The £80 million Watermark West Quay development in Southampton, which includes the West Quay shopping centre, also involves the creation of a new public square located in front of the city’s historic walls. As well as delivering service diversions, groundworks and a superstructure contract, Careys Civil Engineering was awarded the hard landscaping contract for the development.
The flat sections of the hard landscaping were designed to reflect the mudflats that once existed outside the city wall. To achieve the architect’s vision, we had to construct intricate patterns of 100mm cobbles of varying colour. We enabled access onto the flat sections from the existing public walkways and the new shopping centre by installing reinforced concrete stairs which we then clad with sections of granite stone.
To comply with the landscape architect’s requirements, the granite stone was imported from both China and India and due to the long lead-in times, had to be ordered early in the contract works. This required an overall understanding of the quantities of stone needed for the works - something that was difficult to establish with such intricate patterns of paving. Once the stone had arrived, we constructed sample panels of the paving and invited the architect to approve these to ensure that our finished work would meet design expectations.
Due to programme difficulties experienced by the principal contractor on the main structure, we faced a challenge from the envelope works to the main structure being delayed. This required a high level of coordination between our site management team and other contractors to ensure access for us to complete the hard landscaping works. The paving in certain areas tied into a section of the existing city wall where we integrated it with a lighting scheme to illuminate the wall, and this, coupled with the installation of all soft landscaping, required exceptional attention to detail at all times.