Steer and Jedco win Paddington Connections competition with a poetic twist

Steer is delighted to announce that the Paddington Partnership has selected ‘See Paddington’, the firm’s joint submission with Jedco Product Design and supported by Poet in the City, as the successful entry to their Call for Submissions to address severance, and create a thread of common identity in the Paddington area to help reveal and draw visitors to the Grand Union Canalside and its amenities.

Steer and Jedco’s winning concept is simple and effective. More than conventional wayfinding or placemaking, See Paddington graphically integrates locally inspired stories, poetry and art within the urban fabric to create a coherent sense of place, revealing Paddington’s hidden assets and identifying key gateways to the canalside.

A series of perforated steel panels, with patterns and stories derived from Paddington’s heritage, culture, people and nature create a narrative trail linking the gateways to the canal. The panels play with light and shadow and respond to passing movement – offering an immersive experience to both entice and engage with visitors. In partnership with Poet in the City, poets Jo Bell and Sophie Herxheimer have been commissioned to create unique and personal local narratives that will help guide people through the area.

Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of The Paddington Partnership said:
“We were delighted with the scale and quality of responses we received to the Paddington Connections open call. From independent artists to master-planning practices, the judges were blown away by the insight and innovation shown by the 23 submissions. Steer and Jedco are a perfect fit for what we are trying to achieve at Paddington; a robust wayfinding pedigree coupled with a thorough appreciation of Paddington’s rich heritage, to create an area-wide narrative-led gateway and breadcrumb strategy. With the arrival of Crossrail in 2020/2021 we have an opportunity to press reset ­– to create new thresholds, reveal our hidden assets, showcase our waterspace and present a new Paddington. We’ve received tremendous support from Westminster City Council and local stakeholders to get this far, we’re now taking the next steps and entering discussions on the detailed design.”

To create a narrative that will resonate with Paddington’s residents, workers and visitors alike, poets Jo and Sophie will be conversing with local individuals and groups in order to translate their stories into poetic phrases that are applied to the products within the scheme. The trail is centred on three key themes:

  • Nature – highlighting the natural environments, ecosystems and wildlife, revealing the hidden canalside;
  • Heritage – celebrating the industrial past and scientific pioneers that have significantly contributed to developing Paddington and wider society; and
  • Personal connections – uncovering everyday life in Paddington through the eyes of those who know and love the area most.

Transport weaves through all these themes in celebration of Paddington’s significant role in the past, present and future of transport. From movement of goods on the Grand Union and Regent’s Canal, through to Brunel’s iconic terminus, London’s first bus ride, the first Underground journey, the arrival of the dedicated Heathrow Express to the pending arrival of the new Elizabeth Line. As one of London’s most connected locations, the excitement and adventure of setting off on a journey from, or arriving at Paddington Station continues to the current day.

“It’s great to work on a design that people will interact with and that tells a unique and personal story of Paddington, this is a really exciting project to win.”
Emily Whiteside, Lead Graphic Designer, Steer

See Paddington will be a celebration of Paddington’s heritage, people and culture and tell a unique story, with the aspiration to create a lasting legacy that will continue to animate the place and bring people together.

The project is underway with an expected launch date in Spring/Summer 2020.

Paddington Canalside
Paddington concept
Paddington The Bays
Paddington wall-mounted
Paddington lighting

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