The City of Raleigh, North Carolina sought through an international competition (2009) a new design for a historic green in its city. Moore Square through the years became less relevant to city life due to the disinvestment in the downtown, and run down due to several events hosted in the space.
In our design, we addressed the urban surroundings of Moore Square, its image and legibility, its function and the connection of people to natural cycles. The park lacked a full set of uses surrounding it; particularly troublesome was the east side, which only had homeless shelters, leaving the east side of the park appropriated by homeless communities as a single use. In our design, we created circulation connections to all sides, and proposed new buildings with mixed uses and doors facing the park.
The park is a large block, around four hundred and fifty feet to a side. The vegetation covering the park makes it dark and undifferentiated. We proposed a center plaza, with paving inspired by an acorn cap ( an important civic symbol) to create a defined destination in the park and to mollify the distance from the ends of the park. The central plaza and circulation space sizes fit the events that occur in the park. The addition of these spaces would ease the damage presently done by events. Presently the grassy areas and tree roots get damage due to spillover, we design paving scheme to the events.
We linked the changing of the seasons to the event cycles and phenomena in the park. The central space allows an extension of the seasons in Fall and Spring, as it is an open and sunny space. In the Summer, the plaza has a splash fountain for kids and kid-like adults to cool off. In the winter the plaza fountain is a steam 'fountain' keeping people warm on temperate winter days.
Our assertion is that the park should be a legible background that functions for the people of the city and connects city-dwellers with natural cycles and events.
Ken McCown with Ambrose Luk, Robert Cannavino and Nathan Dickman.