Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Park Communities

Looking at Discovery Park, located in the neighborhood of Magnolia, the idea of “city sharing” works with not only surrounding neighborhoods, but also living organisms. Discovery Park serves as a place for city-goers to escape the hustle and bustle of city life to relax in nature. Due to its dynamic incorporation of meadows, forest groves, bluffs, and tidal beaches; Discovery Park attracts many different types of wildlife, which is shared with the public patrons of Seattle. A more formal approach is taken to incorporate nature and public at Sculpture Park in downtown Seattle. The Seattle Art Museum wanted to create an urban beach that would not only attract peoples, but also change the quality of water to attract wildlife.

Westlake Park sits in the middle of downtown Seattle shopping district. A variety of uses compromise the concrete paved park. This area houses year-round art installations, the monorail station, retail stores, a fountain, community benches, and overall a lot of open land for the community within greater Seattle to congregate. The parks “sharing” success is most likely due to its central location within the city and the layout of the features within the space. Harbor Steps Park works as a set of stairs that connect the higher grade Seattle to the lower grade land. It is sandwiched between mixed-use buildings, offices, and apartments and thus the site context enforces the need to “share”. Occupants of this area usually gather on the steps’ landings that act as platforms for resting. Tables are temporary decorations that can be manipulated according to the usage of the shared space.

By Ann Tseng & Keri Woltz

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