Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Plaza for Everyone -- Architectural Criticism for the Southern Plaza

proposed change
original look

This graphic critique discusses the matter of revitalizing the Southern Plaza near Adelaide’s riverbank. By using a group of methods of architectural criticism, such as systematic, dynamic, evocative, etc., the author has tried to increase the awareness of how to redevelop an abandoned area by addressing such issue to the government, the architects, and the public. 

Being adjacent to the Parliament House and the Festival Centre, the Southern Plaza, completed in March 1977, has remained one of Adelaide’s most under-utilized public precincts due to Adelaide’s citizens never really welcome the designer’s idea of providing a playful place. With the capacity of holding thousands of people, this plaza has not been able to create a theme to hold each piece together by building a complex of place with a sense of belonging. In contrast, the pedestrians very often use it as a short cut to the Elder Park, or as an extension of bus stop. Also the color of the sculptures across the plaza doesn’t reflect the characteristic style of its neighboring buildings. As the pedestrian walks across the plaza, one can feel the absence of the vibrancy, the wandering here becomes a dull journey.

Proposed change aims at turning the plaza into a new landmark of Adelaide as a leisure environment where three major functions will be carried out through the redevelopment --- dinning, art market and having fun. A small number of cafes, restaurants and retail outlets near the Parliament House allow people sitting there to appreciate the panoramic view. Another highlight would be the ancient style sculpture and the screen on the top of Festival Centre, the latter is a showcase of the program in the Festival Centre while the former extends a harmonious relationship with Parliament House structured with Collins pillar. A sense of void is to be created by knocking down the original sculptures to build a multifunctional plaza where in the daytime it houses vivid art market but in the evening it turns your ordinary night into unforgettable memory through the rhythm flowed from the music fountain on the ground.

(ps: this is a school assignment.)