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.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This model represents an application of a contemporary precedent, the High-Line in New York City. The High-Line is an adaptive reuse of an unused existing historic elevated railway into a park (utilizing a gradient of hardscape and softscape) and event space utilized soley by pedestrians. The competition for this project was held in 2004 and won by Diller Scofidio and Field Operations. To apply this precedent to Cleveland's Public Square, I first looked at all of the historic vacancies around Public Square and found that Terminal Tower, May Company, and Higbee's all had from 25% to 100% vacancy rates. The next step was to begin to weave a linear element around the Terminal Tower and through the other two buildings. This linear insertion is being conceptualized as an adaptive and changing element which could occupy other buildings if they become vacant or retract as buildings become occupied.

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