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Third Year Spring Graduate Research Studio

The Plaza
Paul Andersen, Clinical Assistant Professor
Spring 2015

The public plaza, which was a distinct urban type not long ago, is now designed to incorporate aspects of parks, playgrounds, amphitheaters, and markets. Design authority is up for grabs—architects, landscape architects, and urban designers all claim expertise. As the plaza drifts out of the domain of architecture, it is becoming independent of the buildings that surround it. Projects in this studio respond by altering conventional relationships between plaza surfaces and building facades or by introducing those relationships solely within the space of the plaza. Beginning with a straightforward form making technique—intersecting platonic solids and boxes—they create clear and often disparate figures and patterns in plan and elevation that correspond to unusual distributions of traditional plaza materials.