The Grande Place: intervention 1

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Andrea Vickers, Edith Dennis-LaRocque, Robert Rabie

The paths through manicured green spaces follow a choreographed procession. These predetermined routes discourage active engagement and exploration of the site, emphasizing a romanticized view of Nature distanced from the viewer. Orientation instinctually is a matter of placing movement within a matrix of landmarks; a process requiring constant observation. The Olympic Stadium tower acts as the main point of visual orientation in the site; this project acts to leverage the tower’s potential as a wayfinding point by incorporating it into a matrix of nodes strategically placed across the site. Exploration thus becomes an interactive process where situating the user on the site involves active navigation / observing / understanding of your position instead of following a path or a map. This encourages greater immersion in the surroundings, wherein the user becomes engaged with all aspects of the site, both natural and manmade.

The nodes are placed according to an exploration of the current circulation routes, existing wayfinding points, views, and underused/underexplored areas of the site. The nodes attract users via visual differentiation from the surroundings, local landscape intervention (walking/sensory), and sonic stimuli. In addition to orienting, they will act as points of attraction in themselves, each with a discreet program that can be deployed seasonally. These programs will include elements such as edible gardens to encourage engagement and learning about vegetation, as well as to stand-out against the manicured environment of the Olympic park. The incorporation of lookout platforms that direct views will encourage a dialogue with the tower and other node points.

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