The proposal for the Klaksvìk City Center by StudioWOK starts from a thorough study of the natural elements of the place and from a study of the context. The two qualities of the bay and the natural character of the isthmus are key factors in the project. The new masterplan for Klaksvík strives to build a new way of living in the open public spaces through “spatial ecology”: the project wants to restore continuity to residential space at all scales of the project, from the design of the sidewalk up to design of urban systems on a regional scale. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This system is characterized by shared space where shape and matter of the soil create the conditions for a pedestrian priority that, without interrupting the traffic, promotes public walking. The new settlement in the project area is based on a succession of strips built along the north-south direction. The position of the strips is orthogonal to the main direction of the winds and in this way the flow of wind is split and the open spaces and the paths, that divide and connect the strips, are protected.
The emptiness is the constitutive element of the new urban spaces: the emptiness that elsewhere is simply only the space between things, in the project becomes the primary structure of the city, a emptiness that finds its reasons and its viability in relation to the context of which conveys the flows. The raw material of this void is forces that there are channeled, modulated, and interwoven by a system of spaces, open to multiple uses. The new neighborhood represents also another style of density, a density of uses.
The strips are interrupted by various sizes of open spaces that generate a system of different type of paths and public spaces with different importance. In fact, in the central part of the area there are different squares linked each others, the main public spaces, where there are the library, two indoor markets and commercial activities. Other smaller public spaces, like playgrounds and green spaces, are distributed more marginally towards the banks and they are the secondary public spaces. There are two kinds of paths: those along the east west direction cross the strips and form the main open space system; those along the north-south direction, the secondary network of paths, are smaller and distribute all the entrances of houses. The size of these secondary paths is different because some of them are only pedestrian and some others are driveway.
The position of buildings in the settlement allows from everywhere two types of view of the surrounding area. Walking on the ground level of public spaces it’s possible to see the water of the see around the landfill and at same time enjoining the view of the mountains around the bay that characterize the town. At the ground floor of the bands are placed public functions like a library, there are traditional commercial spaces and also big cover area where, during the winter or with the rain, it’s possible to organize cover markets. At the ground floor there are all the house entrances and their parking lots.
Towards the banks there are also independent houses that are related with the sea. From the first floor are located the dwellings and their green spaces. The houses are divided into two types: townhouses and small apartment buildings. The last strip to the bay is a head of the system of trails that run throughout the isthmus and here there are the largest collective functions required by the competition: the Sailing Sea Museum, the Cultural House containing Music-and Arts school and Museum and a multi-hall.
These public functions are located underground and are accessible through the lanterns: in this way the buildings retain the best size suited to the context and allow glimpses and views of the bay for those are coming here through the neighborhood. The lanterns are made with a translucent material as glass and, at night or during the dark periods of the year, become lighting signs for the bay and for the town. The final part of the last strip is constituted by a natural grass slope that enters into the sea which attaches the pontoons and floating platforms.
Architects: StudioWOK Location: Klaksvìk, Faroe Islands Project Team: Marcello Bondavalli, Nicola Brenna, Carlo Alberto Tagliabue Collaborators: Alberto D’Asaro and Stefano Zagni Client: Municipality of Klaksvík Site Area: 150,000 sqm Competition: April 2012