Victoria Pier, Hull
Planned flood defence improvements provide an opportunity to re-shape and revive Victoria Pier as one of Hull's premier waterfront spaces.
As the 19th C maritime gateway to Hull, Victoria Pier was a focus for public gatherings. Historic photographs show a spacious, tree-lined waterfront, thronged with people and enlivened by the bustle of intensive maritime activity. Today this is a relatively waterfront but, with the regeneration of the adjacent Fruit Market district and investment in flood defence, Victoria Pier will become a new hub of activity.
A flowing sequence of 'tideline steps' provides the interface between the flat, open Nelson Street space and the historic timber pier, enabling the retention of all the trees and minimising the visual impact of the flood defence wall. A new cafe' and shelter provide a focus and meeting point on the upper level. These structures are positioned to frame estuary views and flank the entrance to Victoria Pier, while allowing a continuous walkway along the estuary frontage.
The space has a maritime character. 'Gangway' ramps provide access for all, tall lighting columns echo ships' masts and plantings of ornamental grasses seem 'washed-up' against the steps. The upper terrace spills out onto a new timber deck, with steps and a ramp down to Victoria Pier. Both this new pier space and the larger Nelson Street area offer opportunities for performance and events.