Contemporary cities need special spaces dedicated to trends. If one thinks about this necessity happening on the same site of an important logistical and cultural places such as the Basel area of Klybeck, one could really both imagine and achieve heterotopic spaces for the city. Notion of intimacy, sculpting and topographical linear layering were for us main ideas of a spacial articulation after the first site visit.
The idea of a hill as a counterpart for the city aims to achieve a balance with the artificial displacement of material (coming from the canal digging), and a cultural attractive view point for the layered landscape that slopes down on to the other side towards the intimate riverfront. Furthermore it has the dimensions to house infrastructure such as cafés, changing cabins and showers. The topographical orientation of the purposed landscape follows the linearity and the layered space of the existing site.
The proposed hill stretches north-south and steeply slopes towards a new Rhine arm, which cuts it longitudinally creating two different articulated spaces in the section. The shifting of the hill sides creates a displacement in the topography, which confers it its diagonal layout. As a consequence of this the hill is constantly cut by paths and river boardwalks in order for people to access the most intimate spaces. The “sculpting” together with the shifting gives the topography of the hill its main shape and creates a city space, whom threshold is the diagonal.
The slope towards the more intimate space of the of the new Rhine arm opens up to a constructed edge along the whole length of the boardwalk. The canal edge is organised in a flowing sequence of linear spaces articulated by different materials defining different activities: a walking promenade, a boardwalk on to sit on and sunbath and a more wild experience on the island park side.
The site is framed both north and south from two piazze, however of a very different character. The south one acts as an end to the promenade along the Rhine coming from the inner city and as a point from which one can grasp the whole site with the hill. This piazza is set in dialog with the hard stepped pointy edge of the island and slopes down to a large beach that continues along the riverside flowing in the next layers. A catwalk bridge connects the piazza to the Novartis Campus on the other side of the Rhine. The north piazza acts as a retaining element to the shifted topography and as a threshold to the new city on one side and the Klybeck area on the other side.
The planting plan includes various trees that are to find on the Klybeck site of Basel such as populous tremula, populous nigra and tilia cordata. The trees are organised as clusters, single and double rows and finally as single elements depending on their position. By this one can experience both canopy like spaces and single shaded restoring spaces. The whole ensemble results in an extremely dynamic layered articulation of space and aims to express its physical and poetic properties.