In the proposal for the Klaksvik City Center, DL+A _ SIZE* perceives the need to interact and present the city to the world as an open culture. As a pioneer in the city growing master plan in the region, this design shows the way they expect to be seen in the future, and how they expect to be prepared to respond to the local community growing needs. The way we design the path for the urban grown and population development aspects has a tremendous relevance on how humans will organize themselves in the future. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Planning is essential for any human settlement. It’s the only way they can start integrating people’s culture, life styles, space and sustainability, nature, so commonly mentioned in these days. The city, seen as the space where the societies interact, should respond to the citizens as a polyvalent and multifunctional space able to be adapted to all the requirements that the urban development demand. Klaksvik has realized the importance of become a model city in the Faroe Islands, with this value thought is our responsibility to be part of this important step. These times present us a contemporary world and society and somehow it responds to the way cities have grown or decide to grown.
Participative planning should be taken as part of the thinking process, where before proposing designed spaces there has to be a complex consciousness about the population’s culture and identity, for which the programs and design should respond and encourage both. It is equally important to the planning to have a wide view of the region, since it determines culture and identity as well, and the site gives precise insights on how architecture should locate in response to the climate conditions and existing surroundings.
The design reinforces town’s culture with waterfront activities: Sailing museum, rower’s club, fishing areas, and other aquatic sports. It benefits from other characteristic activities as the summer festival to focus some spaces on music talent and education. With new “sense belonging” activities, the diversity of people and places will be incremented; thus the city will acquire identity and strengthen their culture, economy and citizenship. Also, with a proposal for street’s hierarchy and public space treatment, mobility will be facilitated so that multimodal ways, such as walking, bicycle or car, are suitable to travel the city around.
As the town diversifies in activities sheltered by contemporary buildings designed for people’s recreation, it also becomes an attractive center for tourists. The unique quality of Klaksvik in addition of its natural heritage is the way it has developed special activities that, even if practiced in other parts of the world, need a special scenario to make them unforgettable, and Klaksvik has it. Thus, one of the greatest reasons to visit the town are the sports facilities. The specialization of activities in the town is a way of offering services that will develop more employment opportunities (lodging, commerce and other services), a manner for Klaksvik’s population, cultural and economical growth. As people will start to identify themselves with the place they consequently will care for it, guaranteeing a responsible tourism that will respect the local traditions and costumes. The museum buildings will encourage the visitor to learn about the people and the history of Klaksvik, positive fact for the tourism area.
The first hydric element that needs to recover is the sea’s waterfront that has been the vehicle for the town’s development. The front is still the harbor where industrial uses are mostly found. It is obvious that as the front is the vehicle for many economical activities has to preserve somehow its usage, but it requires a significant re-adaptation to let public space and people interact with these spaces in a responsible way and a special natural treatment either with vegetation or cleaning water areas.
As Klaksvik’s climate conditions are so adverse, the walking platforms must offer shelter, without taking away the “public” connotation that needs to have. Urban furniture plays as essential roll to promote walking people or the usage of public space offering specific activities as people travel along their way. The hierarchy of streets enables the city to have green corridors that are the connectors between the preserved areas and the waterfront. These corridors propose vegetation and differentiate paths specific for pedestrians, who have the priority. Vegetation is also useful for sheltered corridors.
The growth contention parks proposed in the city’s limits are transitional spaces between the mountains and Klaksvik. The role the parks have also help in controlling incoming winds that directly affect the city, and in the recuperation of the Faroese vegetation that is quite rare in the world. These parks contemplate paths and low intervention to enable passive activities for people to value theses natural elements. The destined area for reserved growth helps the natural transition as is proposed as low density-urbanized areas with agricultural characteristics. As the city grows, the density will lower and vegetation will characterize the ecological connections.
The city’s collective memory is also based on visuals and architecture, which reinforce as well the people’s identity with the town and values history and heritage. Buildings are maintained for heritage when their signification is related to identity, thus, houses such as the fishermen ones are considered important to maintain a language in the city, as well as the important patrimony buildings. One of the crucial aspects is the recycling in uses or structures of buildings considered of architectural value that would maintain the visual reference, but are neglected for their use or other conditions. New building should consider the preserved ones, exalting its architecture but offering the city a specific service that energizes the urban space. Enabling visual, architectonic or functional connections between buildings is a key step to conform urban spaces and meeting points.
Culture is commonly related to museums or other buildings such as libraries or theaters. The certain fact is that culture is reinforced in many other buildings or urban spaces, as they manage to influence costumes and livelihood. Klaksvik has along the whole city elements that are constantly reinforcing culture. The activity centers and public space are offering cultural programs to the inhabitants and are the way to get to the mayor buildings that contain the museums, library, commerce and other activities.
Public space is the essential aspect that gives from to the whole proposal. It is the medium to the functional aspects of architecture and is responsible for its success. The proposed stripe has the crucial function of activating the city and giving people sheltered places in constant contact with other inhabitants and the whole surrounding environment also seen as a landscape beauty and heritage. Street’s treatment enables corridors for people’s transportation and activity centers gives all mobility possibilities and they have parking services as well. The success of city working as a complex organism is mainly a product of public space ability to connect and not only in the displacement point, but also in the meeting squares it configures and other interacting spaces formed by all the public elements.