In view of the hazards of accidents, pollution, and noise, 70 percent of the local businesses in the city of Plymouth, England, favored pedestrianization. There were several broad avenues from which all vehicular traffic could be withdrawn, freeing the area for a major landscaping scheme with room for both hard and soft features. The basic directive to the landscapers was that the materials should blend with surrounding buildings, be functional, and require minimum maintenance. In addition, they had to provide a safe, nonslip surface while introducing color and texture throughout the whole scheme. Speed of construction was also essential.
The planners decided to accent the principal intersection with a major piece of sculpture. The winning design, a reinforced concrete sundial, stands 33 feet high. Concrete in contrasting colors was chosen to meet all the requirements of the project area. Paver blocks used widely throughout the Plymouth hardscape were specially manufactured in a light buff color to match the surrounding buildings. Around the central sundial sculpture the blocks were laid in a circular pattern, alternating with concentric courses of blue brick to suggest a spreading wave pattern. The blue bricks were also used to outline roadways and vehicle access points so that raised curbs were not needed.