Public Square Studio

American common space is in a state of flux. As demographics shift, technologies advance, cultural mores morph, and economies + politics churn, our cherished public spaces are becoming obsolete empty vessels of nostolgia. How can architects and urban desingers alter these spaces to accomodate the new and ever-changing character of American public space? This is the question that Kent State University's CUDC Fall 2006 Graduate Studio will investigate.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Q: How do you figure out what to do with Public Square?
A: Find a space 141 times larger than it, dumb it down to the basics, and insert them into Cleveland's Public Square.

Pictured is an interpretation of applying Central Park's basic infrastructural layers (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead) to the 6 acres of land that is Public Square. The submerged transverse roads that connect NYC's city grid across Central Park become a widened midsection of Superior (or Ontario - depends on which way you spin it) with the programatic element of a bus interchange for the many RTA buses that cross through each day.

A "worker path" is then layed over the vehicular thoroughfare. This has been derived from the three other layers of paths which Olmstead had carefully planned in Central Park - carraige paths, riding paths, and pedestrian ways. While the "worker path" does not meander as the paths in Central Park do, it is there for a specific purpose - the ease of pedestrian travel across the busy, city vehicles below. By lifting this off the ground, it removes a person from a seemingly chaotic mess below as Central Park was designed to become a refuge for the masses trapped in a filthy 19th NYC.

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