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Nowzar Hedayati

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Public Spaces on Private Buildings

Public spaces are essential areas for any healthy city. Whether they are parks or simple open spaces such as plazas, they bring comfort and joy to the citizens.

Nolli's famous map of Rome, illustrates the common areas and open spaces throughout the city and it demonstrates the connection between them in one of the world's most ancient cities. Roman urban planners clearly knew the necessity of public areas and common spaces for the city's inhabitants.

Public spaces provide relaxation areas to the people. An oasis of calm and tranquility in the middle of a chaotic urban environment. Where children can play, individuals can go out for a stroll, have a meal or a cup of coffee while watching the people passing by.

But can a private building function as a public space? An area, which can be used by the owners, users as well as the society and the community. The answer is yes.

A good architectural design is the one that not only designs for the building's users, but also takes the needs of the community and the city into consideration as well.

An example of such a building can be found in the Nordhavn district of Copenhagen. An area that is going under a massive development at this moment. New offices, apartments and shopping areas are sprouting in this neighborhood, right in the middle of this Scandinavian capital.

One of these new edifices is a multi-storey parking called Konditaget Lüders designed by local architecture firm JA-JA Architects. This building is not just a parking area as it was originally intended to be. But it is also a recreational space, equipped with, swings, box jumps, 60 meters sprint course, trampolines and climbing spiral.

The architect designed a 2,400 m² of urban space and playground on top of the building, where children and adults can enjoy the open space, the recreational areas and an amazing view of the harbor 24 meters above the street level.

Although this building had originally been planned to be a parking space, the architect and the planners, decided to make it part of the community. A building that can have multi functionality purpose.

This is a very fine example of when developers and architects can create a building that provides a space for the public. Public spaces can be beneficial for both the developers and the society. It can increase the land value for the developers, while it is providing an open space for the residents where they can escape from the noise and the hassle of the urban environment.

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