Market Plaza & Exchange Plaza

Market Plaza & Exchange Plaza

2017 HNA Awards Honorable Mention - Concrete Paver - Commercial - Size less than 15,000 sf

Contractor: Fred Adams Paving Co.
Manufacturer: Belgard
Designer: Surface 678

Market + Exchange Plazas in downtown Raleigh represent the city’s efforts to bring new life to the capital’s main street, restoring health and vibrancy to two underutilized areas that desperately needed a refresh. The plazas now offer a vibrant public space for community activities and improve cross-city pedestrian access and walkability.

In partnership with the city’s Urban Design Center, Surface 678 designed the plazas to meet user needs through simplicity, visual enrichment, and the integration of art.

The design of each plaza responds to various uses and each is individual in character. Market Plaza’s design is reflective of its history and name, and is meant to accommodate pop-up retail. Exchange Plaza is designed with business and restaurant flair – the new design allows for fluid pedestrian movement, clear site lines, and open areas for gatherings and outdoor café style eating.

A key design challenge included the need for flexible site programming – a top priority. Construction challenges included shallow underground utilities above occupied space, on-site storm water mitigation, highly visible construction in a busy urban setting, and the rainiest season on record. Transforming the antiquated, dimly lit corridors to dynamic, flexible public spaces for outdoor dining, events, and retail creates inviting spaces that can be enjoyed anytime by residents and workers throughout the year.