Wherever there is action in a place, the spots which are the most inviting are those high enough to give people a vantage point, and low enough to put them in action.


In any public place where people loiter, add a few steps at the edge where stairs come down or where there is a change of level. Make these raised areas immediately accessible from below, so that people may congregate and sit to watch the goings-on.

… we know that paths and larger public gathering places need a definite shape and a degree of enclosure, with people looking into them, not out of them - Small Public Squares (61), Positive Outdoor Space (106), Path Shape (121). Stairs around the edge do it just perfectly; and they also help embellish Family of Entrances (102), Main Entrance (110), and Open Stairs (158).

Give the stair seats the same orientation as Seat Spots (241). Make the steps out of wood or tile or brick so that they wear with time, and show the marks of feet, and are soft to the touch for people sitting on them - Soft Tile and Brick (248); and make the steps connect directly to surrounding buildings - Connection to the Earth (168)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 603medium-confidence