Public art

Goal: Incorporate public art into new and existing developments to enhance the visual quality and create a sense of identity.

 p75. Public art needs to be taken into consideration at the outset of the design process, be of local relevance/significance to ensure it makes a valuable contribution to the character and success of a development. Public art is art for the public specifically designed by artists for the purpose of public display (i.e. it is beyond the artist’s work merely shown in public spaces). Public art is always site-specific and can take many forms that may include sculptures, fencing, paving, (this is covered under street furniture), street furniture, mosaics, glass work, flooring, lighting gateways or even community events.

 p76. Public art provides a great mechanism for leisure and planning to meet the broader Council’s corporate objectives. Public art features can be accepted as part of aplanning application or worked as a project within the design and build of a scheme,sometimes secured via Section 106 or through Community Infrastructure Contributions(CIL), or incorporated within a planning application.



Figure 20

  Figure 34:
Integrate art into the built environment (The Fairmile, Cholsey)


Inform your design:

Public engagement

Design competitions

Communicate your design:

Show the evolution of your design from initial concept to final design

Support your design:

Design Council Artists and Places (2008)

Association for Public Art

Public Art online


Public space, willow sphere (Cholsey meadows)
Brick relief, district centre wall (Didcot)
Public sculpture, the swirl (Didcot)
Public seating in open space, benches (Chinnor)

Ensure the scheme, or public art in any new development:

    1. is appropriately located and integrated. Relates to the design rationale of the development and helps create a place or feature (depending on the scale of development). This should be considered early in the design process.
    2. is of the highest quality;
    3. is designed and created by professional artists;
    4. has local relevance/significance (if not to the site then to the local area);
    5. is informed by public participation and involvement where appropriate;
    6. is informed by liaison and development with the Arts Development Officer.

Note: All design principles are applicable to all scales of development unless otherwise specified; *minor applications, **major applications