Status: Academic Project (2016)
Location: Gdansk, Poland
Coordinates: 54.365239, 18.647048
Climate: Continental, Temperate
Environments: Industrial, Seaside, Urban
Scale: 430.000 ㎡ Extralarge
Types: Masterplan, Public space
Four hundred years ago, the Japanese tea ceremony master Sen no Rikyu designed legendary Tea Garden, situated on a steep cliff with a breathtaking view of the Inner Sea. Panorama is however deliberately blocked by dense row of trees (the wall). The initiating ritual of drinking tea is hand washing. For this reason in front of the entrance, the architect places a small stone bowl filled with water. At the time when visitor washes his hands and looks up through the tiny opening in the wall, his eyes can suddenly enjoy unfathomable image of the ocean. Now closed space (the bowl) reflects infinity (the sea). Microcosmos reflects macrocosmos.
We experience water anywhere and anytime. It heals and mutes, transmits the motion, takes on new forms. Water is the medium that combines different aspects of humanity and spirituality. The social, political and at the same time divine substance. Present in movies, books, music as well as in the buildings and cities, always gives additional value and beauty. This work is an attempt to resuscitate degraded urban area and restore the powerful element of water , which has been simply taken away from people. Squandered potential creates the opportunity to build a new relationship between the city, its inhabitants and the industrial heritage.
The story begins in the former shipyard in Gdansk, a polish city on the Baltic coast. The area despite spatial chaos deserves special attention, since it’s located in the immediate vicinity of the historical city center and in minds of the nation is being recognized as a birth of polish freedom. Nevertheless this industrial heritage located by the water can disappear in the next twenty years. The old warehouses with a huge historical and aesthetic value are taking down one by one, the land is being more and more disintegrated, therefore reanimation of the whole landscape is the only way to keep the actual image of the newest history.
The challenge lies then in finding and clearing the path to this forgotten water-land and finishing up the missing puzzle of the city. Like in the story taken from the Japanese garden- the city will be mirrored in its elements and vice versa.
The project contains several pieces creating a new urban buzz. Le grande finale and quintessence of the area reanimation will be a breathtaking performance of the water-shipyard relationship.