Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Public Urban Environment Principles

The following sketches are ideas and images that appeared in a number of public space texts, including 'Path-Portal-Place' , 'Urban Design: Street and Square' and 'Making People Friendly Towns.' We felt we each needed to think separately about our building's relationship to the city before we could develop its connection, and to do this intelligently, we needed to conduct some research into the field and look at successful urban environments and 'principles' that reinforce the city and are desirable spaces to inhabit that contribute to the city's character.

Through coming up with our own favoured 'principles' each, we would benefit from our partner's alternative 'principles' and it is hoped a marriage of the two, will develop the building's insertion into the city fabric.
My initial sketches were very simple diagrams consisting of basic place-making techniques that were particularly relevant to our 'unusual' building form and typology!My diagrams developed into sketches after reading and seeing the delightful sketches in 'making people friendly towns.' I then decided to devise my own principles based on the sketches the author proposed. These are my attempts of drawing his sketches and utilising them as strategies for successful urban environments.
Whilst looking for successful building insertions, I came across Stephen Holl's Beijing city study for his 'Mixed Hybrid' Tower, which combines a number of towers with bridges, and provides shared spaces for a mixed use development. What I found most distinctive about this building was one of his initial diagram studies below, that shows the transition from 'past' horizontal architecture, to 'present' vertical architecture, to his proposed 'future' hybrid space. This simple diagrams conveys a very powerful idea that is currently sweeping across the globe. As mixed use development becomes the norm, and inhabitants demand new approaches to tower and city design, architects are responding with vertical towers linked by ribbons, that tie the towers into a succinct fabric, a network of mixed uses. I see this as a key idea to explore in our connection to Sydney's existing urban fringe, our Barangaroo tower can be linked vertically and horizontally with ribbons or walkways, that bend and twist back into the city, grounding and laying the roots for this otherwise 'alien' insertion.

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