Czech town squares: Ten spatial patterns

Novotny, Laura-Joines

Joines-Novotny, L. (1996). Czech town squares: Ten spatial patterns. Journal of Architectural Education (1984-), 50(1), 22. doi:10.2307/1425286

Architecture , Civic Life , Public Space , Urban Design , Variety

Medieval-origin Czech town squares hold many lessons for designers regarding the making and shaping of great urban outdoor rooms. Charac- ter, community, and economic longevity appear to be by-products of these urban spaces, and they serve as excellent models for reference. Ar- tifacts of evolution, medieval town squares cannot be recreated. The intention of this work is not to be prescriptive but to describe and illustrate the set of spatial properties common to town squares of medieval origin (A.D. 900-1400) in the region of Bohemia, Czech Republic. The spatial patterns are the essential common denominators that have assisted the squares in remaining coherent architectural entities over the centuries. They are useful, either singularly or collectively, in informing rather than determining the investigative and design process.

Main finding
The study describes 10 spatial patterns present in cezch towns, and the author argues that although non-prescriptive, these can help developers and planners to think about a set of spatial patterns that could help the creation of inclusive, safe, and engaging spaces. The author also warns that not all spatial patterns can be applicable to all places, but that some of them can act as models for future developments.

Description of method used in the article

Of practical use

Organising categories

Other or N/A
Spatial Methods
Urban Design
Physical types
Geographic locations