Sovereign Square是利兹城市中心最大的公共空间项目。该空间打造了全新的商业区，为城市中心20年扩建计划奠定了基础。该景观项目是将自然绿地景观引入城市中心的优秀案例，其最终实现了城市绿地覆盖率达到25%的欧洲城市平均绿地水平。Sovereign Square开启了利兹市的绿色大门，它使得该市变为健康，怡人，生态的公共生活空间。
Sovereign Square is the first major public space in Leeds City Centre for a generation. The space, which provides the setting for a new business destination, is the first step to the South Bank regeneration area which will expand the city centre over the next 20 years. The project presented an opportunity to bring nature into a city centre that lacks any major green spaces and has tree cover that is 25% of the European city average. Sovereign Square will become a gateway into a future City Park that will help transform Leeds into a healthier more attractive and ecologically diverse place.
该公共空间沿两栋办公大楼而设，成为城市使用者及城市所有者的必经之地。值得一提的是，利兹市的城市规划理念为“将城市塑造成为适宜儿童居住的城市”，而Sovereign Square项目恰好帮助实现了该愿景。Sovereign Square是一处亲近自然的丰富空间，吸引着人们前往。50棵繁茂的大树沿中心绿萍环绕排开。植物的多样性混合保证了环境中的花季长度，从早春到晚秋，该公园都是都市生活的怡人之所。
The public space has been delivered alongside two new office buildings but the brief stated that this would be a place for the people of the city and managed by the city. It was also important that Sovereign Square contributed to Leeds becoming a ‘Child Friendly City’ – the city council’s programme for making Leeds a more inviting and playful place for children. Sovereign Square is a lush environment that attracts many people. 50 new mature trees have been planted around a large central lawn. The mix of plant species selected will ensure there are flowering species for a long period, from early spring to late autumn, thus establishing a place that is beautiful and a much-needed habitat for wildlife in the city.
▼公共空间沿两栋办公大楼而设，the space is designed alongside two new office buildings
▼丰富多样的绿植，the diversity of vegetations
休憩长椅是公园最基本的组成部分，好的长椅设计能留住人的脚步。Sovereign Square的一系列长椅设计既可以让游人在夏季环绕而坐，又可以在冬季寻求一处避风港湾。一些隐藏在绿植中的安静空间让人可以随意坐卧，或聊天或讨论。另一些尺度合宜的长椅满足不同人的需要，不论你是老人，儿童，抑或有身体障碍，都可以在此找到最舒适的休憩姿势。如此，该公园成为了四季皆宜的公共空间。与Honey Locust相邻的座椅成为该公共空间最受欢迎的地方。该处茂密的树丛和墨绿的色彩，在树下映射出斑驳光影。树影随风摆动，在地面呈现出活泼悦动的画面。设计师将一处公共环境设计出多种不同的空间体验，吸引人不断走进，拉近了人与自然的距离。
Seating is a fundamental part of the design, for this is how most people will choose to spend time in a space. There are places for people to sit as a group in the summer, or protected from the wind on a cold day in winter. There are places for groups to lay down and others to work quietly amongst beautiful planting. There are also places to spend time with your children or to wait for a friend – whether you are young or old, able bodied or in a wheelchair. This range of opportunities means that people occupy the space throughout the year, and allows them to experience Sovereign Square in different ways. A popular place to sit is beneath the grove of Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). As well as its hardiness and amazing leaf colour, this species was selected for the beautiful dappled shade it provides. It creates a complex texture on the paving that moves with the wind and becomes a source of animation in itself. re-form has enabled a range of experiences throughout Sovereign Square, that are appealing places to spend time, heighten the senses and allow people to engage with nature.
▼多种形式的座椅，different types of benches
▼长椅细节，detail of sittings
35米长的雨水池覆盖了公园一半的陆地平面，与环绕着的多种绿色植物一起过滤路面的病菌和有害化学物质。此外，该雨水池还让环坐在周围的游人获得更亲密怡人的休闲体验。水是该空间重要的元素之一。18世纪时期，这里曾从相邻河流引入水源来为附近的工厂提供动力。该公园设计受Malham Cove的River Aire河流启发，公园平面被打造成如阶梯状的河道，公园地表以大量石灰岩铺面，这些石灰岩表面散布一些如同被水流勾勒数千年的地表裂缝。Sovereign Square公园的水系就是这样从地面上的裂缝中涌出，顺着地势向另一个方向流去，生动而震撼。这并不是什么经过精心设计的地面喷泉，而是一种近乎真实的自然现象。这个独特的设计不仅吸引了许多小朋友，也让许多成年人惊讶不已。
A 35m long rain garden manages surface water for half of the square, with swathes of different plant species that can withstand the toxins and petro-chemicals that will be washed from the paths and road. The rain garden also provides a more intimate environment for people to go where new seating has been placed within the planting. Water is an integral part of the site’s heritage and this project. A goit (water channel) once diverted through the site from the adjacent River Aire to power the mills that were abundant in Leeds throughout the 18th Century. The concept for the plaza, which is constructed of a seemingly cracked and stepped plinth of stone, was inspired by the source of the River Aire at Malham Cove. This is a place that is famous for limestone pavement which is characterised by the deep fissures carved out over thousands of years, by water. The water at Sovereign Square emerges from these cracks, bubbling up from beneath the surface and flowing down the rill. The fountains are not intended as a choreographed display of dancing jets, but something that is much more natural and authentic. This has created a place that is exciting for children but also a mesmerising back-drop for others.
▼空间中的水系，the rain garden
The rill runs from the plaza towards the river – an important navigational aid which will link with a future connection underneath the viaduct. People can be seen walking alongside the water, which is agitated by an uneven surface, creating interesting patterns and reflections along its length. Children play ‘pooh sticks’ and dip their feet in the shallow water which is a calmer, more passive alternative to running through the fountains. The water and its juxtaposition with dynamic plantings animates the space and engages people in lots of different ways. Sovereign Square is making a positive contribution to the quality of public life in Leeds City Centre. People are choosing to spend time here and numbers will undoubtedly increase when the remaining development plots are complete.
▼自然自在的水系设计，the more natural and authentic way of water design
Project name: Sovereign Square
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
Design firm: re-form landscape architecture
Design year: 2012-2014
Street furniture: Hess + Bramhall 1840
Tree nursery: Ebben
Consultants: Water feature specialist – Fountain Workshop, Artist – Mel Chantry
Text credit: re-form landscape architecture limited
Image credit: Simon Vine