Mark Wray Architects
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Market Place

New public square in Prescot, Knowsley


Market Place


Reimagining a public space to enrich a town.

In 2016, Mark Wray Architects in collaboration with Seed Landscape won an international architectural competition to transform a neglected space in the heart of Prescot, Merseyside. Selected from 45 entries, our proposal envisages the former Market Place as a new public forum. Based on Roman precedent, the Forum would be a gathering space and external foyer for key landmarks in the town, noticeably the Grade I listed Parish Church and the new Shakespeare North Theatre.


The design brings together the natural landscape of the adjacent churchyard with the urban streetscape of the town. the key to providing the necessary visual and physical connections into and from the Forum is the removal of the retaining wall to the North that isolates the current space and the creation of South facing terraced seating.


The 1960s former wc block to the West of the site is extended and repurposed as a cafe/bistro to be run by a Community Interest Company to ensure a presence and sense of ownership of the site to reduce anti-sociable behaviour. Within the central space, facilities have been provided to allow for temporary structures and events to host a range of different activities to provide an ongoing and varied programme within the space.  


The project commenced on-site in Autumn 2018 and is due to complete in Autumn 2019.

Site progress, August 2019

Site progress, August 2019


Location: Prescot, Merseyside

Client: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council / Prescot THI

Status: Historic, public

Date: Competition 2017

Structure: Momentum

Contractor: Armitage Construction

Team:  Mark Wray, Louise Wray, Jamie Holmes,  Juan Manuel López 

In colaboration with Seed Landscape



Architects Journal, 08/2017

BD Online, 08/2017