Contemporary cities deserve sustainable attention, in every part, economically, environmentally and socially. Cities should be organic environments and not concrete masses surrounded by nature. The first step in achieving this goal is implemented through a reduction in urban traffic and a responsible use of urban resources. A new value is offered to the public space of the city, thus leading to an inevitable improvement in the quality of life. The concept of mobility, production and use of resources in society, is constantly changing, influencing urban planning in the relationship between public and private spaces. The project areas between the historic city center of Innsbruck and its river Inn can become the nerve center of all these changes. Mobility is the key word of the planning: it is foreseen the strengthening of the bicycle lanes, the increase of the capacity of the interchange parking lots in the peripheral areas, the subsequent removal of two driveways. The entire district becomes therefore totally pedestrian, designed with the conviction that it can be lived at any time of the day.
Travel becomes as important as its destination, so comfort and beauty are essential. Fresh air is one of the main resources most needed; if everyone’s life is better then, the life of the city community is also improved. The green areas have been increased and organized into small organic forests, and a new building is planned, a large green-house, where people can grow good food while respecting nature. A farm in the city: this iconic building, which wants to attract attention from the neighborhood and the opposite shore, is the answer to the need for the production of zero-mile resources. Growing and farming within the city can also be an opportunity for meeting, confrontation and community growth by spending one’s free time in an alternative and innovative way. Within this volume are also planned offices, co-working rooms, workshops and other shared spaces. Also envisioned is a mixed-use building in which different types of housing along with stores and services meet the aggregative needs of students, families, youth, and people in need. The volume is similar to the neighboring ones, but it has totally different facades.
The design approach breaks the city grid structure by applying a rotation to the new elements inserted, also following a demolition of some of the pre-existing volumes in the lot, thus changing the perspectives and creating a new public space that joins together the city and the river. The connection is both physical, thanks to the new bridge-market, and mental, thanks to the suggestive views that reveal the view of the water.
The neighborhood becomes an organic pedestrian public space, as it is already happening on the other side of the river, on which the buildings are no longer fixed in a system of streets, sidewalks and green areas, but are integrated into the surrounding. Public areas are represented by a system of equipped squares spread in a pedestrian area.
A new mercantile urban structure is determined by the historic building, the bridge and the large square that completes the neighborhood offering a flexible and representative space. The historical building keeps its function and its formal external aspect, but internally it is totally renewed: new wooden stalls, with a modular design that allow different combinations, alternating tables and benches for people to rest and eat some typical market specialties. The new bridge is both a link between the two banks of the river and a link with the new market: the bike path and the pedestrian path allow traffic to flow quickly sideways to the bridge while in the middle are placed wooden stalls that reconfigure the use and liveability of the bridge itself, becoming an “active” part of the city. Also here a rotation has been applied to the volumes for a 360-degree three-dimensional view of the city as it crosses the bridge. The square in front of the historic market becomes a large characteristic space, very flexible, that can be an open-air extension of the market itself, a space for different types of events and a natural meeting point that gathers people leading them to the new district of culture and leisure.
The relationship between the city and the river is evident, in fact along the neighborhood peninsulas of public spaces stretch out on the river bank configuring themselves as an extension of public space in an organic and inclusive vision of the entire urban space. The green areas are designed to bring nature into the city, that’s why they are concentrated in small wooded areas and do not follow rigid urban or human patterns.
Light and green were the guidelines for an intervention that wants to highlight the surrounding natural and urban context, with a careful sustainable urban approach.
CIRCOLO-A was founded in 2015 in Genoa by Simone Ierardi, Grabiele Molinelli and Valentina Penna. The studio is involved in everything related to architecture, design and landscape, focusing on sustainability and quality at every level: every work, from interiors to housing and public space design, is the result of observation, research and experimentation. The goal is always to improve the quality of life through beauty and functionality, with a keen eye for the environment and detail. CIRCOLO-A also collaborates with professionals from different fields and contexts, and studies new possibilities to transform spaces with workshops and exhibitions.