Cornhill, Ipswich


Ipswich, United Kingdom | 2013 | Competition entry

Surrounded by a rich collection of heritage buildings, Ipswich’s Cornhill sits at the heart of the historic town centre and is accessed by pedestrian movement from the residential communities on the west, north and east sides of the town. Our design responds to a brief to create a vibrant space in the heart of Ipswich, which needs to remain flexible and adapt to planned and spontaneous events. 

Taking inspiration from Ipswich’s history, personality and relationship with the coastline, Gustafson Porter’s proposals in 2013 sought to solve the unequal spaces between the axial classical elevations of the Town Hall and Old Post Office by unifying the two spaces to create one square. This bold intervention placed placed a large rectangular surface pattern over the entire square which meets both buildings with odd angles to give an air of organic informality. 

The large rectangular pattern is given character through the use of an alternating pattern of dark and light stone. The use of small warm grey granite setts and large honey coloured York stone paving will mix with the palette of building materials found in the town and the newly paved Giles Circus.  

Our aim was to use materials, colour, texture, water and light, in such a way that Cornhill is uniquely part of its context, can subtly respond to change and the needs of Ipswich and its inhabitants.
— Neil Porter, Founding Partner