HOK Selected as Lead Designer for Redevelopment of Fort Regent, Jersey
HOK has been named lead designer and master planner by the States of Jersey for the redevelopment of Fort Regent, a former fortress turned multipurpose community facility in St. Helier, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel.
The redevelopment of the 22-acre (9-hectare) site will breathe new life into an historic site that contains Jersey’s largest leisure and entertainment venue. The design proposal will enable the Fort to become a center of sporting excellence, as well as Jersey’s premier entertainment and events destination. HOK’s master plan strengthens the business case required to seek public funding for the redevelopment.
To accommodate the expected increase in attendance, the plan features a lift and iconic skyway linking St. Helier’s town center to the public park surrounding the Fort. The proposed design utilizes the Fort’s external ditches to create space for a dedicated conference and exhibition center and 2,000-seat music auditorium.
Adding the auditorium and its dome roof within the existing fabric required HOK’s team to design innovative spatial and structural solutions to ensure that the facility can accommodate sport, conference and music events. In addition to redeveloping the public park, the proposal features the creation of a covered internal piazza that will be accessible to the public and act as a focal point for islanders.
“The design for Fort Regent will enrich the visitor experience by combining a vibrant range of existing and future uses, creating dynamic synergies inside the historic facility,” said John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice in London.
“Fort Regent is unique in its size, history and eclectic mix of current users and activities,”said Larry Malcic, HOK design principal in London. “Our design concept will attract visitors by reinforcing the sports and fitness activities at the heart of the Fort whilst creating more diversity with outstanding facilities for cultural, community and entertainment functions.”
In addition to HOK, the design team includes Jersey-based practices Page Architects and Ross Gower Associates, WSP, IPW and Tillyard. Existing clubs, associations and the staff at Fort Regent also are providing guidance.
Watch Channel Online TV’s feature story on the project, including an interview with HOK’s John Rhodes.