Strolling along the Rhine bank in Basel you often find the idea of a large, upper promenade accompanied by a smaller path close to the water level. This local typology we wanted to integrate in our new landscape design. Due to these different layers in height we can play with the various water levels throughout the year. During the high water level you are only centimeters above the water, while in the cold seasons with the lower water level you get more distance to it.
The landscape is structured in stripes following the flow of the Rhine, so while circulating on the main paths of the island, it is always possible to see the water areas. The border edges of each stripe are shaped as a bench and give the opportunity to have a rest there. Arranged side by side the stripes alternate in material and function. With the sloping topography over the whole island, various zones are created in different dimensions and levels of privacy. The vegetation emphasizes this longitudinal direction and divides these zones further into smaller specific areas.
The shape of the island is built up by a hard edge facing the Rhine and with a soft edge merging into the new river arm. Its river bed is going to be sloped down towards the Wiese to get a cushion like effect, which calms down the waterstream on the beachzone. A weir is placed near the end of the new river arm where it connects with the Wiese.
The buildings in the city part align themselves to the stripes going all the way over both islands, creating multiple new public open spaces.
The old silos are preserved while the walls will be removed and filled with new functions like showers, changing rooms and a café on the ground level and sitting platforms on the higher levels.
A hill in the center of the park gives the visitor a wide view over the border triangle, the Klybeck accommodation and the Novartis campus on the west side of the river. The hill will be built out of the excavated material from the new Rhein-arm, it houses a concert hall, that can be uses for many different activities. On the east side of the new Rhein-arm, the beach faces the wildly planted area of the hill, which is an integral nature reserve. Next to the beach the train tracks remain and are reused with movable coaches, which contain takeaways, flowerbeds or garden plots.
The Island is connected by ferry on the Rhein side and by tram on the Klybeck side. Around the hill there is a connecting boulevard that converges again when entering the new city part and leading to the border triangle. The boulevard in the city is a little higher and is the roof of a connecting parking lot, which can be entered through the new car bridge.
In the former harbor zone of Klybeck in Basel a new recreational area provides to the City of Basel various spaces, atmospheres and moments throughout the four seasons.
Through the reorganization and reallocation of Basels harbor a big area opposite the Klybeck neighborhood is left to be used in a new way. While designing a place for leisure, we need to consider that the previous function of this area and the proximity to the new harbor still makes a big impact. Also there will still be an important shipping traffic passing the site at the Rhine.
To create a place where one can enjoy Basels river bank and have a rest, the recreational area is introverted, embraced by stonewalls. The project is defined by those two sides: one which is more natural, in opposition to the constructed atmosphere. Besides, stairs and ramps help to design the different spaces. The beach forms a small bay giving an identity to this edge of Basel.
As an interweaving element joining the different parts together, two promenades, coming from the city center, cross the whole site and continue even further.
The project “Fractured Borderlines” works careful with the principles already proposed at the first review. Its most remarkable principle is the bipolar atmospheric structure of the project, to create on the one hand a dynamic, eroding landscape at the southern tip and on the other hand an artificial, constructed piece of an urban block in the north.
This piece of rough nature, relates directly to our intervention at the river bank of the Rhine. The project breaks up the hard structure along the river, and uses the process of sedimentation to create a second small island and the whole beach area. With an added concrete structure the hard edge is fixed and allows to exit swimmers the water. To distinct the beach area from the park the proposal doesn’t work with an explicit frame, but with an arrangement of big concrete walls, which are oriented north-south, what allows a smooth transition trough slopes with a clear direction towards the urban part.
The prolongation of the boulevard from the city, works besides the river bank of the Rhine, as a second backbone for the area, where the districts tramway connection is foreseen.
While the natural part beach and park is planned as recreation zone for whole basel, the upper urban setting, thought as an expansion of Klybeck district, offers new space for living, business and shopping.
To create a divers topography we cut out a platformed island. After we put on the left over material to create free shaped natural parkland. So we designed a hard-edged and soft curved shape of the Klybeck.For the people in the Klybeck it generates on one hand a new urban environment and on the other hand a recreational zone which affects also the whole city.The kly Island reacts to the different water changes over the year, in summer a small lake comes up to have a big water access and a calm water body to swim. Contrary in winter the island brings more open platforms to have winter markets or ice skating places.
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, special spaces, sculpting , subsequenced 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 is north-south oriented and slopes the most on the city and Rhine sides. It is cut longitudinally by the canal, consequentially both sides are specially shifted, articulating a diagonal topography. The hill is constantly cut by paths and river boardwalks. The “sculpting” together with the shifting gives to the topography of the hill its main shape.
Both exterior sides slope gently towards the city and the Rhine and and sharper towards the more intimate space of the canal side: 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 the where to sit and sunbath and a more wild side on the island park side.
The side is framed both north-south from two piazze, however of a very different character. The south one acts as an end to the promenade along the Rhine from the inner city and a point from which one can see the whole site with the hill. It is set in dialog with the hard stepped pointy edge of the island and it slopes down to a large beach that continues along the riverside until after the first catwalk to the island. The second piazza acts as a closing element to the sloping hill and as a buffer to the city.
The planting plan includes various trees that are to find on the Klybeck site of Basel such as populous tremula, populous nigra, tilia and robinia. The trees are organised as chaotic clusters, single and double rows and finally as single elements. The whole ensemble results in an extremely dynamic layered articulation of space and aims to integrate its physical scientific and and poetic properties.