Field research

Observing patterns on the project location (Schouwburgplein). Determine the value of the patterns in this context.

Pattern #033: Night Life

Night-establishments such as a movie theatre, a restaurant, and other services that are open at night, should be knit together, to create a center of night life. A well-lit, save, lively environment will increase the intensity of pedestrian activities at night.


Pathé Schouwburgplein cinema, Jack's Casino, Theatre of Rotterdam, Concerthall De Doelen, And of course the many restaurants and bars, that surround the square. It is complementair at night, because it is all connected by the space between the buildings; the square. At night, the facades are brightly lit, which makes it more attractive to spend your night there. It feels like a good night out. 


Pattern #051: Green streets

On local roads, closed to through traffic, plant grass over the road, and set occasional paving stones into the grass for the cars. Because the dominance of the grass, the neighbourhood will be more like a local road, and the inhabitants will experience environmental improvement.


In the neighbourhood at, and around the Schouwburgplein, the concept of green streets, won't work. The intensity of trafic and pedestrians, will make the green streets unsuitable. In my opinion, green streets are not suitable anymore. Especially not in urban environments. The intensity of trafic has been raised that much, that green streets cannot deal with that many trafic. Green streets can be suitable for smaller villages, in dead-end streets, or at private properties.


Pattern #061: Small public squares

A square feels deserted when the squaresize is bigger then 30m² per pedestrian. A square feels pleasant when the width of the square is max. 20m. Any wider sizes will feel unpleasant.


Most of the time, Schouwburgplein feels deserted. The only time that it feels alive, is when it is summer/sunny, and with events. But how much is that? I believe it feels alive for less than 20% of the time in a year. This feeling could be taken away by deviding the square in a few smaller parts. Then it will feel more alive, since you just need a few people to make it feel alive. Many people now use the square for pedestrian trafic. If the square is more human scale, the people will interpret the square to be alive, and therefor stay longer on the square.


Pattern #062: High places

Humans are instictively attracted to high places. They generate an overview over the surrounding area. But people are more satisfied when they worked for reaching the top. For people on the ground, high places can be seen, and used as a navigationpoint.

At the Schouwburgplein, many children feel attracted to the bump at one side of the square. This bump is covered with a colourful grass carpet. There they have an "overview" of their surroundings. Also the buildings that surround the square, all have a rooftop. None of them are open for public. On the other hand, the buildings are used as a navigationpoint, although most people use navigation apps, such as Google maps. People who don't use such apps, are more aware of their surroundings.


Pattern #073: Adventure playground

Childeren are creating a view on the world. Learning. Passive, very clean playgrounds are not that valuable for the children's development. Instead of clean playground, provide a playground with raw materials, basic tools, etc, so they can create their own playground. They use their imagination.


The 'playground' that is on the square right now, is mainly a colourful bump, colourful chessboard, and a stage. Not very adventurous. The bump is very attractive for children. They want to climb it, run on/around it. The chessboard is not that interesting for the children. Probably because they have no stones to actually play on the board. The stage is attractive, but childeren don't stay there long.


Pattern #172: Garden growing wild

Grow the plants wild. Let them maintain themselves. Set a natural stone border, and plant the plants in a way, that they don't need a gardener.


The only real greenery on the square are the bambooplants, spread across the square. It's planted in big pallet-pots, to make it movable. It is light-wighted, so it fits the squares weight-capicity. It is not growing wild, since a gardener is needed, and the plants can't spread out. People like the plants. It gives them a sence of nature in the city, and make them feel cosy. On the other hand, the arrangement feels a bit random. This randomness can be interpret as 'wild', although most people won't associate the arrangement with 'wild', but more likely with the negative form of that: 'random'.