d e pa r t m e n t o f g e o s c i e n c e s a n d n at u r a l r e s o u r c e m a n a g e m e n t university of copenhagen
TEATERÃ˜EN: LANDSCAPE SCENOGRAPHIES URBAN INTERVENTION STUDIO 2016 LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING
Urban Intervention Studio 2016 Master Course in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design studies Division of Landscape Architecture and Planning, IGN, University of Copenhagen
Teachers Bettina Lamm, Associate Professor and Landscape Architect, University of Copenhagen Laura Winge, PhD student and Designer, University of Copenhagen Carsten Johansen, Architect and Wood Shop Manager, University of Copenhagen
Students Gudni Brynjolfur Asgeirsson, Sarah Østergaard Brun, Cæcilie Andrea Bue, Theresa Burre, Joan Campos, Alberte Marie Danvig, Marta Ewa Derska, Nis Hjortkjær Ekelund, Iasper Foldager, Martha Gottlieb, Iashan Hussain, Iristine Wallin Jensen, Rikke Josefsen, Marlene Ijeldsen, Nikole Irossner, Grace Lihn, Louise Juncher Lunde, Mathias Lysgaard Møller, Thomas Nichini, Caroline Mathilde Pfeiffer, Nanna Iontni Prahm, Marit Schavemaker, Iarin Skaarup, Helene Bruun Sørensen.
Collaborators Teaterøen, that resides on Lynetten, hosted us and provided an interesting context for students to interact with. Refshaleøens Ejendomsselskab, who generously invited us to “play on their fields”. Dewalt, who have provided the tools that made building our ideas on site possible. Junckers, that have supplied us with ample amounts of quality wood from their excess stock. The Urban Intervention Studio explores temporary use as a strategic tool for urban transformation. This is examined through research, transnational knowledge exchange and practical site experimentations. Here iterative interventions and design prototypes are explored as a more dynamic approach to the transformation of urban areas.
Authors and editors: Bettina Lamm, Laura Winge, Nicoletta Carrozza
2 Urban Intervention Studio
Urban Intervention Studio Site specificity - local transformations through temporary 1:1 projects
Landscape Architecture and urban design is concerned with the design and functions of our public outdoor spaces and landscapes. Through aesthetic and architectonic practices places are designed to respond to local situations and facilitate human uses. A public space can through its design support how people move, sit, play and interact. It can stage social behaviors and create access to the experience of our surroundings, ourselves and of each other. At the Urban Intervention Studio students explore methods of creating new public domains through making and building temporary small scale architectural interventions in 1:1 in close collaboration with local site and community. The drafting table is replaced by a strong presence on site developing projects in an almost hand crafted process. The aim of the course is to give students insight into and experience of how temporary interventions can act as agents of change in urban transitions, and how art, architecture and landscape can provide a site-specific response to place and program. We set up studio course away from the university and into sites in transformation that will provide us with interesting and relevant contexts to explore and respond to. The focus is urban areas in transition such as former industrial sites, challenged public domains and landscapes that has potentials for new content. We simultaneously explore from two directions and from two scales. On one hand we examine and reflect on current conditions in urban planning and urban transformation. On the other hand we work practice based prototyping urban interventions into the existing conditions of the place.
The course has run for five years going into its sixth season and each time we have sharpened and focused the methodologies. For nine weeks we set up a studio workspace within the actual environment that we use as testing ground and every year we move the studio to a new location. The brief the students are given provides a design challenge that respond to that particular situation. One year the aim was to transform a warehouse front for loading trucks into a public playful landscape, another year the metaphor of the folly challenged students to create visible destinations in a complex former industrial landscape. This year we located at TeaterĂ¸en and developed our interventions in close collaboration with local community â€“ with all the potentials and challenges this adds to the process of negotiating territories and uses. This former industrial and military site at the water front of Copenhagen provided us with an intriguing context of a place in transition to explore and respond to. A theatre community has entered the space creating some very interesting intersection point between two seemingly contradicting logics of emerging performance culture and deteriorating military defense structure. Through careful site readings we explored the physical, social and procedural conditions of the site and design site specific architectural interfaces with the ability to interact both with the landscape itself and with the performative ongoing cultivating of this former military site towards that of becoming theatre space.
Urban Intervention Studio 5
TEATERØEN Teaterøen is one of the woundrous places that almost doesn’t exist anymore in Copenhagen. The site is located at the north of Refshaleøen with a view to the Fort of Trekroner and the entering zone of the Copenhagen Harbour ‘Langelinie’. Teaterøen’s history is mainly that of a strategic military defence line. As one can see now, the barracks, the demagnetization station and the bomb shelters, the site was part of a larger series of naval forts and batteries. Further, it was constructed as a new defence line that went into construction in 1885. Once finished, it was one of the strongest fortifications in Europe. It included modern warfare such as 15cm artillery, mitralleuses and machine guns hidden behind concrete walls. This, however, did not last. These fortifications were too close to the capitol city of Copenhagen and became obsolete, since military warfare was developing quickly.
6 Urban Intervention Studio
A new defence line was constructed 30km west of the city, running from Iøge Bugt to Roskilde Fjord. In 1902, the older defence lines, including that of Teaterøen’s, where abandoned and today Teaterøen is a place dedicated to the performing arts. All the activities are practiced in order to experience art and performance as an emotional game and as a spontaneous act. Part of the unconventional project is how members of Teaterøen have chosen to interact with the space.The interior and exterior spaces are indeed lived and used as stage sets in a very fluid and organic way, free from superstructures.The concept is that, as well as the ideas, the performances and the sets, also the space is subject to a continuous necessity of transformation. It’s on this breeding ground that interventions have been installed.
SPATIAL POETRY: MAPPING OF SENSES AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS
“Travelling to Teaterøen gives you a feeling of passing through neverland”
“Strong wind, sleeting rain, and cold tempetures”
“The experiences of Theatre Island reveal a windy, abandoned island holding many hidden stories: the old versus the new, the man-made versus the natural, and many others”
“In this meadow, time seems to slow down. Though your friends sit nearby, there is no obligation to converse, no emptiness to fill with words”
“Fabrics and light move poetically in the wind”
“When arriving at Teaterøen, you meet an area which at first can seem inaccessible. It is a large open space without a certain di-rection to follow. It is easy to get lost and feel cut off from the city”
We experienced the harsh winds, heard the birds chirping, “and felt the nature around us”
“Hidden Things, Soundscapes, Fading out, Wild Nature, In-between, Open and intimate, So many little treasures”
Urban Intervention Studio 7
8 Urban Intervention Studio
Urban Intervention Studio 9
10 Urban Intervention Studio
THE ASSIGNMENT Urban Intervention Studio used the situation and metaphor of scenography to produce interventions that stage the landscape of Teaterøen. Through build installations students created architectural acupuncture that could be used as scenographies for performances and destination points in the landscape for visitors. With the installations there is an attempt to create new layers of accessibility, experience, and meaning in the open areas and in the corridors of the outdoor space addressing the notion of the public. An installation can be an attractor that draws us in, it can be a setting that invites us to take a rest, a situation that lets us experience the surroundings in a new way or a scenography that invites us to play and interact. A double awareness is on both the specific physical context and on the embodied experience through senses and movement.
12 Urban Intervention Studio
Three key themes are: To attract: The installation must be an attraction point in the landscape that communicates openness and draws people in responding to the visions of Teaterøen. To enhance: The installation must respond to and highlight significant qualities and narratives in the landscape and stage the experience of Teaterøen. To choreograph: The installation should produce a setting that people can engage in and with. It should create a meeting spot with the potential for people to connect, play perform and interact.
