Edge Design Institute has converted an ordinary public stairway in Hong Kong into a striking, socially engaging public area called The Cascade Project. Located in The Centrium, the asymmetric mesh sculpture offers individual and adjoining seating areas surrounded by Bauhinia trees and assorted plants. In the evening, a strategic lighting system creates an inviting atmosphere that tuns the previously undervalued concrete structure into a secure and sociable environment.

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Hong Kong, edge design institute, urban design, cascade, public space, public design projects Photo from BSA, taken by Scott Burnham. “The Cascade” by Edge Design Institute 2007, Central Hong Kong.

More than just pure artistic design, the repurposed staircase aims to change the face of utilitarian commercial areas by providing city officials with the option of “layering” underutilized areas with attractive communal environments. By repurposing a public thoroughfare and empty urban space into a welcoming and socially active area, the unique Cascade project illustrates the potential of public stairs everywhere to be converted into vibrant citizen-centric spaces that meet both the pragmatic and social needs of local communities.

Via Reprogramming the City