This is how the Eye of York could look – complete with picnic and performance spaces
A new-look Eye of York, complete with picnic and performance spaces, is getting closer to reality.
Designers have now shared their vision for the historic site, following feedback from residents through the My Castle Gateway consultation.
Their plan retains the circular look for the space between the Crown Court and Castle Museum, and the oak tree, which most residents wanted.
More planting would turn the Eye of York from a public space to public gardens, with a circular path leading to seating areas, for meet-ups and picnics.
Vehicle movements would be restricted to court traffic and deliveries to the museum, making it a more pedestrianised area.
The plan, drawn up by design consultants BDP, envisages the Female Prison steps and podium as performance space. The new planting on the central grassed area would allow a clear view of this area, so people could sit and enjoy outdoor music gigs or theatre shows.
An open area would face the steps of Clifford’s Tower in one direction, and the Castle Museum in the other, where there would be tables for the museum café.
Taller planting would screen off the area in front of the court. This would shift people’s focus away from the court and its activities, and reduce any noise reaching the courts.
Planned activities would mainly take place in a new events space on the former Castle car park, or outside of court hours.
Cllr Nigel Ayre, executive member for finance and performance, thanked everyone who gave their views on the Eye of York redevelopment.
“The feedback has informed the refined design for the Eye of York space that now centres on the lawn and tree, as well as creating new areas that face out to Clifford’s Tower and the Castle Museum that will encourage people to meet, gather and enjoy the space,” he said.
“A planning application for the Castle Car Park and the Eye of York area will be submitted shortly, which will be the next step in delivering a world-class public realm in York.”