The method has some interesting implications for the design process, for the interpretation of the site context and particularly for learning about space through the act of making it by hand. The students do not only develop strategic and technical skills but more importantly a sensitivity to the environment they engage in. Initially the goal was to understand the specific place by drawing, mapping and registration of perception. Reading the place is to reinventing it. The embodied experience and analysis of the place itself precedes the presentation of the brief, the history and planning complex. Based on a phenomenological understanding of space this enhances a 1:1 perceptual reading of the spatial qualities and atmospheres, which is something that we believe heightens studentâ€™s awareness of the site specific. The crafting of the physical interventions itself seemed to embed spatial knowledge into the students on a much deeper level than had we worked in a more classical representational mode through drawings and models. It requires them to become specific about their project idea and they are able to experience how their interventions integrate in the local setting immediately.
All the way through students are in contact with citizens, municipalities, sponsors etc. and thus train skills of communicating and interacting with local stakeholders. The final outcomes have each year exceeded our expectations and it gives the students a profound sense of pride and accomplishment when they at our final opening event can present their produced landscape settings to peers, local stakeholders and the public. The site specific interventions created a relation to the feeling of contemplation and the scale of the body: interventions might help to relate body to the place. One group builded an aestetical wooden path to get close to the sea; another group made a wooden boat to float on the sea of grass and another a textile intervention giving form to the wind: the interventions made the visitor experience the here- and- now of the Theater Island, by devoting their senses or bodies to the spatial extensions. In that state of mind the Theatre Island became a perceived place, with interventions building on the atmosphere and locational narratives and history. Urban intervention studio decoded an recoded the Theatre Island.
Urban Intervention Studio 13
Urban Intervention Studio 15
WATER WITHIN REACH
JOY-THE ROCKING BO
18 Urban Intervention Studio
WATER WITHIN REACH
JOY - THE ROCKING BOAT
Urban Intervention Studio 19
JOY - THE ROCKING BOAT by Joan Campos, Iristine Wallin Jensen, Marta Derska & Theresa Burre
Our first visit at Teaterøen generated different impressions. We thought the atmosphere of the island was mysterious, wild, unwelcoming, peaceful and chaotic. The bizarre and uncharted way to Teaterøen made us question our sense of direction - it made us feel out of space. We experienced the harsh winds, heard the birds chirping, and felt the nature around us. It wasn’t until we all took the time to explore Teaterøen that we became more familiar with the space. We individually discovered a few charms such as trails going in different directions and benches situated in the tree areas. We also spoke to the locals and found the history and future of the island very interesting. These first impressions and gathered knowledge about Teaterøen became a main influence to our project development. We became more and more interested in recreating our team’s first experiences and reflect the instability of Teaterøen’s future for our intervention.
Joy - The Rocking Boat, is strategically located at a meadow in the central section of Teaterøen. This site, surrounded by tall grass, bushes and trees, is a prime location for experiencing nature. It triggers most of the senses. From this site, users will view different ranges of buildings, the harbour, and the wildness of the area. It is also relatively close to the harbour therefore the smell of the ocean breeze will easily reach this location. The tune of birds chirping and the wind blowing will also be experienced at this site. The site is also critical in recreating the sense of mysteriousness and discovery that our team has initially experienced. Joy will act as one of the few hidden charms to be discovered and used by explorers and locals. Our site is also close to multiple living spaces. In fact, Joy is located adjacent to a football field and a small sandbox. The installation will then be another object that the locals may use for enjoyment thus enhancing an atmosphere of entertainment.
20 Urban Intervention Studio
Urban Intervention Studio 21
OUR SITE Joy - The Rocking Boat, is strategically located at a meadow in the central section of Teaterøen. This site, surrounded by tall grass, bushes and trees, is a prime location for experiencing nature. It triggers most of the senses. From this site, users will view different ranges of buildings, the harbour, and the wildness of the area. It is also relatively close to the harbour therefore the smell of the ocean breeze will easily reach this location. The tune of birds chirping and the wind blowing will also be experienced at this site. The site is also critical in recreating the sense of mysteriousness and discovery that our team has initially experienced. Joy will act as one of the few hidden charms to be discovered and used by explorers and locals. Our site is also close to multiple living spaces. In fact, Joy is located adjacent to a football field and a small sandbox. The installation will then be another object that the locals may use for enjoyment thus enhancing an atmosphere of entertainment.
DESIGN OF JOY Concept - Our team remembered the joy we experienced discovering the little charms on the first day. It was very impactful in creating a sense of familiarity and connection to Teaterøen. Therefore we aim our landscape scenography to create the same senses for other visitors. We believe the feeling of ownership create strong bonds between user and object and create a sense of belonging to the space. We wish to enhance the perception of ownership for new visitors to possibly encourage another visit. Joy conserves the excitement of discovery in a mysterious, seemingly private and inhabited meadow area. If a lost visitor finds Joy by chance, the subtle quality of such discovery will make the visit little more unique. It will create a positive and lighthearted imprint in one’s memory which is a good connotation of happiness, freedom and privileged feeling to know a secret. Once the joy of discovering a charm at Teaterøen is experienced, Joy presents the freedom to interpret its’ use. It is designed to give users the option to relax or play. Users can play with the rocking action or immerse themselves with the natural surroundings by being still on the installation. The sound of wind, birds chirping, and the closeness to grass will be enhanced once the user decide to be static. Whether it may be relaxation or play, our landscape scenography also cater to the current residents and regular visitors. Similar to new visitors, it provides a space for intensifying senses. It will also enhance the atmosphere of play to an already existing football field and sandbox. Finally, Joy may be used as a theater prop, complementing Teaterøen.
22 Urban Intervention Studio
Ideation - We began our creation by brainstorming three themes: attract, enhance, and choreograph. Once we discussed our first impressions and personal interests, we soon found that we would like to design an installation that will create movement as well as preserve our initial experiences. As we continued to communicate our ideas in sketches, gestures, and photos, we created more metaphorical connections as well as practical uses of our idea. Our boat-shape installation purposely reflects the position of Teaterøen by the harbour. It’s rocking sensation generates a sense of instability reflecting the island’s current situation and it’s ambiguous future. The size allows two lying adults or four seated adults to create an interactive atmosphere. The height is designed to be comfortable for sitting and lying. Only its highest points will be visible to keep the sense of mysteriousness similar
to Teaterøen’s location in comparison to the larger Copenhagen area. Joy is covered in transparent wood oil with hints of blue, to symbolize the sky and water, and green, to mirror the grass. The bright colors not only represent the sense of playfulness but the inconsistent color scheme symbolizes Teaterøen’s uncertain future. The Name - “Joy - the rocking boat” is very representative of the location and our design concept. “Joy” because it is more common to name a ship with a female name. It is also a short version of the word “enjoy” which is an emotion we hope to invoke. “The rocking boat” reflects the instability of Teaterøen’s future.
Urban Intervention Studio 23
40 3,20 meter long
3,36 meter curve kurve
Prototyping - We began our process of prototyping with a string to visualize the height (0.8 m) and length (3m). This was to test how curvy we wanted the whole boat to ensure comfortable sitting and smooth rocking. Then we painted the size on concrete (3m long and 1m wide) to determine how many people can use the boat. Lastly, we created a model in 1:3 size to better understand the construction process and test if rocking is possible. Building - After careful measurements, we cut the plywood to create the sides of the boat. To ensure the plywood will bend to the shape of our design, we made grooves throughout the plank. We continuously poured water on the plywood to keep it flexible. We then outlined the curves onto the pinewood planks. After polishing, we placed each pinewood plank 1 cm apart from each other. We began cutting the pinewood planks from the center outwards to each corner. We had a few extra pinewood planks for under construction. Before securing the planks on top of the boat, we screwed the under construction first. Our construction process had a slow start but with a help of our friends and family, the rest of the building process became more familiar. Joy is sized at 3m length, 1 m wide, 0.8m at the ending points and 0.4m at the middle. After construction, we used water dissolved acrylic blue and green paint for some pinewood planks. Finally, we coated the whole ship with protective layer of wood oil.
