Design proposal for “Community Space” @Innosite.dk competition
“The area in front of Ørestad library and Ørestad school has become one of the busiest places in Ørestad. Despite this, very few people stop and spend time here. This might be due to the fact that the area aren’t conceived as an urban space or square, but as a ”to and from” place. The wind conditions can tease and people need a reason to stay and hang out in the area. How can we create an active and attractive space for community at this particular location in Ørestad, which has developed into one of the busiest spots in the district with many different people passing through and meeting each day?”
Site photos from the competition web-site
It seems that what makes the site unsuccessful as a gathering place is not only permanent wind, but also lack of places for face-to-face communication. People can sit along the canal or on the bridge, but there is no place for a large group to meet. There is no comfortable place for any public activities either, except for a small corner next to the library.
A sequence of structures will help organize the site into several areas with multiple interpretations, promote communication between people and become a landmark of Ørestad.
It consists of four elements: a gallery (1), modular stands (2,3) and a sunken terrace over canal (4); they can be constructed together or one by one in phases. They are placed along the perimeter, but together they make space in between contained, meaningful and defined.
New structures create additional paths and connections between banks of the canal, as well as give a new character to the seating area under light rail tracks.
Gallery defines west entrance to the site and can provide some level of wind protection. It is made of a zigzag rail between light rail columns and a matrix of holes made in stone pavement. Light poles can be installed in various combinations between floor and a rail, then they can be used to hold posters, paintings, boards, screens, flags, or even swings or hammocks. Lights installed in this area can make it lively at night.
Perforated wall along the canal made of staggered blocks is a wind screen, a shelter from elements, a wall to lean on, a fort to play snowballs in winter, a place to sit alone or with a company, or just a thing to climb on, and take a look from the top.
Stand along north edge of the site cantilevers over water, creates a high point at that side of canal and establishes visual connection with the islands there. It can be a small stage for musicians, or a temporary stand for vendors too.
All seating areas have visual connections between each other and four main activity zones. Zone 2 can be a place for large events, dance performances, music concerts, holiday celebrations (perfect for a Christmas tree). Zone 4 is more intimate and serves better for closer interaction, discussions and debates. Zone 3 engages all other areas and can be used as a stage for events with the maximum number of spectators.