Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Donegal County Council launched a competition for there-imagining of the public space at Market Square, Letterkenny in July 2020.
The concept design proposals were to imagine how Market Square can be a central public space that conveys and communicates the DNA of Letterkenny and its people and fully meets the needs for use able public and civic space in the heart of the town centre, creating a great place that people want to experience and spend time in.
Presentedon our website are a few of the images that we submitted with our entry - the actual competition sheets will be uploaded in due course.
Drawing inspiration from the town, its people, local industries, the landscape the climate and the Letterkenny diaspora, our proposals looked to address the wish to change the Market Place from a space which was underused through the presence of physical and imaginary boundaries to one which would become the heart of the town. The introduction of terraces enabled the steeply sloping site to be divided into defined areas for different and overlapping uses.
At the foot of the hill, on Market Street itself, the start of the terraces has been pushed back from the main Street, creating a multi-use space for shoppers to stop and chat, and to sit and rest, or to host live performances by actors and musicians. The terraces gently curve around this area forming an open-air amphitheatre. Further up the hillside the terraces provide varying sizes of platforms on which stalls could be located on market day, or during the week various groups could gather amongst the flowers. A new cafe and covered market space are proposed for the top of the site, as currently there are no reasons for anybody moving through the site from bottom to top. The new Covered Market Hall is in response to the changeable weather experienced in Donegal, whilst the idea of the cafe draws on the successful foodie concepts of Borough Market in London and Altrincham Market in Cheshire.
The planting scheme for the Square is based on the wild Irish fuchsia on the boundary walls, with splashes or orange and yellows through the seasons to bring more scent, ever changing colour and joy to the Square.