KEELUNG MARITIME PLAZA (2003- )

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GENERAL OBJECTIVE

Keelung has emerged with notable success from the quantitative phase of its urban development. The strength of its economy, the youth of its population and the sustained growth experienced in recent decades have given rise to a vital and dynamic city. But this is not enough. It is time now to move on to the qualitative phase, of improving the quality of life of the citizens, of reordering the most important spaces and of creating an innovative, cutting-edge urban image. To achieve this purpose, architecture alone is not sufficient: this is the moment for urbanism, for concerted action that will establish relationships between the different pieces that make up the central space of the city.

SPECIFIC STRATEGIES

  • 1. TO POSIT A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PORT AND TH SEA.
    Keelung as it is today would not exist without the economic power it derives from it´s port, but nor could the port have achieved its present level of activity without the explicit support of the city. However, the city’s relationship with the sea is obstructed and limited by the port’s activity. It is essential to incorporate the sea into Keelung as something more than a mere economic reference, giving continuity to the canal and generating the axis of force that the city has historically lacked.
  • 2. TO REINFORCE THE URBAN STRUCTURE CONNECTING THE EAST AND WEST OF THE CITY WITH A CIVIC AXIS.
    The port has been until now, for all its social and economic usefulness, a disruptive element in terms of the urban organization of Keelung. The different parts of the city are functionally segregated by the impact of infrastructures and traffic. A new and more effective link between the East and West zones of the city will assist in integrating the space of production and relation (East) with the access infrastructures (West), promoting the functional and economic complementarity of both, giving continuity to the canal and generating the axis of force that the city has historically lacked.
  • 3. TO OBTAIN NEW SPACES OF PUBLIC AMENITIES.
    A city assumes its real significance for its citizens when it has a network of amenities that satisfies not only the basic needs but also the demand for sports, culture, contact and other analogous needs. The image of modernity is closely associated with these functions, which in Keelung are still only an incipient presence. Our proposal links the access infrastructures with the zone of amenities around the Cultural Centre, creating new facilities that will serve to reinforce the centrality of the space.
  • 4. TO EXTEND THE AREA OF PEDESTRIAN CONNECTION.
    In spite of living from the sea and with the sea, the people of Keelung are confronted by major obstacles when it comes to enjoying it, in view of the impact of vehicular traffic on the seafront and the very limited space that has been reserved for pedestrian circulation. To overcome this obstacle we propose a solution that not only improves the flow of pedestrian circulation but also generates a space that, as in all of the best operations for the restructuring of city-port interfaces, permits the creation of a rest space where people can enjoy contemplating the sea and the bustling activity of the port.
  • 5. TO CREATE A SYMBOLIC AND FUNCTIONAL CENTRALITY.
    A city is defined internally and externally by the strength and quality of its central space. The citizens interpret the city through a reading that is not only functional but also symbolic, so that it is necessary to design a space through which the people of Keelung can identify with the city. Our proposal offers the opportunity of creating a more powerful and complex urban centre than will come to constitute Keelung's symbolic space and serve to project an image of the city to the exterior.
  • 6. TO REORGANIZE THE TRANSPORT AREA.
    In the West zone of the area of intervention the three main transport infrastructures of the city converge. The solution that is envisaged for this space is not confined to embracing their existence as such, but seeks to facilitate the uses that these infrastructures induce and require, spatially organizing their satisfactory distribution and functional integration in the ways that are most convenient for the commuters and proposing cultural and leisure uses that will extend beyond the usual commuter timetable to avoid the risk of it losing its vitality and becoming marginalized.
  • 7. TO RESTRUCTURE THE AREA OF SOCIO-CULTURAL AMENITIES.
    In the West zone there are a variety of cultural, administrative and commercial facilities whose integration is problematic, because of the difficulties in the way of pedestrian movement. At the same time there is a need to generate new uses and functions that will reinforce the relational contents of the public spaces, in order to provide a qualitatively richer urban framework for the citizens. This entails the restructuring of the area of amenities to the East of the port and the incorporation of new functions.
  • 8. TO REINFORCE RELATIONAL USES.
    The structural base of a city is, much more than its streets and buildings, the set of human relationships that are created and developed within it. The city is an accumulation of complex functions and relationships between people, so that limiting it to commercial spaces implies a reductionist perception of the urban phenomenon. The new amenities and leisure spaces, the effective pedestrian link between the different urban sectors and the bridge itself constitute the bases on which centrality will be reinforced by the intensity and dynamism of the human relationships it accommodates.

