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Video: Details Determine The Atmosphere
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
Eiffel Tower, Tower Bridge, Brandenburg Gate: these are the major landmarks that we first associate with a city. However, the atmosphere, the character of a place - it arises from the sum of many small parts.
Author: Katharina Mandlinger
Nothing allows Parisians to let their urban serenity so quickly. In 2016, however, they were in a storm - when the Paris city council announced the plan to replace the nostalgic Parisian newspaper kiosks with new, more functional models. Simple, rectangular kiosks were to succeed the dark green, ornament-rich pieces of jewelry with the typical, small domes that were originally designed by architect Gabriel Davioud in 1857.
Why did this innovation upset the residents of the city? Quite simply: Because Paris is more than the Eiffel Tower. What characterizes a city is not just the large-scale architecture. It is not only the striking buildings and distinctive landmarks, but also the small-scale structures of the city that we encounter on a daily basis - often probably without realizing them.
Street furniture such as benches, advertising columns, light objects and even trash cans play a key role in shaping public space, as do kiosks, stops or waiting areas. They discreetly underline the effect of promenade, bridges or marketplaces and thus almost imperceptibly put their stamp on the character of a city. A coherent design of such areas is important for a city, because here the public space has a variety of social tasks: it invites you to take a deep breath and pause, serves as a platform for communication, exchange and contact. However, all of this only works if the atmosphere there invites you to linger.
In Augsburg, for example, a few years ago the public drinking fountains in the city were remembered again: since 2011, 22 drinking water fountains have been identified as such and entered on a digital map. Everyone can see them today - and look for a little refreshment while walking through the city.
You want to stop here
Everyone who has longed for the next bus at night in an uninviting, concrete-gray bus stop knows how effective the design of waiting areas can be. How to do it better can be seen, for example, in Essen: In front of the main entrance to the Zollverein mine, an elaborately designed tram stop provides many of the approximately 1.5 million visitors with a proper reception each year. Based on the color of the corporate design of the UNESCO World Heritage and with an eye-catching lettering, the stop makes a first exclamation mark in front of the gates of the actual mine area.
Designs create orientation
"When designing stops, it is often a matter of combining different requirements with one another," explains graduate designer Martina Lehmann, who is responsible for object designs in the Caparol Color Design Studio. “On the one hand, striking designs are recommended, since they have the potential to give the place a distinctive character: this offers people a new orientation value. On the other hand, beautifully designed surfaces often act as protection against illegal graffiti and are usually spared by the sprayers."
The Frankfurt S-Bahn station Ostendstrasse, for example, creatively redesigned an artist group around graffiti artist Case Maclaim: it embellished a total of 6,600 square meters with around 60 “running hands”. In this way, she transformed the formerly dreary underground tube into a cheerful, colorful and inviting place where travelers have a lot to discover.
Of course, such elaborate, artistic designs are not always possible - the budget available often sets a limit for this. “The challenge then is to develop creative designs that are easy for the painter to implement. For the redesign of a train station, we used an existing tile grid, for example. The joints served to delimit new areas of color and structure. It was not a complicated design and yet the result had a great effect,”said Lehmann.
Art attracts people
When designing surfaces in public spaces, designer and facade artist Oliver Kray makes sure that his designs correspond to the surroundings. They should convey his own style, but at the same time integrate harmoniously.
He is convinced of the intense impact of art and artistic facade design: “Art makes the city more interesting - you can see that all over the world. Regardless of whether it's about building art, large murals or other artistic designs: They attract people and create communication,”says Kray. “The residents come together and talk about the new plant in their neighborhood. And often visitors are also interested in publicly accessible art, which in turn boosts tourism. An investment in art increases the attractiveness of a city."
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