24 Urban Intervention Studio
REFLECTIONS Opening Event - Our design concept and ambition for Joy came to life during the Opening Event. We used our installation as a stage as one would for a performance while interested individuals interacted with Joy as a resting space and play object. Although Joy was left distant from the majority of visitors because the opening event was held at the waterfront, a few of the visitors came to interact with her. The remoteness of our installation strengthened our design concept because Joy is meant to be hidden where intimacy to nature is more enhanced. It was tempting to bring Joy by the waterfront for others to enjoy, but we believed that it was best to keep her within the designed context.
Foreseeing Joy’s future - Joy acts as a special prototype in our growing skills. As a team, we believe it is possible to construct the rocking boat much better than we did, moreover it can be placed at different urban surroundings. We hope our design concept continues to be in effect so that more people will be attracted to the idea of returning to Teaterøen. We also hope that the workers of Teaterøen utilize Joy as they seem worthy for visual arts and playfulness. We would be delighted to see more and more people enjoy the idea that ‘they can play with the person [they] sit with’ as Peter Iirk (director of teaterøen) said.
Urban Intervention Studio 25
Meadowtation Caroline Pfeiffer, Grace Lihn, Kashan Hussain and Rikke Josefsen
Introduction The relationship between theatrical scenography and nature gave our group the opportunity to create an installation that invites you into a “wild” landscape where you have the chance to experience calmness within wilderness. This is a place where you can meditate in the calm sound of nature or create an atmosphere of “hygge” with your friends. With this project, we aim to open up the meadow space and invite people into it to experience its qualities. The installation also seeks to enhance the playful and creative nature of Theatre Island. Our first interpretation of the meadow was that it needed some kind of visual installation for people to use. Initially this place has been kept as it is because it already appears as a blank, open stage for all kinds of performances.
Theatre Island is located at the far northwest corner of Refshaleøen, which is a former military area from an old Danish fortification area. The island’s built constructions were originally designed as a defense of the Danish territory, but are today transformed by Theatre Island for use in Danish and international art performances. The built constructions consist of the main building in front of the entrance, two bunkers, a harbor office, houseboats, the REDA A/S office building, and a demagnitizing station at the far end of the site. At the edge of the site one will find a beautiful panoramic view of the old Copenhagen city with Amalienborg, the marble and gothic church, and “the little mermaid” sculpture, as well as the development of the new city Nordhavn and the headquarters of Mærsk. The experience of this breathtaking view gives you the feeling of being inside “the eye of the hurricane” looking towards the city of Copenhagen. Theatre Island seeks to create a space where people from all corners of society can gather and express themselves through theatrical performances. They want this place to become a cultural meeting point where people can rent out the space for different occasions, yet they don’t really want too many visitors to use the space without permission. Here you can feel welcome and as much a part of the community when you meet people and say “hello.” Seemingly abandoned and desolate when absent of theater groups, it is a place with great opportunities to change and develop in the future. It is a place where both professional and burgeoning performance artists can find room for expression, be it for two days or two months. At Theater Island, “everyone is human and no one is particularly special.”
Upon first glance, the meadow feels abandoned and lacking activity. Yet, there are a plethora of architectural values and qualities within the space itself. A walk through the area reveals two types of landscapes – straight paths and meandering paths. Here, one can explore many architectural elements, such as paths, prepositions, human senses, a change of atmospheres through time, and a feeling of timelessness. The experiences of Theatre Island reveal a windy, abandoned island holding many hidden stories: the old versus the new, the man-made versus the natural, and many others.
26 Urban Intervention Studio
Concept Our project, “Meadowtation,” reflects the connection between being alone in the wilderness and being surrounded by the calm sounds of nature. We wanted to create something to arouse people’s interest and curiosity in the meadow so much that they would not be able to resist walking in and experiencing the lush nature and tranquility. We asked ourselves, “How can we enhance the wilderness and unwelcoming feeling of the place, while still creating an attraction and connection with the context of Theatre Island? How can we create a space which draws people together to interact with not only the environment, but also with each other?” We wanted to reuse and upcycle local materials to create some of these connections, as well materials that are inherently lightweight, so that our installation would be movable.
The summer sun warms the ocean breeze as it tousles your hair, bees buzzing and butterflies fluttering around your ankles. The tall grass invites you to sit; it’s un-manicured (“wild”) sea encourages you to forget how much dust you’ll collect on your clothes and just enjoy the moment. A subconscious pull draws your fingers through the grass and you find yourself playing with the smooth blades, twisting them into knots with daisies and dandelions. When was the last time you let yourself play in the wilderness? Whispers the wind in your ears. A subconscious pull draws your fingers through the grass and you find yourself playing with the smooth blades, twisting them into knots with daisies and dandelions. When was the last time you let yourself play in the wilderness? Whispers the wind in your ears.
In this meadow, time seems to slow down. Though your friends sit nearby, there is no obligation to converse, no emptiness to fill with words. The calm blissfulness visible on your faces as you bask in the sun shows that you are all experiencing the same hygge. Smartphones and the internet become irrelevant; birdsong creates a natural, unending soundtrack as you are pulled deeper into your own thoughts until body and mind reconcile in a state of tranquility – one that is increasingly more difficult to find in the fast-paced life of the urban citizen. But here, here in this warm wild meadow, you can find yourself. We invite you to reflect, to listen to your own consciousness, here in the meadow. Sit among the butterflies or lay down upon a bed of old sails, and close your eyes. Breathe deeper. Free your mind from the desires and distractions of corporate society. Some call this meditation. We call it meadowtation.
Urban Intervention Studio 27
Design process During the registration and sketching, we decided to pick out three locations on the island where we felt a special connection. We found many locations that had great qualities we wanted to enhance, but ultimately we chose the grassy area in the middle of the island. Here, we felt drawn to transform a space that seemed isolated from its surroundings. It was a place that people didn’t really go to because of its high and dense grass and the log border surrounding it. However, we especially enjoyed the calmness that the isolation created and decided to choose this space because we saw its potential as a social space that incorporates the local history and culture.
“A seagull cries above my head. I can hear the cranes moving. The wind is cooling and the chervil is swinging its white umbels from side to side. My dog found something between the old wooden logs, which surrounds the meadow next to me. It was a long walk out here but I brought my thermos with hot coffee. There are insects in the air, I should have worn long pants. I am walking with the demagnetizing station in my back and the big building housing the theatre island cafe in front of me. On my right side the dark wooden houseboats are slowly rocking on the water in the small harbor entry. Also sail boats with big masts are tied to the dock with turquoise rope.
Through the midterm presentation we asked our classmates to describe their first impressions of the meadow; their answers largely revolved around concepts of “hygge,” lushness, home, relaxation, and meditation. It became clearer to us that sitting within the meadow - being far away from the inner city and being surrounded by untamed nature - had a stronger impact than what one could see outwards from the meadow. We learned to focus on the experiential potentials of the space itself, rather than its connections with its physical context. Throughout the design process, we realized that we needed to be clearer with our vision of how the installation should be perceived by its audience, especially the people living in and working at the area. We faced many challenges in narrowing down our project themes and design details. The following narrative helped us create a clearer vision to work towards as we began constructing models and prototypes:
Copenhagen feels far away here where the feeling of the old harbor mixes with the upcoming theater culture. My dog disappears in the high grass on the meadow on my left side. Right there in the middle of the wilderness I see a turquoise fishing net stretched out between some dark wooden planks. It reminds me of the fishing net hanging to dry on old harbor. I step over the old wooden logs and move through the grass and flowers filled with spiders and ladybugs. There is no path here, but the need for coffee and to sit in the net is stronger than the fear of spiders. The ground is bumpy underneath my feet. I sit down on the net saying: “aaaahh”. I am never leaving here. But it doesn’t matter. A bird is puttering around in a bush behind me. I hear the dog sneezing somewhere in the grass. The clouds are forming figures on the sky. What a lovely Thursday.”
