Posted by Jun
One day, during Easter, I was having coffee with some friends in a café in Picadilly Garden in Manchester. It was a cold evening and most of the passers-by seemed to have clear destinations, probably on their way home. However, the look of the people determined to walk as fast as possible was unusually impressive in the massive open space. It looked like that the space is arranged to show off how busy Manchester people are; and, if it was one of the intentions of the design, it looked very successful.
And, the other day, I came across with this picture on the Internet which shows people resting on sun-bathing chairs in the old sunken garden in Picadilly before the regeneration. The contrast itself was quite impressive, however, what the most impressed me was the fact that it shows how well the programmed space (meticulously analyzed context and reorganized space programme such as area for resting and area for movement) can work, or dictate a kind of staged scene, although there is some evidence of conflict between the design and free-walkers as Rowland Byass, a landscape architect, noted.
I am linking a design appraisal by Rowland Byass. The context of this public space regeneration and the current use of people are well captured in his article.