Premise of the project: The project is refining the way it confronts the port, by emphasizing the end of the tourist promenade at the interruption of the port. The question of how much of a spa this should become and keeping it utilitarian is still a problem, needing to not become a private, tourist development on the coast as well.
The precedent of Siza’s Pools in Porto is admirable as being stripped down to essential amenities and is clearly aligned to the sea with a lovely controlled route from promenade to sea as it hides the sea before opening up again to the remarkable pools. I’ve struggled in creating such a strong curated journey through my building, wanting the complication that comes with creating crossovers between levels of privacy and different pools, however the simplicity needs to be there still.
For me you need some of the spa elements to interact with the tourism of the promenade, but basically it can be confined to: workers’ pools, exterior lido, interior heated lanes and family pools and simple spa rooms like saunas and aquatherapy pools.
It has been a long process of filing down the key gestures and moments I need to focus on, rather than getting caught up in too many programmatic relationships and forgetting the importance of the context. I definitely need to focus on the essential moments of the cuts through and views to the port, while opening up to the existing town and promenade.
The idea of a Bastion wall may be too literal as a confrontation to the port, and overkill as the Breakwater already acts as a raised barrier.
It may be better to continue play more with the moments I have developed where the pools cut through the breakwater at sea level.
This may also help in having a smoother transition from bathhouse level to the sea level of the lagoon and beach, hiding behind the breakwater.
A succesful aspect is the culmination of the promenade in a framed piazza at the port border, which turns people back to the bathhouse entrance so they enter from the portside back through the bathhouse, emulating the idea of the bathhouse as a transition from dirty to clean and port to town. This needs to drive the narrative of the building even more.
The materiality is coming, though I need to be clearer with the idea of a heavy enclosed concrete wall to the port and have a mroe refined sense of how that transitions to an open bathhouse. It is clear taking on completely contrasting curved forms is unsuccesful and it isn’t useful to take such forms from leisure centres. The whole project can be quite modest.
I will explore more of the ways simple, light structures can contrast to the heavy concrete front.
I have been figuring out the organisational principles for the my programme and project, refining the idea of a linear process of cleaning for the workers from the port, alongside the more lux elements of the leisure complex aimed more at tourists and residents taking leisure time.
Below shows the Spatial arrangement diagram which clearly lays out the arrangment and relation of spaces: I am attempting to develop this into a coherent plan, as below, which will soon be digitsed to accurately work out the relations between spaces. The organisation follows the ‘shelf’ on the port side, allowing for some view through with the leisure elements opening up onto the beach, promenade and lido with sunset views and back to the port.
Having established that the short section was crucial to develop along the whole length of the building I have started to consider key moments, some more refined than others so far.
I found a useful precedent in Sonsbeek Pavilion in Arnhem, Aldo Van Eyck (1966) (http://socks-studio.com/2013/11/18/sonsbeek-pavilion-in-arnhem-aldo-van-eyck-1966/). The channeling of spaces with breaks and mediation between them, framing views and connections between them was an interesting example for subtle relations between separated spaces/flows.
To explore the microclimates and ‘one-roof’ structures that are unanimous in CenterParc waterparks and central buildings I drew some study sections of the spaces and how other spaces are encapsulated within.
I am developing a promenade map which presents it in a ‘theme park’ manner, highlighting key buildings and spaces along the route, but most importantly as a route in itself of which my building will be the culmination.
I presented precedent studies and intial possible layouts for an insular bathhouse echoing the Turkish Hammam style , opening out into something reminiscent of the British seaside lido and the backdrop of the ports.
The bathhouse would be utilitarian as a segway for the Port labourers returning to the leisure of the Anaklia Town, embracing its contrasting vision as a tourist hub. I need to justify the imagined clients more succinctly however.
Useful feedback included the significance of other uses of the port and engaging with it, such as possibility of passenger ferries etc.
The existence of a 4-way threshold: Sea/Land and Port/Town which my project sits upon.
Stop Continous Process
Obstruct (a view)
From Latin: Inter (Between) and Ruptus (Break)
To demand ownership of.
To state a new fact, typically without providing evidence to prove it is true.
To demand ownership or right to use for land.
– I used claim more in its territory making sense, as if to ‘call out and take’.
The final model uses a clear continous series of curved contours which are interrupted and subtly interrupted by the cut which claims the void behind it.
For the first semester drawing I portray the Rose Revolution Square in Tbilisi. In the themes of infrastructure and monument it is of interest as it was created in 1983 as a soviet public space, with huge monuments such as ‘Andropov’s Ears’, where military parades took place, and has now become mostly a large roadway with remnants of public space and the renovated Iveria hotel as the main features.
What is striking is the contrast with the underground spaces, a vast network on three levels which was envisaged for public functions but instead was left to small businesses, offices and strip clubs, which seems half abandoned and in contrast to the recently refurbished landscaping above, stopping abruptly at street level, almost rejecting the underground spaces.
