The square, that urban jewel that embeds the cities, arises as a theater of daily life, a place where the soul of the community takes shape and expresses itself.
A fascinating space, like the atrium of a building, which has navigated the centuries as the epicenter of socialization and human interaction. Today the squares have embarked on a path of metamorphosis, transforming themselves into authentic living rooms interiors, in which design and furnishings merge to create environments with a close connection to the interiors.
Where each architectural element is designed and engineered like a piece of furniture. The benches invite you to sit down and share a conversation, the lighting gives an enchanted atmosphere and the different floors, with their references to domestic carpets, create a zoning effect that outlines areas and functions.
One of the main reasons behind this trend is the growing awareness of the importance of quality public spaces for people's well-being.
And the square is the place where one feels at ease, encouraged to stay and interact.
Designers and architects, landscapers and urban planners work in collaboration embracing a holistic vision that sees the square as an extension of the interior spaces of the houses, trying to recreate the familiar atmosphere outdoors.
"Every time you enter the square you find yourself in the middle of a dialogue", wrote Italo Calvino in Invisible Cities. And it is precisely the dialogue that is considered in recent projects and visions.
As for Forumtorget Square in Sweden where White Arkitekter designed a long bench-sofa, 65 meters, which redesigns the aesthetics of the square while preserving its original identity.
A linear open-air living room that allows for various activities and can be used from both sides, functioning as a double-sided sofa with a common backrest.
The look is that of a soft and sinuous element, almost a pleated fabric, which, depending on the height or depth of the seats, offers alternative ways to sit down, lie down, play, connect. Step-up sofas, over-sized platforms, reclining benches and many other unique configurations that stimulate social interaction.
From seats to rooms to live in.
The Escadinhas Footpaths project by Paulo Moreira Architectures with Verkron sees the urban ruins of a small village in Portugal transform into a lounge area surrounded by nature. A project that combines architecture, art and the environment.
And it demonstrates how small urban interventions can restore life and character to the city centre. In the small square of Matosinhos, at the top of the stairs, each 'room' born from the remains of the historic ruins, has been decorated in bright colors and furnished with masonry benches.
Perfect for encouraging locals and visitors to spend time transforming the square into a place for socialising.
A permanent installation, an open-air work of art, an interior project under the stars. The City Lounge (Stadtlounge) designed by the artist Pipilotti Rist and architect Carlos Martinez in St.Gallen, Switzerland.
A four-handed idea where the design of the square faces and combines shape, scale and material. A group of public 'rooms' enlivens the free space between the buildings, creating a homogeneous identity between the square and the surrounding streets. The different areas vary in terms of function, structure and form.
What creates the sense of connection is the material: a red carpet - asphalt or rubber granules - softly covers the pedestrian and recreational areas as well as the lanes and movement areas. Thus the public space becomes a living space for everyone.
Reinterpreting interior design on an urban scale, this was done with Superkilen, a kilometer-long public park in the multicultural district of Nørrebro in Copenhagen, Denmark.
A project born from the creative collaboration of Topotek 1, BIG Architects and Superflex which sees this urban strip transformed into a meeting place that promotes tolerance and unity, thanks to design. Three areas, three colours, three functions.
The red square, painted in red, orange and pink, focuses on leisure and modern life; the black market in the center is the urban lounge-square where neighbors can meet and finally the green park, literally entirely green, has rolling hills, trees and plants suitable for picnics, sports and dog-walking.
Symbiotic Urban Furniture, is an urban furnishing idea by BLUE Architecture in Beijing which sees the symbiotic relationship, almost a parasitic design, between urban elements and furnishings.
A design that draws on existing buildings and structures, the collection depends on the fabric of the urban areas that support the furniture, deliberately designed without legs or other structural components needed.
"When a handrail that people pass by every day meets a side table, the handrail becomes an attractive space where one can stop for a cup of coffee."
And so the squares become new lively, cheerful and accessible urban polarities that invite people not only to pass by but also, and above all, to return.