Re-claiming the Roads.
MA Architecture: Fifth Year.
The city is made of islands. What defines these islands are roads. However, are all roads necessary?
Some roads have little traffic and are mainly used to park cars. The network of the city reaches its optimum use during rush hours. After rush hours many roads become quieter. Can these roads be used as effective space to accommodate programs that occur outside of rush hours?
This quick scheme shows how the city can begin to reclaim roads to support programs at specific times.I used a some software called space syntax [http://www.spacesyntax.net/] to generate this map showing the roads of Berlin. The sotware predicts the use of each road. The whiter the road, the more it is used. As you can see the software clearly defines the main arteries of the city.
I was skeptical that a program can predict such things, so as an indicator I overlaid a map of the bus routes of Berlin – and the bus routes lay on the main arteries predicted! Computers are amazing things!
From the maps above we can create new rules for a strategy that reclaims the roads. These rules are:
1. during rush hours all roads must allow vehicular traffic to run on them as the network of the city must be at its optimum.
2. before and after rush hours the roads can be reclaimed by the people of the city. New programs can exist thus creating a more localised and densified city only at specific times.
To introduce these new rules I used the method of a canopy. The simple idea of sheltering roads and making the outside inside would be enough to generate new life on the roads.
What this begins to do is allow for a new dialogue between permanent and temporary. Peoples homes would be permanent space, and they could go to work or school on the road outside.
This canopy deploys itself to indicate life on the streets.
The drawings above show what can occur on a daily basis that is based around the routine of going to work. However, the situation can become more complex if we take other tempos into account. The space syntax below of the immediate site predicts the use of the surrounding areas. There is a clear hierarchy of space being established. Specific programs based on duration can begin to inhabit spaces that are thought of as ‘dead space’ where as programs based on a daily week day routine can inhabit the roads.
Another option to re-claiming the roads.
Another method of re-inhabiting the roads would be the use of deployable inhabitable structures.