Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
FUZI pedestrian Candido in Innichen, Italy by AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT GmbH
October 15th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT GmbH
Conversions of old city centers into traffic-free shopping and tourists’ malls have frequently been performed according to trite recipes. The shops’ increase in turnover mostly stands in opposite to the commercial alienation of old structures – a process of ‘gentrification’ in which old substance is scenically pepped up, while local societies are hollowed out and superseded.
Contrary to the interpretation of the task, the commission itself developing from a small local competition was not at all typical of AllesWirdGut, declared freaks for cars as they are. Innichen experiences tourist peaks. In the off-season, the center is deserted, and the locals suffer from a hangover following the seasonal stress. The center’s novel open space development reacts to these seasonal fluctuations.
The varied zones are interactive and can easily be modified. Wooden grates set upon new event platforms are removed after the season proper and replaced by flowerbed trays. Alternately, individual panels can also be flooded with water, and the vacant spaces that are ‘too large’ in the off-season are given useful arrangements complemented by a wellness factor. Moreover, resourceful technologies allow the various new surfaces to be undertaken very inexpensively, thus releasing budgets for the ‘alternating phases’.
Innichen, a village located in the dolomites on the border ofAustriaandItaly, emerged at the intersection of two roads. The structure of the village obviously goes back to this origin. Three bridges were used to bring people and goods into the village. The intersection of these ways remained the centre of the village until nowadays.
Due to the infrastructure of the village (school, hospital, socialcentre,…) Innichen represents the centre of the Hochpuster-valley and is further an important holiday resort – the village has more guest beds than inhabitants.
Like many other holiday resorts Innichen decided to reduce the traffic in the village centre and to transform the streets and squares which were open to traffic into useful open-spaces. The engineered roads should be put at disposal for the pedestrians. By reducing the traffic to a minimum potientals were found: pavements were removed, open-spaces were generously redesigned and barriers were taken away throughout the villagecentre. With the help of contemporary measures and interventions it was managed to revive the character of the village as it was – like old pictures show – before private traffic took overhand.
Above that, the aim of the redesign was to create a wide range of useful spaces which have their own character and the right atmosphere for certain activities. Beside brightening up Innichen, the redesign concept used the potential to liven up the centre and to create convenient possibilities for activities and events.The new concept picked up existing structures and programmes and defined it in a clearer way – it made hidden qualities visible and useable.
A big challenge was to deal with the highly pronounced tourists seasons. While the village is bursting with crowd in winter and summer, it seems to be deserted in spring and autumn. With simple measures the useable surface can be reduced or enlarged: In spring and autumn clearly defined spaces are flooded with water and form small, geometric lakes, other spaces are replaced by embedded flower boxes. Like this, the density of the space is increased when it is not high season. These measures do more than just visual upgrading: they show social and psychological components, which influence the co-existence in a village in a positive manner.
The historically valueable village structure and building substance demanded much sensitivity while redesigning the centre. With the exclusive use of local materials and attention paid to historical references it was managed to embed the new appearance homogen and cautious into the surrounding landscape – darkgreen serpentine, taken from a close quarry, corresponds with the coniferous forest, the use of local gravel for the cemented surfaces reflects the colour of the sorrounding mountains and brings, with the help of contemporary interventions, the historical gravel road back into the village.
Contact AllesWirdGut Architektur ZT GmbH
Category: City Center