Postgraduate students from the Manchester School of Architecture will this week work up proposals for a peace garden that could be created at Lincoln Square.
The previous garden was removed from St Peter’s Square in 2014 to make way for improvements such as the second city tram crossing. The redevelopment of Lincoln Square in Brazennose Street has been provisionally identified as a suitable site for the peace garden.
Steve Roman, Friends of Manchester Peace Garden’s spokesman, said: “We have been in discussion with Manchester City Council for several years and submitted a prioritised list of city centre sites in which we would like to see the Peace Garden re-established.
“After we addressed the council executive Sir Richard Leese last October, he stated that Lincoln Square would be the location for the new peace garden.”
The Friends of Manchester Peace Garden, which was established to source a site for another peace garden, and design practice Planit-IE, have briefed students on the project. Criteria includes commemorating Manchester’s communities that have campaigned for social justice; addressing challenges of climate change, urban density and liveable cities; and re-conceiving the garden as a space of regeneration.
Fox added: “Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and considering the instability of global politics and the recent Manchester arena attack, this appeared to be a project of particular relevance to us.”
While the students’ designs will not be used as the final plan for the peace garden, Fox said their ideas and concepts may help influence the council and developers as proposals for the space move forward.
In 2001 the Mayor of Hiroshima invited Manchester City to become a Vice-President City of Mayors for Peace, due to its involvement in promoting a nuclear weapons free world, and in 2005 the council adopted an official peace policy includes “promoting social inclusion, social justice, good citizenship and peace between the peoples, cultures and faith communities that it serves”.
The plaques, memorials and statues from the St Peter’s peace garden are in storage and the Friends hope that some will be re-sited in the garden alongside new artwork, poetry and imagery. Also proposed are the existing Lincoln Square statues, with the planting of gingko trees being grown at Dunham Massey which the Mayor of Hiroshima gifted to the city.
Designs will be unveiled and judged by a panel at a private presentation and prize-giving ceremony on Friday 29 September.
Brazennose House, which will offer 93,000 sq ft of offices, is a key part of the Lincoln Square redevelopment. Planning for the centre piece was designed by 5plus architects and approved in 2016, and is developed by M&G Real Estate and Marshalls CDP.
The council is said to be in talks with the developers regarding the peace garden.