28 Urban Intervention Studio
Construction phase Because we wanted to incorporate local materials and minimize our environmental impact, we chose to upcycle wood and old football goal nets to create the main elements of our installation. The wood was left over from art installations created by Illutron Collaborative Interactive Art Studio, while the netting was from Iløvermarkens Idrætsanlæg. Though remnants of Copenhagen urban life, these materials ultimately create the foundation upon which “Meadowtation” is possible – showing how the tranquility of the meadow can be brought to the urban public in subtle and innovative ways. When constructing the wooden frames, we calculated measurements to maximize stability without compromising the lightweight movability of each hammock. During the construction process, we questioned the durability of the frames, adjusting our design so that they would not feel as flimsy. We joined the wood at corners using an interlocking design (created using a jigsaw and wood glue), similar to designs used in Japanese furniture. The wood was also set in place using screws. The netting was then placed over the wood frame and attached along the edges. At first, we questioned the installation’s durability, but we later learned to trust our construction and were pleasantly surprised at its ability to hold weight – this trust is much like that which one must have when exploring the wilderness.
Urban Intervention Studio 29
30 Urban Intervention Studio
Reflection In retrospect, we realize that the process of creating this installation very much encompasses the ideology of the installation itself. The process was filled with uncertainties (such as when we had to make design decisions without knowing what materials we would have access to), reconciliation of conflicting ideas, and the fear that our installation might not meet our expectations. Likewise, the installation itself conveys a sense of security within insecurity and a merging of the urban and the natural into an object whose use is completely dependent upon the whim of a
human passerby. Will these hammocks be cherished by residents of and visitors to Teaterøen? Will they remain in the meadow in which we have so intentionally placed them? We think so – we hope so – yet we will never know for certain. It is an installation caught in the flux of weather patterns, public-private jurisdictions, and socio-environmental interaction – all while it beckons its audience to step out of that same whirlwind and find a different world through the act of “Meadowtation.”
UrbanStudio Intervention 31 Urban Intervention 2016 -Studio Meadowtation
Water Within Reach Cæcilie Andrea Bue, Helene Bruun Sørensen, Iasper Foldager, Marlene Ijeldsen
The project Water Within Reach emanates from a curiosity towards the relation between the concrete edge of Teaterøen and the water surrounding it. The dominating edge creates a border and separates you from the water below; lots of water out of reach. The purpose of the project has been to transform the edge from being a limit into a potential of combining land and water. We want to invite people to cross the border by creating an access to the water. In this way the intervention dissolves a barrier and creates an intimate space by the water, where you get in contact with and sense the constantly changing sound and movement of the water.
Master plan 1:18000
When arriving at Teaterøen, you meet an area which at first can seem inaccessible. It is a large open space without a certain direction to follow. It is easy to get lost and feel cut off from the city. Though Copenhagen is close, it suddenly seems so distant. The raw post industrial buildings seem abandoned, in decay and nature is taking over. You sense the wind and the water surrounding the island, beating against the concrete edge. But under the surface something sprouts. Places are taken into new use and given new purposes.
The concept of the project is developed in line with the visions and values of Teaterøen; sustainability, creativity, authenticity and diversity. Existing elements are given new purpose, shape and use in a way that emphasize and stwage the current qualities of the area. The intention is to create an intervention that performers and guests can interpret and interact with in their own way. By enriching and enhancing already existing elements with new context aware additions, we reinterpret the perception of a site and make its qualities stand out. Focusing on the edge and the water the concept of the intervention is based on accessibility, senses and context. The possibility of getting to the water is essential. Without it, you do not have the experience of the water movement, the sound of the waves beating against the concrete and the feeling of the splashes on your skin. When standing on the edge the wind carries sounds from the island and across the harbour and it all comes together in a diverse soundscape. Being below terrain you are sheltered by the concrete walls, which concentrates the sounds of the moving water and emphasize your observance of the surroundings and your own bodily experience of site and materials.
The island conceals a lot of hidden treasures which you will find when exploring the area. If you make your way to the tip of Teaterøen a 360 degree view to the relief of Copenhagen reveals itself and place you in the bigger context. The contrasts on the island come together and create an identity and narration about what Teaterøen have been and what it has become. In the process of developing the concept for the intervention we have considered the themes of relation between scale, time, history and senses.
32 Urban Intervention Studio
Urban Intervention Studio 33
Site During registrations and explorations in the area, we were all captivated by the feeling of being cut off from the water, in an area so dominated by it. The edge is a border and a limit to your exploration rather than an invitation to get to the water. We decided to create this access by designing an installation from edge to water. When choosing the specific site for the intervention, we explored the area with the concept in mind. After testing different locations we decided on the pier on the west tip of the island. We were all naturally drawn to the pier as being the outer tip of Teaterøen with a 360 degree view point. It has the experience of both the small scale of the inner harbour and the big scale of the view to the city and serves as a reminder of the context. The stones by the pier have a poetic sense with the seaweed dancing in the water and the waves splashing over them. By creating an intervention that connects the edge and the water through the terrain of the stones we simply enhance an existing access. Being on the stones you are shielded by the concrete wall and protected in an intimate space. The waves caused by the passing boats create sounds and feelings of water splashing into the stones and the pier, which let you get in touch with the water in different ways. From the installation you have a view towards the water as well as the installation is visible from the water. It is in line with Teaterøen’s vision of branding its location as a place related to Copenhagen and not cut off from the context. The intervention will draw attention to the island and hopefully bring Copenhagen and Teaterøen closer together in the minds of people.
Design and Construction When choosing to work with the stones on the west tip of Teaterøen, we were able to work with a site-specific design, not compromising the already existing terrain. We are simply enhanc-
ing and adding value to the existing site. By building the deck and staircase into the concrete walls with respect for the shapes of the stones, it seems like the wood is melting in between the stones. The access is made easier by choreographing a flow from edge to water where you get in contact with the different materials; stone, wood and water. The principle for the transition between wood and stone have been of great importance in the design process. The original purpose of the stones is to prevent the concrete pier from eroding, and they have not been placed in any particular way, but now they seem more organized and have been given a new purpose. Since the stones are various and unmanageable, making a detailed construction drawing was not an option. The stones set the agenda and controls the orientation, placement and size of the installation. The battens are a donation from a local art collective, Illutron, and are individually adapted to the different cavities between the stones, creating a locked construction, upon which oak planks are attached one by one creating the deck. The oak planks are donated by Junkers, the largest sawmill and parquet company in Denmark, and are discarded wood from floors. When placing the lower deck our intention has been for people to get in physical contact with the water, being able to dip their feet and explore the universe of the seaweed. The deck is also placed to stage the stone now penetrating the wood. The way the wood is cut and meets the stones enhances the qualities and shape of every stone around the plateau not only drawing attention to the new qualities of the wooden deck but also the existing potentials. When building a site-specific construction like this, you truly get in contact with the site. Your body has to work with all the limitations that comes with wind, waves and the uneven ground of the stones.
Plan 1:16 34 Urban Intervention Studio
Checking sites and water
Even the animals see the potential
Urban Intervention Studio 35
Experience The possibility of discovering the installation yourself, has been the intention all along. Like the way TeaterĂ¸en is a hidden treasure itself. You have to go explore the island to discover the construction we have made. Naturally people are drawn to the outer tip near the demagnification station, to feel the fresh air and water, and experience the difference in scale. By making an intervention on the stones, we have incorporated a new level, and your senses will be more aware of the water and materials when descending and being shielded from the wind and everyday soundscape.
Throughout the construction process people in the area have shown great interest in the intervention and have been truly happy that we were creating access to the water. They started using the construction even before we finished it, and brought friends to see the progress. We have seen a curiosity towards the water and amusement of the merging of the materials used. When standing on the edge looking at the stones you feel the urge to walk or jump around on them, or sit on them and enjoy the view. But to many people the jump from the edge down is still too high. The stair construction have made the descend possible and now invites to further interaction with the stones.
