Nick Socrates, who recently returned to the Island to lead a new architectural practice, PF+A, was inspired after attending a workshop in August to discuss the future of Colomberie.
His idea centres on developing a privately-funded 16-storey tower on the site of the public toilets to generate funds to deliver community benefits in the form of a public open space and external lifts on the tower, linked to a walkway connected to the Fort’s north outworks overlooking Snow Hill.
‘The building would act as a landmark and make Snow Hill a public destination rather than a eye-sore,’ he said.
‘I just want someone to do something about this really shabby area. I don’t necessarily want to do this as a project, I just want something to be done to regenerate the area and provide access to Fort Regent.’
Mr Socrates was involved in a previous Snow Hill regeneration proposal before he left the Island to work in the UK. However, as with other improvement suggestions for the area and Fort Regent, he says it came to nothing. He says he hopes his radical plan will generate interest to finally get something done.
Mr Socrates was born and grew up in Jersey, and has spent the last ten years working in Cardiff, Bristol and London. During that time he has designed and led some high-profile national projects including London’s Westmark Tower, the regeneration of Bristol Temple Meads and the University of Bath’s new architecture and engineering faculty.
He has also worked on a slum regeneration masterplan in Agra, India, and Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s new art gallery and depository. He is also a contemporary artist and his paintings have been exhibited in London, New York and Jersey.
He says in hindsight, a proposal for a 16-storey tower may not be acceptable but he wanted to get people talking. He now thinks it would be better to drop the height to make it level with the cliff face behind and the top of Regency Flats to the east.
‘It could be a ten-storey building but there are taller buildings in Jersey,’ he said. ‘Although it would have quite a small footprint it could still be an elegant building.’