The Morecambe Bay Project was a speculative design project, in collaboration with Aedas architects, that explored the future potential of Morecambe in 2030.
“Maybe we forgot that seaside towns were meant to be the escape from long working hours, smoggy cities, and ceaseless traffic. This place is perfect. Flat. Ideal to walk or cycle. Fresh air, sea breeze, big skies, big view. The Spa, on the front, that’s part of the new hotel has a pool that projects to the edge of the Bay, like an infinity pool. No wonder health nut Oliver Hill, the architect of the Midland designed his modernist hotel here. You can almost hear him say, ‘Morecambe? It restores the spirit.'”
In taking a co-design approach, the project engaged community stakeholders in imagining the future potential of Morecambe in 2030. The process began with a natural visual representation of the community’s vision for the future of Morecambe Bay Front, which used sea shells as artefacts collected from the beach and presented them alongside a scaled schematic of the sea front of Morecambe. The participants then placed the sea shells on the plan and described what each shell represented in their vision of Morecambe’s future, including features such as a new art gallery or an extended lido. The use of natural materials in this way acted as a device to encourage imagination and creativity in envisioning the future of the bay.
“The public spaces around this area of Central Morecambe have been built on standards set by the Tern Project. There’s always been a good feel for art in Morecambe. Why wouldn’t there be, Morecambe is to the brush, what the Lakes are to the pen. The new spaces to create and exhibit that were built near to the Midland, and the new Fine Art Centre for the University of Cumbria have really enlivened the arts community. You can’t walk along the prom’ without seeing someone with a sketchbook or camera. That’s what I love about Morecambe; it has texture.”
The ideas generated from the co-design process were developed into a written narrative, a speculative future story, guided in collaboration with architecture writer, Phil Griffin, which set a collaborative aspiration of what Morecambe could be. The final writing and co-created shell artwork were publicly exhibited to encourage debate and feedback, inspiring further engagement with the community.
“The Stone Jetty makes a great stage, and so does the new sweep of promenade extension, that springs out from the jetty, and loops back to the prom’ just by the theatre. This is quite a surprising walk over water, like the ramps in the Penguin House at London Zoo. And just across from it is the vibrant Marina that serves fishermen and sailing enthusiasts, some who sail to Morecambe from their training quarters round the bay in Capernway.”
The Morecambe Bay project was a collaboration that allowed the community to come together to imagine the future of their seaside town. The outcome was an inspiring vision for Morecambe, rooted in the values and aspirations of the community. The result was a shared vision of a vibrant, thriving, and sustainable Morecambe, one that aims to capture the imagination and spirit of both its residents and visitors alike.
“Everything fits with the natural beauty that surrounds Morecambe. Panoramic views. Light or dark, Morecambe has the most beautiful backdrop. The architecture clicks so well. Views from every position. And if you want to take a closer look, drop into the Observatory, adjacent to the Bay Discovery Centre, or hire one of the snug bird huts that sit on stilts between the rocks.”
Collaborators: Art Direction: Debbie Goldsmith. Narrative: Phil Griffin. Graphic Design: Darryl Hardman