Re-imagining Coventry's Gatehouses
The project centres on revitalising forgotten aspects of Coventry's unique, diverse industrial and cultural past in a new, exciting and innovative way involving creating sculptural structures on former gatehouse sites.
Re-locating the medieval wall and overlaying characters on gatehouse sites
The project focuses on three characters, referencing the Forest of Arden, Excavation and Clockmaking
Forest of Arden
The destruction of the twelve gatehouses, marking the perimeter of Coventry for centuries, could be seen to epitomise the city’s disconnect with its past
The destruction of the twelve medieval gatehouses, marking the perimeter of Coventry for centuries, epitomises the city’s disconnect with its past. On these twelve sites, symbolic structures (renamed ‘watchtowers’ to emphasise observation) are rebuilt to commemorate. The architectural language of each watchtower is inspired by their individual theme and compelling narrative. The relationship between the structures is important; a sandstone path referencing the medieval wall guides pedestrians and connects the watchtowers, which engage visitors with their evocative stories. Architecture is the catalyst, facilitating plus encouraging interaction: with each other, and with the past. The watchtowers re-instate a sense of collective identity to Coventry and celebrate the city’s rich history.
Re-emphasising the path of the medieval wall
Excavation, referencing mining in Coventry
Twelve conceptual characters, each representing one moment
Sketch of sculptural monument to commemorate Spon Street’s watchmaking history
Whilst the concept of preserving industries on gatehouse sites was maintained, the project developed from architectural watchtowers to sculptural monuments to be feasible.
The design on each of the installations is unusual and linked to the past - similar to a fossil, each has the imprint of something that used to exist in that area. For example, Spon Street’s monument references and depicts watchmaking. Creating historically inspired monuments could appeal to everyone. Creating the pedestrian ‘Monument Pathway’ could encourage visitors to wander freely around the city, through some lesser-known areas that could do with revitalising, whilst learning about Coventry along their journey. Coventry would benefit from this attraction, creating good quality public space for visitors to explore and interact.
Prototype Spon Street monument sculpture
Sculpture series testing pigmentation to reference Coventry’s medieval red sandstone wall
The medievalcoventry.co.uk website is still in beta stage.
These projects are being brought together
in partnership with Culture Coventry