Monday, December 30, 2013

Creating a town

I've been struggling quite a bit over the last few months with the town of Emsingen, especially the area I call old town, around the Rathaus (town hall). I wanted the Rathaus and the Rathausplatz (town hall square) to be a focal point, with several appropriate houses grouped around it. I wanted there to be a small farmers market, as well as some depth to the arrangement overall. If you look closely at the Emsingen posts on this blog, you'll notice how the arrangements have changed over the course of the last 15 months.
As I built the town foundation having settled on an arrangement for "new town" I was still unsure whether "old town" will work. I was bothered by the area the houses are set on, and the open space before the Rathaus. I didn't know how to arrange the market stalls. I had been toying with using the small fountain somehow to provide a boundary, but didn't know where I was going with that.

I built the sidewalks for "new town" today, which created a very pleasing feel to the arrangement. As I sipped on some Gluehwein tonight meditating over the setup, I realized that what's missing is structure to the Rathausplatz area and a clear separation of street and pedestrian areas. I settled that streets in old town would be fairly narrow, and -- where I could get away with it due to sight lines -- impossibly narrow to save space and create depth. There would be a narrow street in front of the Rathaus, which creates pressure for the farmers market to squeeze into a smallish space. I built only three stalls, so the need to fit into a small space works to my advantage. A village detailing set (yeah, that is from Faller, too) provided a string of stone railings to define the other side of the market area.

I made a paper template of Rathausplatz (in fact, I made more than one as I tried out alternatives), defined the street and the market area, where the fountain goes, and ... things started to come together.

As I photographed the farmers market, it became clear that the streets in old town need to be cobblestone.

Now the question is: Am I going to make cobblestone streets myself, use my precious Auhagen roman cobblestone that is intended for Talheim in a far away corner that is barely visible, or find regular cobblestone sheets locally?

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