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flux capacity

asymmetrical activity on boston’s city hall plaza

patrick franke tulane school of architecture spring 2012 advising professor: kentaro tsubaki


this thesis deals with the issue of public space in the dense urban environment, specifically the public plaza and its role in the contemporary american city. my interest in the topic came after spending time abroad in the cities of istanbul, turkey and rome, italy. public squares- old and new- exist as a civic necessity, and are constantly humming with activity. the bazaars of istanbul pour out onto the public thoroughfares, and the roman forum speaks of a former grandeur that has no equivalent in the american cities of today. i found myself asking the question: why do we not have spaces like these in our own cities, and if we did, what would they look like? the following contains my proposal for a reimagined boston city hall plaza that seeks to accommodate the variety of spatial needs within the urban american context.


kinetic topography

b the public space of city hall plaza is characterized by a variety of spatial needs, shifting scales of occupancy, and changes in weather. physical augmentation is necessaryto adequately accommodate the diversity of activities present in the urban landscape. this model is suggestive of a topography that fluctuates between flat openess, partially covered space, and a mix of the two.

open event space 8

hybrid_a

circumstances: major events, concerts, summer / mild weather

circumstances: small pu gathering or performanc

8

kinetic topography

b the public space of city hall plaza is characterized by a variety of spatial needs, shifting scales of occupancy, and changes in weather. physical augmentation is necessaryto adequately accommodate the diversity of activities present in the urban landscape. this model is suggestive of a topography that fluctuates between flat openess, partially covered space, and a mix of the two.

open event space 8

circumstances: major events, concerts, summer / mild weather

covered event space 8

circumstances: major events, concerts, festivals, cold + wet weather conditions

open event space

covered event space

hybrid_a

circumstances: major events, concerts, summer / mild weather

circumstances: major events, concerts, festivals, cold + wet weather conditions

circumstances: small public events, informal gathering or performance, any weather

8

8

covered event space

hybrid_a

circumstances: major events, concerts, festivals, cold + wet weather conditions

circumstances: small public events, informal gathering or performance, any weather

8

8

8

hybrid_b 8

circumstances: medium public events, any weather

hybrid_b 8

circumstances: medium


medium space large space / heavy traffic subway entrance/exit space with strong indoor/outdoor connection small park / softscape balcony views of main space potential large program site medium space large space / heavy traffic subway entrance/exit space with strong indoor/outdoor connection small park / softscape balcony views of main space potential large program site



thesis_patrick franke