This week's curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights public spaces and buildings submitted by the ArchDaily Community. From bridges to squares, from parks to markets and train stations, this article explores the various kinds of public infrastructure that support the urban fabric, showcasing distinct approaches worldwide.
Featuring a bridge that doubles as a garden in China, the redevelopment of public spaces to meet contemporary needs in Montenegro and the Czech Republic, or a pier park in New York, the round-up spans various scales, from single architectural objects to urban strategies, to masterplans. The following projects reveal the ideas that shape public spaces and amenities in different contexts, illustrating diverse approaches towards what constitutes the backbone of the urban fabric.
Read on to discover 10 curated projects of public spaces and buildings, along with their project descriptions from the architects.
Golootočkih žrtava Square
The essence of the site is about being public. The space that has always been a hinge-point for meeting and exchange is still a centre of public flows today. The challenge is to design the space in-between the infrastructure and the city. The square is a place that needs to be representative and monumental but also intimate and welcoming. The area needs to adapt to different traffic needs, possible public events, everyday use.
Redevelopment of the Center of Tresnjevka district in Zagreb
Studio FM Arhitektura
The conceptual design encompasses the new marketplace (location of the previous one), public square, three parks and a couple of new residential buildings. One of the main goals was to establish a pedestrian-friendly environment in interconnection with surrounding green areas. The focus of the project is on human-scale constructions, taking into consideration their positive impact on the way people tend to perceive public spaces. The marketplace as the central building consists of 3 zones providing its full-time use all year round.
The Graceful Dancer - New Yongxin Old City's Entertainment District
Estúdio Leonardo Zanatta
The Brazilian firm Estúdio Leonardo Zanatta envisions the new Entertainment District for Heshui Riverfront, in the historic centre of Yongxin, China. The traditional concept of "bridge" was dissolved, giving place to a new one, based on the rules of Shan Shui, in which the path must adapt to nature, regardless of men-made rules. The bridge also integrates a "garden bridge" concept by bringing the surrounding vegetation inside and changing its character from a piece of equipment that simply provides passage into a wellness element for the city, with resting places and commercial spots.
Part of the old city of Rotterdam, Delfshaven is a place with a rich history. Various developments are underway around the area, requiring an unambiguous strategy for public space. Felixx' vision for public space intends to make the historical and cultural elements visible, structure and connect individual developments, strengthen the relationship with the city and the surrounding neighbourhoods and improve the general quality of the outdoor space. The vision is set up as a strategic framework and consists of four spatial structures: Delfshavenplein, Harbor quay, Middenkous Park, Streets and alleys.
Tulum Train Station
A sweeping lattice roof crowns the new Tulum Train Station part of the Tren Maya project, an intercity railway across the Yucatan Peninsula. The primary goal of the design process was to push the sustainability agenda and to find a narrative that would speak about the qualities of pre-Hispanic Mayan Architecture through the use of light, shadows, patterns and vegetation. Flowless user experience, ease of mobility, orientation, and natural light were other key elements of the design.
Hudson River Park's Pier 97
The design includes many considerations such as the provision of historic ship infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, integration with adjacent park spaces, year-round visual interest and usability, and amenities for a wide variety of uses and age groups. !melk's design encourages user circulation through carefully considered routes, providing a variety of views within the landscape. The intent is to have a fully utilized and activated "pier park" that is a popular and memorable community destination and that is integrated with both previously completed park sections and the adjacent New York State Route 9A bikeway and roadway.
The Liniers Market sits at the intersection of highways and streams subjected to increased flood risk. This new active public space enhances an underdeveloped part of Buenos Aires, transforming and bringing the area together. A set of large white covers celebrate the recovery of this riverbed with relocated commercial and recreational uses in a space conducive to spontaneous and artistic exhibitions under existing megastructures. Tractable with double negative curvatures, these covers are recyclable, washable, referenced, refractory and contrasting.
Hornsby Quarry masterplan
The former quarry will be transformed by CLOUSTON Associates into a public park in Syndey's north, making the most of the site's unique landscape, topography and heritage. Within the former quarry void, the draft master plan proposes a dramatic lift and a sweeping raised walkway leading visitors to a large open parkland landscape with a freshwater lake, all framed by the quarry walls. The parkland also includes a wetlands cascade, water play and a visitor facilities building.
Family of Bridges in Amsterdam
Grimshaw has designed two new bridges for Amsterdam's IJburg neighbourhood, continuing a family of bridges that began with the completion of the practice's landmark Enneüs Heerma Bridge in 2001. The new bridges will link two new reclaimed residential islands in the artificial IJburg archipelago, sitting within the IJmeer lake. The larger of the two bridges forms the entrance to Strandeiland, a future neighbourhood of 8,000 dwellings, mixed uses and a 750m urban beach. For this arrival point, Grimshaw has also designed two flexible use pavilions in the flanks of the bridge abutment offering space for commercial opportunities.
Baldwin Hills Master Planning
The project challenges the existing problems associated with the rising popularity of the Ballona Creek Bike Trail and the Baldwill Hills Scenic Overlook. The master planning exercise creates a regional hiking and tourist destination for Culver City and its neighbouring communities. The project creates a pedestrian-friendly plaza, which includes a multi-purpose community base that supports various activities such as Yoga classes, having a cup of coffee, or even a wedding venue. The design also features a 3-story underground parking structure and a comprehensive "bridge" network connecting the bike paths, the plaza, the Baldwin Hills trails, and the rest of Culver City.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN UNBUILT PROJECT
We highly appreciate the input from our readers and are always happy to see more projects designed by them. If you have an Unbuilt project to submit, click here and follow the guidelines. Our curators will review your submission and get back to you in case it is selected for a feature.