Architecture – Pseudo-public, Pseudo-private _ Michèle Woodger
The concepts of public and private are not diametrically opposed but rather exist on a continuum. The interaction between the two states – for the individual and the collective – determines the success of public architecture. The article considers how public activity and private sensations, public ownership and privatisation, play out across several different public architecture typologies – such as public open spaces, public swimming pools, mixed use buildings and museums – and elaborates by drawing on built examples from diverse cities including London, Hong Kong, Helsinki and Copenhagen. The article also reviews the contentious ongoing debate about POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces): how this rapidly accelerating phenomenon can be said to impinge on civil liberties and design freedoms, and to what extent. Conversely, the article discusses how architecture can play a pivotal role in curbing, or redirecting, the negative consequences of the proliferation of POPS, as evidenced by contributions to recent international architectural festivals and events – such as the Venice Biennale 2018 – which have used the theme of Public Architecture as a springboard.
Space is for Everyone _ Diego Terna
Nowadays we are witnessing a pressing demand for spaces in which people can meet physically, as a need to counteract the continuous digital stimulus which has radically changed our lives. In this sense, architecture regains its foundational value: being the place of encounter and physical interaction between the real world and the individual universe of every human being.
The projects collected here narrate possible strategies to host the inhabitants within public places, even when they are private spaces: for this reason we can notice an extreme research on space control, which transforms the collective exteriors into large interiors. It can be seen from details and materials, which do not belong to the world of the exteriors, but also from the elements of architecture, with frequent use of stairways, rest and contemplation areas, different pavements.
They are projects that destroy the limit between internal and external spaces, between public and private spaces, between nature and artifice: they provide architecture with the task of fostering human actions, defining functions that can summon the community, returning to a social use of the external world.