Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Environment: Habitation and Adaptation
New Street Square has created its own secluded environment. although there are no specific boundaries or things to stop the general public walking through, they don't. the narrow passageways, the tall buildings and the way you can slightly see, when you look down the passage, a square, make people think again before going in. there is on site security as well, which i was stopped and questioned by twice whilst taking photos and attempting to enter a building. all of the entrances to the buildings are open though and they have large open areas with reception desk and seating, so i was able to enter the buildings. Bennetts really have created a good functional working environment, there is a very open and sunny outside space, and it is nice to have the cafes and restaurant there as well. people i spoke to said that they enjoyed working there because it was like its own little community and was much nicer then just spending all your day in a single buildings, i think it helps that most of the people have been working there since the opening of the buildings.
The photo above is the view from the end of one of the passageways out into the surrounding area, this is looking up the street to Holborn Circus. this is a very busy road with cars and people but most people just go straight past the site as although it does have an interesting exterior it is mostly above eye level on the second/third floor upwards. the traditional square layout does encourage people to stay within the site for lunch/dinner and coffee, which will in turn help the site overall because the retail outlets will be kept busy and therefore hopefully not end up with empty outlets. having these food outlets also means that they site doesn't completely die after 5pm as people stay around for drinks, but at the weekend it is a lot quieter.
Light enters the site well and also penetrates into the buildings, through the glass walls. the buildings are arranged in height order from North to South to make the most out of all the available light. when it is raining people take completely different routes through the site, for example when its raining people will walk under cover along the edge of their own building and to the coffee shop at the end rather then having to get wet going to patisserie valerie on the opposite side to the door of the office which is closer but not under cover.