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CELEBRATION SQUARE A N A N A LYS IS O F P U B L I C S PACE

SUMER MATHARU + NICOLAS KOPPE | URBAN DESIGN THEORY | FALL 2017


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CONTENTS

THE SPACE 1-3

HISTORICAL TIMELINE 4

THE ANALYTICAL APPROACH 5

HUMAN USE 6

PATHS 7-8

EDGES 9-10

DISTRICTS 11

NODES 12

LANDMARKS 13

FINDINGS 14

BIBLIOGRAPHY 15
THE SPACE

CELEBRATION SQUARE
ARCHITECTS: THE MARC BOUTIN ARCHITECTURAL COLLABORATIVE
LO CAT IO N : CA L G A RY, A L B E RTA
SIZE: 32,000 SQ FT
YEAR COMPLETED: 2016

Located within the heart of East Village, Celebration Square is a prestine candidate in
the exploration of human use in public spaces. C-Square marks the cusp of drastic
development and augmentation of the East Village and exists as a hub for connectivity in
an otherwise infantile state of urbanity. The public space is driven in the coalescence of
infrastructurea multi-modal node servicing Light Rail Transit, automobile, cyclist and
pedestrian circulation in oneas the architects termsocial space. Yet the space is
undeniably in a state of limbo. C-Square burns in a potentiality that is eerily distinct
though it has yet to exhibit it, it is undoubted that the space will encompass a variety of
human uses as the surrounding context evolves.

All images retrieved from https://www.archdaily.com 01


THE SPACE

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The figure ground map shows the West to East extents from the centre of the Calgary
downtown core to the historical Fort Calgary respectively. It can be observed that there
is a clear gradient of development from East to West and C-Square is situatin at the
periphery of this development. This ties back into the potential for this site, which in our
analysis is documented as not yet fully harnessed.

NW NE

W E

SW SE

The site is open to the elements owing to the availability of free space around it. Being
located within the heart of Calgary, the site receives open wind and ample sunlight. Over
time as development of the East Village continues around it, there will not be a significant
effect on the site. This is because to the South the development has more of less been
completed, which affects the sun. To the NW, there is not much more in terms of high
rises to be built, which affets the wind.

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THE SPACE

SECTIONS (SOURCE: THE-MBAC)

The sections show the flat gradient of the site with multi-modal circulation and access to
the site. It is an open landscape with virtually no obstructions from the sun and wind.

RENDERED MODEL 1 (SOURCE: THE-MBAC) RENDERED MODEL 2 (SOURCE: THE-MBAC)

The model images shown above from the-MBAC show different intended uses for the
space and how the open nature of the site can be adapted for events, temporary shelter,
gathering, parking, etc. The following analysis will provide more insight as to what the
design intention was. and how human use and imageability portray the built site.

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HISTORICAL TIMELINE

PRIOR TO 1840 1875


1840 Northwest Mounted
Confluence of Bow and
Elbow Rivers is settled Police establish Fort
upon as traditional Arrival of American fur Brisebois (soon to
Blackfoot Nation land traders to area which become Fort Calgary)
will become East Village

1905-1910

The King Edward Hotel is


static1.squarespace.com built
1941

nmc.ca
East Village falls into
decline 1912
1906
Simmons building,
a historic mattress
East Village becomes a
factory is built
vibrant community as
Calgary begins to boom

1960s
2015
i.pinimg.com
Urban renewal results
in heavy demolition and 2007 Simmons building is
area is neglected
restored
CMLC (Calgary Municipal
Land Corporation) is
formed with a focus on
revitalizing East Village

2016
The National Music
Centre is built, Celebration Square is
incorporating the King completed
static1.squarespace.com
Edward Hotel

http://www.evexperience.com/history/
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THE ANALYTICAL APPROACH

