The best way to preserve and develop the Kiev Islands in keeping with the aim of the project would be to improve the way people access the islands. Being sensitive to the existing conditions, the proposal by Triple O Studio is not to build new bridges, but to enhance the existing ones; make them more comfortable for all means of transport but more importantly for the pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users. Through the existing access systems of elevated bridges allowing for experiencing the site from an elevated promenade, its majesty can be fully discovered. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The bridges of Kiev have fast moving traffic that cut across from one side of the river to another. We see them as huge opportunities to create an enhanced Island experience without necessarily having to set foot on the island. Intertwined with Kiev and Ukraine’s imagination, our goal is to create civic spaces that help preserve and appreciate the city and its landscape from a unique vantage point.
The Islands of Kiev (Pearls of the Dnieper) are unique owing to their urban setting. As the purpose seems to suggest, the islands and their beautiful landscapes are not being used to their full potential.
At a cursory glance: - A naturalist would advocate to leave them the way they are - A real estate developer would look upon them as an economic opportunity. - As architects and urban designers our standpoint is to strike a balance between the two extremes – to aim for a design solution that is neither too over powering in it’s built form nor too passive to waste such an unusual setting.
The view from above the natural landscape is indeed unique. The bridges inadvertently offer the best aerial views of the islands and this is the feature we wish to exploit. The project aims to create an elevated terra firma that acts as pause points and public spaces to let the user realize and better appreciate the Island’s beauty. The pause points and promenades enhance the relationship the city and the everyday user share with the islands. It encourages people to walk and cycle along the car dominated bridges and can be a model for bridges world wide, to add design value on an experiential level.
The competition brief down-plays existing program on the islands. The project aims to prove that re-articulation of what already exists is in every way a better solution than new or re-development. Some of the most prominent programs in the islands were mapped and studied closely to find linkages, loose ends, ecological issues etc. The predominantly recreational facilities pollute minimally and the waste can be easily managed and treated.
While integrating these new features in the park, existing elements that people appreciated have been maintained. A lot of the things that make up public spaces, which are normally unseen, have been made visible. With a global agenda of enhancing tourism, improving the image of the city and creative sustainable spaces, our main user groups are the local residents of the city. The culture of the local people was analyzed and tourism taken into consideration before formulating a new set of programs that helps articulate the existing ones. These will help create better links between one and another to make some of the islands even more user-friendly, safe and green.
The population density here is not as high as other capital cities world over. This also plays a great role in the way spaces are used and maintained. The longer winters in these parts influence the program. The program is designed such that a lot of them would be used actively through the harsh winters as well. The life-line of the city, the Dnieper and Kiev islands would thus be true to its name in the way people use it all year around. Through this urban space new levels of meaning will accrue. Democratic ideals that shape Ukraine will imbue the islands with the spirit of community, tolerance and a sense that all are welcome.
The project aims to encourage citizens to share their cultures and ideas with others, to become more involved in society- not only on public concerns but also in art, science and humanities. Living things sharing a common existence and destiny and social, economic and environmental systems are profoundly interdependent. Visitors to the islands will gain insight into our human nature, our place in the world and how we can create a sustainable, renewable future by following nature’s own example.
We are reintegrating the site at all levels – within the islands, across the city and the region, while generating mixed use opportunities and responding to community aspirations.
Architects: Triple O Studio Location: Kiev Islands, Ukraine Team: A.G Praveen, Anupriya Subbian, Jeevanandam Jeeva, Karthik Ar, Nitesh Khated, Sriram Adithya, Tahaer Zoyab, Tousif Iqbal Special Thanks: Nikhil Clifford, Rajan Gero, Zoyab Kad