zondag 25 december 2011


For most of human history we lived in small tribal groups of 50 to 250 people and at instinctual level we still crave bonds to people outside our immediate families. It is psychological nourishing to feel connected to those we live among, not necessarily as close friends but as acquaintances with whom we can enjoy a regular chat. We have a built-in, probably biologically rooted, need to live in proximity with a tribe, working and celebrating cooperatively within a geographically neighborhood.

A chain of technological changes through the 20th century gave us less and less reason to leave our homes. Cars, telephone, Internet and many more inventions transformed our daily life to a point where many people wonder if we need public space at all. 

Now we are rediscovering the street, the square, the park, the market etc are essential to our well-being. The lifeblood of nearly every community is a congenial local point where you can sit down with friends and neighbors to pass the time and find out what's going on.

The cultural and democratic life of a city depends on viable public space, it creates a strong sense of community and pride. It is essential to capture the essence of place and create identity by making a big deal of what's unique.

The public square is where the community gathers for its civic, cultural and social functions.
It gives identity to the city. 4 keywords for successful public space: accessibility, activities, comfort, sociability.

The clay model represents the central spot of such a public place. It is not a design statement, on the contrary.


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