APPROACH 1 APPROACH 2
HUMAN USE MAPPING KEVIN LYNCHS IMAGEABILITY

We began our analysis of Celebration Square Using Kevin Lynchs Image of the City , we explored
by visiting it in varying times of the day to Celebration Square by producing a set of objective
better realize the human use systems pres ent graphics which: outlined the circulative paths
in the space. We initially intended to grasp an around the space; illustrated the bounding edges
understanding of how the space was utilized that define the permeability/impermeability from a
which would allow us to formulate a graphical pedestrian walkability perspective; formulated the
observation of the space. In the attempt to districts of the surrounding context; highlighted
perceive the way people use C-Squarewhere the nodes focusing on entrances and exits, and;
people move and stop; when, how and why people outlined the adjacent landmarks which frame
use itwe noted an interesting finding: the public the space. Utilizing this objective diagrammatic
space is largely disregarded or unattended. Though process, we were able to better conceptualize
the area exhibits a bold statement of historic how this framework would affect human use
and new (and bold) built forms, arguably the East currently and in the future. This was conducted
Village exists in a state of suspended potentiality in an augmentation of the objective approach
where it still has yet to bolster a sense of space to reconceptualize each aspect with regards to
and a unified identity. We were inclined to examine human use and more specifically, the development
human use mapping in Celebration Square in of a cognitive understanding (mapping) of the
unconventional methods: acknowledging the future space. We found that exploring the public space
identity of human use as the area becomes more through this lens allowed us to best consider
refined and inhabited. This led us to focus our Celebration Square in its latent state. In the place
analysis on the second approach, namely Kevin of mapping out an explicit definition of human
Lynchs imageability in the urban space. This use, which would arguably result in a sterile and
would effect in an understanding of how human unrepresentative portrait of the space, we thought
use will present itself with the development of to adjust our analysis with the potential human
a cognitive mapping of the space as the area is use in mind.
refined and a sense of space is initiated.

Observed human
behaviour Paths

Edges
Circulation + Paths + Viewcones

Districts

Activites on
site

Nodes

Landmarks

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NICOS OBSERVATIONS SUMERS OBSERVATIONS

HUMAN USE
Images retrieved from https://images.adsttc.com/media/images

NICOS OBSERVATIONS (LEFT) crossed into the site through one of the secondary crossings
(in blue). The cyclist rushed through the site without looking
Over the period of an hour on the afternoon of October 18th, around. The individual was joining in on the gathering of
I observed and recorded human use of Celebration Square. homeless individuals. There were many other pedestrians
For the whole duration of my visit, I noted two individuals who crossed the path adjacent to the site but nobody was
passing through the site (orange and blue lines), one from the interested to go through the site.
North to the South, the other the opposite and one individual
sleeping on one of the wood benches (green dot). We intended INITIAL FINDINGS
to record where people moved, stopped, sat (or remained for
an extended period of time), and looked. The two individuals Following our observation of human use, we were inclined to
who walked through the site appeared to not be interested research whether C-Space has hosted events in its past and
whatsoever in the space, only breaking their forward-focused any has any future events planned. We found that the National
gaze when passing by the sleeping individual. They used Music Centre utilized Celebration Square for Sundays in
the main North-South thoroughfare through the space as it C-Square between August 13 and September 3 of this past
provides the most direct corridor with least impediment. year to host an afternoon music series with local performers.
Additionally, the space hosts yoga events and other outdoor
SUMERS OBSERVATIONS (RIGHT) events during the summer months. We are led to believe that
our observations of human behaviour in C-Square may not
I reached C-square with my family at 5:30 pm on October be consistent throughout the year, however observing how a
21st. We parked in the lot directly South of the site between space is unused can lead to be a valuable study.
C-square and the National Music Centre. During our time in
the site, there was a large crowd of homeless individuals
who were receiving aid in the form of food and refreshments
from a nearby van. Within a span of 1 hour, there was 1 cyclist
who passed through the site (in orange), and 1 individual who
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6th Avenue SE

