The first prize proposal in the Europan 11 competition in Hungary, Szeged by AMK+ Studio is before a functional transformation and with the cooperation of the city and the site owner, the integration of the site into the urban tissue is the main goal. Designed by Tamas Kun, Gergely Almos, and Tamas Mezey, their design suggests a kind of framing building line – an ‘intelligent wall’ – which is formed by many aspects. These aspects manage all the mutual reactions between the mainly residential environment and the rehabilited industrial – new ‘city center’ – block. A ‘bridge’ connects the place formally, in scale, by material use and with functionality. More images and architects’ description after the break.
We’ve seen many mentionable solutions for rehabilitation of unfunctional industrial buildings that have lost their original functions. Attaching new functional buildings to their close environment basically determine the new character of the place. Because their industrial origin these types of constructions and their environment – with different designation – have no connection, essentially no question about it. As the place is rehabilitated and gets back to life we can take the question about the method and the mode. The intervention depends on the actual context, that can be: to merge, to insulate and situations on a range between them.
In the current situation the block of abandoned gasworks stands as an ‘island’ in a mostly residential texture. The emblematic chimney, octogonal torso-like concrete columns of a cooling tower , the monumental spaces of halls, scattered lovely details – all with their externals, material use and scales call the feeling in us that we’ve arrived at a totally different world at a ‘fable’.
By the characteristic differences and discovered values at the actual state, principles of our intervention are the following:
1. The feeling of the inside world is so strong that merging it with the local environmental elements would affect value loss. We have to keep and redefine this feeling in a way that does not mean isolation. Defining border lines between two different functional texture is not equal with a seclusion – it is just a behavior.
2. The buildings of gasworks has a quality of variegation which excels from the probably featureless solid environment. This unique outlook allows the place to rise in a key-position, in a central role. 3. It’s important now to define a connection that is lost because of the past industrial use. The place of action-reaction between different functions and the method of mutual respond have to be found.
4. Basics have to be so nature, clear and readable for everyone that take place in the area according to scale, and fulfill it with their impact. 5. The border lines of the action zone has to be defined as it must not be a barrage but a significant add-on to the place that frames the new central function.
The design method is an effect-dependent inverse, reductive design, and the buildings are formed by the following aspects:
1. Public pedestrian traffic, walkways system, commercial shops and pavilions, city life on ground floor. 2. Undisturbed outlook zones, comfort rate and street section scale for neighbours. 3. Main city nodes added up to more significant design elements.
New functions for the ‘wall’ are commercial, offices, residential floors. These make a bridge to old buildings with cultural and educational role. Because of the existing high values of the industrial buildings the challenge is not to utilize them but to find the basics and situations where these values hopefully revive.
Within the site three central plazas have been created:
1. Event zone (great programs, concerts, local ‘city days’ like ‘Szeged Days’, ‘Beer Festival’, ‘Wines festival’, ‘Fish soup festival’, ‘Grill festival’, etc. ) 2. City life zone – open space for everyday life (terraces, small concerts, sales…) 3. Arts street (functions connected to education, cultural outdoor programs)
In locating these zones, tree’s plantation has a huge effect. Rasterized tree placing give the huge inside square scale and make it usable and understandable. A one-level underground garage would be constructed under the new buildings and event zone on Kossuth Avenue’s side.