Masterthesis city square 2.0

A new concept of responsive city squares. Selected at the open:output award 2013

Most city squares offer a limited repertoire of use and they do not meet the manifold requirements of townspeople in the long run. The society, which more and more divides into small subdivisions, needs a square which meets the individual needs and requirements, while initiating a feeling of community.

The concept for a new square is designed to combine various functions and to flexibly adapt to different needs of users.The key pieces of the concept are extendable and retractable multifunctional elements, which are arranged all over the square.The user can therefore actively change and shape his surrounding individually. Over the time an interplay is generated from the constantly changing form. Each day visitors enter a square whose appearance can not be forecasted. Each square should be divided in different areas like sport area, play area for kids and rest area as well as multifunctional space. Each area will be frequented by different users and the denseness of elements should be varied concerning the function.

The multifunctional elements technology is based on automatic bollards. The users can individually extend each element using a crank handle placed in the middle of each element. The elements and the floor of the square is made of white facing concrete. Fully retracted elements are flush with the ground to form an even basement if necessary, e.g. on market days. Elements can be used to sit on, as a basement for a barbecue or as sport elements for skaters. Therefore elements can be produced with metal edges to prolong their durability. To revive the square on bad weather days huge umbrellas will be installed which automatically span themselves while raining. On sunny days users who need some shadow, e.g. mothers with small children or older citizens, can span an umbrella using a crank handle installed on each umbrella. At night time each umbrella functions as a light source.

View Stop Motion Video: StopMotionMovie_citysquare2.0

View Research Video ( sorry German only):

Stadtplatz 2.0 from HAWK Hildesheim on Vimeo.

Featured at open:output.

Team member: Adrian Reinboth

Pictures of scale modell by Jaro Suffner