The York Guildhall is one of the most important historic buildings in the city, yet it is isolated from the main tourist trail and the buildings around it are underutilised. The brief therefore was to find a way of maximising the potential of this hidden gem and connect it to one of the main thoroughfares in the city.
The Manser Practice’s solution was to create a new, easily accessible riverside public route that connects the Guildhall and its council chambers to Lendal Bridge, the busiest route into the city. This new public space also incorporates a riverside museum and a mixed use building, helping to define a new vibrant city quarter.
By exploring the potential of the brief at a citywide scale rather than simply at a building scale, The Manser practice offered York city planners a way of creating a new active City Quarter, in turn creating jobs and growing the city’s economy by celebrating and enhancing the area’s existing local heritage. The scheme will become an animated space throughout the day and into the evening; a magnet for tourists and a new way for the people of York to rediscover their city’s history.