Client / Project Taunton
Budget / GBP 350,000
Stage / Completed 2012
Winner ACE Award 2013
Shortlisted RIBA Award 2013
Planning Permission Granted 2010
Listed Building Consent Granted 2010
The market town of Taunton has a rich cultural and archaeological heritage, with the Castle Green area in the centre as the historic core of the town. A scheduled ancient monument, the area is bounded on all sides by listed buildings, including the Grade I Castle which contains the Somerset County Museum.
Working within strict site constraints the Moat Bridge connects Castle Green with Goodland Gardens, climbing 1.8m along its length to provide a DDA compliant link in place of the convoluted and restrictive pathway that previously existed on the site.
The design is intended to be deferential to the Grade 1 listed medieval castle; now used as the Museum of Somerset [& recently refurbished by Feilden Clegg Bradley]. The trajectory of the bridge is gently curved, subtly yielding to the South West Tower of the Castle but maintaining a direct and simple route from one end of the site to the other. The deck is tapered to mitigate between the contrasting conditions at either end of the bridge; Castle Green is a relatively large urban square while Goodland Gardens are a close and wooded public park; as such the south abutment is broad and of a scale with the hard landscaping of the square while the sides of the north end are brought in close to tie through with the narrow paths running through the gardens.
The false perspective set up by the taper, combined with the gentle curve, is contrived to visually shorten the uphill journey to the square while apparently prolonging the downhill stroll into the gardens.