City Lounge, St. Gallen (Urban Living Room) by Carlos Martinez
2016 - 2017, Platinum A' Street Furniture Design Award Winner
Inspiration
The concept breaks with common notions of public space. Analogous to the different areas of use of a lounge, the quarter presents itself as a succession of zones devoted to basic themes and functions such as the cloakroom, the reception, the business lounge or the foyer. The relation between interior and exterior seems to be inverted since the external fronts of the buildings may at the same time be understood as internal façades or wallpapers of the lounge.
Creativity
The granulated rubber flooring unifies every square and spared spot of the Raiffeisen quarter into a homogeneous whole. A particularly identity-building feature is its function as a haptically pleasant, cosy red carpet, that unfolds over the entire furniture. With its soft, pleasing material haptics, the amorphous silhouettes of the furniture present a deliberate contrast to the hard precision of the built surroundings.
Design Challenges
Analogous to the different areas of use of a lounge, the quarter presents itself as a succession of zones devoted to basic themes and functions such as the cloakroom, the reception, the business lounge or the foyer. Despite the compliance with a superordinate catalogue of measures aiming at a consistent redesign of the quarter, existing characteristics of partial spaces (e.g. outdoor spaces adjacent to buildings, trees, access roads, works of art) have been taken into account during the realisation of the project. Both the visual blurredness of the boundaries between spaces of leisure and traffic and the intrinsic value of the floor covering serve as a psychological brake for drivers because they draw the latters’ attention to the pedestrians and heighten the awareness of their own speed. Slowing down the flows of motion through sensitising traffic participants is, in turn, an essential means to increase the quality of the quarter’s outdoor space. In this regard, animating this piece of urban space by improving its quality results in interlocking it with the neighbouring districts. The Raiffeisen quarter now opens up to the outside by inviting the public to enter an urban living room in which no longer traffic, but man himself is the centre of attention.
Production Technology
The surface is granulated red rubber, similar to the soft surface of a sports field.
       
     
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