Equilibrium

Portland, Oregon

The Portland Street Seat program has been providing many successful seating areas around the city and has created a more vibrant street scene along the likes of Alberta, Mississippi and Hawthorne. However, outside of the conventional seating for restaurants and bars, there is still a great deal of potential for utilizing a single stall of street side parking.  Addressing the theme of “Active Streets”, EQUILIBRIUM seeks to balance the role of this installation as both a destination to come play and an area of rest for passerbys–resulting in the simultaneous activation of the street and the user.

There are three main zones within this installation: an active zone, a static zone, and the resultant overlapping of the two zones, dubbed the Equilibrium Zone:

  • The active zone contains structures that are intended for the user to participate and interact with – the jumping pads. These structures are fitted with a momentum-activated sensor that will temporarily light up LEDs when a force is applied.
  • The static zone provides seating areas both along the sidewalk – a bench – as well as within the space – stepped seating – both of which are ADA accessible.
  • The equilibrium zone, as its name suggests, literally and figuratively balances between the static and the active in the form of a teeter-totter.  It is static when users balance on it and use the table top surface; it is active when the users play on it.

An energizing, active, and relaxing space, the installation captures a wide range of human activity for children and adults alike, all in the space of just one parking stall.  Durable construction of sealed plywood, steel conduit, and a cushy rubber floor encourage active use while maintaining a crisp modern aesthetic, unifying the distinct elements together to achieve EQUILIBRIUM.


PROJECT TYPE
INDEPENDENT DESIGN COMPETITION

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
TEMPORARY INSTALLATION

DESIGN TEAM
JOHN MATERNOSKI, ASSOC. AIA

TIM NIOU

LOCATION
PORTLAND, OREGON

YEAR
2014