London is an example among those cities which, over the past few decades, have joined the movement in Europe for recovering public spaces. To be highlighted particular is the Barking Town Square,winner of the 2008 award. The area of paved level ground in front of the Town Hall, which was mainly used as a parking space, has now been transformed into a centrally located, well-equipped main square that is full of shared meaning and sense. Besides the Town Hall, the new square is flanked by a library and a Learning Centre, while the fourth façade is “Folly Wall”, a new bare brickwork wall which hides a supermarket flank wall and, in resembling a ruin, evokes the red-brick facades of Barking’s old buildings. The square is connected with Ripple Road, the borough’s main shopping area, by way of an arcade illuminated by chandeliers and tiled with black and white terrazzo paving slabs that hark back to London’s magnificent Edwardian houses. Alongside the arcade and the square is an arboretum with forty mature trees of sixteen different species that are lit up at night with colours that vary according to the time of year.
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