Leftover spaces for lounging in public in Cambridge Public Patios
City of Cambridge, 2021

In 2021 we collaborated with the City of Cambridge to encourage lounging in public. Emerging from the depths of the pandemic, the team observed that there were few places for people to comfortably gather, chat, and rest in exterior places in the public realm.

Occupying a scale between furniture and building, the temporary “public patio” structures aim to fill this gap. They utilize stretched netting to produce multi-purpose surfaces for seating, shade, and play. The structures are composed of three parts: the Living Lounge, Bridge, and Bleacher Seating. The Living Lounge provides a wide sloped netting surface for soft seating in groups of 1-3, which floats above a vegetative base. The bridge is an intermediary element providing hard seating with an integrated planter. The Bleacher Seating accommodates 2-5 people and is shaded by an overhead canopy. The three components can be reconfigured to create a variety of combinations fitting to their particular context.

A steel frame composes a rigid framework for soft netting that stretches over it to produce curved and straight surfaces. These soft surfaces are then deformed, either by a cube-shaped bleacher seating element or by the bodies who inhabit them.

This is a work in progress.

Elizabeth Christoforetti, Nathan Fash, Trent Fredrickson, and Sam Naylor