How can urban interventions reinstate public connection to forgotten spaces?
The uncovering or the River Medlock has been central to the development of Mayfield. However, the river remains largely inaccessible and unused.
This project sets out a phased plan of urban interventions which seek to reintegrate the river back into the fabric of Mayfield and Manchester. The development of urban wetlands to north of the site reduces the risk of flooding and improves water quality. This facilitates a series of interventions which encourage people to wash, drink, swim, and bathe in the water of the Medlock, reinstating the River Medlock with an active role in public life.
Phase one includes five public water fountains, engaging the public to reimagine the potential of the River Medlock.
Phase two introduces outdoor swimming across two sites which include temporary timber structures that offer showering and changing facilities. This reintroduces the Medlock by embedding it into daily routines and rituals.
Finally, phase 3 provides a more permanent structure alongside the River Medlock – Mayfield Baths. The location of Mayfield Baths on Baring Street has particular historical significance as it is the site of the original Mayfield bathhouse which opened in 1857. This third phase seeks to replicate the programme of the original Mayfield bathhouse including spaces for showering, hot pools for bathing and leisure, as well as a laundrette and community spaces.