ixia: public art think tank

ixia has taken over the ownership and management of Public Art Online from Arts Council England. The design and content of the website are currently being reviewed.

Bookmark and Share

Friar Street, Reading

The proposed refurbishment of Friar Street, in central Reading, is driven by a transport plan which aims to create a successful environment in which people can move around with ease on foot, by bus or on bicycle. The project will create an area which will both work in transport terms and at the same time lift all aspects of the streetscape to redress the recent shift in focus southwards towards the new Oracle shopping centre and the main shopping street, Broad Street.

With the financial support of a RSA Art for Architecture award, artist David Ward has been working with Reading Borough Council's landscape architect David Moore to design and install paving, lighting and street furniture. A key influence on their collaboration was Sir John Soane, the eminent 19th century architect born in Reading, who made use of light and coloured glass.

Their design proposals for the street make reference to the chequer-board brickwork found on many of the town's churches and to the geometric 14th century tiles in Greyfriars Church. A key design theme is to light the two significant stained glass windows at either end of the street, in the Town Hall and Greyfriars Church. To link the two street ends, a lit pane of coloured hand made glass inserted in a selection of windows along the street will give a constant bright glow, the visual equivalent of a musical stave. This will draw attention away from street level where traffic and bustle dominate and emphasise the wide variety or architectural style on the first and second storeys of buildings where the town's history really lies.

A public exhibition of the design proposals took place in May. The Friar Street refurbishment and the light installations are expected to be completed by late summer or early autumn 2003.

This collaboration is part of Reading Borough Council's Art at the Centre project, a long term initiative to explore different roles for artists in the regeneration of the city centre, undertaken in partnership with Arts Council England, South East.

Further details: www.aatc.org.uk

 Fast Find

Go to specific information related to you.

 Editor's Choice

What's New

ixia update

 Join our elist