ASTERISK:

REDESIGN of BALDERS PLADS

My first urban design project was to reimagine a paved-over neighborhood square in a diverse residential area in Copenhagen. Lead by a Nørrebro native, my class visited often and evaluated the use, climate, users, potential, and context. We found that the primary problems with the space are the expanse of concrete, the lack of seating, the out-of-scale dimensions, and the inability to attract activity. My design appropriates the shape of an asterisk, using grassy hills to divide the large square into more human-scale and friendly spaces. Pathways throughout allow residents to cut through the square, tables accommodate the users of a nearby cafe, and the central axis can facilitate the annual jazz festival's stage and the seasonal flea market's tables. Benches line the green edges, situated in a variety of ways to encourage lingering by all types; some are completely enclosed, others look out on pathways, some accommodate large groups, most are sheltered from wind and facing the afternoon sun. I incorporate elements of play, keeping the well-loved hammocks and creating foot-wide elevated wood paths through the hills. The bike racks and pathways to entrances remain, and the hills are engineered to carefully wrap around existing trees. The disruptive street cutting off one end of the square has been closed off, allowing the cafe to fully access the square's space and greenery.

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