Public Realm
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Kingston Ancient Market

Landscape and Public Realm, 2014

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Client: Royal Borough of Kingston
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames, UK
Budget: £2.5 million
Size: 7,000 Sq. meters
Engineer: Rodrigues Associates
Engineer: JMP
Lighting: Tonkin Liu
RIBA Award 2016

The design strategy has diversified the use of the Kingston Ancient Market Place for evening dining and performances, proposing perforate, cross-laminated timber market stalls that are transformed into lanterns at night.  The stalls have been grouped and positioned to open up urban vistas, in the north-south as well as east-west directions, capturing key views of All Saint’s Church, Guild Hall and the historic alleyways.

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in the morning the traders gather,
under the dappled light of the abundant orchard,
laying out their fruits they begin to sing, 
and the townsfolk come from all around

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There are four distinct areas: the triangle of the Ancient Market Place, the circle of the Guildhall, the square of the All Saints’ Churchyard, and the alleys from the Market to the River. The architectural language has grown out of the rhythm of the daily market, the gold of the Guildhall with the covered Hogsmill River, the peaceful garden of the churchyard held captive on three sides with the back of terrace buildings, and narrow alleys that lead to a vibrant riverside. 

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