The Carbuncle Award. Not the most prestigious or coveted prize in Urban Design, but residents of Denny near Falkirk, asked the trophy organisers to award this statement of their attitude towards their own town centre. Initially, the Urban Realm’s award had been given to John O’Groats, but when no-one was willing to come and collect the award, the Denny residents stepped in.
Campaign group ‘Walk Around’ collected the ‘Plook-on-the-Plinth trophy to confirm their feelings regarding a condemned block of flats standing in the heart of the town. The group were convinced that the flats were ruining the town centre environment and deterring the crucial inward investment required to revitalise the town. Correctly, they thought that receiving the awards would stimulate a design amongst both residents and Falkirk Council to speed up the development of regeneration plans.
Whether publicity stunt or plea for action, Urban Realm’s award did indeed provide the catalyst for much needed regeneration and the flats were subsequently demolished as part of a major redevelopment. Along with the Council, TGP Landscape Architects engaged with local groups, residences and businesses to develop a masterplan around a new multi-level business unit building designed to occupy part of the former flats site, which maximises the considerable level changes and unifies the graded High street frontage with an elevated level car park to the west.
The project draws together high quality bright materials, modern design for both the new buildings and the surrounding external spaces. Bespoke seating and street furniture complement the comprehensive programme of public art including artwork railings, suites of complementary installations, etched paving and original way-marking features.