Third place – part of the urban space that is not connected with the house (first place) or with work (second place). These are cultural centers, museums, cafes, parks, coworkings and squares. Such categorization into “home”, “work” and “everything else” blurs the clear boundary between commercial and public spaces.
In 1950, the world’s urban population was 30%. According to the UN, by 2050, as many as 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. In such circumstances, the city will be increasingly perceived as a space for public life. Zoning the city into areas for work, leisure and home will become ineffective.
According to sociologist Ray Oldenburg, third place plays an important role in the development of democracy. Historical examples: the role of cafes in the French Revolution and the lack of third places in totalitarian states. The popularity of creative clusters that combine business centers, showrooms and shops with museums, libraries and movie theaters free from commerce is another manifestation of the trend.
We selected three examples of projects that rethought the familiar functional division of the city.
Examples of Third Spaces
- Sala Equis Cultural Space in Madrid
The cultural institution Sala Equis made five friends: a journalist, political scientist and three restaurateurs. Its main area is a 300-seat amphitheater, which is a “street” venue – a huge multi-level space for communication, where visitors can drink, watch movies and listen to live performances.
Sala Equis also has a more intimate movie screening room for 64 people. In addition, the institution has a restaurant, a bookstore and space for corporate events, lectures and presentations.
- fordable housing in Amsterdam
Space10 laboratory with Danish architects EFFEKT published the results of a two-year study of the future of residential areas – The Urban Village Project.They identified three characteristics necessary for a city dweller: vitality, sustainability and affordability.
There should be different types of apartments in the districts (for single people, families, senior citizens and students), local food production, localized composting and much more. In the proposed project, the houses are made of eco-friendly laminated wood panels (CLT) and have a modular system, so almost all components and materials can be disassembled, reused and recycled.
- Garden Workshop in Cali
This project demonstrates how to correlate the private interests of a growing small business with the public interests of the city. The building houses residential and industrial premises for a commercial store. But the central element of the project is the prototype of a vertical garden building with plants that attract local butterflies. In potassium, the largest variety of butterflies in the world, which are indicators of the biodiversity of the entire ecosystem of the Earth.