Lace Market Square

Lace Market Square – Concept, Design and Construction

Lace Market Square is £10m contemporary mixed use development based in the Lace Market.

  • Includes two buildings, 640 sq m of retail space at ground floor and five upper floors containing 46 apartments plus a 432 sq m two-storey glazed pavilion which will house a high quality restaurant.
  • At the centre of the development, by local developer Bildurn, is an 11,000 sq ft landscaped piazza, a public square designed for al fresco dining and public art.
  • The public square’s designers are Nottingham based Wolfgang & Heron, who have received an investment of £27,000 in the landscape architecture and public art thanks to Arts & Business New Partners grant.
  • Planning and granted and work commenced on the scheme early 2005
  • The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Mohammed Munir, officially marked the start construction.
  • This area has long been the subject of the City’s plans and aspirations to deliver a new public square.

Wolfgang and Heron: Designers of the ‘Square’

  • Who Are They?
    Nottingham based award-winning duo of Wolfgang Buttress and Fiona Heron (winner of The Lord Mayor’s Urban Design Award for the Park Rock landscape on Castle Boulevard) are well known for their innovative, contemporary designs.
  • They create works of fine art, sculpture and furniture for public and private buildings, gardens and open spaces, specialising in innovative design which responds to individual context and provides a harmonious setting for fine art.
  • They created the revolving sculpture that stands in front of the National Ice Centre and the forthcoming 12m feather “A Spire for Mansfield” to be unveiled in November.
  • The distinctive approach to landscape as art is the most important feature of the development’s public piazza, which has been designed by Fiona Heron. Designer Fiona also holds a degree in landscape architecture and sits on the Nottingham city “Urban Design Forum”.

Key Design Features

  • The square features Nottingham’s first display of truly integrated landscape and art.  It reaches beyond the typical tradition of landscape design with featured public art.
  • Harmony of contemporary and classic designs is created by combining traditional and new materials; stone, granite, bronze and oak.
  • Landscape architecture and fine art are combined to create a total work of art. It is not a square with tagged – on art, and so is described as ‘landscape ~ art’.
  • Design inspiration has been taken from lace marking – not only with lace patterns but also from the actual lace making process itself.
  • The square has granite terraces with individually designed oak seating will allow for rest and relaxation.
  • The square’s design encompasses Nottingham City Council’s three year programme for the development of accessible buildings.


  • The interweaving of natural and sculptural trees enforces the ‘landscape art’ idea.
  • Hornbeam trees create dappled shade.
  • 34m of mature box and beech hedges provide year round foliage.

Handkerchief Tree

  • This is a central tree, chosen because it relates to the textiles theme and will feature lace handkerchief ‘leaves’.
  • Native to China, (but sourced from Germany) this is a prehistoric plant naturally found in temperate forest.  Dating from the Tertiary period. Aptly named – the large white bracts [handkerchief shaped] hang down and flutter in the breeze.


  • Metal trees add interest and surprise, and are encircled by bronze and stainless steel casing around the trunks.
  • The metal sculptural tree canopies draw inspiration from the filigree of lace design.
  • The trunk of the tree is a tapering ‘needle’ and the form of the leaf canopy is created through the idea of an entwining thread.  These were made by Carlton Sheet Metal.
  • 12 km [approx 8 miles] of bronze and stainless steel wire are used to form the ’canopies’ that encircle the tree trunks – made at Parsons of Colwick


  • Amber flecked bound gravel (approximately 800 sq m) works with the soft hues of the brick and stone in nearby Victorian buildings.
  • 150 bronze and 300 stainless steel pins in the floor reflect light – and their positioning is again inspired by traditional lace marking.


  • Seating and viewing terraces combine quality stone and bronze detailing.
  • The square features nine oak seats. And the patterns on the seat reflect the natural lines and branching of trees, which is also picked up in the solid bronze threshold strip that surrounds the Square’s perimeter.

Bildurn Properties

Bildurn Properties is an independent, privately owned developer, based in Nottingham that is also behind the innovative Pod development on Fletchergate.