36 Urban Intervention Studio
Because of the uneven terrain on the stones you have to use your body in different ways than when walking on even ground. You must consider your next move and in this way you become more aware of your body and how it relates to the landscape.The lower deck allows you to sit and invites you to put your feet in the water, reach for the seaweed or place yourself on the stones where you fit in. It is a calm place for contemplation or social conversations. This became clearer during the vernissage when people sat down wherever they wanted, stones and deck alike, drinking beer, talking and enjoying the sunset over the city. The intention has been to make an intervention that would connect with both visitors, inhabitants, audience and performers of the island. We have seen dancers interpret the installation, inhabitants of the houseboats passing by daily to follow the progress and soon be able to connect with the water. We have seen bike riders and runners lighten up when seeing the new possibility of finally touching the water, and we have even seen people in kayaks being interested in entering the deck - making the access to the water an entrance to land. Through this course, we had the opportunity to enhance a site with a new intervention build in 1:1. We found that TeaterĂ¸en was surrounded by a lot of water out of reach, and with this installation the water is now within reach.
Urban Intervention Studio 37
Theatre Quay // Teaterbryggen Group 2: Gudni Brynjolfur Asgeirsson, qpm616 Martha Gottlieb, sdn751 Thomas Nichini, vxj773 Nanna Iontni Prahm, dqz896 Teaterøen is a new platform for performing arts north of Refshaleøen approximately 4 kilometres from Copenhagen City Centre. Originally, the area was part of the old military defence surrounding Copenhagen and consists of an artificial landfilled island surrounded by the water of Øresund. Throughout its military history, Lynetten Base housed approximately 300 soldiers. Bunkers, buildings and other elements in the landscape reveal this history and create a unique and truly experiential atmosphere. Indeed, some sites feel exciting and adventurous whilst others can be frightening or relaxing. Upon arrival at Teaterøen on the first day of school, inauspicious weather dampened the experience revealing some of the harsher elements and isolation of the place. Strong wind, sleeting rain, and cold temperatures only intensified the distance of Teaterøen, especially when coming by bike ride. Furthermore, even locating the place is difficult: signs for Teaterøen lead you on the right way yet, metal fences with barbed wire and signs saying “PRIVAT OMRÅDE: ADGANG FORBUDT” tell you that you are not welcome. These mixed signals are confusing to a first-time visitor in the area, making you question: where can I go, and where can’t I?
Another barrier exists between the ground and the water which defines a large part of the area. Despite opening the space to the public, the old military base acts as ironic metaphor by creating a fortification to the water’s edge. Whilst still cognisant of these obstacles, Teaterøen still captured our imaginations as a place of potential. The situation at Teaterøen In 2013, Peter Iirk (our main contact throughout this course), Martin Ammundsen and Tilde Inudsen founded Teaterøen, a new platform for Danish and international performing arts and co-creation. The new culture, that Teaterøen strives to create, consists of four legs: productivity; performance; residency; and development/research. Peter’s intention with Teaterøen is to embrace an unclear future; the projects themselves clear the path for the area. Furthermore, he emphasizes that a “finished” project is less interesting than an open-ended project in development. Even still, he acknowledges the clash between the original purpose and the new ones forming, which should be handled with care.
Situational plan.1:1000 38 Urban Intervention Studio
Program The performances at Teaterøen do not limit themselves to a few traditional indoor stages but rather, creatively reimagine the whole space and even theatre itself; for example, working on top of the theatre bunkers. Our interpretation of Teaterøen’s situation involved understanding the various layers that exist. Firstly, there is a historic layer from when the island was used by the Defence Command Denmark (Forsvaret). The second layer is the current with the culture and aesthetics that Teaterøen adds to the site. Thirdly, there are the interventions created by the Urban Intervention Studio of 2016. Finally, there is the future as the last unpredictable layer. Our intention is to emphasize and acknowledge these overlapping but distinct narratives, as we believe that their presence creates a fascinating and unique landscape scenography. In recent years, an increased interest in the nearby surroundings of Teaterøen (e.g. Halvandet, Papirøen, The Royal Danish Opera, and the Bungee Jump) and events (e.g. Distortion, Copenhell, Move Copenhagen, and EuroVision) attract new people to the area. These different uses in the nearby surroundings culminate in Teaterøen not being seeming so distant, especially upon secondary visits. This transformation of former military and industrial brownfield areas is ongoing and captivating for many demographics, landscape architects included. Ellen Braae, professor at University of Copenhagen, has studied preservation and transformations of post-industrial urban landscapes. As many industrial sites have over the last couple of years lost their function it is an important issue to address how to give these areas a new function, and let their history enrich the sites. In working with a small-scale transformation, we realized the importance of not erasing history but rather, to let it shine through in our project. With a local plan for the area in 2023, we hope projects like ours will underline the importance of preserving history and add positively to the identity of Teaterøen.
After coming together as a group, we quickly agreed on a basic approach: whatever the project, it should expose and enhance a pre-existing element of Teaterøen. In doing so, potentially hidden or practically non-existent values may emerge that attract, enhance, and choreograph people through the space. During site explorations, we found many inspirational features for potential projects; however, the crane magnetized us, unloading a series of progressive questions and consequential potentialities: • • • •
How can we connect the island to the water? What does the crane frame? What axis does that frame create? How does framing rediscover both Teaterøen and oneself in context of a geographical location (e.g. to the old city, Refshaleøen, Nordhavn)? What dialogue exists between the crane and the ladder? How might enhancing this dialogue invite people to use this space and overcome the barrier of the edge?
Our concept We developed our concept by combining the initial themes that attracted our group (play, framing, and the water) with answers to the natural questions posed by our site. The crane acted as a natural frame of the Marble Church and many of Copenhagen’s iconic towers. Furthermore, its location on the edge of a 3 metre drop into the harbour potentially invites users to bath area. Conveniently, a ladder exists only 7 metres from the crane which led us to the question: if we linked those two features, would this space become recreational? Thus began a process of refining the themes of framing, play, and the water into a final concept. While comfortably inviting you onto and over the edge of the water, the deck begins the dialogue between the crane and the ladder; linking these two elements consequently addresses
Urban Intervention Studio 39
play by inspiring people to use the water. In addition, the swing - which can be pushed or pulled 360° over the water - enhances play and simultaneously draws attention to the crane’s natural frame. In summary, our concept reframes not just the breathtaking view of Copenhagen in the background but also, encourages new uses and perceptions of Teaterøen. Theatre Quay: from vision to installation The 8 week period of our design process created an intensive atmosphere because of the necessity to analyze the area, come up with idea, develop it into a concept, and finally construct the finished installation. Without the engagement of the local workers, many components of our project may not have happened. For example, lubricating the crane, welding new locks, and creating future designs for the ladder. We would like to thank all the workers for their time and energy throughout the project. After the first registration assignments and abstract drawings, we met and talked without constraints regarding our sentiments and ideas for both Teaterøen and the area in a larger context. During this process, we tried to stay objective and not fixate so that, by waiting for something to naturally strike us, our concept would be engaging and likely, incorporate many collective themes. Our idea sharing and drawings did not result in a finished idea; however, we gained an important and influential understanding of Teaterøen.
As deadline for the choosing of site approached, we often spoke about the bunker as being an interesting site. But we never collectively agreed it was the site that could fulfill our ideas and aspirations. Finally, we stumbled upon the old crane by the waterside. It caught our attention immediately as it perfectly framed the view to the Marble Church in Copenhagen. As some old rope and wires were still attached, we quickly imagined a fun and interactive scene with some sort of swing hanging from the crane. A few meters left of the crane we noticed the old ladder and suddenly a concept started to take shape. We noticed a small and undefined area between the ladder and the crane that we wanted to define as a space where you could stay.Our initial captivation with the site was the frame created by the crane’s semi-permanent rusted position. However, after enlisting help from the workers to restore 360° rotation we could not longer lock it back. A reverse process began to add a lock that could reframe Copenhagen while keeping the new potential for movement. These twists in the design process were commonplace and provided valuable tools for learning.
