Southampton City Council have completed work on Blechynden Gardens, transforming one of the key routes for those walking between the city centre and Southampton Central Station.
The park is on the former site of the Emperia Buildings, which were destroyed by a bomb raid during the Blitz in 1940. It has been thoughtfully designed to respect the historical value of the site and encompasses the remains of the buildings, which are one of the last remaining World War Two sites in Southampton. The park also includes the Blechynden Arch, two sculptures, and a concealed car park hidden by a screen, which echoes the walls that previously stood on the site.
Council staff that worked on the project referenced a photograph showing the area as it looked in the early 1900s in order to create the sympathetic design, whilst also incorporating new features, such as rubber crumb paths and railings separating the park from the nearby car park, to improve safety and durability.
As Cllr Jacqui Rayment explained,
“It’s amazing to see the transformation of this area into an attractive, world-class public space complete with two amazing pieces of artwork that respect the rich history of the area. The parks team at the council have done a great job to ensure this area will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come.”