KINTSUGI

2016 FALL
LOCATION: BEECHVIEW, PITTSBURGH
AREA: 1.07 acre (46665.84 sq ft)  
INDIVIDUAL PROJECT
PROFESSOR: KEN TAMMINGA

Kintsugi is the traditional Japanese pottery repairing technique that uses the lacquer and gold powder to bring the broken pottery shards together. Rather than treated as the low value broken pottery, the KINTSUGI works are treated to have an even higher value than the original pottery as it marks the breakage as part of the history. 

 

Kintsugi Plaza is designed for Beechview community which is located in the southwest of Downtown Pittsburgh area. Beechview is known for its hilly topography and the Broadway-Beechview Ave is right at the ridge top to forms the “spine” of the Beechview community, so nearly all the commercial and cultural establishments of Beechview are located along this corridor.  One of the most important elements for the site is “T” trolley line. Located at the most important node of Broadway Avenue, this site has great potential to be turned into the new civic center for Beechview community and a welcoming node for visitors.

 

Throughout history, the trolley line witnesses the development of Beechview. Although spatially the trolley route breaks the functionality of the site, “trolley” as the mark of history has the incomparable historical value which is just like the marks of Kintsugi. This civic plaza design takes the form of Kintsugi, tries to build pedestrian-oriented gathering space with functional independence and flexibility for the future development and at the same time celebrate the trolley history.