New corn circles have appeared in the Wiltshire town of Calne, outside the new Sainsbury supermarket. The phenomenon owes nothing to extra-terrestrial shoppers, and everything to the desire to create an attractive public space. The Sainsbury Piazza was runner-up in the BDA Brick Awards Paving and Hard Landscape category.
The supermarket faces the town's shopping area and architect CHQ Partnership has used clay-brick pavers in combination with natural stone in a design to add interest, colour and quality to the space. Local artists came up with the concept of overlapping circles, inspired by the complex patterns which appear every summer in local cornfields, with a raised mound which is a reference to the ancient tumuli found in the area.
These New Age themes were translated by the brick manufacturer into final pavement designs. Twenty-five thousand blue and buff pavers were laid, in standard and cobble formats for the circles, the cobble size diminishing towards their centres, which are formed of purpose-designed shapes.