Barne Barton, Plymouth

Contract value: N/A

Completed: 2016

Red Brick field is a parcel of greenspace serving residential properties in Red Brick estate in Barne Barton, Plymouth. McCaren Architecture were appointed to undertake an R&D and brief-writing commission to prepare a competition brief for the design of improvements to the field.

Historically part of a former school playing fields, Red Brick field provided a level but rather uninspiring space for local recreation. The client group included an arts action group, community enterprise managers, and the local authority. Together they wanted to commission an original and distinctive proposal for improvements that would activate the space, enhance the function and identity of the field, and encourage greater use by the community.

McCaren Architecture undertook an intensive 6 week research and development exercise that included: consultation with residents; interviews with key figures in the community; review of neighbourhood planning documentation; and original archival research. This led to the preparation of a comprehensive project brief that both communicated the research findings, and set-out the goals of the creative commission.

An open competition was organised with the brief published nationally in the arts media and The Architects Journal. Shortlisting of entries was undertaken in 2016, and the winner commenced the design stage in early 2017.