Coventry MasterPlan

This document is prepared by Drawing Desk Architecture to encourage a new design language of Coventry from brutalist concrete into a greener and more artistic future. 

Cannon Park 1
Cannon Park Green Wall
Created 26th June 2023

1. Introduction

This document is prepared by Drawing Desk Architecture to encourage a new design language of Coventry from brutalist concrete into a greener and more artistic future. 

As of this moment, the team of Drawing Desk Architecture are born and bred of Coventry. Therefore, we have a personal and emotional stake in the future development of the city we grew up in. Our primary goals are:  

1. To benefit our community in a substantial manner  

2. To provide sustainable Architecture and growth in order to ensure a positive future; and   

3. To bring true empathy and meaning to the Architecture within Coventry, improving the wellbeing of all those who dwell within and visit this place we call home.  

We believe that we have both the creativity and mindset needed to help achieve these goals and would be honoured to collaborate with the local placemakers on the new overall masterplan vision 

In an effort to contribute more to our city, we would wish to aid the master planning and further progression of primarily murals and greenery within the city. The current path of development for Coventry’s aesthetic is highly beneficial in our opinion such as Pepper Lane and the Upper Precinct.  

2. Practice

At Drawing Desk Architecture, we are advocates of a philosophy we call third layer design, attributed heavily toward the design principles of Genius Loci and Phenomenology in which we spend much time incorporating into our creative process.

Phenomenology, an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience. Genius Loci, the prevailing character or atmosphere of a place.

With these things in mind, our biggest hope is to provide place and spaces that users experience as positive and meaningful.  

Birds-Eye CGI of Inner City Redevelopment Project 1
Birds-Eye CGI of Inner City Redevelopment Project 1

3. Garden City

Whilst Coventrys recent history is embedded in engineering and automotives, we believe that a new primary narrative must propel the city in a new direction. Whilst we agree that these elements should continue to be paid homage to just like longer spanning historical elements such as and Coventry Cathedral and Council House, a new stage of life in the form of an Artistry Garden City that should lead the new long term vision for the cities masterplan.

In the way we think of Coventry’s potential, the Cathedral can take metaphor as the Coffan tree upon which the city was founded, that stretches its roots as far as city bounds. 350,000 Coventrians gathered around this tree. Thus, this will remain empathetic to the city’s infancy whilst placing itself ahead of the curve in society’s future development.  

With nature intertwined into the cities Architectural narrative, we can improve the mental health of many users. When paired with other natural and sustainable materials for many new builds, this effect will be further amplified. 

Our proposal within this element consists of the following:

– Attach greenery-based 2nd skins to the facades of existing historical buildings within the city; vine rows that consolidate the integration of Coventrys past into its utopian future.

– With the possibility of a fully pedestrianised City Centre, this would give huge opportunities to create large open and small closed pockets of green haven, adopting some principles of quaint neighbourhood design.

– Stray from any newly proposed brutalist Architecture, paying homage to existing Brutalism as a span of time within Coventrys history by treating notable examples as almost overgrown hunks of stone amongst the wooded new nature of their surroundings (Imagine how much softer and more welcoming the Britannia Hotel would appear if giving the appearance of a building lost in time; overgrowing with lush greenery as a 2nd skin facade and murals on its concrete skin.)  

– The ring road to act as a border to this pedestrianised green haven with greenery hanging from its edges and forming sheltered spaces of communal gathering.  

– An exciting trail of overgrown greenery along Coventry Canal can form the basis of a pleasurable walk that is currently not utilised to its full potential. This can create a sense of community between the increased number of pedestrians walking it as well as a direct link from city centre to key routes.  

4. Street Art

In addition to these elements, we are firm advocates for murals, external artworks and everything in-between, searching to use these in whatever projects would benefit from such features. These will add a sense of community within the development of nature and provide a plethora of vistas signifying creativity and individuality whilst remaining cohesive and in line with city values.

The city centre lighting is an element of its development we admire greatly. With an increased number of trees, fauna and shrubbery comes the opportunity to fit them with the same light treatment as the promenade between Upper/Lower precinct and market way as well as the collection of trees near speakers corner. We believe this can help transform the city into a pleasureable experience during the dark hours, with various pockets on the promenades weaving in and out of shadowy contrast.

Finally, we love the water features created on the upper precinct and hope this could be a common theme dotted around the city centre, to further help other feel comfortable minded with their nature based surroundings. It really has brought that part of the city to life.