ANALYSIS + SCHEMATIC PROPOSAL
FOCUS AREA - SORTEDAMS SØ
STEPHANIE BRACONNIER CONTEXT The city lakes--Sankt Jørgens Sø, Peblinge Sø, and Sortedams Sø--are a popular recreational area for Copenhageners with a unique natural potential in the midst of a dense urban centre. The function of the city lakes has changed throughout history, ranging from powering industrial water mills to protection and fortification. Since Copenhagen grew beyond its medieval ramparts, the City Lakes have predominantly come to symbolize leisure, relaxation, and nature. The city’s long-term vision for the lakes is that they will eventually be used for swimming and fishing, a vision that fits with Copenhagen’s green reputation. But something about this ‘urban nature’ is unsatisfying. When given a choice of urban public spaces, Copenhageners listed the city lakes as the last place at which they choose to spend time. The lakes are perceived as a meeting point or as a scenic route from one place to another, but not as great urban space in themselves.
Though the lakes embody a rich history, the relationship between the user and the water is rooted in a historic view of nature as something to be bridled and controlled. The lakes and their edges are biologically unproductive and homogeneous, not functioning as freshwater lakes should. This contact with nature is therefore superficial, and in the meantime the lake ecosystem requires constant maintenance and support. The edges of the lakes should be vital urban spaces in the city, but they are optimized for circulation, not inhabitation.
EXISTING GREEN > Private gardens > Public parks/green spaces
> Major crossings + thoroughfares > Residential through-traffic + parking
PRIORITY LITTORAL ZONE DEVELOPMENT
> Designed spaces (e.g., planetarium) > Incidental spaces (e.g. Dronning Louises Bro) > Potential for new space: University campus, Fish Island, Sø Pavilion, Fredensbro
Serving neither nature nor people in a significant way, the edges slowly deteriorate in meaning as our demands on public space change.
> Slope of 1:5 - 1:10 on SW facing edges > New infill on existing structural edges
INFRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES > Øster, Nørre, and Vester Søgade made residential only > New public/private green space development according to conditions > Continuous pedestrian/cycle lanes replace lakeside parking
ACCESS AND STREET SCALE
> When traffic is reduced, space is freed for new urban/private uses > Residential - private gardens, community spaces, small public space > Public/Commercial - restaurant, terrace, mid-large scale public space
> West edge lined by private gardens and hedges > East edge along University lined by a >2m wooden fence
LITTORAL ZONE DEVELOPMENT
> West: courtyard residential housing with mixed-use commercial on the street level; diversity of facades and functions > East: long city blocks; a large mono-functional lot with limited public use
HOW CAN URBAN PUBLIC SPACE BE COMBINED WITH A PRODUCTIVE AND SELFSUSTAINING NATURALIZED EDGE TO CREATE A NEW MEANING OF NATURE IN THE CITY?
UNUSED SLOPE = POTENTIAL
- SLOPE + WALL
View Over Lake Sortedam Christen Købke, 1838
Følg med. Fra Dosseringen i København Laurids Andersen Ring, 1884
Peblinge Dossering edge ca. 1929
Skating on the Lakes ca. 1947
View over Sankt Jørgens Sø, 2011
Path on Sortedams Dossering, 2011
Peblinge Dossering edge 2011
Skating on the Lakes, 2011
EAST EDGE (UNIVERSITY EDGE)
WEST EDGE (PRIVATE GARDEN EDGE)
> West edge characterised by single lane streets and many points of pedestrian access > East edge characterized by 2-3 lanes traffic and few points of pedestrian access
> Compressed public edge with steep slope > Sense of exposure, speed, and noise from street
> Gardens and trees create a green alley for cyclists and pedestrians > Public edge consists of 2 paths (upper and lower) and an unused slope between
The city lakes have a relatively good ecology since a major bioremediation in 2002-06, but still suffer from algal blooms due to excess nutrients and imbalance in the biomass of fish, plants, and bacteria.
