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Zaha Hadid Architects selected for Bournemouth’s Pavilion Gardens

The creation of a landmark ‘cultural quarter’ overlooking Bournemouth’s world-famous seafront is underway following the appointment of Zaha Hadid Architects.

Acknowledged as one of the most important sites within the Council’s Town Centre Vision portfolio, Bath Road North is currently a car park and sits prominently alongside the Pavilion, with dramatic views towards the seafront and Purbeck Hills.

Zaha Hadid Architects, which has twice won the prestigious Stirling Prize, topped a strong field of five shortlisted companies to join the Council in developing a world class Pavilion Gardens project at this Bath Road North site.

Initial proposals for the site include designing a mix of cultural attractions and public space improvements complementing Bath Road and the Pavilion Theatre.  This could include a multi-use performance space, hotel and restaurants.

Significant public realm investment is envisaged, linking the cultural quarter to the beaches, town centre and forthcoming Winter Gardens scheme via a new Grand Garden Walk. Community and stakeholder engagement, as well as public consultation, will be a major part of the project.

Councillor John Beesley, Leader of the Council, said; “The Council’s approach to the development at the Bath Road North site will be thorough and considered.  We are in the early stages of planning and any development will need to be of high architectural quality, respecting the views, enhancing the neighbouring Pavilion and creating a strong and positive visual identity for this part of Bournemouth.”

The appointment of Zaha Hadid Architects follows a competitive process designed to identify an architect who can demonstrate the importance of placemaking whilst respecting the wider area of interest outside a development site.

Jim Heverin, director at Zaha Hadid Architects, said; “We greatly look forward to working with the community and all stakeholders to develop a shared vision for this very important site. On her recent visit to Bournemouth in March this year, Zaha explored the wonderful possibilities for Pavilion Gardens as a popular cultural quarter for residents and visitors alike, linking the town centre with its renowned seafront and beaches.”

Planning for the Bath Road North site is in the early stages and the Council is working through the Bournemouth Development Company to establish the development potential of the area of land to the side of the Pavilion Theatre. Any development will create the opportunity to redefine this key town centre destination.

Following the appointment of Zaha Hadid Architects, Bournemouth Council will work with key stakeholders from the Arts Council, BH Live, Arts University Bournemouth, and the Bournemouth Development Company to create a vision for the site which will inform the longer term development plans for the Bath Road North site.


Notes to Editor;

Altogether, 38 expressions of interest were received from architects’ practices in response to a competition organised by The Bournemouth Development Company.

As delivery partner for the Town Centre Vision, Bournemouth Development Company is working to redevelop council-owned land assets in the town.

Under the partnership, the Council invests land assets including car parks when development is imminent. The assets investment is matched in cash value by Morgan Sindall Investments. Both partners maintain a 50% share in the assets, the partnership and the profits arising, with the share of profits reinvested in new sites, infrastructure and open spaces. The Bournemouth Development Company is developing sites through a holistic approach over the next 20 years, the projected life of the partnership. For more information, visit: