A New Haven University was interested in simplifying the Broadway Island precinct for sustainability and wanted to offer a space that would attract and compel pedestrians. The challenges were to unify retail spaces on both sides of Broadway, attenuate the traffic noise, add shade and seasonal interest.
Our plan unifies and animates the entire Broadway precinct with a lively and attractive plaza. The space features gateway-style water walls to attract pedestrians from both sides of Broadway, mask the traffic noise and provide a cooling presence in summer.
Raised planters of low maintenance native grasses physically separate pedestrians from vehicles and soften the plaza as well as the parking lot. Light texture honey locusts reinforce the gateway effect of the water walls and cast dappled shade, but do not block views across Broadway.
Additional shade structures rise out of the planters and provide a lively, animating presence along the street. A great American Elm occupies the small triangular traffic island south of Broadway Island. This tree shall be decorated with lights and become a living symbol of the City of New Haven.
The kiosk café occupies the south side of the island. Charging stations, bike share, recycling and colorful, movable furniture enhance the space. A nine-square paving pattern will provide a contextual element. It may be repurposed as a water play feature or a seasonal display such as a holiday tree.
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