Architecture

Spine of Poro-City

Selin Ercan, Simge Topal, Selin Aydemir, Venüs Can
TEDU
Turkey

Project idea

The project was firstly thought as a system that supports a line that connects both citizens and waterfront. The system first identifies the main problems in Beirut and the port area. Some of the identified problems in Beirut are water pollution, excess waste, hunger, the port's isolation from the city, and the lack of contact with people on the waterfront. It is predicted that the problems were distributed in three big areas while focusing on the similarities. These are the problems that affect the economy and development of Beirut, the isolation of the port from the city, and the ecological life. In the light of the problems, It is determined that three different approaches concepts in order to be able to solve these problems. These concepts are ecological, attainability, and economic approaches.
The Project followed the four-leaf clover method when setting up the system. The steps followed are understanding the problems, suggesting solutions to the issues, keeping the port alive, and connecting the port with the city with these solutions.
Some suggestions are made for solving the problems. In order to increase the connection of the port with the city, a square suggested to remember the explosion area and also a treatment system to purify the polluted water in the port, and an urban market for the production and sale of products to revive the economy. Combining the concerns in the port area with the problems in Beirut, three approaches were implemented in three hubs in the system.
The main concern in the innermost part of the port is the sea pollution, which is the most intense region due to the stagnant water flow and the pollution caused by the wastes intertwined with the city. As a strategy, it has been suggested a dense ecological system that will reduce sea and air pollution in this area with urban farming space and with a water treatment center.
The main concern in the area of the explosion is that this area has lost all meaning as the most damaged area from the explosion and is completely cut off from the city. As a solution strategy, it is suggested to construct a social system in order to be the main connection point with the city and waterfront and to use this area as a collective memory area that will remind the explosion that has become a part of the city.
Finally, the irregular and unusable distribution of large-scale containers at the sea entrance of the port and large vessels were identified as concerns. As a strategy, it was suggested that the area to be used by large boats should be determined as here and that the events related to transportation and export-import that affect the economy should be gathered here as an economic system.
After determining the concerns and strategies of these hubs, a spine system connecting the hubs and proposals are proposed. The spine aims to create the whole system by continuing the continuity on the waterfront, acting differently according to the concerns and solutions in each zone. Roads in the context of Beirut also define moveable spaces in a layered way, and the main spine works together in different layers to define indoor and outdoor spaces.
Accordingly, it is a system that takes people from the city and returns them to the city by establishing different relations with the sea in the hubs. In the eco-approach hub, the sub-spines work with the water treatment system as infrastructure. In the attainability hub, they work as a human collector while in the economic hub they worked as cargo, and container connectors. The hubs that formed with the extension of urban porosity as economic, eco, and attainability
The idea of strengthening both the port and the city's relationship with the waterfront by trying to solve the problems in Beirut at the port is based on some analysis. When the human population in Beirut is examined, it is seen that the living part is mostly concentrated in the lower part of Beirut.
At the same time, it has been analyzed that the cultural venues that tourists from other cities such as Lebanon will visit are interrupted in the port and the port is just an element that is overlooked.
The points entering the port from the city were considered important for the concept of keeping the port alive and making it public. In this context, when looking at the urban corridors coming from other cities in Beirut, it is seen that there are 3 main corridors and one main entrance from each corridor to the port. These points contributed to the determination of the porosity nodes in the spine system.

Project description

The idea of making a public port was provided with 3 different concepts. Those concepts bring different solutions to the spine system. The focus is on three fragments of the system spine in different hubs. The first one is from the Eco-approach hub, Spine act as an afloat element that is linked with the produce and reuse concept. The second one is from the Attainability hub. In there, the spine act as an onshore element with the task of human collector and connector on the waterfront. The third one is from the economic hub it acts as a retracted element on the concern of human transmission and transvection. A general system of the spine includes different design operations such as being elevated, branches, and expanded. As a result of all these arrangements, people have different experiences throughout the site of the port.
Porosity nodes where the citizens connect to the port from highways, which is one of the urban corridors. They are also points connecting the hubs and establishing a direct relationship between the city and the waterfront. Adaptable spine sometimes creates the square itself, sometimes the bridge that connects two zones to each other sometimes is a system where cargoes are transported, and sometimes it forms the system as an infrastructural element that carries water. While the pools supply water to the accommodation and the city, it is transported as infrastructure from the Agriculture region.
Porosity nodes provide context continuity in different layers, making vehicles and people a part of the spine. The spine becomes a system that works with the city.
For the port program and scenario, the spine takes people from the road coming from the west side of the city, puts them into the port, and brings them back to the city from the road on the east.
From the main highway passing by the port, among these zones, there are currently 3 points to enter the port. Preserving this feature, these points are named the porosity nodes where the permeability between sea and city exists. The spine changes direction at these porosity points and establishes different relations with the sea.
In the ecological approach hub, dirty water and waste treatment plant, agricultural production zone, and an urban market program where these products can be sold are considered. People were taken from the road with a spine and connected to the port by experiencing the sea. The place where the products are grown is separated from human movement and the damage to the products is prevented.
In the explosion area in the attainability zone, a collective memory square that brings people together, an open-air exhibition, cultural and entertainment activities, a temporal accommodation area for tourists to come to the city, and green social areas that allow people to breathe in the city are offered. While the spine in this hub becomes an element that brings people together by forming the square itself, it continues along the waterfront, allowing people to experience the sea. Besides that, there are accommodation places for different user profile that comes port area. In the economic hub, the spine becomes a transport system. A huge steel pipe system that carries large diameter containers from the upper elevation and is directly connected to the sea by cranes.
Thus, a reduction in scale is proposed when coming from the sea in the east towards the interior of the port(west). While the relationship between boats and land is strengthened in the far-right seaward section, the fact that large boats do not enter the west interior strengthens the relationship of the human scale with the sea.
Porous nodes are defined as areas that provide permeability/flow between the city and the port area that let people and vehicles from highways.

Technical information

While proceeding by considering the Beirut context in the building, it was first defined by vertical circulation elements that will strengthen the horizontality of the design with its presence, and the spaces inserted into them, in order to emphasize the new verticalization that exists in the city of Beirut. These structures are considered completely transparent and mesh facades that can move, considering the Beirut climate, have been considered, and it has been decided to make the steel for the lightness of the structure.
The construction of the building is made of reinforced concrete. Spines made for the idea of the porous city, which is the basis of the project, will be the basic elements that emphasize the existence of the project. For this, it is made of steel, which can show itself in the city silhouette and has a light structure.
In addition, while the designed spine functions differently in different zones, it becomes an infrastructure element in some places, and it is also connected to the infrastructure of the city and sends the cleaned water to the city. Due to the inadequacy of the city's infrastructure systems, citizens' access to clean water is very limited. The treated clean water with the water treatment center that was designed in the project is transported along the steel spine along with the infrastructure. The water pipes drawn from the treated water pools from the middle point where the project land is lowered and the city level is above are connected to the water infrastructure system under the city. In this way, the project also contributes to access to clean water in the city.

Documentation

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