Urbanistický design a krajinářství

Shaping the edge

Margherita Gallio, Francesca Gaiga, Mattia Sinigaglia
University of Trento

Idea projektu

Shaping the edge is the concept of the project that sums up the intention of remodelling the space between the city and the sea. The design proposal represents a spatial strategy for Beirut, focusing on its currently neglected and inaccessible waterfront. The idea behind the project consists in the will to regenerate a boundary, the one with water, conceived not as a clear line of separation, but as a shared space between the sea and the city.
The modelling and redesigning of this space in-between occurs through a subtraction and disintegration of the coastal surface. Some cuts have been placed along the existing and the new accesses to the port, supporting the encounter between the sea and the mainland. This way the water can enter the city, but at the same time the city can approach the sea.
The core of the project consists in the construction of a large park-port which is connected to the city in order to reorganize the waterfront, making it more accessible, respecting the needs of the community and giving quality to the perceived space. The border is no longer an impermeable line, but it turns into a surface that contains a multitude of interventions which contribute in making this space liveable.

Popis projektu

The organization of the port's area plans to confine the logistic-industrial zone on the east part of the port and to replace the passengers’ terminal on the border with such area, where one of the cuts that has been carried out turns into a boats’ parking. The space in-between is designed through the identification of four types of edge. The first is the leisure edge, which expresses the desire to create a public space on the port, hosting refreshment areas, sports areas, recreational and leisure areas. Secondly comes the contemplating edge that aims to define an evocative and relaxing area, especially around the silos. Moreover, the crossing edge offers different ways of walking on water and land. Finally, an ecological edge is linked to the will of making the port a more sustainable infrastructure.
The identification of these four types of edges has led to the development of a taxonomy of interventions that aim to ensure a relation between the water and the mainland.

Technické informace

The interventions that can be gathered in the leisure edge include the construction of piers which, together with the floating islands, create some sort of water bars that extend over the sea. Another intervention is the creation of a platform that hosts some pools, characterized by different depths to meet the users’ needs. Finally, an artificial bay where it’s possible to swim, dive and refresh, allows a direct contact with the water.
The contemplating edge offers the chance to relate with the surrounding landscape and to contemplate it. Furthermore, the memorial area next to the silos is designed so as to create an evocative and relaxing area. The channel dug into the coast, which is shaped as the crater caused by the explosion, gives a suggestive character to the area, amplified by the creation of some sort of marine organ, structurally similar to a staircase sloping down to the sea and capable of transforming the waves into a tune. The section of the steps makes the staircase a perfect grandstand, where to enjoy the sunset while listening to the melody of the sea. Another way of enjoying the landscape is represented by the excavation of water channels that enter the city, reaching the remaining buildings. These channels can be crossed by foot.
The crossing edge offers different ways of walking on the waterfront, from the extension on the sea through the piers, to the walk on the stepping stones, up to the construction of a walkway, which is the fastest way to reach the different spots of the interventions. This walkway is distinguished by white roofs, which create shaded areas, while hosting small markets and bazaars.
The interventions carried out on the ecological edge concern not only the creation of shady areas thanks to clearings of trees scattered around the area, but also the spread of green islands floating on the sea, reachable by boat or swimming, derived from the disintegration of the edge. Lastly it is planned to place some devices to produce tidal energy along the pre-existing breakwater.

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