Over the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant owners around the globe have continuously suffered over the past year- especially small, independent establishments. If there’s one glimmer of hope that many of them have experienced, as public health guidelines continue to evolve, it’s that many cities have relaxed their policies and allowed restaurants to construct temporary shelters on sidewalks and in streets as a means to keep their businesses afloat. But in life after the pandemic, how should we address these setups? Should we turn them into something more permanent and allow outdoor dining to stay?
Outdoor Spaces: The Latest Architecture and News
"The explosion of outdoor dining is both a survival tool for restaurants and a welcome cultural shift that may be here to stay", states Jessica Ritz, in her article originally published on Metropolis. In fact, the author explores hospitality trends that have emerged during the pandemic in California, mainly outdoor dining, and that are likely to last or be present for a long time.
After several event cancellations due to the pandemic, Manhattan’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex have transformed their outdoor plaza into a green park and outdoor performance venue called The Green. As of May 10, the Restart Stages initiative will add fake grass across the 14,000-square-foot (1,300 sqm) Josie Robertson Plaza. The plaza, which was originally designed by Philip Johnson, Wallace K. Harrison, and Max Abramovitz, and renovated by award-winning architecture firm DS+R in 2010, will transform into a public urban space of gathering, leisure, and entertainment.
Ever since the tramline’s closure, the 800-meter-long strip in the center of Corso Gabetti and Ponte Regina Margherita in Turin, has been abandoned. To make use of the dead area and give residents an extra space outdoors following Italy's severe pandemic repercussions, non-profit cultural association Torino Stratosferica has transformed the tree-lined strip into Precollinear Park, a temporary public space fit for socially-distanced leisure.
Part of New York’s Recovery Agenda, to keep the city safe and healthy, the Open Restaurants program established in June of this year was extended year-round, to be made permanent. In fact, Mayor de Blasio has allowed restaurants to use heating and enclosures, and expand seating to adjacent properties with neighbors’ consent. This extension will also apply to Open Streets: Restaurants, “which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days”.
A new pop-up intervention installs 50 private, clear, frameless, geodesic domes in the open spaces of Toronto, Canada. Created by Lmnts Outdoor Studio, the project aims to bring Yoga and fitness workouts safely, to an outdoor setting, while respecting social distancing measures.
ODA released images of its 1,185’ mixed-use tower in downtown Seattle. Showcasing a novelty in high-rise design, the project underlines the value and importance of outdoor space. Carving out a void in the middle of the tower, the design creates a shared outdoor amenity space with impressive views to Mt. Rainier.
David Rockwell and his team at Rockwell Group proposed an open streets initiative, a template for outdoor dining, in order to help bars and restaurants reopen post-pandemic. The design strategies illustrate practical solutions to make everyone feel safe.
While public parks and gardens have closed down their doors around the world, in fear of the COVID-19 spread, Studio Precht has proposed a green space designed around the rules of physical distancing. Entitled “Parc de la Distance”, the project introduces an outdoor space that encourages social distancing and short-term solitude.
For most people, spending time outdoors in well-designed public spaces is one of the highlights to city life. Why, then, do we spend comparatively little time and money on designing them? In this article, originally posted on Metropolis magazine as "Designing Outdoor Public Spaces is Vital to the Future of our Cities" Kirt Martin, the vice-president of design and marketing at outdoor furniture designer Landscape Forms, makes the case that landscape architects and industrial designers working in the public realm are key for our cities' health and happiness.
All of us treasure our time in outdoor spaces. So why do we devote so little of our attention to their design?
As a designer in the site-furniture industry, I am always curious about the value people place on the outdoors. I like to ask people I meet to describe a great city like New York, Chicago, or Paris and what they most remember about being there. Or I ask them, if they won $25,000 to spend on a dream vacation, where they would go and what they would do. Their fond memories of a celebrated city or an escape into the wild often have little in common, except for one thing: Their most memorable and meaningful experiences almost always revolve around the outdoors.
Chicago’s Jackson Park is expected to see some big changes in the coming years. Nonprofit organization Project 120 is working to revitalize the park, restoring many of the design aspects implemented by its landscape architect, the famous Frederick Law Olmsted. Alongside this restoration, the park will also receive a new Phoenix Pavilion, homage to Japan’s gift to the US for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. An outdoor performance space will be added to the park, as will an installation funded by musician and activist Yoko Ono. See the details, after the break.
The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority of Perth has released conceptual images for what is to become the city’s latest public space, designed by a team comprised of Aspect Studios, Iredale Pedersen Hook, and Lyons Architecture. With construction to begin in mid-2015 and slated for completion in 2017, the square takes its name from Yagan, an Indigenous Australian warrior of Perth’s local Noongar people. Integral to early resistance against British colonization, Yagan’s tenacity, leadership, and subsequent execution by settlers have cemented his role in Indigenous Australian folklore. Read more about this significant acknowledgement of Indigenous history after the break.
Architects are notorious for working long, consecutive hours. So, in an attempt to remind you to take a break, we've compiled the top 12 most re-pinned images of inviting, well-designed outdoor spaces from our Pinterest. Take a look, after the break, then step away from the screen and go outside for some much needed fresh air.