Kiesel Avenue + Neon Plaza

Activating a downtown thoroughfare through walkable streetscape design and illuminating gathering place. 

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The ChallengE

To re-design a one-block stretch of Kiesel Avenue between 24th and 25th streets in Ogden, Utah. This stretch of Kiesel Avenue has the potentially to serve as a major pedestrian thoroughfare between Historic 25th Street and the Junction entertainment district. Current design conditions make this street unattractive and inactive.


The Story

This redesign, included a Neon Plaza nestled between two historic buildings. This plaza would offer an intriguing destination linking Historic 25th Street and the Junction Entertainment District. Neon Plaza would function as a dynamic public space and host to various art installations including digital media. The diamond paving pattern was taken directly from the former Alhambra façade, informing the shape and placement of two large polycarbonate ‘benches’. These translucent boxes will provide for informal plaza seating during the day and can be projected from the inside with lights or digital media (a nod to this historic movie theatre). The benches also feature a combination fire pit and water feature. In-ground LED lighting connects the diamond pattern between the boxes. Raised corten steel planter beds accentuate the design, creating grassy pockets where visitors to the site can find shady refuge. The main plaza space is open, filled with gray concrete pavers that when viewed from above form the pixelated image of Charlie Chaplin (the star of the first movie ever shown at the Alhambra Theater). An impressive recycled timber arch demarcates the entrance to the plaza (made from barrel vaulted trusses taken from the demolition of the back portion of the adjacent Hurst building). Meanwhile, a historic neon sign that was saved from the demolition of a local market, will be recycled to flash “make” and “art” and will draw visitors down the street. The plaza also features moveable seating in the form of recycled railroad rails topped with sliding skate-decks, another opportunity for art.



Io Design Collaborative