Bridge the gap – multifunctional center, Rotterdam.
The aim of the project is to underlay the connections between architecture and problems of contemporary civilization. It focuses on the aspect of the loss of biodiversity in cities and the responsiveness of architecture and users. On each of the main levels, there is a different biotope created. Each of them is a separate micro world with a different function, sunlight, and atmosphere. The material chosen for the external layer is hydroceramic (with the hydrogel filling) and planting pockets. This material can absorb and retain up to 500 times their weight in water. The object with its biotopes evolves over time. It is located in Rotterdam, in the post-industrial district of unused Merwe-Vierhaven harbor. People are free to adapt the space to their individual needs using a system of movable platforms. It is a kind of manifesto which points to the direction of future architecture development. The bridge is also a metaphor for interconnections between users, technology, and the environment.
The architecture of the XXI century can no longer be treated as an element separated from its ever-changing surrounding environment. Different design forms, including architecture, can mutate according to the changes of environment/society and be in dynamic interaction with the users and nature. The answer to responsive architecture is a result of three main topics that cannot be considered separately. Users – who became co-authors of the design. Technology – which provides smart, innovative, and most up-to-date opportunities. Environment – which is not only a specified context, but also an element which has a real impact and is a source of the design changes.
In this project, I proposed a new typology for the recreational center. It is an idea that living in a dense urban structure does not mean that people cannot have access to green and biodiverse areas. They can find and use them as public farms, biophilic coworking spaces, or green exhibitions. This kind of center could provide small improvements on the local scale, but with time it would have a meaningful impact on the quality of our lives and change of the climate. My hope is, that this project becomes a starting point in a discussion about the importance of greenery in architecture and urbanism.
The final approach is to invite users – people – and let them decide/ change/ control. They can be treated as part of the players, co-authors. Considering as in the end the goal is to create vibrant, lively, and suitable for everyday life architecture, sustainability should focus on finding the balance between the needs of people, energy, and environmental analyzes. They intertwine with each other. That is why I want to introduce a solution which is a congregation of those approaches. Apart from the interesting and new technology implemented, the building also provides conjunction of different atmospheres and feelings. Only by taking proper care of our spiritual, emotional, and physical needs, we will gain an understanding of pro-ecological solutions.
Author: Weronika Graś