[guest = anthony payne ] Last week, gazing out the window past the coffee cart whilst eagerly awaiting my mediterranean turkey and hummus sandwich (toasted thanks), it occurred to me how underutilized the south facing porch and lawn are. On a beautiful fall day, why are we sitting inside a conditioned space (that is frequently freezing) instead of bathing in the shadow patterns of Nader Tehrani’s A Change of State?
As designers, we would think that adding the program of a cafe would activate the adjacent space, but up until now it has killed it. The kitchen blocks off one set of double doors, whilst the other remains locked so as not to disturb the seating arrangement. The space has now become storage for an installation- not the architects original intent and surely not the best adaptive reuse strategy we can hope for.
Whilst some call for a green roof on the east architecture building and a soccer ball is occasionally kicked around the courtyard, our own south facing green space remains deserted. We are aware of its existence, right?
So why do we not use it? Is it simply the awkward access or do we feel exposed/exhibited to those sitting inside (and supervised by ‘the authorities’ on the first floor)?
Could reconfiguring the interior seating layout and an intervention as simple as a table and chairs outside go some way to activating this space? Perhaps the decommissioned sections of the YAF installation could become seating and daybeds scattered across the lawn, or a labyrinth or a play-space! Surely as designers we can come up with ideas for how this space could better be used – I’m just hoping to initiate a conversation (though it would make an excellent space for a game of cricket!)
Quick, before we’re stuck inside for the next 2 months!
[ anthony payne, COA, south lawn, v_02 | i_05 ]