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Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 6:57 PM
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Get to know the awkwardly-named “terminated vista”

Get to know the awkwardly-named “terminated vista”

13 Apr 2012

By Scott Doyon

Read More: http://bettercities.net/news-opinion...vista%E2%80%9D


Basically, “vista” refers to your view as you look down a street or corridor. “Terminated” refers to any building, object or feature serving as the focal point and blocking the view from extending further.

- For the person heading that way, that spot becomes a focal point of greater prominence, so an urban designer would tell you its building should reflect that. Depending on the importance of the street, the parcel might be suited to an important civic building or monument. Downtown or on Main Street, it might be a church or prominent commercial anchor. Or, in an everyday context, the occupying building should simply make a small architectural nod to its surroundings, noting that it recognizes its enhanced role in community aesthetics and wants to contribute.

- “The Smart Growth Manual,” authors Andres Duany, Jeff Speck and Mike Lydon, explain: “Street networks that include staggered intersections, deflections, and slight curves improve spatial definition and orientation by creating memorable visual events .. When a street vista terminates on a building, it should reciprocate by placing a special architectural element on axis.” This, they assert, speaks to community values, contributes to the cues of basic navigation, and reduces car speeds.


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