Public Spaces provide unique experiences and contribute to the identity of a city. Found as places like plazas, parks, marketplaces, within buildings, lobbies and many more. Public spaces are important to our society and therefore face more arguments in design and construction compared to private spaces.
In order to create innovative public architecture, considered to be the most civic, costly, time intensive and physical of the arts, the project holds a degree of risk, strife, and negotiation . Overcoming these tasks and creating worthy public architecture is a challenge designers try to accomplish, but are rarely successful. The people involved in a potential public building, can be larger than the building itself. Public architecture tries to please all, even the doubters and critics, but because of the all these factors, a building is closer to failing than succeeding.
On a positive note, there are designers who have accomplished what seems like the impossible and created spaces that stand timeless in their place. The Eiffel Tower, Grand Central Station, Sydney Opera House are just a few examples of spaces that provide a unique experience for the people and contribute to the identity of the city.
But how does one even begin to fathom what makes a public space worthy to the users and the city? Is it purely the design of the building? Or is it the function of the building? Or is it in fact how the function of the desired spaces and the vision of the designer work together to create the experience?
The Walt Disney Concert Hall located in Downtown Los Angeles, CA is an example of a worthy public space, this year marking its tenth year being open still reflects and engages Los Angeles like few other buildings. In the beginning of the program planning for the Concert hall, the mission of the hall was clear, to create a world-class concert hall with great acoustics and thanks to Frank Gehry’s determination, the hall solved challenges that have frustrated previous concert-hall architects.
The concept of a Concert Hall has adapted from the use of Ancient Greek Amphitheaters. These outdoor performance stages were designed so actors are located in a central area and the audience is seated in a sloped semicircle around them. This design had very little reflected sound, with optimum sound distribution and maximum speech articulation.
A Millennium passed and the concept of the theatre further developed during the Renaissance. These developments evolved into indoor theatres with enclosed volumes that suffered from repeated reflections. Additionally the stage and seating arrangement developed. Because of the changes with the stage to be adaptable for different forms of performing art, acoustics struggled in a space. Boston Symphony Hall was the first hall ever built with mathematical predictions of reverberation time.
The history of the hall is long and vast due to the struggles between designer, Music Center committees, the...