From William Whyte to Jan Gehl, there have been many attempts to find the formula for great public spaces. And we do have a good idea of what goes into them. And yet really great spaces remain illusory, or we’d have so many more.
Here’s the one soon to be opening at ‘Amazing Brentwood’:
This is only a segment of the main plaza, still under construction. It can’t fail insofar as there is a SkyTrain station on the south and lots of appealing attractions in every other direction. And it feels like it has the right proportions given the way the height and curve of the buildings frame the space.
As Ian Wasson observed, the developer and designers have used really fine materials to realize their vision.
There’s a fountain off-centre that occupies a good percentage of the plaza. You can see it from almost anywhere, but you have to walk around it – like a cog in the elaborate machinery of humanity in motion.
As night it’s a place that plays with light – ostentatiousnessl well done. Here are some shots taken from Skyscraper Page by vanman:
Those whose job it is to take advantage of places that attract people obviously think this one will.
I know, a Starbucks. Let the dishing begin. But as a celebration of transit, this pavilion is terrific, seemingly cantilevered to catch the best view of the station and the trains gliding by. Given its visibility, it’s an obvious place to meet, to connect, to wait patiently or do some busy work. The Starbucks at Brentwood – everyone will know it.
So it’s clear that Brentwood Plaza (it needs a name) will be a good public space. A great one? Possibly. Soon it will be full of people and we’ll see what happens.