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Public Squares and Plazas - Jamison Square


The famous Jamison square located in Downtown Portland, Oregon designed by Architect Peter Walker and Partners. The project is an excellent example of how contrasting elements from urban life juxtapose with landscape and create places for interaction and memory. Jamison square fits in the square grid planning of the city merging yet standing apart due to stark boundaries of tree cover. Connected by avenues and the Broadway bridge, Jamison square fits in the cityscape due to its location accesses and linkage.

This public square provides outdoor environments that are rich in social and ecological conditions. For example, the water element of the park and spaces for play and careful selection of plantation. The park sensitizes accessibility and also is transforming as the culture of the city, be it places for resting, recreation, holding art exhibitions, or the plaza is a subject of art itself with the introduction of sculptural elements like the “tiki totem’s”. The original concept of Jamison square was of an outdoor gallery, boardwalk, and stone seating, which then transformed into a flexible active design to address the young crowd of the city. The main attraction, the waterbody was designed in such a way that it portrays constant movement, an object of play that captures the essence of the place. Various other elements were added to increase the verve for activity. The plaza also featured various art pieces which increased the dynamism, became a place of identity and heritage. Jamison square is the perfect example to show how landscape projects are so well planned, and it is a series of events and organized steps that actually leads to the execution of a project.


Manek Chowk is an exemplary example of how informal architecture also forms a landscape that is engaging and forms a unique identity of exemplary its own. The spatial and physical characteristics of Manek Chowk change constantly with time, leaving odd bits of the past still intact, recognizable. The landscape here is through behavior turned into practices of traditions, rituals, and imagination. An Indian plaza is a subset world in the world itself due to the diversity present
The graphic explains how Manek Chowk transfigures itself at various times of the day, with setting up shops, pre-market activities, selling, and eventually closing of the markets opening up to the popular night culture of food and recreation. This non-permanency is what makes Manek Chowk a dynamic successful public space, because of its unrestricted quality. This place is also an amalgamation of history and modern-day as it features monuments acting as landmarks, which is essential for any plaza to form its distinct identity. Interlinkage of culture and the residential places merge and distort forming places of familiarity and sociability, whilst providing security as it forms gated communities.

Krish Mewawala
Urvi Khadakban

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