Urban Catalyst: Reclaiming Lost Space
Galuh Lidra Putra, Nelza M. Iqbal, Rizqi Khairul Fuady, Indonesia
Located between Leninskiy and Krasnoperekopskiy, the Kotorosl river cuts in between, and above, connecting this two mass of land is the Tolbuhinsky bridge. The bridge, which currently functions to connect vehicular traffic between the two areas, has somewhat more.
Spaces beneath the Tolbuhinsky bridge were seen as wasted spaces, spaces left unwatched, left to decay. The area around the Kotorosl river underneath the bridge served no other purpose other than strand of unattractive riverbank in which wild weeds sprawled and prevail. Seeing how strategically located the bridge is to important points of interest around Yaroslavl, including one listed as a Unesco world heritage site, this area have all the potential to be developed with a refined approach which correlates to the history of the city.
These historical aspects of the city, can be outlined and represented as a timeline, they include a span of time during the 13-14th century Yaroslavl where most buildings and architecture were built using timber construction, and when there is a preferential transition to masonry and stone construction during the 16th century. There was a point of time in 17th century where Yaroslavl became the second largest city in Russia, or when the city focus shifted into an industrial district during the 19th century, and when in the 20th century parts of the city is listed as a world heritage site. The site around the bridge can provide linkage between the historical aspects of the city, it is destined to serve not only as a memorial, but a working synapse, reinvigorating the past and constructing a collage of the future Yaroslavl.
There were more potential uncovered based on the data gathered from the public interview. This concerns the planning and urban scheme of the area, so that it works well in shaping the identity of the area and in the long term creates a positive space which functions well contextually with the history, geographical location and serves the need and expectation of the public well.
The approaches to designing the area were shaped from the public needs. Designing the site within a macro scale calls for the area underneath the bridge to not only be converted from residual space to functional space, but also as catalytic spaces which gives off positive energy that can be channeled to the surrounding area. The area under the bridge serves as a linkage to the surrounding facilities of the city, the area under the bridge that accommodates the new and frail network of budding community, the area under the bridge that acts as a living space.
Those three aspects mentioned above could transform a lifeless space to an active space which invites and allows exchange of ideas between different communities, to share and process information, to transform a space as communication medium in which new innovation and invention, and perhaps, redefinition of the term «community» can be conceptualised. Many of these aspects have been adapted to accommodate cultural, recreational, environmental and economic instances.
Cultural aspect refers to social integration networking, celebrating the river’s uniqueness, enhancing community’s life, creating diverse gathering spaces and embracing the site’s history. Recreational aspect which includes the creation of continuous public walkway, the increase of recreational river activity and uses. Environmental aspect encompasses sustainable landscape strategies, improvement of water quality, cultivation of terrestrial produce and restoration of aquatic ecosystem. While economic aspect which covers strategic approach in maximizing leasable opportunities, the support towards commercial boating activity around the perimeter, and space activation along the river.
With all approaches taken into consideration when designing the space underneath the Tolbuhinsky bridge, it is expected that the newly designed space under the bridge will act as an urban catalyst that could reclaim lost spaces and thus transforms functionless space into something that could contribute towards the better social, economy and environmental aspects.
Galuh Lidra Putra, Nelza M. Iqbal, Rizqi Khairul Fuady
Urban Designers and Architects interested in the study of the urban fabric of a city.