Unlike the old concept of public spaces that rely on objects as a single attraction, the new prototype of urban island by Erick Kristanto for the Seattle Urban Intervention Competition uses various different activities as multiple magnets. The activities are pooled on the elevated platform as a new addition of the Seattle center complex. Since all of the programmed activities are moved to the elevated platform, the ground floor can be almost free of structure for flexible multipurpose space. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Due to the post-war recovery and economy taking-off in 70s’, the population is growing. Human are able to and have to expand their territories for their own life and inhabitation, and hence the city rapidly grows. Human insatiably expand their inhabitation causing serious threats to the nature cycle. The result of an imbalanced environment also immediately verifies the nature’s anger. Then humans started to think about the issues of the sustainability and harmony with the nature for their next expansion. However, sustainability solely can’t solve the decreasing of the natural life caused by human.
What will the future city look like? Pushing forward sustainability without stopping and controlling the wide expansion of human habitation is just ineffective. We need to limit human activities into designated area that is designed to accommodate maximum activities and at the same time preserve natural life cycle. Seattle Urban Island project is the first prototype of floating platform that maximize human activities on top and maximize nature on the bottom.
The strategy to separate the natural green space from artificial activity space allows for win-win situation. The site gets maximum green area and the visitors get maximum activity space. This separation also gives different public space characteristics on those two levels. It is intended to have different events happening at the same time on the platform and the ground.
The platform has different programs including sports, cultural, entertainment, education, and commercial. All of the programs are linked with running tracks as circulation loop. Then the platform itself is connected to the ground level by vertical circulations such as jogging ramp, elevator, stairs, and bike ramp. This easy access blurs the hierarchy between two levels. Furthermore, visual connection between the platform and the ground is maintained by creating series of voids on the platform.
Active circulation – healthier Seattle The vertical circulations of the project are developed to meet user’s preference and encourage people to have active life. The main circulation is a running track that connects the ground to different activity spots on the elevated platform. Moreover, there is a twisted bike ramp that brings the cyclist all the way to the elevated platform and a wall climbing area for those who like challenge.
Moving along the main circulation path the visitor will find series of different activities spaces such as outdoor sports area, swimming pool, observation deck, concert areas, parks, restaurants and shops. In certain condition visitor can have a continuous activities in one lap, for instance take the bike to go up, then run on the track, swim in the lap pool and finish on the wall climbing exercise. This creates a fun mini triathlon that can be an annual event to promote this new development.
The ground floor will be a flexible open space that has no circulation hierarchy. The green field will be backyard for the surrounding neighbors. This allows people to stroll without any distinct circulation path. The urban island provides a link to urban green infrastructure, bicycle lane. There is a designated entrance for the bike, parking, workshop and rest area for the cyclist. Space for car parking is not allocated since this future project strongly promotes green transportation.
Model for future development Seattle Urban Island project is intended as the first prototype for the alternative ground concept. The concept maintains vertical development especially for public space to limit horizontal expansion. The Urban Island project promotes ‘leave earth for earth’ spirit. If this concept applies, the human daily life will be centered on the platform. So the already-built, man-made structure will gradually be taken over by the green nature.
The model for the urban island can be developed further into a more complex form following the program requirements of the future and the context of the site. Below are some examples of how the model can be customized in terms of the required programs, context and size.
Co-existence between nature and human Leave earth for earth. Continue the green without the aggressive infrastructures that obstruct natural cycle. The elevated platform allows more uncovered area that helps add more natural ground cover area for the storm water runoff. Rain water harvesting through the platform could be used to supply the platform itself and adjacent areas, which include swimming pool, the international fountain, lawn watering and toilets.
The structural system of the platform could easily be constructed, dismantled, transported, and then installed in other site or recycled. A moveable, flexible and pre-casted structure system greatly decreases the carbon footprint and pollutions.
Multi-dimensional interactions The urban island platform allows different activities and events happening simultaneously above and below the platform. Moreover the operable platforms create different scenes between the two spaces when it opens and closes. The opening platform will be operated according to event requirements and weather condition. The diagrams below show how to use the spaces in some scenarios. The urban island platform allows different activities and events happening simultaneously above and below the platform. Moreover the operable platforms create different scenes between the two spaces when it opens and closes. The opening platform will be operated according to event requirements and weather condition. The diagrams below show how to use the spaces in some scenarios. Project Leader: Erick Kristanto Design Team: Chi-Cheng Lee, Chris Maurer Location: Seattle, Washington, United States