The city of Camden is New Jersey’s gateway to the City of Philapelphia and it’s being revitalized by reducing crime and poverty, creating education and job opportunities for residents and attracting new business investment. Knight’s Crossing urban development proposes public natural environments providing flexible outdoor spaces such as parks and plazas that encourage social interaction.
The project plot is located in Haddon triangle, a intersection where significant neighborhood streets in Camden converge while being a transition into the surrounding community. Therefore, the square is an opportunity to create a human and environmental friendly space with a collective identity for the district.
The project is based on the idea of filling the totality of the plot with a grid of 26-feet-high white stainless steel posts 3 feet apart; establishing a diffuse limit with the street and conceiving the square as a sculpture. The second design strategy is to empty the full, giving rise to a variety of pathways where the perception of the environment changes as you walk. At certain points, the emptying is greater to generate spaces of social interaction that have urban furniture and some privacy through the filter of the posts, which also illuminate. The presence of the reddish native dogwoods are the central element of these atmospheres, while being highlighted by the artificial white forest.
The pavement consists of a grid of precast concrete pieces drilled circularly in different dimensions to plant vegetation and embed the urban furniture. Some prefabricated concrete volumes vertically extend the pavement to form the chairs and tables of the square. The tree pits design is also solved with precast concrete pieces integrated in the same modular system.