Sections of our design. Bottom section in scale: 1:200
Prototyping Prototyping is part of the process to refine the design of our intervention. For the presentation, we laid out some red metal plates to define where the wooden deck would be, and we hung up a fender buoy to demonstrate the swing. Initially, we spoke about painting to define the frame so we also printed out the dark turquoise colour of the Teaterøen-logo. As a way to test the colors we also did some quick photoshopping. We received positive and constructive feedback which organically lead to a lot of questions that we wanted to answer. What materials should we use for the deck and the swing? Do we want to emphasize the crane and the ladder’s historic value through the existing patina or should it be retold through a new bright color? What about safety? Those were just some of the questions that we drew out from our prototyping.
40 Urban Intervention Studio
Installation We kept on drawing and exploring our site as we started to define the area. Indeed, by digging away the old grass and soil that over time had grown on the cobblestones underneath we found old bullets that emphasized the area’s military history. Workers from Teaterøen helped us understand the crane’s his tory and functionality. Initially, the crane functioned for loading and unloading cargo from boats and small ships. They also helped by restoring the crane’s movement and measuring the depth of the water (3 meters).As we removed some of the rust, we revealed that the blue exterior of the crane was just one of many green and yellow historic layers of colours that the crane knew. Even though we initially decided on painting the crane, this discovery encouraged us to leave the crane. Instead, we would emphasize and underline its history by showing the different layers of old paint and rust. We contacted both the local blacksmith and a JD Stål to help us fix the ladder and the crane. Without permission from the Defence Command Denmark, the blacksmiths politely declined fixing the old rusty ladder; however, Peter decided that we should come up with different designs for a new ladder, and instead have the local blacksmith, Sune, constructing it. We decided on the materiality of the deck to be oak wood from Iøge Junkers as it would correspond well with the maritime atmosphere of wooden boats and the material is comfortable for sitting. With our first prototype, we used red metal plates, and really liked the colour that matched the demagnetization station.
However, throughout the process we spoke with Group 5 working next to us. Since they also used the same wood, we commonly decided on keeping its natural colour and to focus on the materiality by sanding it down and varnishing it. In terms of defining the size and dimensions of the deck, the length should be defined by the space between the ladder and the crane and the width should be defined by the concrete edge and the cobbles. It took many drawings and discussions with a carpenter to figure out how to construct the deck because of angles, uneven surfaces, and materials. When laying out the deck, part of the wooden planks went over the edge. Our first intention was to saw off the part that went over the edge. After considering this option, we realized that the experience of swinging your legs and hovering over the water differentes our edge further and provides an interesting experience. The deck defines the areas between the crane and the ladder. The result is that when coming out of the water and up the ladder, you will step down onto barren ground before stepping on the wooden deck. Since the new ladder is not built, we decided to leave this part of the deck open-ended. When the new ladder is installed, it would create a more finished design to let the deck continue on to the ladder.As we focused a lot on materiality throughout our process, we wanted the swing to be a fender buoy hanging in hemp rope with different sailor knots and use twine for the handles on the crane. Thus creating coherence between functional materiality and historical aesthetics.
Prototyping and discovering the historic layers of our site. Urban Intervention Studio 41
42 Urban Intervention Studio
Reflections If you look up urban intervention you will find: “(urban interventions)...are typically concerned less with representing political issues than with intervening in urban spaces so as to question, refunction and contest prevailing norms and ideologies, and to create new meanings, experiences, understandings, relationships and situations” - David Pinder This definition describes quite well some of the aspects that we have realized through our project. Overall we found an undefined area with old, non-used elements and created a space by adding simple items which underline the existing maritime atmosphere and the theatrical feeling of staging a place. However, what realizations have we drawn from our project? Firstly, Theatre Quay reveals the differences between projects based on public involvement and interventions. A project based on public involvement includes continual consultation with the local people throughout the entire process, exploring their wishes and preferences as the project foundation. Instead, we made a small intervention based on our analysis of the specific site, and our own conclusions about what would strengthen this place. In that sense, we overlooked the initial brief and retrospectively, created a reverse brief after our concept formed. Like ripples in the water, this started a process that sparked awareness, engaging locals to work with a previously ignored site. Secondly, the course taught technical skills with practical applications in the future. Unlike most projects where concepts and ideas remain unrealized, the form and materiality of Theatre Quay manifest physically. It has been an amazing experience not only to work
at the drawing table, but also to figure out how to take the project even further, and bring the drawings and idea-sharing into an 1:1 constructed installation. None of us are carpenters, so having to figure out how to construct a rather simple wooden deck was a great challenge but also an exciting task. It is also interesting to see how our idea has developed and changed during the building process. Like a hermeneutic spiral we analyzed the place and developed our idea, further refining our project throughout its evolution from idea to concept to model to form; simultaneously, we kept learning about this specific site. In the future, we hope Theatre Quay will be used both by locals as well as people coming from far away. Furthermore, we see our project as a small part of a larger evolving process that will and has already engaged people to develop Teaterøen. What will happen in the future? Maybe the quay will be expanded and the area become bustling with bathers, or potentially, it will remain a niche far away from the busy streets of Copenhagen, a haven and secret of Teaterøen. A special thanks to these people for making this project possible: - Peter Iirk, co-founder of Teaterøen - The workers at Teaterøen - The blacksmiths from JD Stål - The local blacksmith, Sune - Our inspiring and helpful teachers: Bettina Lamm, Laura Winge, and Carsten Johansen - Dewalt for providing us with good tools. - Iøge Junkers for giving us free wood.
Urban Intervention Studio 43
LOG IN By: Nikole Krossner, Nis Ekelund, Mathias Møller and Louise Lunde
Three interacting installations together form our project LOG IN. Built from weathered logs that were scavenged from the area, they create a dynamic and encouraging space out of an otherwise unwelcoming and barren lawn.Travelling to Teaterøen gives you a feeling of passing through neverland, LOG IN provides a welcoming and relaxing outside place to land and to take in, before, during and after the journey into the world of dance and theater. LOG IN has changed the atmosphere of the lawn. The installations make you stop and sense the surroundings, guiding your eyes towards the water and what lies beyond. The Site ….A long, long winding road, crossing bridges, water, ships…. places you’ve never seen… Passing ruins, going through a fence… you are on an adventure, smelling the sea? … a big plant.. where am I? … And then after taking a turn on a small and closed road you arrive at Teaterøen - yes I made it! The wind, the air, the high heaven, you can’t help feeling excited and curious - what is this place? The abandoned military facilities on the northernmost part of Refshaleøen are overgrown with wild vegetation. Inside, however, everything is changing. The former strict tone and discipline has given way for free expression, creativity and untamed imagination. You feel the beginning of a transformation, there is something in the air. When you enter the gate at Teaterøen you encounter two large brick buildings. These are the main buildings at Teaterøen; an old barrack which houses a big theater stage, a theatercafe, living apartments, and different theater companies. Teaterøen is an organisation providing a platform and physical space for a wide variety of performing artists and other cultural events. Teaterøen is host to many users throughout the day, providing space for actors, singers, to start-up companies, movie productions, houseboat residents, flea markets and others.
44 Urban Intervention Studio
Why the lawn? During the initial weeks of the course, our design team wandered around Teaterøen’s property in order to choose a site for our intervention. One of the areas that came to our attention was the lawn space beside the theatre and welcoming area. We quickly noticed that the site was a non-space; it lacked purpose and definition to what the space could do. We chose this site as it is one of the first areas that you come in contact with when arriving. Being one of the most trafficked spots of Teaterøen, we were surprised by the fact that the lawn, which is used by Teaterøen by Refshaleøens Ejendomsselskab, had such a lack of definition. A rectangular and neatly cut lawn does not represent any of the themes that Teaterøen wishes to emit - creativity, wanderlust, a feeling that you have reached Neverland. Our observations led us to understand the many uses that the lawn has, such as a set for a movie production, a place to relax and have a coffee and a waiting area for theatre enthusiasts upon waiting for the performance to begin. Nonetheless, when one was alone in the space, a sense of tranquility overwhelms you as you look out towards the water observing a nostalgic backdrop of fishermen’s boats and a run-down industrial site. The many users and possible uses of the lawn created a space with an enormous untapped potential. A potential that could be fulfilled by interventions.
