Bell Court

Reinvigorating urban regeneration

A photograph of a commercial shopping plaza with a mix of restaurants and shops on either side. A couple is walking through the plaza in front of a decorative tree with fairy lights.

Bell Court


UK & European Investments


0.6 ha


Stratford upon Avon


Parks & Public Realm


mixed-use development



town centre regeneration



sculptures, specialist lighting & green walls

An illustrative masterplan for Bell Court. © BMD

Regeneration of a formerly run-down retail centre, to reinvigorate and restore an attractive network of pedestrian alleyways, linking Bell Court to the heart of Shakespeare's home town.

Bell Court lies in the heart of Stratford upon Avon, providing a destination and links between Rother Street, High Street, Ely Street and Wood Street. The redevelopment of Bell Court offered an opportunity to link this fine grain of pedestrian streets and open squares back into the urban fabric of the town.

BMD were appointed in 2014 to design, assist in achieving planning consent and oversee delivery of this major new retail and mixed-use development, which opened to the public in 2017. Through day and night, our team have created a vibrant and attractive destination for Stratford upon Avon - becoming a firm favourite for the local community and visitors alike.

Image caption: Illustrative masterplan. © BMD

Photograph of couple walking through bell court, featuring resturant spill-out seating and trees in planters. © BMD

Urban Greening

A photograph of large tree planters with integrated seating. © BMD

With no vegetation in the former run-down retail centre, BMD worked closely with the design team to identify opportunities for integration of 4 semi mature pin oak trees with large subterranean cellular pits to ensure their longevity.

With the majority of the space covered in hard paving, which shrouds an extensive array of utilities below, surface water is drained from the hard paved areas and fed to the tree pits to ensure hydration, with positive drainage removing any excess water from the pits.

A green wall, supplied, installed and maintained by Biotecture soften and enhances the former stark edge of the Rother Street Car Park. This new feature creates an attractive verdant backdrop to new outdoor dining areas in the public realm. Planted with a range of species to benefit wildlife and fed and watered by a closed automated system, the wall established swiftly and has thrived through a number of long dry summers, whilst minimising water use.

Image caption: Tree and shrub planting with integrated seating. © BMD

An aerial photograph of Bell Court lit at night. © BMD

Public Art

A photograph showing vegetation growing from green wall. © BMD

A bespoke piece of artwork was commissioned for the project, with the brief of responding to the special context of the location, lying within the town of Shakespeare's birth.

BMD prepared a brief and directed the process of selecting an artist for the commission - then liaised closely with the selected artist, Louisa Forbes in the coordination of her sculptures into a new piece of public realm at Fountain Court, a key entrance into Bell Court from the Rother Street Car Park.

Fountain Court is flanked on both sides with green walls, which were used as a wild and verdant backdrop for Louisa’s sculpture of 'Puck' - the mischievous sprite from Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - who can be seen atop a contemporary plinth' as if cheekily and briefly joining the visitors and pointing the way to the adjacent cinema and restaurants.

Puck was also joined by a series of bronze owls, mounted to appear as if emerging from the lush vegetation of the green wall, to enhance the wild nature of the scene.

Image caption: Flourishing green wall. © BMD

 A photograph of Louisa Forbes' statue 'Puck'. © BMD


A photograph showing Bell Court lit at night. ©

Lighting Design International worked closely with BMD and the architect, Mountford Pigott, to enhance the setting of the public realm during the dark hours of the day - whilst adding a touch of magic to the scheme.

A 'River of Lights' integrated into the paving at three of the four entrances into Bell Court, draws visitors in from the surrounding streets.

Festoon Lighting between buildings provides a sense of festivity - with spot lighting and wash lighting to pick out key features in surrounding architecture.

Hidden, downward facing LED lights were used to 'float' bespoke street furniture, along with uplighting to trees, planting and the green walls which enhance and draw the new features into the space to form focal points. Gobo projectors were also mounted in trees, to assist in animation of the central square.

Image caption: Bell Court at night. ©

A photograph of lighting within benches. © BMD