OCEAN Design Research Association

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Landscraper


Landsc[r]aper - Urban Ring Bridge, 2000 

Design Study commissioned by NRW Forum for Culture and Economy, Düsseldorf, Germany for the Living Bridges Exhibition. 
Supported by: NRW Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs, Urban Development, Culture and Sports, Düsseldorf, Germany

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Project Coordinators: Michael Hensel and Kivi Sotamaa 
Project Members: Michael Hensel, Kivi Sotamaa and Birger Sevaldson, with Urban Office, London: Danilo Dangubic, Gudjon Erlendsson, Jeffrey Turko and with Max de Rosée and Morten Gregersen
Digital Animation + Video Rendering: Placebo Effects, Oslo: Kim Baumann Larsen 
Structural Engineering: Ove Arup & Partners Consulting Engineers, London: Michele Janner and Charles Walker

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The study for the Landsc[r]aper Urban Ring Bridge across the river Rhine [Düsseldorf, Germany, 2000] is based on the supposition that an inhabitable bridge on the required scale must seek to intensively engage the programmatic and demographic strata of the urban matrix, in order to sustain differential inner-urban life. The scheme consists of three elements. An outer urban ring links existing infrastructural routes in order to organize the traffic around and into the city center. An intermediate ring links existing programmatic and infrastructural locations and induces pedestrian flow via the deployment of public transportation along the perimeter of the expended city-center. An inner-urban ring bundles urban programs on a pedestrian scale, with maximum benefit of the proximity of the river. A continuous pedestrian promenade & boardwalk provides for a rich pallet of public spaces and programs along and across the river, and incorporates the programmable Oberkasseler floodplain, with the modified floodplain offering diversely programmable surfaces. The inner-urban ring combines in this way provisionally programmed surfaces with non-programmed zones to allow for specific urban activities to emerge in exchange between the new and the existing in response to demographic trends and tendencies.

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The northern segment of this ring is the Landsc[r]aper Ring Bridge, which connects the two sides of the river along multiple trajectories. The bridge couples leisure and cultural programs with public and vehicular infrastructure, while at the same time becoming an urban destination.

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The scheme deploys a geometrically varied arch and beam structure and moveable enclosures to engender a diverse spatial experiences and programmatic variability. The highly differentiated structure of the bridge serves as a cognitive element that enables orientation when moving through this very large and complex structure. Comprising of a multiplicitous assemblage of structural and programmatic systems and flexible enclosures the bridge introduces a dynamic landmark to Düsseldorf that reflects the heterogeneous, dynamic and progressive culture of the city and its inner-urban infrastructural landscape.

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