The STREET reinvented in Denmark
All too often modern cities are divided up into single use zones like housing or education, or industry. Yet the most successful older communities throughout the world are almost all mixed uses. In addition, the way we move and interact in modern thinking is divided up into a kind of traffic apartheid - walking, cycling, driving.
In designing the new concept for an old railway siding area in a downtown area in Denmark, we reached back to a mixed community idea. Spaces are based on mixed traffic streets - still with safety in mind. There are offices, small workshops, shops and cafés and all the human uses of buildings that are not detrimental to the environment. With the nearby campus, there is student accommodation. And there are penthouses too, catching the outstanding views across the river and forest to the west. And affordable housing for families in between.
Banished too is the idea that a housing block should be a small tower set in a lawn. Here the spaces have a hierarchy of public, semi-private and private. So there are secure spaces for prams to sit outside and the neighbours' parking is under the watchful eye of shared residents. The city centre is not far distant and so we predict a lot of cyclists. The positioning of the students accommodation is placed at the far end of the site so that the students would walk through the community every day - generating interest, occasional sitting areas and adding to the street picture.
Its a high density place, dynamic and with a mix of incomes and diverse services. From the really elegant cities of Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Paris we borrow the really pleasant shapes of buildings in a crescent and circle. There are times when the aesthetics of good townscape need to be redeployed in a modern context.