Accidental Architecture

The University of Cincinnati’s campus master-plan includes shaped-earth mounds that are matted in thick ground-cover. What was intended to be the designer’s statement of form and color has become an expression of children’s kinetic energy.  

Safety is always on the minds of today’s architects of public spaces.  A park setting that satisfies all the modern criteria for access, lighting, curbs, rails, steps, seating, etc. is appreciated for its ease of use.  But the stringent requirements can effectively suck the life out of a potentially exciting outdoor space.  It’s refreshing to find examples of the public doing an end-run around the rules. Youth are most often the creative spirits that give us our accidental architecture.  

On the University campus a “scramble trail” has been etched into the side of a landscape feature by the tread of small feet.

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