Avery Associates with development team Urban Catalysts has won Barking and Dagenham Borough Council's competition with its design to revitalise Barking's town square (aj 10.02.00 and 9.3.00). The £20 million winning scheme includes a wide range of uses from residential and retail to education, health and leisure. The proposed buildings form an 'open' canopied mall linking shopping in Ripple Road to East Street via the new town square to complete a circuit within the town centre. The town hall clock tower can be glimpsed from various points and the square itself is given a sense of enclosure by terraced residential units to the south and along all main frontages at upper levels.
The new town square becomes a community focus, with a new library, complete with ground floor cafe, replacing an existing building along Clockhouse Avenue. Avery Associates hopes that by limiting traffic access along Clockhouse Square, it will be possible to link the area in front of the Broadway Theatre more closely with the town centre. The new development will be heralded by an art event during architecture week this June, when artist Shelagh Wakely, will temporarily cover the square with a golden carpet.