Headlines: June 3rd, 2008

A scheme to improve the Old Market Square in Nottingham has won one of the country’s top architectural prizes. The scheme, described by the City Council as pivotal to the regeneration of Nottingham has won a Royal Institute of British Architects Award, which go to schemes that show high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the local environment.

The Square is one of the oldest and largest public squares in the UK and the redevelopment was unveiled a year ago. It includes a water feature and seating terraces and has been designed to improve accessibility for all so the square can be used for a range of events. Gustafson Porter’s reinvention of the space joined St Pancras International Station, Wembley Stadium, the Hilton Tower in Manchester, Heathrow Terminal 5 and BBC Scotland’s new development at Pacific Quay, in Glasgow in winning a 2008 RIBA Award.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Regeneration, Alan Clark, said, “We are really proud of the new look Old Market Square and are delighted the development has been recognised by RIBA. The development of the Square has played a pinnacle role in Nottingham’s regeneration and has given us the ability to stage large-scale events for all the City to enjoy.”

The RIBA jury praised the scheme for the way in which its new layout created a less structured and more inviting public space “which encourages people to make it their own and invites the surrounding shops, businesses and cafés to spill in to the square.” They added the project allowed surrounding buildings to complement each other and stand out for their own architectural character.