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Published by: Atul Garg on Aug 03, 2013
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08/03/2013

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OW TO GROW THE CITY?

/ STANISLAW MLYNSKI The shipyard in Gdynia was one of the most productive and important parts of the city, but unfortunately in 2008 the workshop was closed. Despite this, it still remains thought-provoking and inspiring. For 90 years the shipyard built 600 sh ips with carrying capacity of over 8 000 000 tons. Sadly today, instead of indus trial tunes which were part of the city s symphony, we hear only a tranquil melody played by the wind on hooks. Over 5000 workers and hundreds more from the compa nies that were cooperating with the shipyard lost their jobs. Nowadays over the city, manless cranes are looming, just waiting for a signal to start work My proposal is to use the abandoned shipyard and its substantial potential to so lve current regional problems. There is a visible lack of high quality office sp ace as well as unsatisfying housing diversity in the city. The region also has a n alarmingly low percentage of reliability on renewable energy sources. Only 2.7 % of consumption came from wind and water turbines. The program attempts to bring Gdynia s shipyard back to life while utilising deep understanding of its industrial potential, economic condition and social aspects . The Workshop will be used not only to manufacture wind turbines but also to ma ke the buildings elements of a new district spreading over the post-industrial a rea. The core of this project is modularity as an efficient technique of organisation and simplifying even the most compound and complicated systems. A great source of inspiration was the nature and build of multicellular organisms. The cells of the new district were placed on an urban grid which was analysed an d adjusted according to the number of users and location of public spaces. The shape of the module gives opportunity to create a variety of structural arra ngements. The element is divided into 2 layers; the external one consists of lig ht panels insulating and protecting the interior from changes of weather. The in ternal one is made up of movable curtains. The floor and ceiling levels can also be adjusted to the space requirements such as storage, installations and interi or division. The kit-of-parts construction consists of steel frame and other ele ments, and because of its size, allows it to be transported easily. By using these editable elements and changing their position, users can easily c reate different types of spaces, adapting them according to their lifestyle and activity. This modular system gives flexibility in the creation of function. The same module (depending on user s needs) can be used as a cottage, office, kinderg arten or even warehousing. All of the aforementioned solutions give the structure an opportunity to scale i tself and grow. By providing the potential to build, connect, service, move and change the building structure elements easily, we create fantastic future metabo lic opportunities. These kind of buildings can still be alive even after the com pletion of the design process and can be consistently re-evaluated. To provide a natural and effective development of the structure, the project pro poses a simple system of self-organisation. In theory, all of these establishments sound promising, but to find out if this building generation is possible, potential users were invited to take part in an activity entitled How to grow the city? which was aimed at structure creation. The results were really astonishing. The modules were used in very creative and diverse ways. The types of connections and arrays of elements were impressive an d even surprising. As the result of the experiment the participants received ada ptable structures reflecting their desires. Apart from the inhabitants needs and expectations, the localisation and the context around Gdynia s harbour was an equa lly essential factor. The available infrastructure such as old track ways and cr anes were used as tools to transport and build an object. The building is surrou nded by greenery to improve living conditions and create shelters for animals. I ncluding users in the design process was aimed at encouraging their identificati on with this part of the city, as well as reviving their community awareness. With time, architecture will adjust to local environment changes -economic crisi s, users expectations or the need for fast growth. The proposed design allows thi s structure to go hand in hand with the on-going evolution of this part of Gdyni

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