Two lecturers and a group of students from the University of Northumbria have landed an international ideas competition for a site in Wales. The lecturers, Stephen Baty and Paul Jones, together with the architecture students, put together these proposals for the Market Square in Newport, Wales. Baty and Jones, both of the university's architecture programme, entered the competition through the university's architecture and research partnership, which they set up in 2004 as a vehicle to inform teaching. They saw off competition from around the world, including Art2Architecture with Urban Red from London, Anonymous Architects from Bradford, and Cardiff's Holder Mathias Architects. The other shortlisted entries were by Ireland's David Flynn and Taylor Architects, and Scott Wilson from Birmingham. The competition, which the council supported only as an 'ideas exercise' and which it will not commit to building, asked practices and architects to analyse the Market Square area of Newport, and how it relates to the River Usk.
Sitting within an SOM regeneration masterplan and immediately adjacent to a new bridge by Grimshaw, the winning proposals look at how best to knit the square into the rest of the city, especially the Grade II-listed Market Hall. The brief also demanded that the winning proposals should 'reinvigorate and rebalance the built form of the square with new architecture'.