The majority of the lakes have hard edges with relatively deep water (30-50cm), and lack a mediating shallow ‘littoral zone’ where many freshwater species could breed, grow, and feed.
There are many benches around the lakes and while they offer an expansive view of the city, they are established as small rest stops instead of social spaces.
The space closest to the water is often occupied by parking or busy streets. Pedestrians and cyclists must often navigate around cars to get close to the lake edge.
PLATFORM PROTOTYPE SECTION 1:10
AIM + THEORY > PROVIDE A MORE NATURALIZED EDGE to restore diversity and support the stability of the lake ecology. PLATFORM PROTOTYPES 1:20
PLATFORM - NATURALIZED EDGE 1:50
LAKE SORTEDAMS - 1:500
> SOFTEN THE TRANSITION between the constructed and natural edge through planting and materials > GIVE A PLACE TO STAY on the lakes to establish them as a good urban space as well as a natural, recreational path. > DEVELOP A CONTEXT SENSITIVE DESIGN to create a better urban nature.
city as ecosystem The city is a complex, collective, dynamic entity. The complexity found in cities comes from the interaction and relationships between the different parts at different scales over time. The ‘built’ environment is no less an environment to the creatures it accomodates than any ‘natural’ environment. Marshall, Stephen. Cities, Design & Evolution.
‘second nature’ In the urban context, greenery attempts to fill an intuitive void--the absense of nature. It is possible to reintroduce a performative ‘second nature’ in which ecological relations, water management, and microclimate become part of the engineering of the city.
LAKE SORTEDAMS - NEW EDGE
‘Second Nature’ refers to a designed nature in adjacency to existing urbanization, capable of absorbing future growth while maintaining ecological systems.
> Healthy freshwater ecosystem
Geuze, Adriaan, and Matthew Skjonsberg. “Second Nature: New Territories for the Exiled.” Landscape Infrastructure: Case Studies by SWA.
PATTERNS FOR GROWTH Corridors and Rooms Mute Swan
Existing constructed edge
1:10 slope infill on existing edge
Emergent macrophytes > provide cover for fish and nesting grounds for waterfowl
Currently the city lake edges operate as corridors that connect the major neighborhoods and several public spaces throughout the city. The edges are long and the distance between usable public space is long.
The city lakes can become even more vibrant and inhabitable by building on this existing typology according the to specific context of each lake. Where are the possibilities for more rooms along the edge?
Mallard Natterjack Toad (endangered)
Submerged macrophytes > provide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertibrates > produce oxygen and provide food
> Fish like Pike and Perch that eat other fish (and their young) > Pescivorous fish are required to maintain a healthy biomass > Require shallow breeding zones with macrophytes to spawn
“Trash” fish > Fish like Roach, Bream, and Crussian Carp > Feed on zooplankton and are eaten by pescivorous fish > Tend to bottomfeed and stir up sediment, preventing sunlight from reaching the lake bottom
Zooplankton > Feed on phytoplankton (algae) > Required to maintain a balanced biomass
Phytoplankton (Algae) > Feeds on nutrients (e.g., nitrate, phosphate) > Can bloom and prevent sunlight from reaching the lake bottom
Each new room on the edge offers another possibility to mediate between the urban and the natural, incrementally defining a new layer in the character of the city lakes.
A verdant, productive edge
Inhabitable spaces that generate new use of the edge as a social space.
URBAN STRATEGY - UNIVERSITY EDGE
Intervention - Seperation wall defines new space
Development - Traffic reduced and public functions are extended
university terrace and wall Development - Traffic eliminated and private/public space expands
> Littoral zones can be developed on both sides as they both receive equal sun due to their orientation > Priority development on East side (W exposure)
SCALED INTERVENTIONS > West: small scale public space to maintain the character and rythm of the edge > East: large scale urban intervention to respond to the more monumental urban order