The Vision We want to activate the area - to draw people out on the lawn, make them sense and feel their surroundings. Give them the possibility for seating - to make people who are visiting and using TeaterĂ¸ens sites feel welcome. We want people to go out onto the lawn, to take the place in, to draw them towards the water, to see behind the building and the long view toward old Copenhagen. The overall purpose of our project is to transform a non-space into something that has purpose. Something that enhances and inspires further dialogue and creates an interactive space where one can sit and enjoy their cup of coffee or strike up a conversation with a stranger. For example, we want people to do this when they have visited the cafe, when they arrive for a play - or are having a break for rehearsing their play etc. Another aim of the project is that it feels like it belongs on the lawn, that there is a sense of coherence with the site, both in the choice of materials and the design. It is therefore of great importance that we use materials that are common to or in tune with the site and its surroundings. Photo group Urban Intervention Studio 45
Design Process The initial designs and ideas were influenced by the old navy history of the place. Countless sketches were drawn, and especially the thought of a big X on the lawn started to take hold. It was inspired both by the old navy logo “håndbomben”; a white X in a red circle which can still be seen on some of the old buildings, and by the current use, with Teaterøen having a ‘Neverland’ feel and their logo marking the coordinates of the property - like the X marking the treasure on a pirate’s treasure map. We searched the surrounding area for materials that could be repurposed and used in our design. While wandering the area, some abandoned railroad logs caught our attention. The dimension of approximately 2.6m x 16cm x 24cm and weight of approximately 60 kilograms fitted perfectly with the design idea we had developed. The weathered wood fitted perfectly with Refshaløen’s theme of using industrial and neutral materials in its installations. Further, the wood was easy to work with as it could be cut into various dimensions and sanded to creates variations in the both the visual appearance and the tactile feel of their surface.
46 Urban Intervention Studio
The idea with a X on the lawn was tested with a 1:1 scale mockup model on site. It featured installations in the four endpoints made from the scavenged logs. By testing on site we found that the formation of an X was too rigid and stiff, but the concept of using repurposed railway sleepers still worked nicely. Through further testing with the logs in a 1:1 scale, the project found a natural flow in the dynamic coherence between the individual installations, the number of installations, their placement and design. From this point on the project evolved primarily through testing on site and further sketch-modelling was more or less abandoned. That sharpened the site specific design, because it was possible to constantly observe the installations, and their relation to each other from all angles in their intended surroundings. Shaping several individual elements, and working on their relative placement, requires not only a focus on the installations themselves, but also on the negative space between them. It needs to be shaped as much as the materials in the installation, and the testing on site made it easier to sense the impact of the negative space.
Concept The aim is to give the site purpose and create a place where people can feel at ease, welcomed and open to take in what TeaterĂ¸en has to offer. We wanted to use old railway logs in our construction as they have a great history and patina fitting marvelously into the site. By using the same materials to create both vertical, horizontal and triangular shapes, we link the different elements so they relate to each other and become part of one whole. The use of this material also falls in line with the vision of creating a site specific design. The design of the installations works with different geometrical shapes/lines. Different areas of the chosen site gets a unique installation, that gives each area its own feel. Metaphorically speaking, the aim was to create smaller more intimate rooms out of a large room. The variation of visual expressions makes the project more energized and exciting. Placing the installations in a way that activates the negative space creates a dynamic intervention on the site. By attracting gazes, enhancing the urge to investigate and play, and providing an area that choreographs the meeting between people and furthers the chance for dialogue, the project should activate the former non-space.
N Situationplan 1:200
Urban Intervention Studio 47
The Individual Installations The Triangle is sculpted by two logs resting on each other and forming a standing triangle. It frames the view, but also provides a sturdy structure that people could climb and interact with. At the same time, the triangle is a strong symbol that provides the lawn with a more energetic and dynamic expression, it erases the flatness of the lawn and gives it a more three dimensional feeling. Seating Area is made up of three benches composed out of logs in different lengths. The logs are very rough; hence, to make seating more comfortable and inviting, but also to enhance the tactile and the aesthetic feel, we sanded them down. They are stacked and sanded in a ‘random’ pattern of design and texture. The way the benches are aligned, however, actually allows the users to easily turn around and communicate with people sitting on the other benches. Between them smaller and more intimate spaces appear from the former large space of the lawn. The installation is placed close to the entrance to the theater and café, making it an obvious choice for users to linger in it or return to it. The Vertical installation creates different lines emerging from the lawn in order to activate the space.
48 Urban Intervention Studio
It is placed in the spot on the lawn that has the best view of the water. In that position, large bushes block the wind and the view of a wastewater management plant. The placement of the vertical beams near the water draws you closer to the ocean, bringing the harbour closer to the lawn by mirroring the mooring posts in the water and creating a continuous space that extends from the water and into the intervention. Users and how they use it Users of the site, guests and inhabitants are starting to use the installations. The seating area near the entrance has especially been taken in by actors and visitors alike. The houseboat owners adjacent to the lawn are on board with our project, they found the lawn was previously very bare and unused. Their wish for more lounge like places has been fulfilled with the installations. People have also started taking walks on the lawn. They inspect the triangle and continue on to the vertical installation. There, they get the view that they weren’t previously nudged to find.
Presentation day: Visitors interacting with the installations
Urban Intervention Studio 49
MOTUS Alberte Marie Danvig, Sarah Østergaard Brun, Karin Skaarup and Marit Schavemaker Fabrics and light move poetically in the wind and create a sequence of impressions when entering Teaterøen.
In-between place Teaterøen is the name of the former military fortification, Lynettefortet, which is the oldest navy fortification in Denmark. Nowadays it has its name because of the cultural activities, that are taking place. Teaterøen facilitates plays, tv- and film production, events, music and all sorts of performing arts. The vision is to make it possible for all levels of arts, to perform their artistic and creative disciplines and investigate the possibilities for stage art. In the settings, between remains of the era of military, industry and wilderness, now creative development and action take place. The theater culture on the island is alternative, with a free mind and liberty to experiment and try all facets of the art. Teaterøen is a hidden treasure and not easy to find. If you manage to find the gate, ‘No trespassing’ signs seem to make it very private. If entering anyway, it can be difficult to assess how far to go, which areas are private and where it is okay to settle down. To strangers, Teaterøen is a semi-private place, where you would not go, unless you have a purpose, or know the place. It is in a beeline close to the city of Copenhagen. But when staying there, you feel very far away from everywhere else and very small. It is isolated, peaceful and when looking towards the city of Copenhagen, the sense of being away from the hectic city is very strong. It is like two different universes and two very different scales.
The spirit of the place is characterized by the maritime, the wilderness and the creative space.The maritime takes place by the harbour, where houseboats, wooden ships, working ships and motorized ships are moored. The water surrounds the island, and to the north, the sea opens up all the way to Nordhavn and further on to Sweden. This wideness around the island also makes it a very windy place. The wind is a very important element that changes the whole site. It can be a very calm and peaceful place, but also rough and almost scary when the wind is massively strong. The wilderness is expressed by the way nature has conquered the area. Plants like Hedera are taking over the remains of the fortifications, and self-sown trees grow bigger and bigger. The overgrown and hidden bunkers give a thrilling feeling and makes you want to explore the historical and secret places. The creative space uses the whole island to perform all levels of arts, which leads to abstract and dynamic plays. The landscape is used in multiple ways and is open for many interpretations. In this way it feels free for us to give meaning to the place based on your own experience.The situation of Teaterøen is changing. The intent is to develop the whole of Refshaleøen, and Teaterøen is going to play a part in that. It is difficult to say what is going to happen, but it is certain, that the future of Teaterøen is uncertain.
