The sidewalks of cities have become contested zones, where pedestrians usually lose out to cars and other vehicular traffic. The “parklet” model initiated by Rebar represents a simple, “user-generated” strategy to expand the public realm where existing sidewalk width is insufficient to support a vibrant street life. U-TT’s Public Spectacle parklet, commissioned in 2014 by Swissnex San Fransisco, and developed in partnership with Jan Gehl Architects, builds on the idea of encouraging new forms of civic agency by providing an adaptable space for public exchange.
The design uses the full volumetric potential of a single parking space and is able to take on multiple configurations, through a set of moving elements attached to a steel frame. These transformations allow for different uses, such as performances, lectures, screenings, public seating, meetings, and inventive appropriation by users. The parklet is located at the new Swissnex headquarters on Montgomery Street, where it serves as a dynamic bridge linking the programs and activities housed within the building to public life outside.