The moment of arrival becomes an important opportunity for cultural exchange in an urban environment. This exchange can be both the physical exchange between two places or it can be the experiential exchange between two or more disparate groups. These moments of exchange are an elusive experience for visitors as well as residents and are easily forgotten. Expressing the space of the traveler, an interactive space between locals and visitors, can raise cultural awareness between the most prominent groups as well as the marginalized groups, creating a more cohesive urban imaginary. The major exchange hub in Seattle, Washington speaks to this opportunity, where the existing intermodal stations are physically separated by a void that is 100’ across and more than three football fields long. This void has occupied the edge of the historical Pioneer Square district since the construction of the stations in 1910. The idea of the new intermodal landscape is not to erase this void entirely, but to continue the ongoing palimpsest of the urban environment. The space of the traveler is a space largely dedicated to views and orientation, and how these help travelers of all kinds to understand the city in a better way. In this way the new intermodal hub will be both internalized yet inseparable from its surroundings. Connecting the multiple points of transit exchange with a unifying public space can allow for this idea of cultural exchange in a highly accessible part of the city. Along the way, interstices at different scales allow for a multitude of activities that are able to cater to all needs of the public.
Spears, Matthew, "Awareness at a Threshold: Urban Exchange through Public Space" (2013). Architecture Theses. 92.