Rethinking Public Spaces

I recently took a trip to New York City to visit family. The highlight was a visit to Lincoln Center and the redesign of its public space (which I can proudly say that my brother-in-law, who works for FXFOWLE, helped architect!).

The redesign creates a direct connection to the city by creatively incorporating green space around the many buildings that comprise Lincoln Center.

The Center’s main public space, Hearst Plaza, consists of a green roof atop a restaurant, a reflecting pool featuring a sculpture by Henry Moore, and a tree-filled grove. The rooftop begins at terrace level, where patrons can use it as recreation space and climb upward towards the city skyscrapers.

Perhaps the most striking part of the redesign was the number of details that had to be carefully planned. For instance,

Trees lifted over the buildings by cranes

  • The trees and sculpture were moved via a crane OVER Lincoln Center because of the city location. This meant measurements had to be perfect for their placement.
  • A honeycomb-like web stretches over the green roof to stabilize the soil until roots are established.
  • Over 3,000 species of grass were considered for  resiliency and ability to retain a lush green color during the winter, and the London Plane species of tree was chosen because of its ability to withstand harsh weather and disease.
  • The benches were designed to be minimally invasive to the waterproofing system. Due to the complexity, a specific concrete from Quebec was used.

One simple mistake can cause a series of events that negatively impact the bottom line, time-frame, and ultimately, the outcome and public perception.

Details are often taken for granted. But details tell the design’s story and help to achieve excellence.

Amanda Jayachandran

About Amanda Jayachandran

Amanda creates unique strategies to help tell her clients’ stories. Her passion for design earned more than 35 design awards across branding and identity campaigns, direct marketing and demand generation, websites and event support. She consistently exceeds industry standard returns in interactive and print campaigns.

Learn more about Amanda

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