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Perfectly Public Places: What we can learn from community-centric design

July 13, 2015
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Perfectly Public Places: What we can learn from community-centric design
Doris Leslie Blau

fuki

Fuji kindergarten, Japan

In the design blogosphere, we spend a lot of time looking at single-family residences. This makes sense as many interior designers concentrate on this breed of interior design and also because – while there are plenty of businesses out there with incredible, inspiring design – a home is the best place to showcase a certain personality, it’s easier to take risks when the space doesn’t have to accommodate customers.

However, another category of spaces has emerged as great source of creativity and boundary-pushing design: public ones. Kindergartens. Schools. Libraries. Community Centers. Designers tasked with creating these spaces have to look for ways to foster dialogue, cooperation, and a mixture of uses. Those that rise to the challenge can wind up creating exceptional spaces that are beautiful, thought-provoking and able to command a sense of joy and awe that fosters positive energy within.

Here’s a quick peek at places around the world that do exactly that, and also a look at what we can apply to other interior design challenges.

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The London design studio Lyn Atelier designed this temporary community center, known as Hub 67 with up-cycled materials from the 2012 London Olympics. Novel idea? The place is supposed to be used for five years before the materials may be taken apart and incorporated into new projects. We love the idea of cyclical design, a constant flow of making the old new. See more photos of the center at Inhabitat.

home, wood, slide, books

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Pinch4This little library – The Pinch Library And Community Center – hails from southern China and is just 80 square meters – proof that even great public spaces can come in pint-sized proportions. The architects are Olivier Ottevaere + John Lin, and the pitched roof resign reflects the center’s mountain valley surrounds while also giving the kids something to play on – how’s that for mixed use.

wooden, design, home, decor

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In Heroshima, Japan, The Peanuts Nursery School is shaped like a legume. Arch Daily highlights that peanuts, like infants, are not finished products, but seeds waiting to be planted, and the space itself is composed of organic curves that blend naturally with the exterior environment – babies can hear the rain and feel the sunshine in the building’s semi-outdoor spaces. Peace, security and continuity with nature are the values highlighted in this structure – and those three things aren’t just for babies!

home, decor,

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sh3Here’s another example from China, this one is from Shanghai, a hexagonal community center by Scenic Architecture Office blends indoor and outdoor space in marvelous ways, not clearly delineating what exactly constitutes “interior” for a building that resides in perfect harmony with its environment.

For even more examples of great public design, head over to Dezeen. Or for a dose of interior inspiration, pop over to our contemporary rug collection and check out some of our new offerings. Contemporary rugs and contemporary carpet are two of our specialties, whether you’re looking for a traditional area rug with a European or Oriental aesthetic, or something more modern, our rug gallery has a bit of everything.

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