The drawings expressed the fragmented public space left on Rose Revolution square and contrasted it with the nearby public spaces, especially the more well formed space outside the metro station. The individual drawing isolates the spaces accessible to pedestrians and expresses the convoluted connections and passages between them, using the technique of topology to express both their interconnectedness and separation via the numerous routes between the two places. Like in Nolli’s plans of Rome, the spaces are highlighted and the buildings or inaccessible elements are subtracted.
The spaces are kept at a consistent scale on the drawing and from experimenting with abstract representations of the linking elements, such as string-like paths and dotted routes, it was decided that isolating the series of spaces in storyboard style frames helps give the sense of islands with vague connections hinted at by the routes cut off by the frames. The thickness of the islands with some experimentation with shadow attempts to further give a sense of separated units.
The islands leftover express the minimal space leftover by the dominance of road networks and a neglect of public space. The breaking up of gathering space is most visible in the fragmented landscaping of Rose Revolution Square itself.
The combined drawing I undertook with Lok was first envisioned as a section following a certain version of the route between the Radisson Blu’s pool and the metro square, which then came to focus on the Rose Revolution square section. It was important from the start to emphasise the dominating roads which cut across the underground passages.
It was clear we needed to show more detail of what was happening beyond the section line and this turned into projecting the higher, ground plane and private elements above the section line and projecting the underground elements at a different angle downwards away from the section in an opposite fashion. This allowed us to add more detail to both above and below, without the section line covering up and restricting what we could show. Our unseen view much more about revelaing the two contrasting levels, while also highlighting the demolished Soviet monuments along with the spaces left over or elements that have replaced them.
Exploring the square through drawings let me understand the square as a manipulation of the state and neoliberalism above ground while leaving a more personalised individual articulation in the abandoned spaces below.
Anaklia is earmarked as a tourist hub alongside the Deep Sea Port, although the main development so far is focused on the coastline and a water supply from Zugididi. The old town remains more inland, mostly just back from the river edge. A rampant privatisation has dominated other major cities in Georgia and we can already see such developments in Anaklia, with many more to come one can assume.
Georgians have been consistently ruled by imposed powers and ideologies but are said to be “clever rule-benders cunning and intelligent” and find ways to operate and undermine the rulers. They largely welcome the tourism although the benefits from the Gemfest Festival weren’t obvious.
There is a clear split between the old residential town removed from the coast and the disused attempt of the promenade along the seafront running from the Abkhazian border and proposed Deep Sea Port.
The main presence of residents on the sea is fishermen on islands of sand along the rivermouth.
The promenade exists as an implied flow with its line of palm trees and vague offshoot spaces, epitomised with the timber bridge leading so far to very little on the opposite river bank except abandoned festival structures.
There is a risk of the takeover of the seafront by private enterprise, cutting off the existing town from any relationship to the sea and a promenade as a tourist flow without meaningful gathering space apart from private commerce.
The project will claim a key gathering space on the promenade flow which gives the existing town a presence on the seafront.
The site will be situated at the point on the promenade where it turns into the bridge and the existing town’s main street meets the waterfront as it will claim a space on the flow of the promenade and relate the old town to the sea.
The project will create an edge to a defined gathering space, opposing and breaking the dominant linear route of the promenade. It will open up to the sea while acting as a link back to the old town. The programme could be a bath house and inside and outside leisure pools around a defined public square, making a public building that situates itself on the tourist coast and giving a way for Anaklians to interact with the sea.
The project aims to give the existing town and public a presence on the seafront, creating a public space which breaks up the constant promenade. It will allow Anaklians to interact with the tourism of the seafront with a place to claim their own.
The evidence of privatisation along the river and the construction already popping up on the coastline suggest that the river and sea are at risk of overexploitation.
In the hope that the river will remain less used and the sea being the main focus of tourist development, it is most likely that the coastline will suffer most from over development, especially with the deep sea port using up so much of the seafront. The promenade already makes gestures to fill the area in front of the beach with empty plots roughly penned for leisure so more meaningful use or protection of the seafront seems to be needed.
The locals are not blind or indifferent to the promise of tourism, in fact they have been waiting for some kind of port here since the mid-1900s. This is evidenced by their engagement in the promised profits to be reaped from the month long fesitval ‘Gemfest’ of 2017 where people in Anaklia spent much effort to provide accommodation and services for punters and make money from the incoming population. Unfortunatley it didn’t go so well with not enough festival goers and integration with the locals meaning there was not such rewards for Anaklians.
In the vein of Georgians making the most of their sitatuion, seen in their self-build or private commissioning of alterations to built fabric, we can imagine how a manipulation of the existing promenade to their favour and bringing it under their control and influence would be a way of claiming the promise of tourism for themselves. With the incoming infrastructure of water supply and rail and road networks, the possibility for harnessing these amenities for public use is evident.
