Charles J. Clarke Square


The Challenge


The City of Windsor wanted to create a distinctive all-season public meeting place within the Civic Esplanade linking Windsor City Hall to the Detroit River. This square is centered by an outdoor ice rink facility which in the summer is transformed into a performance stage for music, drama and visual arts. The main architectural challenge for the project team was to build a square that blended into the surrounding environment and would not jeopardize open access to the waterfront.

The Solution


The 150-foot by 225-foot square designed by Randi Glos Architects, incorporated a sunken rink surface, surrounded by terrace seating and lighting columns. Cast-in-place planters filled with seasonal greenery and extensive seating areas created an inviting downtown gathering place.

Construction Methodologies

Cast-In-Place Features


The chosen design consisted almost entirely of cast-in-place concrete. Custom forms and concrete mixes were tailored to ensure the design blended with the surrounding architecture and would withstand the harsh winter climate.

Although the ice rink is the centerpiece of the square, the surrounding concrete structure is notable for its unique architectural design and texture. The architect specified exposed aggregate coloured concrete for all the concrete surfaces. A surface retarder was used on the forms to make the process of exposing the aggregate easier. After stripping of the forms, the surface of the concrete was water blasted to expose the aggregate.

Project Team
Owner City of Windsor
Architect Randi Glos Architect
Engineer Dillon Consulting Ltd
Contractor Front Construction
Material Suppliers Blue Circle Materials, Coloured Aggregates Inc., Form & Build Supply Inc.

pdf 110-660H Clarke Square FS 472.53 Kb