24 February 2011

Tree House: Private Spaces in Public Places

'Tree House: Private Spaces in Public Places' is the name of a project I undertook during the Third Year of my BA (Hons) Architecture course at the Manchester School of Architecture, along with Carrie Bayley, Amina Bhaimohmed and Karen Harper. A documentary video of the project can be seen below:

Public and privates spaces are, by their very nature, different, with various tasks taking place in private spaces - such as a home - that are not carried out in public. But what happens when typical daily actions usually carried out in a private space are put into public space? How would a person react to seeing a group eating their breakfast sat a table on a busy street? What do people do when confronted with a sleeping person in a bed on their way to work?


The chosen site for the intervention was a busy thoroughfare from the Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn Station to the ‘Arkaden’ shopping centre. 10 trees define a clear space for pedestrians to move through as the make this journey. This space is also used as a coach park for groups visiting Potsdamer Platz, the parked vehicles screening pedestrians from the public space at the S-Bahn station.


The intervention enlivened the space as well as blocking pedestrian movement through the space. It forced people to choose a new path and look at their surroundings, instead of simply passing through the space ‘in a world of their own’. Some people crossed to the other side of the street, whilst overs walked along the edge of the grass bank - very few walked up to the barriers of the intervention and actively engaged with it.