Tienen’s Central Market can be considered as typical for the historical marketplaces found in Belgian small scale cities. Moreover the city’s brief for the redeveloped square can be qualified as overtly proto-typical; a textbook example of choice-avoiding politics. The unsuspicious brief stipulated that the square should perform as a parking lot, a market square, a church parvis, a monument to the local war victims, a tourist point, a concert venue, a park,… In order to be able to deal with this non-exhaustive bombardment of ambitions, we decided to re-scale the square.
Without literally dividing it, the square is reshuffled into four quadrants, each of which is treated with a diagonal pattern of sandstone and bluish brickwork. The patterns converge towards the middle of the square, but accentuating the imperfect centrality of the whole set-up. The color scheme and the stripes offer an almost medieval synthetic fabric, upon which various infrastructures (trees, parking lanes, pavilions, the church,…) are put in a slightly detached manner.