7th Avenue SE
4th Avenue SE

8th Avenue SE

M 50 9th Avenue SE
25 100

PATHS
PATHS ARE CHANNELS ALONG WHICH THE OBSERVER POTENTIALLY MOVES.
THESE ARE PREDOMINANT ELEMENTS IN THEIR IMAGE. PEOPLE OBSERVE
THE CITY WHILE MOVING THROUGH IT, AND ALONG THESE PATHS THE
ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENTS ARE ARRANGED AND RELATED.
[KEVIN LYNCH, IMAGE OF THE CITY]
In looking at C-square from Lynchs perspective of paths, car circulation for the site is very good and there are many
it can be noticed that there are many modes of transport connections by which to reach the site. There is plenty of open
by which one can reach the site: C-train, car, bicycle, and parking space around the site (highlighted in red) for vehicles.
walking.
The C-train operates along 7th Avenue where no private
The approach for the C-train is unique in that there is no stop vehicles are allowed on. However, there is a sidewalk for
at or adjacent to C-square. Rather, one has to get off at the pedestrian traffic. 6th Avenue immediately to the North of
City Centre station (shown on the circulation map above), the site continues in one direction to the West. Both of these
and walk 2 blocks to the C-square. While this may be a paths are immediately recognizable due to their directionality
straightforward path, it is not however convenient. The C-train and their continuity.
path also has an abrupt directional shift which Lynch explains
in his book as having the characteristics to enhance visual 4th Street immediately to the West of the site is a major road
clarity when it comes to identifying paths and landmarks. The that continues to the North and turns into Memorial Drive. To
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the South it runs adjacent to the National Music Centre and

4th Avenue SE
also continues down to the Scotiabank Saddledome. This
street creates a recognizable path connection between
different important nodes, intersections and landmarks within
the city.
6th Avenue SE
The C-Square site itself is at a unique intersection of roads,
C-train and also pedestrian ways. This can be observed in the
section view below. This intersection contains an interesting
alignment of different modes of transportation with the
c-train intersecting 4th St and 6th Avenue. This intersection
creates an impressionable and recognizable quality for the
site.

The special usage along paths around the C-Sqaure site is


spread evenly around it. To the South with the music centre,
there are events that people gather for and park at the spot
between the C-Square and Music Centre. To the North and
East there is retail and residential from East Village. To the 7th Avenue SE
West is the view of the city including important landmarks
such as the New Calgary Central Library and the Bow Tower
which makes the site more legible.

PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION LRT CIRCULATION

AUTOMOBILE CIRCULATION

LRT PATH PEDESTRIAN + AUTOMOBILE


CYCLIST PATH PATH

NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE NEW RESIDENTIAL TOWERS THE BOW

THE BOW DROP IN CENTRE PANORAMIC VIEW


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PERMEABLE EDGE CONDITION

IMPERMEABLE EDGE CONDITION

EDGES
EDGES ARE THE LINEAR ELEMENTS NOT USED OR CONSIDERED AS PATHS BY THE OBSERVER.
THEY ARE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN TWO PHASES, LINEAR BREAKS IN CONTINUITY. [THEY] MAY
BE BARRIERS, MORE OR LESS PENETRABLE, WHICH CLOSE ONE REGION OFF FROM ANOTHER.
[KEVIN LYNCH, IMAGE OF THE CITY]

As illustrated in the Paths study, celebration square is sub- them and secondlyand more prominentlyin the array of
divided by an Light Rail Transit line which trims the site on fins cascading along the space. As the user circulates through
its western edge. The space solves the potential issue of the the space, the benches act as a permeable edge condition
caucophany of public transit, automobile, pedestrian and while the fins create an edge disallowing further user access.
cyclist circulation through its edge conditions. In certain Human use transitions from MOVEMENT (along the North-South
cases, the design of the public space ensures that the main pedestrian corridor and the ancillary East-West veins) to
user acknowledges implicitly that they are encountering REST (as they situate along the benches) to REDIRECTION (as
a space where they are permitted to visit and rest but not they encounter the monolithic array of metal fins which mark
permeate. This is suggested primarily in the intentionality of the edge of publicly-accessible space.
the seating systems and the natural grasses accompanying
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NORTH-SOUTH
PEDESTRIAN CORRIDOR

