TGP Landscape Architects Ltd was assigned the task of designing the landscape at Greg’s Place, a vibrant new outdoor community space which recently opened at the University of York, replacing the previous dilapidated Vanbrugh Piazza. Helping TGP to mark a new era for the University, Tobermore supplied the landscape architect with modern Manhattan plank paving and Granite Step Units which were used to create a unique, striking hard landscape.
Greg’s Place was named in honour of Greg Dyke, a highly respected journalist, broadcaster, and chairman of The Football Association, who was additionally Chancellor at the University for 11 years.
Andrew Gardener, Director at TGP, explained how the company won the opportunity to be involved in the refurbishment scheme: “The original site (Vanbrugh Piazza) was designed in the 1960’s and had gone unused for years, having never been updated. We took part in a competition being run by the University of York to come up with a design for a multi-functional space that students could use. We won the competition and presented a proposal to Greg Dyke and the Student Union, taking their opinions on board and the students ‘a year in the life’ concept that reflected the events taking place throughout the year for students – festivals, Christmas markets, graduations, etc.”
TGP’s design concept had to meet a variety of requirements. Andrew noted: “The strong central axis of the site, which runs North / South from Vanbrugh College, was further enhanced by extending it out into the lake and placing a large timber and galvanised steel feature seating window on it. The space itself needed to be flexible enough for multi-purpose use and needed to work on a North / South and East / West axis.
“Greg Dyke wanted a large screen installed for the communal screening of sports and movies on the College building to the West of the site. Timber, circular seating and a raised grass terrace were included to create multiple viewing directions within the site.”
Andrew explained the selection of materials for the landscape at Greg’s Place: “For the hard landscaping, we knew that paving needed to be a versatile, cost effective, hard-wearing solution for the scheme.”
Tobermore paving products were an obvious choice for TGP and Andrew was particularly impressed with Tobermore’s Manhattan plank paving system: “I liked the large format size; the mixed size units and the variety of colours available with the product are impressive and it is always good to see paving that is different to the standard often seen in public spaces.”
Manhattan was ideal for creating a contemporary look at Greg’s Place as it is manufactured with a sparkling granite aggregate surface layer, reflecting the aesthetics of natural granite that is popular in European cities.
TGP specified the product in Silver and Mid Grey, forming a subtle colour pattern. The landscape architect selected Tobermore’s Granite Step Unit as a stepping solution, which was a wonderful, modern accompaniment to Manhattan as Granite Step Units are manufactured with a similar granite aggregate surface finish.
Andrew commented on the results of Greg’s Place: “We are delighted with the finished look of the scheme and the University is pleased that students, staff and visitors are making use of the area in a way they never did before.
“We are very happy with the products supplied by Tobermore as they have given a great contemporary feel to the space.
“We plan to use Tobermore products again for forthcoming projects.”