THE GATHERING HILL
We commenced our thoughts by observing the phenomenology of Helsinki and Finland. It is a terrain of rock, trees and water – where a transformation between summer and winter expands and shrinks the landscape.
The land brings sustenance, and binds communities in both the rural landscape as well as the urban fabric. In Helsinki the rock is not far away. We wish to reinforce the forces of landscape in Toolontori square.
Recalling the tradition of gathering on a moot hill, a small mound is created with a cut edge facing south, allowing spontaneous gathering and informal play as well as an open and wide handshake inviting people into the square from the relocated tram stop and new metro station.
Forming a canopy to shield the market, we create a knuckle in the heart of the square to attract people to dwell and sit. The canopy dances over the market stalls and invites sunlight to still strike the stone floor, whilst animating the surroundings with the characteristic long shadows from the low sun. Transversal beams with expressive gutters under create a spectacle of melting snow and draining rain. At the fringes of the canopy, special holes are cut to encourage icicles to form above large boulders.
We propose traffic calming measures and a continual surface to create an urban room. Recycling the old cobbles like a rug in ones living room defines hearths within the space, as well as the memory of the previous square. We imagine a place where the contrasts between night and day, summer and winter provide variety and invitation for people to enjoy and observe. The gathering and congregation of people at all times is our vision for this place.
We propose a new landscape with bespoke furnishings, benches that curve to recall a river, a pergola to create a light-show at night-time, bins, lamp-posts and a clock tower all chime together with a unity.
BAILTEAN, AILTEIREACHD 'S RÙM DÀNACH
TOWNSHIPS, ARCHITECTURE AND THE ROOM OF POETICS
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