Monday, March 29, 2010

First Proposal

My starting point was to consider the whole promenade, from one end of the town at St. George's Bay, to the site at Wied il-Buni. I mapped a journey along the promenade, paying attention to the views of the Freeport.

The drawing above illustrates the key views along the promenade. Note the changes in the views of the Freeport as one moves towards Wied il-Buni which is to the right of the drawing.

From St. George's Bay the Freeport is small and in the distance, on the horizon. It is easy to take in as a whole, and the horizon is still visible - it does not completely obscure it.
As one walks towards Wied Il-Buni the Freeport gets progressively bigger, it obscures the horizon, and it is no longer at the background, it takes up the view, towers overhead...

The first proposal, illustrated in the plan below, uses the above observations to play with one's journey along the promenade. The key views noted in the yellow drawing above become the areas where pedestrians are encouraged to stop - by adding shading and street furniture. In the spaces in between these stopping areas there is no shading or seating - pedestrians are encouraged to walk. At other points views inwards to the town's pretty seaside houses are encouraged.

At the end of the journey, at Wied il-Buni (top left hand corner of drawing), the pedestrian is cut off from the view, only to be faced with it at the end of the journey when the freeport is at its largest and most overbearing.

The reason for these plays with the views of the Freeport is to acknowledge it as the town's landmark. To face up to its prominence - the opposite of pretending its not there. In a similar vein some of the street furniture will be informative, outlining the history of Birzebbuga, explaining the functions of the Freeport, outlining where the containers come from and go to...

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