Motus at the entrance of Teaterøen. 50 Urban Intervention Studio
Drawing in When arriving to TeaterĂ¸en, it can be confusing where to enter. The sign at the entrance has to compete with the surroundings for attention. Questions come up when standing at the entrance; Am I allowed to be here? How far should I go? How far does the island stretch? There is a need for something that connects the whole island, and creates a link between the entrance and the far end by the water. There is a need for something that shows that there is more to explore at TeaterĂ¸en than the main building, and that it stretches further out than you might feel like going. This is a shame, since the demagnetization station and the far end by the water are lovely attractions. Therefore, we had a wish to make a sequence that would inspire the visitor to explore the island. The expression of TeaterĂ¸en changes a lot when walking down the road towards the water. The big parking lot behind the entrance with the main building gets a lot of attention. Further down the road, the bunker with overgrown plants creates a mysterious atmosphere. Then the space opens up at the meadow with houseboats close by. Finally the views at the waterfront to the city and the open sea are giving context to the island. The scale of this context is huge. The large industrial buildings, the cranes and the chimneys make you feel very small when standing beneath.
The final designs: left - entrance, right - down the road.
Urban Intervention Studio 51
There is something that recurs along this road from the entrance toward the water. Old rusty lampposts stand by the entrance and the meadow by the houseboats. There is no light in the lampposts, so they no longer have a function as something that lights up the road. The lampposts give memory of the past, where there was a lot of military activity on the island. The lack of lamps in the lampposts also means, that Teaterøen is very dark when the night falls. Since performing arts, such as plays often take place in the evening, there is a need for something that can make the area less dark. When talking to some of the residents in the houseboats, they also expressed a need for light, that can help them find their way to their home when darkness falls. The lampposts speak to the vertical structures of the industrial chimneys from the sewage purification plant and the cranes in the background. They fit in the rhythm of the landscape. There are four of those lampposts; one at the entrance and three by the meadow. In order to let them speak together and create a sequence, we needed something in the middle. The metal pole on the chimney from one of the old military buildings was clearly the missing link for the sequence. This pole was very visible from both the entrance and the meadow and works as a shift from the one side to the other.
Motus covers the idea to link the play of theater with the play of the wind. Dynamic installations made of fabric are influenced by the wind and reflect the idea of the dynamics and choreography of movement in theater. The fabric will be connected to the four old and rusty lampposts in the area and to the pole on the chimney of the bunker. This sequence is part of the narrative in theater, that people will experience on the island. The lampposts will get their function back by giving light, as well as an extra impulse of the moving fabric around them. Motus will interact with people in the area and talk to their emotions and daydreaming, both during day and night. In the night, the small lights, together with transparent and bright colored fabric will stand out against the rough harbor surroundings. The lights will be an advance for the area to lead the visitors all the way into the island, as well as a special sensation and emotion. We hope to give people a magical feeling with Motus on their journey to and around Teaterøen.
Creating a setting
The concept is based on the experience people have while going to - and being at - Teaterøen. It takes some effort to get to the place and this journey deserves an extra impulse to the welcoming feeling. Also, connecting and eye-catching elements would give visitors curiosity and guidance around the island. We would like to attract people and let them explore the place while using their senses. Most importantly the wind, which is always present on an island like this, was an interesting factor to work with in playing with people’s senses. As mentioned, the theater played at Teaterøen is very abstract, dynamic and open for many interpretations. The acts are using the place in different ways and during different times of the day. These principles are reflected in our installations. The title is Motus, has different meanings and is open for many interpretations.
From here on we did a lot of sketching as well as research and movies of the materials we wanted to use. We wanted to create a contrast to the very static materials present at the island. Theatrical and poetic fabric with dynamic movement could emphasize the wind. We also went out to Teaterøen to experience with our own eyes the lack of light at the island in the evening, which Peter Kirk confirmed earlier. The colour orange is well presented on the island, both during day and night. Its has maritime references like (rescue) buoys, ships, the orange lights at Refshaleøen and the building next to the entrance colors orange at night. To choose the material, we had to do a lot of researching. We went to the textile shop STOF2000 to feel and see their tulle and other kinds of fabric. We also visited some companies at Refshaleøen who had parachutes we could borrow or get inspired from. Parachutes that we would be able to buy and cut into shape the way we wanted, was very hard to find. Another obstacle with using parachutes as material was the fact when the sun shines on it, over time it turns into dust and actually disappears. We decided to use the tulle from STOF2000, but it was very nice to experience how friendly and helpful everyone was at the island. The other fabric we used was white tulle we bought at IKEA.
mōtus (genitive mōtūs); (masc.) 1. A movement, motion 2. An advance, progress 3. An impulse, passion, sensation, emotion
52 Urban Intervention Studio
We especially needed to do research about the kinds of lightning and its effect. We researched the internet and went to Illutron at Refshaleøen to ask them for advice. Illutron makes big scale interactive art installations and experience a lot with light. They gave us some advice about the heat of the lamps and so on, but could not provide us with any equipment. We went to different shops to test out different kinds of light in combination with our fabric - light that could also work outside and be easy to install. It was important for us to create a poetic, soft light that would give the island a certain atmosphere and kindly lead visitors and residents around. The solar light chain from IKEA was the most suitable in the end. We needed a lift to get up and test both the movement of the material but also the size of our installations.
We took a trip around Refshaleøen and found Peter who is working for Refshaleøens Ejendomsselskab. Peter borrowed us his lift a couple of times - without his help we could not have done our project. The testing was very useful and we could see what different shapes of steel rings would do to the movement. We liked to control the movement in a way, but also give it enough freedom. The final design is established in the model lab at Rolighedsvej 23. Here it was easier to sew and work with the fabric and steel rings. The final construction to the lamppost was interesting, because all of the five posts we worked with were different and demanded different ways of attachment. Using the lift with this construction made our work and process so much fun and showed us how much help you can get, if you just ask. Urban Intervention Studio 53
Motus playing with the wind by nightfall. 54 Urban Intervention Studio
Result and reflections Motus will enrich Teaterøen as long as time will allow it. The fabric is tested to be able to stand against wind, rain and other higher powers, but also have a natural end when it is too worn out. The lights are made for being outdoors and will shine as long as the sun gives them power. Since Motus spans an area that is owned by different institutions, it is out of our hands to ensure that it will not be taken down at some point. The lampposts are owned by the Ministry of Defence and we took our chance to use them without their permission - with great support from some of the houseboat owners. However, we hope that Motus will stay for a while and affect people at Teaterøen with its dreamy and peaceful movement in both day and night time. Residents and users of Teaterøen have expressed their joy about reusing the old lampposts and giving them new life. They told us that they like the dynamic movement in the daytime, against the static and harsh surroundings. As well as the light in the otherwise dark part of the island, close to the houseboats, that gives the island a livelier atmosphere and reinforces the identity of Teaterøen. Fabric has been an interesting material to work with, since it is not widely used in landscape architecture and has been new for us to explore. This also led to a lot of sketching and talking in the beginning of the process, instead of buying and testing a lot, which was both good and bad.
This way we narrowed our common ideas down, but ended up thinking a bit too much, instead of choosing a material quicker and get started on building the installations. On the other hand, it gave us a good understanding of what we wanted our intervention to express and do. Different kinds of fabric we experienced have a lot of potential with its dynamic gestures, format and possibilities within choreographing movements and act. There is great potential in the future to experiment with fabric to express different feelings and expressions to give identity to the island, maybe shifting regarding to the current play at Teaterøen. As the process described above implies, the world of light is also a great jungle with endless interesting opportunities. Ending up with solar lamps was a satisfying result for our installations since it is a sustainable solution that turns on by itself when it gets dark. This way we did not have to install cables over long distances and waste energy from the islands. If Teaterøen would like to have a more permanent light installation that maybe shed more powerful light, it could be necessary to invest in a stronger light source. We chose a soft, dreamy light, that worked beautifully with the fabric, functioned as guidance and creating atmosphere, more than actually lighting up the whole road. We hope that our installation will continue to make an impression to the users of
Urban Intervention Studio 55
56 Urban Intervention Studio