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Designing a Wall: Planter/Street Furniture in Prudential Plaza

In Furniture, Landscape, Urbanism on July 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm

This hybrid planter/street furniture spacial divider wraps the East and North edges of Prudential Plaza in Chicago.  The “wall” structure effectively does the following:

  • Separates the public street and sidewalk from the semi-public plaza
  • Negotiates the change in elevation from street level to the raised plaza above
  • Provides seating on both the street and raised plaza side
  • Softens the impact of the wall by incorporating planters & greenery
  • Utilizes the taller, Art Deco inspired posts between planters for lighting and vertical emphasis in an otherwise horizontal composition

Street furniture and planters are important aspects of any plaza.  They provide a welcoming environment for people to enjoy, while also defining the space.  In this case, the tiered planters lessen the stark impact of what is essentially a six- to seven-foot wall around the plaza.  By stepping the planters back and incorporating seating, the streetscape and plaza become more inviting.

This structure is another example of how thoughtful design can enhance a space, even in something as simple as a wall.

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