Masterplan > Stivichall > Dell Sculpture

an investigator takes aphoto in Priory Place

The Stivichall Investigation

[1. investigation process
[2.
investigation headquarters
[3. what we like/don't like about school

[4. questions and answers

[5. surprise poems

[6. close up on the Dell

[7. important things

[8. the fact finding mission
[this page]
[9. the design brief
[10. design & consultation

[11.
installing the artwork
[12. unveiling the artwork
[13
. what happens next ?

[* WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP!


8. The fact finding mission

A delegation of 10 went to Coventry city centre on the bus to investigate design for public spaces. We collected evidence about materials, structures, design and maintenance. We looked at spaces and imagined what functions they had been designed for, and whether there were other things happening in the spaces now which the designer hadn't intended - and whether that was a good thing or a bad thing...

The last place we went to was the Precinct, where we looked at the Phoenix Levelling Stone. This stone was the first bit of the Precinct to be put in place, and it shows a Phoenix rising from a fire and holding the plans for the new city in its beak. The phoenix was used as a symbol for Coventry after World War II, which destroyed a lot of the city. They chose the phoenix because [like Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, in the Harry Potter books] it renews itself with fire, and rises more beautiful out of the flames instead of being burnt and destroyed: they were saying that after the fire and destruction of the war, Coventry could be born again as a more beautiful city.

The reason why we were so interested in the Levelling Stone was because our school is going to be re-built, and so it will be changing around the Dell. This means our artwork for the Dell could be a bit like a Levelling Stone - the last bit of the old school and the first bit of the new school to be built.


Here's some of the things we looked at:


Millennium Square: We thought this space had been quite well designed for exhibitions, sitting and thinking, events and parades. We liked the big open space, but our favourite bit was the high walkway [the blue bridge] which leads to the gardens.

blue bridge close up of glass monument
part of the clock
name plaques


The Garden of International Friendship: We thought that this was a well designed space. We liked the way you can see lots of different things depending on where you stand, and that there are 'windows' and other shapes to look through. We liked the blocks of colour and the shapes - for instance the swirly maze [below right]. But we were sad that people had pulled some plants out [see bottom left picture] and we thought that it seemed a shame that these new things were not properly looked after.

views through the wall the squirly maze
pulled out plants
view through an opening


Volgograd Place: When we first looked at this space, we thought it looked a bit dull and dark, but we realised that there were places [below right] which were once fountains, and that there were spotlights which no longer worked. We talked a lot about looking after places and decided that we actually liked Volgograd Place [which is named after one of Coventry's twin cities] and wished it still had its water and lighting. We thought it might have looked a bit like the surface of the moon when it was first built, and we quite liked that.

the moon-rocks former fountains
volgograd place plaque


Priory Place: We thought Priory Place was a very well designed space. We especially liked the WaterWindow artwork. We liked the way it looked, the shapes and colours of the stone in the bottom of the pool and the way that the space looked different when you went up the ramp and actually looked through the water. We also liked the garden at the Visitor Centre, which has white stones on the floor, lovely green trees with a sound artwork in them and local red sandstone walls.

the water window looking into the pool
priory garden looking back through the water window


The Precinct: We were interested to see the Phoenix because most of us must have walked past it hundreds of times but we had never seen it before. It was a bit sad to see a photograph of it when it was first made, because it looked so much nicer - the drawing was lined in white and stood out from the stone. It was a bit higher than floor level then, and there was space around it so that people couldn't walk over it, but now it has been walked on a lot, there's chewing gum stuck to it and two of the three brass cups for the legs of the theodolyte [the instrument the surveyor looks through to make sure the ground is level enough to build on] have gone. We thought it should be made more of a feature of again so people will look at it and look after it.

the phoenix stone an old photo of the precinct
the precinct the phoenix stone


Find out more about the Investigation by following the links below:

[1. investigation process
[2.
investigation headquarters
[3. what we like/don't like about school

[4. questions and answers

[5. surprise poems

[6. close up on the Dell

[7. important things

[8. the fact finding mission
[this page]
[9. the design brief
[10. design & consultation

[11.
installing the artwork
[12. unveiling the artwork
[13
. what happens next ?

[* WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP!

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