    SITE
    Keelung is the traditional port of Taipei, a key location for the export of goods and technologies from Taiwan to the rest of the world.The city's urban centre is thus oriented towards the port. At the same time, however, the activity of the port has now moved towards areas closer to the sea. As is the case in so many port cities at the start of the 21st century, the principal point of interaction between city and port requires a major conversion. Nevertheless, in Keelung the bulk of the city's traffic still circulates in the centre of the city. In the light of this, until this situation changes, it is necessary to develop strategies that permit the coexistence of the port's activities and intense traffic, with an urban development of real quality. The presence of the bus and train station on the west side of the port can be used as a significant opportunity to transform the zone. With this in mind, the actions we propose to undertake here are the following:
  • 1. GATEWAY
    Tranformation of the bus and train station to make this the authentic GATEWAY to the city, building a business centre over the new railway station and a complex for shops and restaurants over the bus station that will act as a public transport transfer zone, enhancing the urban quality of the square in front of the station.
  • 2. CIVIC AXIS
    Creation of a civic axis that will connect the two sides of the port, as a continuation of the cultural and commercial axis of the internal canal. This axis will create two tourist zones on the edge of the port.
  • 3. TOURIST PORT
    Creation of a pier oriented towards tourist use in the maritime plaza to be created in front of the station.
  • 4. SPORTS CENTRE
    Creation of an indoor sports centre, for the use of the public, on top of the present car park
    -Creation a Cultural market of books, cd´s, records, films... in the ground floor of the existing parking of the urban comercial structure. Now is the moment, as it happened in many cities with harbour,(like in Baltimore or Barcelona), to start a new relation between the city and the harbour. So, some part of the Comercial Harbour should become an Urban Harbour to create a new interface between the city and the sea.


    AN OPPORTUNITY FOR QUALITY
    GENERAL OBJECTIVE
    A PROGRAMME TO IMPROVE THE URBAN QUALITY OF KEELUNG.

    Keelung has emerged with notable success from the quantitative phase of its urban development. The strength of its economy, the youth of its population and the sustained growth experienced in recent decades have given rise to a vital and dynamic city. But this is not enough. It is time now to move on to the qualitative phase, of improving the quality of life of the citizens, of reordering the most important spaces and of creating an innovative, cutting-edge urban image. To achieve this purpose, architecture alone is not sufficient: this is the moment for urbanism, for concerted action that will establish relationships between the different pieces that make up the central space of the city.

    SPECIFIC STRATEGIES TO POSIT A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PORT AND THE SEA.

    Keelung as it is today would not exist without the economic power it derives from its port, but nor could the port have achieved its present level of activity without the explicit support of the city. However, the city’s relationship with the sea is obstructed and limited by the port’s activity. It is essential to incorporate the sea into Keelung as something more than a mere economic reference, giving a leading role to its space as a vital part of the urban scene.

    TO REINFORCE THE URBAN STRUCTURE CONNECTING THE EAST AND WEST OF THE CITY WITH A CIVIC AXIS.

    The port has been until now, for all its social and economic usefulness, a disruptive element in terms of the urban organization of Keelung. The different parts of the city are functionally segregated by the impact of infrastructures and traffic. A new and more effective link between the East and West zones of the city will assist in integrating the space of production and relation (East) with the access infrastructures (West), promoting the functional and economic complementarity of both, giving continuity to the canal and generating the axis of force that the city has historically lacked.

