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Feasibility study for the restructuring of Northampton market

We won in competition an opportunity to redesign Northampton’s Market Square, one of the oldest and largest formal market squares in the country. The space can accommodate up to 260 market stalls, but in recent years there has been a decline in demand from market traders. Historically stalls were demountable structures, erected only on market days. The current permanent stalls were erected in the 1960’s, providing practical benefits to market traders, but excluding the possibility of using the square for any other purpose.

Following our successful RIBA open competition design submission, we carried out a detailed consultation process with the market traders, local businesses and the statutory authorities. From this we produced a feasibility study to demonstrate the possibilities for revitalising the town’s open market and reestablishing the civic ‘heart’ of the town.

We proposed to radically reduce the number of stalls and reconfigure them so that key routes and spaces could be opened up, allowing the square to again function as a social space, capable of hosting large scale public events. We collaborated with engineers and manufacturers to design a high quality, demountable market stall system. Together with the new external market stalls, we designed a relocated covered the meat and fish stalls, which would allow for future flexibility in the size of the market.

Northampton Market Place
Public space refurbishment and market stall design
for Northampton Borough Council
Value: £3M
Competition winner: 2004