Two Greenwich students win competition to design town square

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By poppy_smith | Thursday, December 27, 2012, 20:10

Two landscape architecture students from the University of Greenwich have won a national competition to design a new square in the town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, as part of a wider initiative to regenerate the town centre.

Competition winners Anna Sieczak and Patricia Paegle were singled out by OPUN, the architecture and design centre for the East Midlands, for their innovative proposals showing how the space could be transformed, in a move to kick-start redevelopment of the area.

The postgraduates' joint proposals included ideas to divide the square into six integrated zones, bringing together the entrance, meeting and market areas alongside a cultural, events and recreation space.

Commenting on the inspiration behind their design, Anna says: "We wanted to create a dynamic urban space that is safe, integrated and has plenty of opportunities to play and interact.

"Water, waves and flow were important aspects for us in putting our ideas together, and we spent a lot of time researching, designing and selecting suitable materials. We really enjoyed being a part of Kirkby's regeneration and were delighted to win the competition."

The scheme will contribute to Ashfield District Council's strategy of improving the prosperity and shaping the future of town centres, as well as revitalising markets.

Members of OPUN's design review panel, who assessed the competition entries, were impressed by Anna and Patricia's approach to the task.

"Research has shown that good design plays a very important part in creating prosperous places that are sustainable, user-friendly, attractive and fit for purpose," explains Dharmista Patel, Head of OPUN's Design Support Services.

"This entry captured all these things. It demonstrated an excellent understanding of the immediate and wider site context, and was a well thought-out design which will encourage independent businesses to an inviting new space and surrounding streetscape."

Elements from the winning design, as well as from two other shortlisted entries, will now be used by Ashfield District Council to develop a final plan for the new town square. Works are due to start on site in 2013.

The competition was open to anyone who was studying subjects relating to the built environment. The panel consisted of an architect, landscape architect and an urban designer. Each finalist presented their ideas to the panel before taking part in a question and answer discussion about the quality and suitability of their ideas.

For more information about studying at the university's School of Architecture, Design & Construction:http://www.gre.ac.uk/schools/adc

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