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- 1. UrbanSquare Urban Square: • Urban square is an open public space used for community gatherings • The first urban formations appeared 6000 years ago • City squares were established at the cross roads of important trade routes • Major places of worship were placed on squares, also used as markets • Served as an opportunity to exercise the power of rulers with military processions and parades
- 2. UrbanSquare Function of Squares: • Creates a gathering place for the people • Providing them with a shelter against the traffic • Freeing them from the tension of rushing through the web of street • Represents as a psychological parking place within the civic landscape
- 3. UrbanSquare Reasons for development of Squares: • Climatic conditions • Societal structure and psychological attitude of people • led to a form of public life – and life in public • Made street and square the natural locale for community activities and representation
- 4. UrbanSquare Factors that formulate the Square: • On the relation between the forms of the surrounding buildings • On their uniformity or their variety • On their absolute dimensions • On relative proportions in comparison with width and length of the open area • On the angle of entering the streets
- 5. UrbanSquare Squares – A part of living organism • A Square is never completed • Some may vanish, be destroyed. Others may be replaced and new ones added • A square, an accumulation of important buildings in past may have developed into comprehensible form now • Elements of square such as surrounding structures, monuments are subjected to flux of time
- 6. UrbanSquare Reasons for changes in Square • Physically through the erection of new buildings & the alteration or destruction of old ones • Through a modification of the building line • Psychologically, through the different way in which each generation experiences
- 7. UrbanSquare The Archetypes • Square consists of three space confining elements • Surrounding structures, floor and the imaginary sphere of the sky above • Elements are decisively defined by the two-dimensional layout of square • These three factors that produce final three dimensional effect may vary in themselves
- 8. UrbanSquare Classification of Squares • Closed Square – Space self contained • Dominated Square – Space directed • Nuclear Square – Space formed around a centre • Grouped Squares – Space units combined • Amorphous Square – Space unlimited • Squares doesn't represent only one pure type, but very often bears the characteristics of two of these types
- 9. UrbanSquare Closed Square: • It is a complete enclosure interrupted only by the streets leading to it • Primary element of any closed square is its layout of regular geometrical form • The repetition of identical houses or house types, facing the enclosed area • Spatial balance of the square will always be achieved by the equation of horizontal & vertical forces
- 10. UrbanSquare Closed Square: Place des Vosges, Paris, France
- 11. UrbanSquare Closed Square: • Each façade fulfills a dual function • On the one hand, it is part of an individual structure; on the other hand, it forms part of a common urban spatial order • Continuity and context of the framing structures were achieved by the Colonnade, arched arcades • Yet, the inner courtyard with in a complex monumental structure is not a square from the town planning view
- 12. UrbanSquare Closed Square: Colonnade in Agora - Priene Arcade in Place des Vosges
- 13. UrbanSquare The Dominated Square: • Characterized by one individual structure or a group of buildings towards which the open space is directed • Surrounding structures are related to them • Dominated building may be a church, a palace, a town hall, an architecturally developed fountain, a theatre • Usually the direction of a main street which opens into the square establishes the axis towards the dominant building
- 14. UrbanSquare The Dominated Square: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris St. Peter’s, Rome Place de l’Odeon, Paris
- 15. UrbanSquare The Dominated Square: • Compels the spectator to move toward and to look at the focal architecture • Dominant square produces a directive of motion • The dominated structure need not necessarily be voluminous • Very often it is merely a gate or an arch which may dominate a whole square • A fountain may also dominate a square it if constitutes an entire front in with architecture, sculpture and water
- 16. UrbanSquare The Dominated Square: Piazza del Popolo, Rome Fountain dominating the Square, Fontana di Trevi, Rome Pariser Platz, Berlin Squares subordinate to the Street –gate axis
- 17. UrbanSquare The Dominated Square: Dominating element may also be a Void Maria Theresien strasse, Innsbruck Dominating element is a broad river Praca do Comercio, Lisbon Subordinating Square to the continuous axis Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Turin
- 18. UrbanSquare The Nuclear Square: • Nuclear Square consists of a nucleus, a strong vertical accent – a monument, a fountain, an obelisk • It is powerful enough to charge the space around with a tension that the impression of the square will be evoked • It will tie the heterogeneous elements of the periphery into one visual unit • Dimensions of nuclear square are restricted as the visual effect of the central monument is naturally limited
- 19. UrbanSquare The Nuclear Square: Donatello’s equestrian figure Piazza del Santo in Padua, Italy Nelson’s column Trafalgar square, London
- 20. UrbanSquare Grouped Squares: • In Grouped Squares, Individual squares may be fused organically and aesthetically into one comprehensive whole • Each unit - the individual square, represents an entity, aesthetically self sufficient and yet part of a comprehensive higher order • A sequence of squares, different in size and form, develops in only one direction, thus establishing a straight axis
- 21. UrbanSquare The Grouped Square: Sequence of Squares developed in a straight axis Imperial Fora, Rome
- 22. UrbanSquare Grouped Squares: • Or, in a non-axial organization, a smaller square opens with one of its sides upon a larger square, so that the individual axes of each square meet in a right angle • Or, a group of three or more squares of different shapes and proportions surround one dominant building • Or, two individual squares fall into a coherent pattern although they are separated from each other by blocks of houses, thoroughfares
- 23. UrbanSquare The Grouped Square: Non-axial organization of Squares Piazza and Piazzetta in Venice
- 24. UrbanSquare The Grouped Square: Squares around one Dominant building Palazzo Podesta in Bologna, Italy
- 25. UrbanSquare The Grouped Square: Two seperated squares with coherence Piazza d’Erbe and Piazza dei Signori
- 26. UrbanSquare The Amorphous Square: • Amorphous is formless, unorganized, having no specific shape • It does not represent aesthetic qualities or artistic possibilities • However, if it shares some elements with the previously analyzed squares it may appear like one of them • New York’s Washington square is not a closed square. Its dimensions are so large
- 27. UrbanSquare The Amorphous Square: • Proportions of many of its surrounding structures are so heterogeneous, so irregular, even contradictory • Location and size of the small triumph arch are so dissimilar to all the other given factors • Unified impression cannot result • Disproportion in scale destroys all aesthetic possibilities New York’s Washington Square
- 28. UrbanSquare The Amorphous Square: • Place de l’Opera in Paris could not become a “dominated” Square in spite of the monumental façade of the imposing opera house • Width of the Boulevard des Cupucines is running through its off centre • Presence of small structures like the entrance to the Metro, scattered all over the area ruin any special effect • These examples are “squares” from surveyor’s viewpoint, although without any artistic impact
- 29. UrbanSquare The Amorphous Square: Boulevard and Metro ruin Dominated Square Place de l’Opera in Paris
- 30. UrbanSquare Thank You References: The Square in space and time, Paul Zucker, Time-Saver Standards for Urban Design

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