11/14 Field Trip To Mellon Square

Urban Presence

Mellon square is surrounded by busy intersections on all four sides and has a heavy pedestrian movement all around. It is surrounded by hotels, banks, commercial developments, etc. which ensures continuous flow of people throughout the day time. We observed that even though people cross this public space, not many actually engage and enjoy it. It is more like a pause for people than a destination. One reason that contributed towards the under-use we thought was its failure to attract or invite people. It is designed at a higher level and the parking structure below gives it more of a private and commercial center rather a public square.

Walking around the Mellon square


The square centers around this fountain, which is shut off for half the year. During the winter months, visitors are left with the drab-looking empty fountain we see in the photo above.

People & Activities

The square was dotted with a handful of people, most of whom were there to eat their lunch alone either eating lunch, reading or waiting for an appointment nearby (based on our observations and conversations with them).


The square also felt very fragmented, with narrow corridors of (uninviting) seating. Views of the rest of the space are blocked by massive concrete planter boxes.


The square has four access points from surrounding streets. Two of them (above) are on the same level as the square. Whilst, the other two require visitors to climb up stairs to reach it. The difference in level makes it difficult for passers-by.

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