Toftegards Plads Syd Competition
A Marketplace of Urban Activity
Any plan dealing with Toftegards Plads Syd has to consider the square in its context with the northern square and the playground at the eastern edge as a single urban spatial unit. This project proposes to establish the connection between the separate parts of the square by overlaying a common structure as the base for further planning. At the core of the plan is a grid of transparent pavilions of different sizes that can accommodate a variety of social, commercial and cultural activities. Rather than leaving the square as one open space, the grid, as a framework for urban activity, builds an open structure that creates small scale courtyards as well as large public spaces that provide a place for any kind of event. Thus the middle of the square becomes the functional focal point of the plan while at the same time conserving the quality of open public space.
The main purpose of the scheme is to provide flexibility for future programming. The pavilions can host exhibitions, workshops, a library/book shop, a café/restaurant, private enterprises, workshop spaces, an open air stage for concerts as well as a small theatre, winter gardens etc.. The spaces in between can host any kind of outdoor or seasonal event (markets, bazaars, etc.) The new urban space complements the activities of the existing cultural institutions bordering on the square (the Valby Cultural Centre and the Kraftwerk Youth Centre). The transparent quality of the pavilions establishes a visual connection between the different functions and turns the square into a kaleidoscope of urban life and culture. At night the pavilions become large city lanterns as they light up their environment.The modularity of the plan suits the need for flexibility: functions can be replaced by others in time and once the basic infrastructure is in place pavilions can be added according to different phases of the development. The simple construction (steel columns and beams/glass curtain wall) serves this strategy and is cost efficient. With future development the grid can be extended to the northern part of Toftegards Plads and will establish a unity between both squares. When completed, this architectural unity will form a subtle but strong landmark at the intersection of major roads as a gateway to the centre of the city and on the north south axis to the Valby railway station and commercial areas in the north, and the future development of the F L Smidth site to the south/west of the square.Most of the existing trees remain and more are added in order to create a green and lush public space in the city. The tree structure together with other elements such as large park benches, street lights and pavement form a second layer that establishes the connection with the sport field and playground on the eastern edge of the plan. Underground parking is planned underneath the playground and at the southern edge of the plan are parking spaces for the disabled as well as a drop off for taxi’s.