Marion Square encompasses 10 acres in the heart of one the America’s most distinguished historic districts and figures prominently in the history of Charleston. Through the 18th century the City’s outer wall traversed the area, and in 1833 the site became The Citadel’s parade ground and a public park. Prior to the renovation the park had become little more than a level, featureless field bounded by perimeter trees and containing a handful of historical monuments.
Studio A assembled a talented, multi-discipline team to win a national competition for the park’s redevelopment by focussing on the potential to reestablish Marion Square as a significant, dynamic urban landscape equally at home within Charleston’s historic context and City’s contemporary life, accommodating a weekly farmers’ market, annual parades of Citadel cadets, outdoor performances and large scale civic events.
Under the leadership of Cambridge, MA landscape architect Michael VanValkenburgh (MVVA). Marion Square was transformed into an elegant urban oasis both restrained in its design elements and engaging to the public. MVVA used the space to interpret the site’s history, reflecting Charleston’s horticultural role as a port of entry for exotic vegetation in the southern United States through planting and by the introduction of a sophisticated and rich palette of appropriate site furniture, pavement, lighting and signage. Studio A was responsible for the future restroom and storage facilities planned for the park.