Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPRING into Mellon Square Park

With SPRING having teased North West Arkansas about its arrival this year, the anticipation of consistent beautiful weather has had my mind occupied with thoughts of being outside and the experience of exterior spaces.  I have been trying to fully take in the experience of walking to and from classes, and taking more often trips to the mail box as an excuse to enjoy the sunshine on its rare occurrence in combination with warm weather.  While the desire to be outside by the pool during sunny weather was on my mind tonight, I was sitting inside during a rain storm listening to lectures for my landscape architecture class.  After about an hour of taking notes on the lecture, I found myself completely enthralled by the very last space discussed in the lecture. Mellon Square by John Simonds.
                        BEAUTY=  "perceived harmonious relationship of all the elements"
                                                                                                              -John O. Simonds
While watching the video that accompanied the lecture I was listening to, I realized how desperately I want to go to Pittsburg to experience this park.  Mellon Square Park is actually a space that I am now very interested in for many reasons.
FIRST. The park is located on the roof of a parking garage in the middle of the large city. The treatment of roofs with green space is of great interest to me lately as I am learning more and more about sustainable design. Also green roofs allow for green space to be given back to a city, where it was taken away by the constuction of the building or structure itself.

SECOND. Due to the space being on the roof it creates an “oasis” for escape in the middle of the city, as the design concept intended it to. This really excites me because of the decreasing amount of green space in cities as they grow and become more urban with tall buildings. The park allows for a place to retreat during ones lunch hour, but it also allows for a wonderful view for the inhabitants of the surrounding buildings; where as previously the space was a boring parking lot.

THIRD. The design is very modern! BUT it was actually designed in 1955. The space has such clean lines and simplicity, but in no way lacks detail. The detail comes in very unique treatments of water features, and the articulation of seating to create spaces.  And the treatment of the ground pavement that not only has symbolic meaning to the location of the park but also provides an energy to the space that accompanies views and sounds of flowing water.

Watch this video that got me so excited about Mellon Square Park to help you understand why I want to go to Pittsburg solely to be in this exquisite outdoor space.

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