Coatbridge was the centre of Scotland’s iron industry and a powerhouse of the industrial revolution. In the 19th Century, coal and iron were produced in vast quantities there and shipped along the Monklands canal to Glasgow for export to the Empire. Today few signs of this industrial past are evident in Coatbridge, except notably at Bank Street Basin, a civic space designed by The Paul Hogarth Company.
Here the former derelict and uninviting canal basin has been transformed into a high-quality public space. A sunken space with reclaimed canal edges interprets the alignment of the canal and a carefully selected palette of surfacing, furniture, lighting and planting combine to complete the design and compliment the character of the space. Integrated into the space are a series of playful metal sculptures that interpret and celebrate the significance of Coatbridge’s Industrial heritage. Three workers cast their steely gaze across the space, while chocolate snowballs tempt children to climb upon them. Within the sunken space an oversized plug takes centre stage, reminding the visitor of the water that once filled the basin, whilst the canal continues to run beneath their feet.
Bank Street demonstrates how heritage can be shared in a fun and dynamic way, while creating valuable civic spaces for the enjoyment of all.
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