Seasons Plaza- Concept
This proposal for a public plaza was designed taking two empty blocks in downtown DC within steps to the Capitol and Union Station. The two blocks where to be united, and the former street was to become a pedestrian street crossing the project. The north east corner would feature a tall water tower and sun dial which would become an iconic within the city. Rain water would be collected and stored in the tower to then be released for various purposes. The center of the plaza is the main gathering area flanked to the west by a green house which has on its facade a large projection screen. A webcam is also broadcasted on the screen, and online, to market the activities of the plaza. Towards the southwest corner there is a series of stone blocks under the shade of blooming vines on a steel pergola. A small building hosts a series of shops and artists’ studios focused on environmental products and services. All structures and outdoor spaces are oriented so to maximize the sun or shade with angled roofs, extended eaves, brise-soleil, plantings, and glazing. Concrete, steel, glass and recycled materials are the mayor materials components for the project.
The concept was that for each season, the plaza would feature specific activities and amenities highlighting the enjoyment one could have in each period of the year. For Spring, rows of gardens in various colors would paint patterns across the plaza and a water and glass tunnel that represented melting snow flowing into rivers. For Summer, the glass tunnel would be shaded by tree canopies and the water would refresh the air. An undulated skating and biking path fitted with water sprinklers would splash fresh adventurous riders and kids in summer. Plenty of tree-shaded paths and gathering spots would have grassy pads and seating areas. For Fall, one of DC most enjoyable seasons, most activities are an outdoor movie theater, and a rotating group of cafe and food vendors that service the visitors. During Winter, sun seekers could lay on the grassy earth banks tilted south to maximize sun exposure and heat gains. Though the walkways, paths and gathering spots, instead of water being sprinkled, steam would be released to warm up the air. The green house would be a year long amenity along with the cafes and shops.