//4 The Plaza

What leads to success ? And, How to avoid failure ?

This blog entry will investigate a variety a both successful and un-successful public spaces, and how the plaza component of studio 10 can be designed to best guarantee both immediate and long term success.

Notable success projects and their strengths include;

Grand Place, which features high density, near by parks and green places, gathering point that everyone loves with is what makes it an ideal case study for the development of the studio 10 plaza, as is Plaza Santa, which is highlighted by its comfortably open space, without leaving the inhabitants stranded or leaving empty out of scale places, Fed Square is highlighted by its accessibility and finally the success of Pioneer courthouse square largely comes down to its center location,

The reverse of this is the failed public spaces and what they can be attributed to, they include Empire state plaza whose failure is attributed to its large Empty spaces and out of scale. City hall plaza is let down by the challenging series of steps and concrete surrounds. Finally Schouwburgplein (Rotterdam) where the activity occurs at boundary not within the plaza it self.[1]

The project for public spaces outlines 10 principles for successful squares, they are as follows.[2]


The identity and image of a plaza/public space is paramount to its potential success.

Already studio 10 checks this box comfortably, situated in an iconic and sensitive site, building upon it is a controversial move that gives it a broad identity as does the methodical method in which it is done.


Great public places posses a Varity of places within it that appeal to people, in fact the most successful tend to have multiple of the places.

Studio 10 again references this idea, this is achieved primarily through the civic infrastructure, most significantly the two theatre spaces and gallery.


Public spaces should feature amenities that make them comfortable for people to use. A strategically located bench or bin can alter the manner in which people interact with the space.

The majority of these items, notably benches will likely be removed from the internal plaza itself and located on the fringe of the project boarding with the parkland space surrounding it.


The use a plaza spaces are constantly changing, as such it is important for the spaces to be designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind.

The studio 10 scheme is designed with the plaza open, lacking in permanent objects that will be limiting in future activities that may be based within the space.


The most successful squares are considerate of different events through out the year and are considerate of these events

Two particular events initially come to mind, and will lead to the success of the integrated plaza within the studio 10 project, they are; fringe, which currently has elements positioned on this site, secondly is the Clipsal 500 which is run very close to the site.


A public space or plaza simple must be easily accessible, without so the chances of success drastic diminish.

Positioned on the boundary of the Adelaide CBD and parklands and end of rundle street, the Studio 10 is certainly highly assessable.


Visionary park planner Frederick Law Olmsted’s outlined the idea of the “inner park” and the outer square, that the streets and sidewalks had an impact on the accessibility and use, as do the buildings that surround it, he proposed the difference in use of a plaza that was surrounded by large concrete walls, compared to one facing libraries and other highly populated spaces.


This refers to the significance of how the surrounding street lead to the plaza or urban space, and how it can be equally important of the buildings that face directly Onto the square.

This is another of these 10 traits that my design studio 10 adheres to, rundle mall and rundle street, Adelaide’s premier residential thorough fare direct people straight to the project.


This Refers to the long term successes of the project rather then the design or immediate success of the project as such is not of much relevance to the blog.


Again this principle is low in relevance to the design and development of a plaza, but rather the management and feasibility of upcoming projects.

[1] http://www.citylab.com/design/2011/10/best-and-worst-worlds-public-plazas-and-squares/360/#slide1

[2] http://www.pps.org/reference/squaresprinciples/


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