    TO OBTAIN NEW SPACES OF PUBLIC AMENITIES.

    A city assumes its real significance for its citizens when it has a network of amenities that satisfies not only the basic needs but also the demand for sports, culture, contact and other analogous needs. The image of modernity is closely associated with these functions, which in Keelung are still only an incipient presence. Our proposal links the access infrastructures with the zone of amenities around the Cultural Centre, creating new facilities that will serve to reinforce the centrality of the space.

    TO EXTEND THE AREA OF PEDESTRIAN CONNECTION.

    In spite of living from the sea and with the sea, the people of Keelung are confronted by major obstacles when it comes to enjoying it, in view of the impact of vehicular traffic on the seafront and the very limited space that has been reserved for pedestrian circulation. To overcome this obstacle we propose a solution that not only improves the flow of pedestrian circulation but also generates a space that, as in all of the best operations for the restructuring of city-port interfaces, permits the creation of a rest space where people can enjoy contemplating the sea and the bustling activity of the port.

    TO CREATE A SYMBOLIC AND FUNCTIONAL CENTRALITY.

    A city is defined internally and externally by the strength and quality of its central space. The citizens interpret the city through a reading that is not only functional but also symbolic, so that it is necessary to design a space through which the people of Keelung can identify with the city. Our proposal offers the opportunity of creating a more powerful and complex urban centre than will come to constitute Keelung’s symbolic space and serve to project an image of the city to the exterior.

    TO REORGANIZE THE TRANSPORT AREA.

    In the West zone of the area of intervention the three main transport infrastructures of the city converge. The solution that is envisaged for this space is not confined to embracing their existence as such, but seeks to facilitate the uses that these infrastructures induce and require, spatially organizing their satisfactory distribution and functional integration in the ways that are most convenient for the commuters and proposing cultural and leisure uses that will extend beyond the usual commuter timetable to avoid the risk of it losing its vitality and becoming marginalized.

    TO RESTRUCTURE THE AREA OF SOCIO-CULTURAL AMENITIES.

    In the West zone there are a variety of cultural, administrative and commercial facilities whose integration is problematic, because of the difficulties in the way of pedestrian movement. At the same time there is a need to generate new uses and functions that will reinforce the relational contents of the public spaces, in order to provide a qualitatively richer urban framework for the citizens. This entails the restructuring of the area of amenities to the East of the port and the incorporation of new functions.

    TO REINFORCE RELATIONAL USES.

    The structural base of a city is, much more than its streets and buildings, the set of human relationships that are created and developed within it. The city is an accumulation of complex functions and relationships between people, so that limiting it to commercial spaces implies a reductionist perception of the urban phenomenon. The new amenities and leisure spaces, the effective pedestrian link between the different urban sectors and the bridge itself constitute the bases on which centrality will be reinforced by the intensity and dynamism of the human relationships it accommodates.


  • J.M.Iribas, Expert in international tourism
 

Principals: Vicente Guallart, Maria Diaz.
3D: Lucas Cappelli + UokU.com net-architects. Lucas Jagodnik, Julieta Serena, Mariano Castro, Horacio Suaya, Martin Eschoyez, Franco Cappelli.
Images: Laura Cantarella, Sabine Mayer.
Collaborators: Dirk Barchstaedt, Christine Bleicher, Magnus Lundstrom, Rodrigo Landáburu, Melissa Magallanes, Ester Rovira, Manuel Shvartzberg, Michael Strauss,
Models: Fabian Asunción, Soledad Revuelto, Angel Luis Gaspar, María José Bizama, Ruth Martín
CONSULTORS:
Tourism: Jose Miguel Iribas.
Sustainability: Rafael Serra Florensa. UPC.
Solar power: Oscar Acebes. TFM.
Estructure: Willy Muller, WMA.
Port engeneering: Vicente Cerdá, UPV
Cristallographic Advisor: Albert Soler
Stone pictures: Universitat de Barcelona.
Chinese traduction: Lin Yi.
Chinese culture:: Li-An Tsien.

 


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