Exchange Place Pedestrian Priority Scheme
IBI Group led the redevelopment of Kidderminster Town Centre, previously a vehicle dominated highway junction, into a pedestrian priority public square. Rich with culture and history, the IBI team integrated aspects of Kidderminster’s rock music heritage and historic significance in transforming the town centre.
ClientWyre Forest District Council
A town centre celebrating culture and history
IBI Group’s landscape architecture team conducted a public realm study with the goal of creating a new, long term vision for Kidderminster Town Centre. The team developed general principles and strategies that would provide quality control for future development within the public square. Plans were developed in conjunction with the local community through public consultation events.
Following completion of the design framework, IBI Group was commissioned to develop a comprehensive design solution and deliver the scheme on site. The focus of work was the creation of two new public squares, the re-surfacing of the pedestrianised retail streets and a key highway route.
One of the squares, Exchange Place, was previously a vehicle dominated highway junction, but has been transformed into a pedestrian priority public square. To celebrate Rowland Hill, a local philanthropist who founded the modern postal system and who’s statue stands in the square, the design of Exchange Place reflects the form, colour and fan pattern detailing of the ‘Penny Black’ postage stamp set out in black and white granite with a bright red refurbished Victorian post box in the middle.
Kidderminster also has a rich rock music heritage, famous for artists such as Robert Plant and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. This heritage has been celebrated through the installation of themed street furniture and public art features within the pedestrianised shopping streets. A heritage trail has been created through the town centre, housing a collection of beautifully crafted seats in the form of vinyl record stacks and bespoke benches in the shape of guitar necks.