The recreational area “Collage between the rivers“ provides to the City of Basel various spaces, atmospheres and moments throughout the four seasons. The area is located in a former harbor area at Klybeck. Instead of having a loud harbor in front of them, the residents of the neighborhood Klybeck will now benefit from a direct access to the Rhine and from the new riverbank.
At the edge of Switzerland where the topic of the boundary given by the Rhine and the borders to France and Germany is very present, we pick up the theme of the connection. We want to create a continuous link that leads through a sequence of a urban district with lots of greenery over a multifunctional promenade and a wide park to two large beaches and the city.
The various, flexible places will be connected through the topography which also encloses some spaces by using terraces. An additional linear connection seems to be growing out of the former tracks as an infrastructure and runs over the whole area. Two old tracks, the existing bridges and the new infrastructure are a reminder of the previous function of this area and create a pleasant and unique harbor atmosphere.
With this political title we want to introduce our concept of having a dense city island and a smaller park island, which should stand out as a symbol for Basel. Because of the smaller shape of the park-island there is the possibility to extend the city to the border of the Rhine with a new layer of a dense neighbourhood. The alignement of the new promenade next to the bank is an important point in the project. The main path should work as one smooth line in order to cross the whole area in a nice way. The main square divides the promenade in two, so that the port in the north has its own access to the banks of basel in the south. The topography of the park-island has a long hill, which spans the whole island in order to create different athmospheres along the island.
We terraced the island to create different platforms in order to position various programs. For Basel we wanted to design a new leisure area which is both- dense urban space and open parkland. We understand the areas as one city zone so we blended them over each other. The tip of the island is a soft naturally shaped landing for swimmers. Further up the island platforms overlap the naturally topography and lead towards the kly_city northern tip of the island. Thanks to the different terraces the river forms the island in various contour during the seasons.
Contemporary cities need special spaces dedicated to trends. If one thinks about this necessity happening together with important logistical and cultural places such as the Basel area of Klybeck, one could really both imagine and achieve special spaces for the city. Notion of intimacy, special spaces, materials and topographical linear layering were for us main ideas of a special 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 gently slopes down on 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. Both an elevation and a section drawn for the first task, the week after the site visit, captured our attention on the sequenced and extremely linear organisation of spaces such as the sloping hard Rhine edge, the recent linear space intervention on the outer rail group, the middle silos part and the organisation of road, path and trees on the inner side of the site, towards the city. The two proposed hills slope gently 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 special spaces articulated by different materials and defining different activities. The topography follows the form of a valley to which one can access only by passing the top of the hill that works as a dune to enter the more intimate sloping landscaped park. The park is organised by water edges and materials which are applied linear on space and work as elements aiming to integrate the physical scientific and and poetic properties of this particular site.