A Perfect Pocket Park
This space is a great example of how to design an urban park with limited space. It rests between a twenty-eight story office tower and a fourteen-story hotel. The traffic running parallel on either side is non-stop, with sirens blasting constantly from the nearby hospital. The designer has taken an impossible environment and made it a pleasant place to pass the time outdoors.
How? I’ll list some of the thoughtful ideas incorporated into the design.
• The space is sunken below street level on one side and bounded by a skywalk and an enclosed parking lot on the other. This, along with the building facades, provides intimate enclosure as well as a buffer for street noise.
• Half of the plaza is raised, providing more enclosure for the picnic areas. The raised beds provide lots of opportunities for sitting, and the circular focal point acts as a stage for corporate events.
• The different levels restrict pedestrian traffic to workers in the office tower, even though the hotel patrons can view the plaza from their balconies. It is a very civil way to limit access. It is not uncommon to see residents in their pajamas, standing on their balconies, viewing activities below. Think Rear Window. There is a sense of relaxed community.