We edited this excellent diagram by the folks at the Project for Public Spaces to highlight qualities we consider most relevant and important to us as placemaking-focused architects (image: PPS)
It’s no secret that we at Kronberg Wall are big on placemaking. We strive to create designs that are conscious of their context and respond sensitively to their surroundings. We also believe that great places, while largely defined by their buildings, are not solely the result of good architecture. Great public places, ones that encourage interactions between people as well as between people and their environment, happen when a collection of disciplines work together. With that being said, it is important to note that ‘bad architecture,’ meaning buildings that are not context-sensitive, can be a huge impediment to placemaking, killing any potential a site might have.
It’s for this reason that we are really excited about the important work being done at the Project for Public Places, a non-profit dedicated to helping communities build on their unique assets to create vital, energetic public places. The diagram above illustrates what the Project considers to be the four qualities of a great public place: Sociability, Uses & Activities, Comfort & Image, and Access & Linkages. To further consider our own roles as architects in a comprehensive approach to placemaking, we have highlighted the qualities that we believe can be created and fostered through careful design and responsive architecture.
Further expanding on these ideas is a great article by Scott Doyon, “Placemaking vs. Placeshaking.” Doyon works to suss out the differences between the two terms and talks more specifically about how many different roles interact to shape the places we inhabit.