Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera | Milano (Italy)
“The architect imagines and think primarily in terms of the three-dimensional mass, a volume. Space as a three-dimensional void has been considered rather as a by-product.”Paul Zucker (1959)
Zucker’s quote captures the essence of urban square design. It’s not just about arranging a two-dimensional surface in the city; it’s about creating a three-dimensional open volume within the urban network.
Objects with mass, like buildings, facades, fountains, trees, and statues, are relatively straightforward to depict because they have their own substantial three-dimensional presence. However, representing the space between these masses is more challenging. Space itself lacks inherent three dimensions; it relies on the two-dimensional sides of the surrounding three-dimensional objects.
To effectively represent the space between buildings, the task at hand is to illustrate this space. It encompasses the square’s ground plane and utilizes the two-dimensional surfaces of the enclosing objects. Trying to represent the square’s space by focusing solely on the three-dimensional aspects of the surrounding objects is insufficient.
A prime example of three-dimensional square space can be found in a patio, such as the one at the Accademia Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. The spatial impact of the square becomes unmistakably clear thanks to its distinct architecture and dense enclosure.