Cambridge Market Square

Cambridge Market Square

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Market Island completes the transition of Albert Crescent from an enlarged traffic island to a civic space by the introduction of a dynamic and fundamentally democratic structure at its heart. Our intent is to introduce a structure at the heart of the site that draws from the activity on the crescent, provides additional shelter and a base for resident on market days. The regular use of Albert Crescent for markets would benefit from a central structure that could provide covered seating, space for gathering and reflect the civic nature of the space.

Historic photos from the 1950s show the storefronts extending from Albert Crescent along Chingford Mount Road as a continuous row of awnings. This reference was used in the Chingford Mount high street scheme undertaken in 2013 where improvements included the integration of awnings to shop fronts on Albert Crescent. We feel this architectural element can again be used to create a relationship with the adjacent art deco buildings and activity on the crescent.

The awning is a common feature of street markets and synonymous with vibrant trade and exchange. The awnings in our scheme utilises this association and provide the ability to expand and contract. The fully deployed awnings give cover to the public space and an interesting active roofscape. When not in use the awnings can retract leaving three permanently roofed areas that provide additional shelter for people waiting for the bus.

Albert Crescent - Market Island // Location: Waltham Forest, London Competition: Making Places Organiser: Waltham Forest Council