ALSINS

SALT LAKE PLEASURE GARDENS

The conversion of two urban blocks and their delineating streets into a continuous garden connecting the area’s cultural nodes: just like historical pleasure gardens that contained various forms of entertainment – theater, concerts, amusements – Salt Lake Pleasure Gardens contain all the neighborhood’s existing and planned centers of public life, highlighting them within their urban context. The five large roads that encircle the blocks are currently the biggest obstacle for continuity of urban space, at the same time having a huge potential for public use; while retaining vehicular traffic, the project repositions the streets as primarily pedestrian spaces. 

Open spaces within the blocks themselves – alleys, parking lots, informal pathways, Kilowatt Commons Park – currently provide some public space, but are only marginally important in the long run as most will be built up and the remaining will lose their connecting function. The streets, however, provide ample open space, and at most times at least three – Main, 100th, 200th – are underused. Several grand and beautiful public buildings face them, but the urban space is unresponsive and fragmented; thus the streets are redesigned as continuous green space along a promenade, and various parts of the gardens are fashioned specifically to emphasize their adjacent cultural landmarks.