Much of my mapping was involved in tracking the river edge and trying to discover the river bank condition. The eureka moment came from the use of a reliable bamboo stick and locals on a boat understanding my research and signing to me the the way the river bank descends until a depth of up to 10 metres according to the boatmen.
It became important for me to track what river edge I could access and the areas of marshland that created a similar condition, eventally showing us where the most marshy areas are. I found much of the river bank not developed was overgrown and used more by grazing animals than humans, apart from some wood chopping that was going on in forest areas.
From focusing on the border of the river I also helped map the cadastral layers and map the boundaries of properties while tracking the river edge and monitoring the limited contours, mainly visible at some points on the beach but otherwise it is evident Anaklia is alsmot entirely flat, being in a river delta.
I mapped the river bed, and edge although it is clear that Georgia has a lot of meandering rivers and it has been interesting to look at how the river has and might change in the future without an embankment. It is unlikely even with new development that the massive infrastructure of hardening the river edge will be undertaken, especially over such a wide river.
From what we can see from the properties along the important river edge and to some extent the seafront it is evident that more space and access is needed along the water edges for the local population as there is a risk that private ventures will take up all the quality space and cut it off from wider public use.
We have chosen to focus on the Rose Revolution Square in Tbilisi, Georgia. We felt this was an interesting example in Georgia which related to both Harry’s interest in gathering and circulation, started off by looking at the Piranesi space in Euralille, and Lok’s interest in folding space and duration in movement having looked at Big Library by OMA and Oblique city by Claude Parent.
The square is a key space in the city as it was constructed in the Soviet era as a large square used for military parades and spectacles. The square was originally conceived as a huge ‘one-dimension’ space with many social fucntions underneath, although it can be argued this wasn’t quite acheived and has been broken up and changed many times since its inception.
It was originally called Republic square but was renamed after Georgia’s Rose Revolution of 2003. It can be said that it has shown the different regimes such as the fact the soviet monument nicknamed ‘Andropov’s Ears’ and others have been destroyed and replaced/covered with sleek glass buildings, reflecting the new neo-liberal ideology in Georgia. There is equally the overbearing presence of the Iveria Hotel which has gone from a Soviet tourist hotspot, to a vertical refugee camp for IDPs from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to its current iteration as a luxury hotel renamed ‘Radisson Blu Iveria’.
Having mapped out the square and its surrounding urban fabric, we found that the current square is dominated by its use as a roadway and parking lot, leaving not much to suggest a ‘public square’ and pedestrian spaces. Instead we noticed a much more human scaled space by the metro down the road which we wanted to compare with the private public space of the Radisson Blue Hotel such as its Casino and Swimming Pool. We heard from Evelina as well who confirmed that the square was little used and that the Hotel’s pool was in fact better used, while the underground area which was once used for seedy businesses is now effectively a no-go zone in disrepair, which pushed people into crossing the road without official crossings resulting in many fatal accidents.
Our sketches developed ways of unfolding the experience of the (pedestrian) journey between the two public spaces though section, parallel projection and perspective. We aim to express the disjointed routes and out-of-scale spaces while highlighting some rare pockets of more ameniable public realm. The combined section drawing follows one such route, showing the concentrations of detail, open roads and the underground network beneath the square. It also reveals the old monuments as ‘hidden’ under the new constructions. The unravelled Isometric shows the labyrinthine routes to bridge the two spaces along with any limited public space along the way. Finally, the persepctives show the series of contrasting open spaces along the route. This shows better the three-dimensional space that relates to the public walkways and the streetscape that welcomes or not.
From the first session focusing on the Zones, I looked at images from the movie Metropolis which show the contrast between the dream of an urban utopia and the underground workers ‘fuelling’ the city and manning its mechanisms. I read this as a reading of the unknown ‘flows’ under the surface of zones (as well as capitalist markets etc driving development).
The walled-prison-city graphic and images from ‘manufactured landscapes’ of chinese factory workers reinforced this idea of forced, captive, worker populations as opposed to the ‘free trade’ the zones are supposed to emulate, looking at the more ‘enclave’ qualities.
This opened themes of rituals (of work) and the question of the entrepreneurs supposedly coming to a free zone and their migration between zones.
The Generic City was an interesting model for the culture-less, tabula rasa city of the Zone, and New babylon as a possible release from the shackles of work.
Of our themes: Identity; Planned/Unplanned; Work vs Leisure: The idea of a Generic City growing and providing for everyone (eg Worker Housing?) was questionable and the realisation that work is still captive, that we’re not released by machines yet, and that the ritual (?) of shopping and other ruled games/leisure activities reign supreme as opposed to the limitless Play spaces of New Babylon.