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Old October 2nd, 2010, 03:56 PM   #161
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Cours Estienne-d'Orves, Marseille. Until the 1980s there used to be a great big ugly parking lot on it which effectively turned it into a big concrete block between two narrow streets (you can see the parking lot http://1217760884399496407-a-1802744...attredirects=0 here.

They since built an underground parking lot below it and now it looks like this:


(pic from wikipedia)

Suburbanist may not like the restaurant tables in the middle of it but I can assure him it is a very pleasant place to eat on a summer's evening!
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 01:41 AM   #162
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Putting the parking lot underground was a good move. The restaurant tables spoil 50% of the functionality and monumentality of that plaza IMO. They ate (pun intended) 3/4 of the plaza's width and confined pedestrians to a central alley.

They could demolish or retrofit one of those buildings, relocating the tables inside (with a/c for summers, please, it's south France!) with view to the plaza that would remain arid and unoccupied. But, again, it is a matter of taste.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:10 AM   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Putting the parking lot underground was a good move. The restaurant tables spoil 50% of the functionality and monumentality of that plaza IMO. They ate (pun intended) 3/4 of the plaza's width and confined pedestrians to a central alley.

They could demolish or retrofit one of those buildings, relocating the tables inside (with a/c for summers, please, it's south France!) with view to the plaza that would remain arid and unoccupied. But, again, it is a matter of taste.
I believe the point of the plaza is as a meeting, eating and socializing space, not a circulation space, therefore it doesn't really matter if pedestrians are confined to that middle bit... there wont be that many walking through anyway, they would mostly be either hanging out there as users of buildings in the immediate vicinity, or visiting purposely for the restaurants (apologies if I'm wrong, not from that city, that's just my own deductions from looking at that space!)

But you're right, it is a matter of taste... and taste has decreed that people seem to like sitting in the plaza. Inhabitation creates interest... and people are generally attracted to things of interest.
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Old October 4th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #164
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Quote:
Putting the parking lot underground was a good move.
Yes, putting the parking lot underground not only was an improvement esthetically, but also meant that it could accomodate far more vehicles than before.

Quote:
The restaurant tables spoil 50% of the functionality and monumentality of that plaza IMO. They ate (pun intended) 3/4 of the plaza's width and confined pedestrians to a central alley.
The plaza has no "monumentality" - the buildings surrounding it are ex-warehouses, the old arsenal, habitations and (nowadays) restaurants. It is a pleasant square but with no grand and imposing buildings to act as a focus point. As for functionality, well these days it is largely a restaurant quarter so getting rid of the terraces would dimish its present function.

Quote:
They could demolish or retrofit one of those buildings, relocating the tables inside (with a/c for summers, please, it's south France!) with view to the plaza that would remain arid and unoccupied. But, again, it is a matter of taste.
Most of the buildings are of historic importance: although not visible in the photo (which has been taken from the middle of the square), part of the plaza is framed by the old arsenal and those buildings date from the reign of Louis XIV. There is no question of demolishing any of them. As for eating inside in an air-conditioned room, this is Marseille we are talking about, which has a culture of eating outdoors whenever possible (at least 8 months of the year). In fact in the summer restaurants are empty inside and the terraces are heaving.

The same goes for having a square that is "arid and unoccupied" - in the south of France people like to mill around and socialise, a vast empty space would defeat that purpose and certainly not fit in with the Mediterranean culture.
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Old October 27th, 2013, 01:20 AM   #165
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The farmers market should be located on a designated spot designed for the purpose (in a commercial district with no residential buildings nearby). In many european cities local building restrictions have made it impossible to change that dynamic with the development of the urban areas, hence the problems.
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Old October 27th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #166
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-del-

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Old March 22nd, 2014, 10:12 AM   #167
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Çeşme Square, Çeşme, Turkey






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Old March 23rd, 2014, 02:28 AM   #168
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Umh I try to explaine some things... hope you understand what I want to say. Italy with its history of architecture, has strongly influenced European urban culture and Western in general. For Italy, a square has by always, an important role. Every city, town, village has at least one square in which its inhabitants can "reflected" in it. Square is a true "hub" for all things, where everything happens. Around the typical Italian square you can find at least 3 power symbols: religious, political and economic. Around it are placed the most recognizable symbols of the city, it is around the square that everything is created and developed the rest. In Italian architecture, a square is also synonymous of perfection, but not necessarily geometric forms, but an architecture who speaks history and philosophical meanings.

In Italian squares you can find "nostalgic images" of a lost time, or a lot of vitality given for example by tourists or public transports. But as I already mentioned, they are places rich of cultural identity of the Bel Paese. Then, I can say that Italy seems to resist the non-identitary fury of globalization, I mean, Italian cities seem to want maintain its immutable historic-artistic "message". Or another stupid example, squares are closely related to Mediterranean climate, so you can multiplicate additional spaces such as porches. For Italians, its open space suggests that the square isn't only the urban space in which they live, but especially the one in which everyone aspires to live, the world in which we wish to belong.

Most of Italian squares are rich and complex "episodes", so you will find many elements to consider, to study. Now is impossible to analyze thousands of historic squares or force them into a scale of values​​, or typological categories, but I advise you to travel more and more, and find out for yourself, that architecture isn't only "build something", but architecture is like the "magnificent story of a book".

Pics about Italian squares are coming Meanwhile you can watch it (switch on 1080p HD)

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Old March 23rd, 2014, 03:11 AM   #169
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some examples: squares and not only

Rome









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Old March 24th, 2014, 12:50 PM   #170
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Palace Square in St. Petersburg, Russia




Source: http://fyodor-photo.livejournal.com/28705.html
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Old March 24th, 2014, 01:00 PM   #171
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Red Square in Moscow, Russia



http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/4085298/post291089444/
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Old March 24th, 2014, 01:24 PM   #172
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Padua ITALY





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Old March 24th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #173
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This is why we love Italy
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Old March 24th, 2014, 01:29 PM   #174
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Vigevano ITALY



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Old March 24th, 2014, 02:07 PM   #175
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Catania ITALY

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Old March 24th, 2014, 02:21 PM   #176
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Naples ITALY

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Old March 24th, 2014, 02:25 PM   #177
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Trieste ITALY

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Old March 24th, 2014, 04:07 PM   #178
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Marseille, Vieux Port , France.
This is a natural water plan wich is used as a port for more than 2600 years. Until now, 70% of the space was made for cars. Now, more than 80% have been pedestrianised !
It has become one of the largest square in Europe .

Before :



After :









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Old March 24th, 2014, 09:32 PM   #179
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Vitoria-Gasteiz, Espagne, Pays Basque, Euskadi, Plaza de la Virgen Blanca 5 por paspog, en Flickr
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Plaza de la Virgen Blanca por la noche por imarigorta, en Flickr
vitoria , north spain
paved now
before :
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Antigua Plaza Virgen Blanca por Sheila Del Val Fotógrafa, en Flickr
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Plaza Virgen Blanca Gasteiz por valischkas, en Flickr
bye bye , green
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Old March 24th, 2014, 09:41 PM   #180
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barcelona
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Plaça_Catalunya_B por Ignasi Vidal, en Flickr
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Plaça de Catalunya por csena, en Flickr
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