Autor principal: Dana Cucoreanu, Tiberiu Bucsa, Ionut Popa, Hannes Schwertfeger, Nicolae Petrencu, Raluca Grecea, Alexandru Haraga, Oliver Storz
biologi: Matis Attila si Szabo Anna; hidrolog: George Pisculidis; peisagist: Diana Maria Mircea
The study area is like an island pushed and chopped from all directions by the built city, past, present and jet to come.
The project’s attempt is to negotiate these conflict limits and renaturalise the core.
In this perspective, the reading of the project can be done as the making of it, from all around towards the middle.
The Becas River.
Considered by the biologists as “a sanctuary for nature”, the recommended protection area seems rather symbolic. We propose enlarging it on both sides, allowing renaturalisation to prosper. We reccomend that the ongoing elaboration of the urbanistic plan for Sopor neighborhood would take this into consideration and reconfigure the profile.
Accessibility to the river for human beings is gradually limited by the renaturalisation itself, being reduced to peep-in’s from the transversal crossings and the end of the portico.
Backyards vs. protected nature
The limit on the north consists of a long row of private properties, facing the protected area with the back of their courtyards.
We consider allowing the renegotiation of this “sitting with the back towards” into an new relation. Gates might appear in the fences towards a proposed alley that surrounds the protected area, allowing for a rather intimate walk and for small neighbor gatherings.
New collective dwellings and their fences
The newly built blocks of flats and their inhabitants negotiate their relation with the proximity of nature in two ways: they profit from the view, while building a fence that marks their property, planted with an English lawn.
The practice is illegal from the regulations’ point of view and unethical.
We propose a renegotiation: fences disappear and the surfaces around the blocks become a common good and part of the public garden. Their gain for the residents is that they will no longer live near the park but in the park.
Comunity gardens now and further on
The presence of informal gardens on the north-west side of the protected area is not an exceptional case. Such practices have been common in socialist neighborhoods and they became possible when a few conditions were fulfilled: an apparently no man’s land, the presence of water, man’s need to work its own garden, the tolerance of the local administration.
We consider that this practice could be supported and perpetuated with a few updates: the negotiation of land usage should be organized cooperatively, the boundaries should not extend from the proposed ones, allowing a proper cohabitation between the public space, the more private presence of the gardens and a network of meeting spaces for both the local comunity as for visitors. Bird-watch constructions and community tables are set in the key points for a double perspective, inwards (community) and outwards (nature).
A fragile point
A narrow space can be identified between lake 3 and the new public garden. It is in the same time a connection point from the west towards the new park and the missing link between the protected habitats on the north and on the upper part of the lake. Looking back in Google-Earth, in 2003 it still used to be an ecological link. We propose the renaturalisation of the link and the postponing of the entrance area and of human activities towards south-east.
A private street near the public garden
A contradictory presence lays in the south of the park. A new neighborhood with individual housing, tiny courtyards and a private streets with “no entry” indicators on the fence surrounding it.
We propose a first stripe of negotiation between the city and the public garden, materialized in a generous alley surrounded by rows of trees. This stripe allows the link between the different built entities and their inhabitants from west, south and east, in the same time diluting the whole access area from points to a linear and permeable space.
Sports, buildings and invasive plants
In negotiating accesibility and a maximized area for nature versus a minimized area for antropic activities, all sports facilities, cultural activities and playgrounds are grouped in one compact stripe, at the south of the public garden.
A courtyard that hosts an exhibition of invasive plants becomes the core to which all built realities are plugged. The inner void, defined as a hortus conclusus, becomes both a connector and a threshold but works as a space for activities itself. From reading a book to having a coffee, from having a didactic tour with botanists to just stay and look at the grass grow.
For a neutral presence, sports fields have an overall aura of camouflage, surrounded by densly planted high trees and are treated like lawns rather than olimpic fields, while the buildings are treated rather as infrastructure objects.
While offering a dense kind of alternatives for spending time, this whole area works also as a buffer, allowing the eastern part of the public parc to be rather nature visited by man.
The presence of water
Historic maps show a long existence of waterlands on the studied area. The ones that escaped the offensive of the built environment are preserved and highly protected, allowing man to discreetly take a glimpse at their wonder.
Two new interventions that deal with water are proposed in this historical logic: a floodable area and a new canal.
The floodable area works as a natural response towards the large public park to come across the river, giving a less anthropic alternative. It plays with the fluctuant presence of water generating an rich natural habitat while acting like a initiating landscape in the path from the built city towards nature.
The new canal with its few enlargement areas zones up the middle area of the public garden in diverse sequences of space while playing along with the path of the alleys, the tree-islands, the outer limits or the nods of access.
Towers and viewpoints
The construction of this “peep-in’s” like viewing towers, bird-watching platforms, etc. are using plant–based or recycled materials and are minimal invasive constructed.
The old tree nursery, the new core
It is hard not to be fascinated of the abstract order of a tree nursery.
In the attempt to renaturalise this area, giving up completely the traces of this abstract order seems a loss.
Thus, stamps of rationally planted dense rows of trees are kept and integrated in the new landscape, becoming landmarks, structuring spaces and keeping a glance of memory of what used to be there.
The whole area is otherwise reconsidered following a scenario of what nature would do if left alone. Islands of trees and bushes are planted and let develop by their own rules, with few interventions, becoming habitats for small animals as visitable spaces for man.
The rest is grasslands, open spaces in between the tree islands, the dense limits and the presence of water. Some areas are mown from time to time in order to allow a rest for the visitors or a new path through the landscape.
We chose to show the masterplan in winter.
There is a certain sincerity in this season, where trees are nude and grass is mud, and water is ice and only one old man is walking his dog along the alley by the canal.