The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 20

FEATURE PROJECT

GUELPH MARKET SQUARE
by BILL BIRDSELL, OAA, FRAIC

Guelph Market Square.
PHOTOS: THE AUTHOR

or the past dozen years, the people of Guelph have been remaking the historic
administrative core of their downtown. The project began with the construction of the New City Hall designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects, and
incorporating a 19th-century wall from a building that housed the original
Royal Winter Fair, before the Fair moved to Toronto. The Old City Hall was
transformed into the Provincial Courthouse through a restoration award-winning effort
by Goldsmith, Borgal and Company Architects.
The new Guelph Market Square unifies the open area and street in front of both
buildings, creating a multi-functional space, bounded by the Courthouse, City Hall and
a pre-confederation block of buildings across the street. The whole composition is
presided over by the Basilica of our Lady that sits high on the hill a couple blocks to
the west. The new endeavor has received many awards and honours.
The design team of Janet Rosenberg & Studio (landscape architects) and RDH
Architects (Pavilion Architecture) conceived of the Market Square as a public rallying
place that could be adapted to a variety of uses throughout the year. The curvilinear
ground forms contrast with the precise rectilinear lines of the 19th-century limestone
walls that surround the space. The largest oval is reserved for the central water feature
that is used for wading on hot summer days and can be drained for events such as
markets and concerts. In winter months, it becomes a skating rink. This oval is ringed
by stainless steel "torch forms" that spout water during the summer and glitter and
reflect light the remainder of the time. The next largest oval is reserved for a unique
urban glass pavilion that provides a general seating area, refuge from the elements, a
change room, an accessible washroom, public lockers, space for a Zamboni machine
and equipment for the ice rink, and a splash pad. The remaining interlocking ovals and
shapes encompass planting beds, earth mounds, trees and white textured concrete
seating. LED lighting, a sound system and the natural scents and fragrances from
plants and flowers complete the immersive environment of the space.
I walk into the Square from the east, where the 19th century train station, now
Guelph Central Station intermodal hub, mingles municipal buses with GO-trains and
long-range buses, Via Rail and Greyhound. I am immediately struck by the consistency
of the pavement. The square is subtly divided into pedestrian, street and parking by
means of differing paving stone patterns, textures and colour, accented by concrete
curbs, walks and stainless steel drainage and tree grates. Some of the pavement is
bordered to help shape the natural green elements into a homogeneous composition.
The cool colours of the paving contrast effectively with the warm limestone of the
building walls.
20 | Read The Right Angle Journal online www.therightanglejournal.ca

The design
team of Janet
Rosenberg
& Studio
(landscape
architects)
and RDH
Architects
(Pavilion
Architecture)
conceived of
the Market
Square as
a public
rallying place
that could
be adapted
to a variety
of uses
throughout
the year.


http://www.therightanglejournal.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018

Message from the Board
Walking
Integrated Building Design... and More
Feature Project: Guelph Market Square
Index of Advertisers
Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Intro
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - cover1
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - cover2
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 3
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Message from the Board
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Walking
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 6
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 7
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 8
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 9
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 10
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 11
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 12
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 13
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 14
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 15
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 16
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 17
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Integrated Building Design... and More
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - 19
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Feature Project: Guelph Market Square
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Index of Advertisers
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - Locations
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - cover3
The Right Angle Journal - Summer 2018 - cover4
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