Dancing Density . Europan 12 . MARLY

Runner-Up . design team: Alessandro PRETOLANI, Filippo PAMBIANCO, Davide LORENZATO, Andrea SPERANDIO . Europan

The town of Marly is a relevant evidence of urban development possibilities characteristic of many middle-sized centers in Switzerland. Dancing density project for Marly provides both an ad hoc solution as well as a methodology applicable to similar sites. Aim of the project is precisely finding a solution to the present situation, and at the same time promoting a sustainable city planning in the long-term.

The idea origins from the fundamental needs of present way of life split between the need of living in a specific place and the need of sharing public spaces with other citizens, which have to be proportioned to the number of users. For the new city gate we are considering to use a recognizable icon, a symbol for the high quality of life of the city.
The first element contributing to the definition of the project is calculating the building density, deriving from the analysis of the surrounding quarters. Northward, we can identify a low building density area, characterized by two- or three-storey buildings. Southward, we can find a medium-high building density area, with multi­storey buildings. Here, residential services and parking places are mainly underground, leaving wide space to green areas. This aspect of Marly's town is remarkable because it leaves ground floor available for green areas. Nevertheless, these kind of green areas lack of quality and of proper socialization zones.
The choice of the urban project for this case study was made starting from the assumption that contemporary way of living the city should be more human-approached. Therefore, the project for Marly's town doesn't only involve one simple function, using only one kind of buildings (mono-large); on the contrary, it involves buildings of different heights and kinds (multi-mix), creating an average building density compiling with the project area. As a matter of facts analyses of the field show that some areas of Marly's town are exclusively for residential use, while other ones have mainly business purposes, especially along the main road to Fribourg. This shift between the city functions makes the citizens loose the human relations to their neighbourhood unit, and force them to use means of transportation in order to enjoy services distant from the residence place.
The project we are developing for Winckler and Saint- Sacrement area preserves the most important buildings, such as the Church and the Warehouse. To the latter, a public value will be added by turning it into a theatre space, while preserving its historical memory leaving untouched the spaces already in use. The Winckler and Saint-Sacrement areas are taken into consideration as a single design area in the dancing density project; here, four neighbourhood units of different sizes will be built. These compound systems are slightly raised above the
sloping ground and involve the use of footings to create underground parking areas and exit lanes with slopes, leaving in this way the ground floor for public and relationship spaces. Each neighbourhood unit is made up of houses placed in multi-storey buildings, and of public spaces, housed inside lower buildings with gabled roofs. These low buildings remind of people-oriented city and are part of the footings, coming into direct contact with the ground. Thus, footings together with lower buildings represent a nearly stereotomic plastic model of the matter. This aspect creates a contrast to residential buildings standing on footings. In the project, these buildings are though as big wood piles weighing on a support level.
Project's public spaces have different functions suitable for spare time, such as children's playgrounds, basketball, volleyball, bocce playgrounds etc... There are as well green areas usable for citizens to grow fruits and vegetable gardens, for an autonomous use of land. Through this neighbourhood unit's configuration, each residential building is located in front of an open- door public space, which is connected to a shop or to a neighbourhood service - such as practices, didactic laboratories, kindergartens, libraries- housed in low buildings. This relationship between public and private level is the core of dancing dencity project, which aims at combining different densities in order to create a new urban dimension made of dynamic spaces.
Residential buildings' orientation follows the heliothermic axis, allowing a perfect natural enlightenment. Thanks to this expedient, each multi-storey building enjoys a beautiful view over the river, which would have been impossible with a different orientation. Multi-storey buildings are located according a regular scheme, in order to guarantee a proper housing density.
The planimetric regularity of multi-storey buildings is balanced by the articulation of the footings, which perfectly fits the place through parallel and diagonal cuts. The latter ones take as reference the location of the existing buildings. The variety of footings make public spaces lively: here, green areas have a great importance, strengthening the idea of sustainability and of dialogue with nature. Footings flexibility makes the project easy to adapt to the existing buildings too, so that they will be inserted in the dialogue among the new neighborhood units without any contrast.
Every neighborhood units shows a similar planimetric configuration; nevertheless, the unit facing the roundabout at the entrance to the project area (on the main street to Fribourg), has a higher footing. This unit is devoted to public functions. The footing hosts a pool, with changing rooms and services. On the upper floor there are public authority offices, while in the multi­storey buildings there are spaces suitable for different purposes (offices, practices, spas, etc...).
This neighborhood unit is treated differently because of its strict connection to the route de Fribourg, which leads into the project's area, until the central space, in front of the new theatre. This street is of great importance for the project; therefore, it should be treated as a low-speed boulevard, enabling an easy entrance to the housing and services area. Access for cars is forbidden inside the area: visitors and citizens might leave their car in the underground parking places, inside footings. This is the core of the project for the new quarter, represented by routes for pedestrians and bicycles.

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