muf designed the entirety of Ruskin Square’s public realm, creating a scheme informed by the site’s namesake. Ruskin’s interest in the natural world, in the necessity of combining work and play, and in the importance of the arts are all borne out through generous planting, playable elements, and a number of new artist commissions.
muf’s ambition across the project is to create distinct areas which join together jigsaw-like to create a coherent space with a variety of potential uses. The public square creates new routes and connections through the site. Flooding risk is reduced through an innovative combination of permeable paving, groundwater attenuation and below ground rooting zones.
Specially developed seating and lighting – along with areas that invite play, inbuilt services for temporary events, and a public drinking fountain – allow for a variety of use by the widest possible constituency.
Natural stone features and thoughtful planting across the whole site pick up the themes of geology and environmental responsiveness. Metasequoias, Pin Oaks and Scots Pines act as visual markers and aid wayfinding.
The artwork is a commission by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen.
Design team: muf with J&L Gibbons (landscape), ARUP (engineering), Objectif (wayfinding), Dekka (lighting)