The architects responsible for the Barking Town Square intervention took the CCCB representatives on a guided tour of the winning project in the 2008 award of the Prize.
The project is located in a peripheral neighbourhood of London and comes under the auspices of a large-scale programme of urban planning and creation of civic space in the city. In what was once an amorphous area, the muf group of London has created a new main square that links up the Town Council building, some 500 dwellings, East London University Library, a health centre and other urban components. The authors of the project have added a historical touch with the construction of a provocative brick wall that reinvents the imaginary lost past of the neighbourhood. The square connects with the high street and also incorporates a green space in the form of an arboretum with sixteen different species of trees. A range of local groups and associations have been active participants in the design of the project, which is still in the process of completing its third phase.
Winner of the 2008 award, Barking Town Square is a risky venture which, by means of a freshly conceived intervention, has transformed a formless space into a recognisable and meaningful place.