The added value of an architectural object is its public space or the integration of a public space into its physical space. The public character, publicness of the architectural object, defines an object’s catalytic strength to impact its physical and social context.
Publicness is not only a result of a project brief requesting the housing of a certain percentage of public functions in the domain of an architectural object. It is, more importantly, the result of an architectural approach that integrates spaces for the general public into the architecture, spaces which don’t necessarily suggest predetermined uses. Publicness is the result of an architect’s ability to envision the wider effects of the architectural object on the individual and society.
Publicness is grafted into the architectural object. The graft is first accommodated in the object, then starts impacting the object’s operativity and functioning. Eventually, the architectural object is visited, perceived and experienced by the society more due to its publicness than to its primary intended use.
Publicness encourages increased use of a building by various individuals and social groups year round and throughout the day. It enables an increased usage of places and therefore avoids the creation of grey zones. Publicness makes the place!