Poll: Graduate Edward Deacon produces plans for a Maritime Centre building at Ipswich Waterfront

Ipswich waterfront taken from Stoke Bridge.

Ipswich waterfront taken from Stoke Bridge. - Credit: Su Anderson

One man’s vision of The Gateway to the Waterfront

Edward Deacon, who has designs for Ipswich Waterfront

Edward Deacon, who has designs for Ipswich Waterfront - Credit: Archant

The Victorian forefathers of Ipswich had a vision, and the Wet Dock which they invested in building, then brought prosperity and decades of international maritime trade to the town.

It is a very different area today, with the Waterfront being developed for homes and leisure, a tourist attraction for the town.

It has been grown piecemeal, and now there are hopes of developing the “Gateway to the Waterfront”, by having an architectural competition to find a design for the area from Stoke Bridge which has become a bit of an eyesore with its derelict dock buildings.

The competition idea has the support both of local MP Ben Gummer and Ipswich Borough Council.

Waterfront designs by Edward Deacon, for his masters in design,of St Peter's Maritime and visitors c

Waterfront designs by Edward Deacon, for his masters in design,of St Peter's Maritime and visitors centre, at the gateway to the Waterfront from Stoke Bridge - Credit: Archant

The solution might actually be closer to home.

One Ipswich man is already ahead of them.

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Univesity graduate Edward Deacon has come up with a design for an iconic building, for the Waterfront near Stoke Bridge.

His design, which he has submitted as course work for his Masters, is for an ultra modern building - with lots of glass, giving views and reflections.

The working title for it is St Peter’s Maritime Centre.

He said: “I live in the town and love this part of town. I wanted to do something for Ipswich. The idea of doing something about the Waterfront was in my mind from when I started my course. I have very early memories off coming down here with my family.”

Ed, now 23, is a graduate in building surveying from Nottingham Trent University.

He is now working towards his MsC in Architectural Technology and Design, also at Nottingham Trent and handed in this final project this week.

His Bsc in building surveying degree course was actually over four years, with a `gap year’ working in industry with renowned Barnes Construction of Ipswich.

He had the opportunity work as a site manager and in their design department.

“I have always been interested in design,” he added.

“This is my final Masters project,” he said.

“I am very excited about it. It has been a brilliant year. Now it is handed in, it is a weight of my shoulders.”

He has designed a new building, with landscaped areas around, which would be seen by people arriving from the Stoke Bridge end.

He said: “I wanted to do something for my home town. Something which would help to link the town centre with the Waterfront.

“I knew the docks and the Waterfront from a young boy.

“I used to cycle past, with a mate, on my way to school (St Albans).

“It has always been an eyesore here. The buildings are derelict and something needs to be done.

“It is the first thing many people see when they come to the Waterfront.”

Edward’s design includes an exhibition area - tall enough for a sailing ship to be displayed, a tourist information centre, restaurants, shops and cafe areas.

He said: “There would be a gallery space, but also rooms where weddings and other events could be held.

“The new building would have a lot of glass in it, including a vaulted roof so you could see original features. It would have an open area for displays and a permanent home for an Ipwwich Maritime Museum.

“The people eating in the rooftop restaurant would have views across the docks and out towards the edge of the town.”

“I have been working on this for the past 12 months.”

Now, with his designs, models and plans handed in, it is back to another reality, and the world of work.

“I will be looking for a job now,” he said.