WOOD-CLAD BENCHES +
NATURAL GRASSES

METAL FINS

INACCESSIBLE SEMI-ACCESSIBLE FULLY ACCESSIBLE

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4
5
1
3
2

HARD BOUNDARY ACCORDING TO COMMUNITY THEMATIC DISTRICTING INSIDE DOWNTOWN CORE

THEMATIC DISTRICTING INSIDE EAST VILLAGE THEMATIC DISTRICTING INSIDE INGLEWOOD

1. ST. LOUIS HOTEL 2. NATIONAL MUSIC CENTRE 3. NEW CENTRAL LIBRARY 4. SIMMONS BUILDING 5. C-SQUARE

DISTRICTS
DISTRICTS ARE RELATIVELY LARGE CITY AREAS WHICH THE
OBSERVER CAN MENTALLY GO INSIDE OF, AND WHICH HAVE SOME
COMMON CHARACTER. THEY CAN BE RECOGNIZED INTERNALLY,
AND OCCASIONALLY BE USED AS EXTERNAL REFERENCE AS AN
OBSERVER PASSES BY OR THROUGH THEM.
[KEVIN LYNCH, IMAGE OF THE CITY]
When considering districts as hard and soft boundaries, is encountering, along with being situated at the crux of
cities often divide these up according to zoning and the new and old architectural landmarks in the community.
usage. Celebration Square is located within the East Village Being situated in this unique cluster, it naturally begins to
community which is currently undergoing draw a mental boundary (as shown on the
extensive gentrification. This is is evident above diagram) according to proximity, type of
with the mix of old and new architecture building, walkability, and a trend factor.
and building typologies, as well as with the
injection of new and bold forms. Some of The main features of East Village when
these new architectural buildings are the new considering districts with respect to:
Calgary Central Library which is currently POROSITY, is the distribution of buildings and
under construction, and the National Music availability of open space;
Centre which has completed construction. BUILDING TYPOLOGY, is the mix of old and new
Some of the old buildings that have been View of the National Music Centre from buildings, with an emphasis on preservation of
C-Square
preserved and repurposed are the St. Louis the old and a bold injection of the new;
Hotel and the Simmons Building. In addition, C-Squarewhich GENTRIFICATION, with the attraction of a trendy population
is a gathering centreis situated at the edge of a cluster of while still providing core downtown living, leading to new
new residential and mixed use development that East Village kinds of experiences including retail.
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NODE MAP

M 50
25 100

NODES
NODES ARE THE STRATEGIC SPOTS IN A CITY INTO WHICH AN OBSERVER
CAN ENTER, AND WHICH ARE INTENSIVE FOCI TO AND FROM WHICH HE
IS TRAVELING. NODES MAY BE CONCENTRATIONS, WHICH GAIN THEIR
IMPORTANCE FROM BEING THE CONDENSATION
OF SOME USE OR PHYSICAL CHARACTER.
[KEVIN LYNCH, IMAGE OF THE CITY]
Though the space is structured with multi-modal connections, Each method of circulation is not only acknowledged but
there is an inherent logic to the entrances and exits of also appreciated (hence, Celebration Square). To explicate,
each circulative type. These nodes vary in prominence in the space is perimeterized by automobile and LRT transit
Celebration Square, where the Light Rail Transit nodes are all of which occur on the same datum. This ensures that
perceived as being dominant in hierarchy to firstly the all entrances and exits through the site occur on the same
automobile modes and sequentially, the pedestrian and cyclist plane and thus the site is encompassed in movement. This
nodes. These nodes are the most intense when a connection movement culminates in one coherent network of circulation
or intersectionoccurs between all modes of movement that will only develop and densify as the surround context
(LRT, automobile, cyclist, pedestrian). Integral to the spaces develops.
success is the marriage of all nodes into one complex whole.
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C. SQUARE

