nectar producing flowers; a blend of native and ornamental species as per the planning approval.
The commission also included liaison with the local community and extensive collaboration with the construction team.
Private courtyards with seating, raised planters, and play features were provided within the design to create an attractive, useful and sustainable landscape setting.
The public art involved a water jet engraving and paving with an inset design portraying the historical map of the River Orwell.
JBA honoured the agreement to deliver the full package (despite running out of fee time halfway through the process). JBA fully snagged and audited the construction after it was successfully completed to schedule and budget.