PLANT won the international competition for the design of this new public square in fall 2006 to replace the existing parking lot and bus depot. New Market Square will be a commons for the people of Stratford, where two opposing slopes generate an arena for public life. The sunken ground is a collector of activity as well as water; open space allows movement through and around the Square; a gently folded plane generates an ever-changing set of perspectives. A large grove of Sycamore trees makes the Square both a park and a piazza.
The new “creased” brick planes define a locus within the greater pedestrian realm resurfaced in finely-grained brick where the resultant slope of the ground gives City Hall a stately prominence and the South retail promenade overlooks onto the Square. The Square is edged by a seat wall on the west and shallow amphitheatre-like steps at the east, and a wide treed promenade for café table spill-out at the South.