This study aims to analyze the designs of pavilions which play important roles to make common urban spaces into places. Pavilions have been built as the pivot point of surrounding urban setting as well as catalysts to revitalize various activities in urban plazas and spaces. They are anchors in place-making from which urban plazas can have the identity and image of their own and attract people into the places. The study analyzes pavilion designs based on the Relph’s theory of placeness which has the three components of design connecting, activity sharing, and meaning providing. The study also examines the five examples of the pavilion designs which are the Vieux Port Pavilion in Marseille, Stadspodium Rotterdam, the Plaza la Lira at Ripoll, Vierwindentuin Pavilion at Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, and the Pavilion in the city center at Gignac-la-Nerthe, and finds their important design qualities as follow. First, the pavilion designs play vital roles to make places unique by linking vistas and paths, by providing daily uses and special events and by symbolizing civic history and culture. Thus, the pavilions provide opportunities to experience places where visitors and neighbors sense daily niches, festivals, and civic events. With the pavilions, ordinary plazas and the corners of streets turn into new and meaningful places to people. Second, the pavilions in the public spaces link civic vistas for visitors as they locate at the edges of waterfronts between nature and buildings. The pavilions on the cross-paths of empty lots in building blocks, also, link pedestrian paths. In addition, the pavilions often act as visual frameworks and gate ways to cities, thus they are designed with horizontal roof lines and box frames that allow visual openness. Third, the pavilions in the public spaces often form giant urban canopies as well as the common roofs for communities without fixed usages. Thus the pavilions allow diverse activities in them such as leisure, promenades, and rests as well as large-sized performances and events. Therefore, the pavilions are often void open spaces with minimum utility functions to permit maximum flexibility. Fourth, the pavilions in the public spaces are symbolic markers that tend to express continuity of local culture and historic context. They tend to have the designs of traditional forms, ornaments, materials, and colors rather than formal originality and visual uniqueness. The roof designs of the pavilions are often parts to create uniqueness by reflecting or transmitting light in order to fuse with nature. The study finds the qualities of pavilion designs in ordinary urban spaces which makes the spaces into unique places. The examples of this study demonstrate that the designs are achieved by linking of physical arrangement, mediating activities, and symbolizing local cultures and historic contexts. Also, this research would suggest the future design direction of pavilions in urban contexts.