The Market Place is a vibrant meeting place at the heart of Oxford Business Park, providing a range of new park facilities set within attractive gardens. The vision was to revive a former garden within the park to provide a valuable new amenity space where workers can enjoy and engage with the outdoor environment – grab a coffee, visit a market stall, take time out to play some table tennis or relax in a deckchair on the lawns. Improved pedestrian connections into and across the site, a focal square and well-defined green routes all help to make the Market Place a destination within the park.
The new paved square forms a central focus to the Market Place, connecting to wide walkways designed for events, markets and performances. Spaces for games and recreation have been created with table tennis tables, a coffee kiosk and extensive lawns, all set within an open and pedestrian-friendly environment. Long hardwood timber benches border the square’s edges and walkways allowing plenty of places to sit, meet and relax in the sun.
Wide borders frame the Market Place, planted with a variety of multi-stemmed trees and seasonal plants, with clipped hedges providing structure and shelter whilst ensuring open views in and out. A strong emphasis has been placed on seasonality, with flowering specimen shrubs, clipped forms and swathes of colourful herbaceous plants and ornamental grasses, bringing a strong green framework which is dynamic and colourful throughout the year. A grid of Hazel trees spans the lawns and central square, providing shade and structure in the heart of the Market Place.
- The design draws on the character of the traditional Oxford University quads, with lawns dissected by wide walkways and the garden enclosed on two sides by office buildings
- A key aim of the Market Place was to provide space for temporary market stalls and seasonal events. Walkways have therefore been designed to accommodate seasonal market stalls, with a hierarchy of path widths providing more sheltered and private places to sit and walk away from the main busy thoroughfares
- A number of existing Oak and Cherry trees have been retained to the eastern and southern boundaries, bringing a maturity to the scheme and providing screening and enclosure to the adjacent parking area
Oxford Business Park, Oxfordshire
Gavin Jones Ltd