This 4 week long school project was focused on public and private spaces, and how they relate one to another. We were given a public space near the center of Bucharest, and we had to develop a project based on that area's genius loci, while resolving the problems encountered within the studied area (such as traffic overflow or abandoned buildings in poor condition).
Firstly, a research phase was in order to find out more about that specific area in Bucharest. I began by expressing what I thought Bucharest's genius loci is, and what a square should express. This was so I could later build my project around those basic ideas. I continued by studying the area and it's surroundings, not only to draw inspiration from what I would find, but also to figure out what it's all about; a few things really stood out for me.
Firstly, the manner in which people expressed themselves - a lot of graffitti, posters, all placed chaotically everywhere. But what at first glance appeared to be basic vandalism, to me was the need people around there had to express themselves.
Also, I noticed a lot of green areas around the site, but the interesting thing about this was that they were always behind a wall, a fence or something else, so I knew I wanted to play with that idea.
Below is my research portfolio, you can click the images for full-size (text is in Romanian):
My approach was building a strong concept around the things that made that area unique, while solving the major problems that I encountered.
Firstly, I wanted to stop cars from going around the given site, so I made a few adjustments. The most efficient method to do that was keeping the streets on the North and South sides of the site and not allow contact between them. In doing so, I gave continuity to what was East and West of the site; but while the square was now physically connected with those areas, there was still a need to create a mental connection between the site and the rest of the studied area.
The idea I came up with was based on ramification, as well as the form of a leaf. North of the site is a music-profiled High-School, and I used that as the starting point of my ramification throughout the area. The ramification was primarily based on lines given by the existing urban tissue. Also, I wanted this ramification to represent the expression of culture and art, so the high-school was the best generator for that.
The ramification goes on to form the actual square. when dealing with what started to look like a route, I though a central element would make the marketplace less dynamic. A fountain was the perfect choice, especially because the symbolism behind it.
The ramification continues on the South side of the site and eventually dissolves within the urban fabric. The damaged buildings would be demolished, an together with the empty lots would be used to build new buildings that would contribute to create a more cohesive area. These buildings would be oriented towards art, and would contain functions such as: art expositions, creative workshops or event coordination offices.
Below is my proposal, click images for full-size (text is in Romanian):