What is a parklet? Essentially, it is an extension of the sidewalk that gives urban dwellers more space to enjoy the city in which they live. Parklets are now popping up in many major cities – GR being one of them – and KCAD students were provided the opportunity to design one.
In the summer of 2014, Downtown Grand Rapids, inc. (DGRi) sought out the new Masters of Architecture (mArch) program at Kendall to design a seasonal, modular public space in downtown GR. The ‘parklet’ would take up two parallel parking spaces right outside of DGRi’s office on Pearl Street, just one block west of Kendall. In the fall of 2014, the brand new mArch students began researching and designing possible outcomes for the space, and by the end of the fall semester had devised a plan for what the design might look like, the possible sustainable materials to be utilized, and what the space would offer to the public. Coming back in the spring semester, the class merged with 6 undergraduate students to refine the design, further explore sustainable materials, and begin prototyping.
After the semester was finished, the drawing files and design plans were delivered to Stuido Wise, a GR-based design & fabrication studio. The project is currently in it’s final weeks of production, and the parklet is set to be installed before ArtPrize 2015.
- Special Topics, Spring 2015
- Elizabeth Burr, Ian Culver, Rachel Gauthier, Nicole Greenman, Emily Markopoulos,
Alicia Miller, Daniel Montgomery, Chelsea Niemietz, Justin Totty
- Juli Brode