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.
INDEPENDENT DESIGN COMPETITION
JOHN MATERNOSKI, ASSOC. AIA