Design approach

Our approach to the design of Fishermans Dock has been inspired by the rich history of this important town. Starting with a rigorous delve into the past and an in-depth analysis of the present, our proposals for the site are bespoke: they could not be applied to any other location. Fishermans Dock is our vision for the future of this exciting piece of Poole’s past.

The Quay is a fundamental part of Poole’s character, itself documenting years of change in its eclectic mix of architecture and uses. A short walk along the Quay reveals much about the town; from the famous glazed tiles of The Poole Arms and the Poole Museum, to the 21st century Sunseeker factories, and multiple new developments. This variety of scale and materials is a fundamental characteristic of the town, and is directly related to its industrial past.

The existing Thistle Hotel sits at the far eastern end of the Quay, by the RNLI Lifeboat Museum, on a site previously occupied by part of the East Quay Gasworks. Historic imagery reveals a site used to fuel the town; offering a valuable mooring point for coal ships coming in and out of Poole. To the rear of the site, sat three distinctive industrial buildings of significant scale. Each with a very different form to its neighbour, these key buildings would have been visible from across the town, with their tall chimneys, fuelling the town. These three notable forms have directly influenced our concept for the redevelopment of the site.


Existing built form along The Quay


Three residential blocks recreate these historic forms, running north-south across the site, with publicly accessible spaces between. On the quayside, sit three commercial spaces, enlivening and extending the existing Quay frontage further east towards the RNLI Museum.

At the eastern most corner of the site, we propose a new 118-bedroom hotel, complete with a rooftop restaurant and bar. This publicly accessible space will offer stunning views across the harbour towards Brownsea Island.


Design Development

Our scheme has evolved through a number of design iterations since its initial conception.  We are keen to show the journey to date and to illustrate how we have worked with various consultees to arrive at the current proposals.  Over a significant design programme, we have regularly discussed our emerging plans with BCP Council and Historic England and have also presented to the South West Design Review Panel on two occasions. Most recently, we presented our latest scheme to the Poole Quays Forum.

This process has been very beneficial: it has helped to sculpt and refine the designs, ensuring that our proposals are progressed coherently, and has responded to professional comments along the way. The images below illustrate this rigorous development, showing the extent of the journey that we have gone through to this point.  Ensuring that the scheme has progressed in a sensitive manner is pivotal to our process, and we hope this illustrates how far we have come from our early designs.

Consultation 1
Consultation 6b