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LANDMARK MAP

LANDMARKS
LANDMARKS ARE ANOTHER POINT-
REFERENCE, BUT THE OBSERVER DOES NOT ENTER
WITHIN THEM. THEIR USE INVOLVES THE SINGLING
OUT OF ONE ELEMENT FROM A HOST OF POSSIBLITIES.
[KEVIN LYNCH, IMAGE OF THE CITY]
Building on the more intimate nature of Nodes , Celebration the center of the interconnectivity of landmarks. Celebration
Square is circumvented with a complex degree of notable Square can exist as a prominent connecting space regardless
landmarks. These landmarks strengthen the notion of of entry point. If we consider a procession of movement of an
connectivity in C-Square, where the public space acts as a observer as they progress from immediate landmarks such
mediator of movement from all cardinal directions into the as the National Music Centre, the new Central Library, or Fort
East Village. This is illustrated in the networking of each Calgary, C-Square exists at the core of those connections.
landmark and the situation of Celebration Square directly in
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PROJECT FINDINGS

C-Square has been designed and built at a time where Calgary is undergoing changes
at the macro and micro level. With the unique economic situation in Calgary where we
can see a noticeable push to move away from an energy dependent economy, to the
gentrification and repurposing of the city core, East Village is poised to be one of the
noteworthy communities in the city when fully developed.

In our analysis using both the human use mapping, and Kevin Lynchs Image of the City ,
we have learned that C-Square is not yet operating at its full potential as a gathering
centre. Being an essential transitionary pathway itself, and being placed within important
architecture in East Village and also within Calgary as a whole, a few more enhancements
can be made to improve the performance of this landmark. In order to do so, the following
need to occur:

East Village C-train Shelter and


Development + stop at + amenities
C-square

When East Village finishes with full development, there will be a lot more population
density that will want to stop at the C-Square rather than just transition through it.
In a way, the C-Square is designed to be dynamic transitionary landmark, which are
represented by the undulating perforated metallic flags. It is also designed into the
site to host events and get togethers when intended. If there was a C-train stop at
C-Square, it would amplify the characteristics of the C-Square intended within the site
being a gathering centre. This could be further enhanced with the addition of shelter and
amenities, which would form a part of the creation of a train stop at this location. If we
compare C-Square to other gathering centres within the same proximity (for example, the
Olympic Plaza, Simmons building with the riverwalk, etc.), it can be observed that due to
the amenities available at or around those centres, there is a lot more inhabitation that
occurs. It makes these centres a lot more interactive than the C-Square and that is what
draws people in.

Olympic Plaza (http://www.visitcalgary.com/sites/default/files/5.2_ Simmons Building RIverwalk Patio (https://upload.wikimedia.org/


calgary_downtown_01.jpg) wikipedia/commons/2/20/Simmons_Building_RiverWalk.jpg)

In conclusion, there are many moving parts required to build successful spaces. These
come from a combination of human use, amenities available, circulation, proximity,
etc. While C-Square may not have every single thing required to make it an important
gathering space, it is indeed at the crux of important activity which as time passes, will
transition the site into a more radiant centre of human activity.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ford, Larry R. Lynch revisited: New urbanism and theories of good city form, Cities, 1999.

Lynch, Kevin. Image of the City, The MIT Press, 1962.

Nasar, Jack L. The Evaluative Image of the City , Journal of the American Planning Association, 1990.

Sundays in C-Square. Studio Bell , studiobell.ca/sundays-in-c-square/.

C-Square Plaza / The Marc Boutin Collaborative. Arch Daily, archdaily.com/867693/c-square-plaza-the-marc-boutin-


architectural-collaborative.

History: It Takes a City to Raise a Village. East Village, evexperience.com/history/.

Calgarys Newest Urban Park to be Built Right Along the LRT Line in East Village. Metro News, metronews.ca/news/
calgary/2015/03/03/calgarys-newest-urban-park-to-be-built-right-along-the-lrt-line-in-east-village.html

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