CoLAB: THE URBAN LIVING ROOM

  • SCC have developed proposals for the ‘Knowledge Gateway’ scheme which aims to improve the public realm from Fitzalan Square, along Pond Street, Paternoster Row and Brown Street through to Furnival Street.

 

As students that work in the Head Post Office which is surrounded by this Square, we have put together a proposal to develop this external space to create an urban living room. Our proposals have to consider a theme to them, for example: connectivity/routes, vegetation, history/culture, colour, light, urban interventions, community and social, materials and texture, and events/public/private/pop up. We, as a group, have decided to focus on light, materials and texture.

Before started to go through ideas we decided to go outside and look at the square and we took pictures of each side.

We started off by looking into the crime in the area as it isn’t a nice area to walk through and found a pie chart of the crime in a 1 mile radius of it. The pie chart gives the area a very bad name so we decided as a group we want to change this by making the area a vibrant open space so groups cant gather together in a hidden space.

crime-e1494330510576

Looking at materials, we all agreed straight away that we should put lots of nature into the Square to make it feel more inviting than the harshness of concrete. We first came up with a grass hill that people could lounge on in the summer and also concrete steps for people to sit on and we created the theme of the square as curves and soft edges for example to grass hill curving round the square. We thought as well we could make concrete seating for when the grass is wet and have this similar to the curved theme of the grass; this will be 2 or 3 steps and will slope down at the ends to make it a more curved feature.

 

We then came up with how Sheffield is known as the city of steel and also how as it is placed next to the art campus of Sheffield Hallam University, there could be a sculpture that would be made out of steel. We then started looking at inspiration for this and came up with steel trees.

We came up with these ideas first for a steel structure.

After a lot of talking, we agreed that these sculptures were too geometric to include in our curved theme. So I drew up a more curved sculpture which also incorporated the nature theme and everybody agreed they liked it so we took this idea forward. We also decided that in this area could be benches hanging from the structure to make this space a seating area so it will be used more and be more social. From this we then cut out leaf shapes and sorted out the way in which we wanted them. We thought number 3 was the best layout.

We thought that the square could take away the betting shops that are already there and put in cafes/restaurants/bars. to make it a place people would like to socialise in. From this we decided we could put patio on this side of the square and include seating outside for each of the places to use then this would merge into a concrete pathway through the square which then to the left of this then merges into grass, I liked this idea as it connects each part together instead of cutting off each section.

Plan

We included all these ideas together after lots of changing our minds and came up with an initial plan and isometric.

We received feedback on our initial plan and they told us that the concrete steps were way too high which we agreed with and that we needed to look into the scale of the canopy. We then decided as a group how we wanted the plan to flow more in a curved form and redrew the plan again.

After lots of hard work, these are the pictures we came up with for the different parts of the square we have designed.

This is out final poster.

IMG_3314[1]

I have loved working as a group and I think we all got on incredibly well, listened to each other’s ideas and ended up with an idea that everybody liked. The skills I put forward and used were mostly for the structure as it was a big part of the idea; I focused initially on coming up with a curved theme for the structure which is what brought the leaf idea forward, then started to focus on the design inside it as we wanted a pattern and the patio coming from the restaurants.

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