Pomona Island currently sits dormant within the city of Manchester as a “concrete post-industrial wasteland” and as the city centre is being rapidly repopulated with the vast array of current and future housing projects, the Pomona Island offers another set of opportunities.

Undeveloped since the closure of the Pomona docks in 1954, Pomona is a hub for biodiversity and with the low percentage of green space that exists in Manchester, the 80,000m2 open space available on Pomona Island requires a thoughtful approach towards  the landscape.

The New Pomona Gardens proposal envisions Pomona Island as a vast natural landscape that explores the cultural significance of the island. It is an expansive fruit orchard that spans the 1km length of the island embodying the public natural experience that used to exist on the site with the Cornbrook Strawberry Gardens and Pomona Gardens in the 1800s. This intervention fits within Manchester’s Tree Strategy which aims to create a culture of caring for nature from a young age with educational schemes.

The New Pomona Palace is an open-air amphitheatre with a capacity of 9455 and aims to offer a unique concert experience surrounded by nature. The venue is made up of a fully timber interior structure and an extensive green roof structure that spans over the top. The New Pomona Palace is a modern approach towards the old Pomona Palace that brought excitement to the island during the 1880’s so much that there was a folksong written about Pomona. I have made a short video contrasting the current perception of Pomona Island to the atmosphere of the island in the past using a backing of soundbites from that folksong which can be found below.

This proposal redefines this currently uninviting and intimidating grey area within the city as a new entertainment hub.