- THE SQUARE OF NARRATIVE PROGRESSCompetition proposal for Bab Al Bahrain SquareBahrainJanuary 2012Team: Gonçalo Soares, João Cravo, Inês Potes, André Silva
- Public space is no longer solely a problem of architecture.
With the invention of the internet, the world has become connected in a way it had never been before.You can buy whatever you want from wherever you want, you can watch the latest movies, know the latest news and hear the latest music hit that was released on the other side of the world the minute it hits the stores (sometimes even earlier).How can physical space compete with this?Evidently the relationship with people has deteriorated since human contact has been filtered by a light emitting screen, but no one seems to really care about this lack of proximity, and the truth is that with all the social networks around, one knows more gossip about his “friends” than he would if these networks didn’t exist.What the general public seems to not forget is that the notion of “other” has mostly disappeared and with it, the general mystery of things.With the appearence of the internet, there is no longer an unknown place, an unknown book, or piece of art or person.If you want to know about it, you can if you “just google it”.This has transformed the world in a flat place, where big news is no longer big and novelty is no longer novel.The square of progressive narrative tries to bring back the sense of “other”.
It is not a garden, nor a park, nor a buiding...it’s a system...
A system that looks at communication as the main issue in a public space, a system that is sufficiently rigid to know what it wants to give and be, but also articulate enough to reinvent and adapt itself to the needs of a rapidly changing world.A system that can be proliferated and readapted to other places other than the Manama Square, while also being able to solve specific urban problems encountered in the Square’s surrounding.
Through it’s continuos Plazas and screens one can feel like he’s in Paris at 4 PM, in a forest at 8 PM and in the middle of a concert at 10 PM.
The square of progressive narrative produces culture that feeds from tradition to create a future, while being able to serve as a container for leisure and work.
- 1. CONFLUENCE PLAZZA - The confluence plaza serves as a continuum of the Bab Al Bahrain Building Plaza into the Bab Al Bahrain Square.In this Plaza all kinds of programs, and cultural activities meld in each other with big amounts of vegetation serving as a backdrop.All the proposed programs also meet up in this particular space, making it a rapidly changing place.The digital screens in the form of minarets that occupy the plaza also aid in giving liveliness to this space while offering information such as the latest news, stock market information and weather while also serving as a billboard to anounce what will happen in the other circular plazas.
2. BAB AL BAHRAIN BUILDING PLAZZA - The plaza in front of the Bab Al Bahrain building is simply cleaned up.
A new pavement is created through means of circles that define areas where vegetation like grass and palm trees will be planted.
The taxi drop off area is removed from this plaza and placed elsewhere nearer to the King Faisal Highway.
3. EAST ENTRANCE PLAZZA - Redifines a relationship with an existing market creating a continuom from that market into the Bab Al Bahrain Square.
It’s limits are also defined by the repositioning of the Manama Central Post office on one side of the entrance and the National Archives on the other.
4. MUSEUM PLAZZA - The Museum Plaza serves as the gateway to the children museum.
It is also the closest entry into the gallery area.
Next to the Museum Plaza a bus drop is created so that school buses are able to drop the children right next to the museum.
5. MAIN PLAZZA - The main plaza is where bigger events like concerts, debates, film projections, shows, etc, can be held.
From this plaza one can also gain access to the roofscape and to the children museum.
6. HOTEL PLAZZA - A new plaza is created in front of the hotel, with a drop off area for hotel guests and a green area which cleans up the hotel’s front door.
The taxi drop off that used to exist in front of the Bab Al Bahrain building is relocated to this area which also contains the entrance to the parking lot/silo.
7. PARKING LOT / SILO - The parking silo contains a total of 923 parking spaces.
- 1. CONFLUENCE PLAZZA 2. LED MINARETS 3. COMMERCE 4. STARTUP CLUSTER / OFFICES 5. PROJECTION SCREENS 6. MUSEUM ENTRANCE 7. MUSEUM SERVICES 8. MUSEUM 9. LIGHT WELL'S 10. SWIMMING POOLS 11. SMALL AUDITORIUM 12. KING FAISAL HIGHWAY
- 1. RUNNING TRACK - A continuous track develops around the roofscape, creating a place where people can jog and do some fitness.
2. CLIMBING WALLS - The minarets verticality can be used to create climbing walls on it’s back, this way aiding the roofscape in the creation of different kinds of spaces for different kinds of activities.3. CONFLUENCE PLAZA - The confluence plaza is the place where the manama square opens up to the Bab Al Bahrain building Plaza confiZguring a unique Plaza.
This is the plaza where the roofscape meets the groundplan.
This is also the place where all the different programs meet, populated by led clad minarets this plaza will be able to display all sorts of informations to it’s inhabitants.4. STARTUP PLAZA - This plaza serves as a meeting point for the startup cluster. A place where new companies will be funded to develop new ideas.5. MAIN PLAZA - Located in the geometric center of the square is the main plaza.
This Plaza serves as the stage for main events in the square, like concerts, shows, theater plays, fairs, etc.6. HOTEL PLAZA - Located under the roofscape a new taxi drop off is created. (see ground plan)
The roofscape also acts as a visual landscape for the hotel rooms. (see section)7. SPORTS FIELDS - Located on top of the silo, a series of sports fields enable manama square’s users to engage in diverse sports activities, such as soccer, basketball, frisbee throwing or other simple fitness activities8. SWIMMING POOLS - Ending the diagonal created in the project are located a series of swimming pools of differing dimensions which look like puddles on the roofscape,
These puddles simultaneously serve as light well’s into the children museum and as the restoration of the sea’s presence.9. MUSEUM PLAZA - From this Plaza access to the children’s museum can be gained.
The museum’s interior is illuminated by the pools located on the roofscape creating a dreamy ambiance inside the museum space. (see section)10. EAST ENTRANCE PLAZA - Where the Central Post Office and the National Archives are located.
Behind this entrance a a tightly knight grid of small commercial places exists and physically blends to an existing market.
- SMALL SCALE DISEMINATION - One of the possibilities for small scale dissemination is the continuation of the proposed roofscape
The roofscape would hoover over the King Faisal Highway and woud connect to the two towers that compose the Bab Al Bahrain financial center, creating a continuous garden from one side of the highway to the other.
A larger scaled minaret would also be built in order to serve as a signage platform for the platform and the city itself.
- MEDIUM SCALE DISEMINATION - At this scale the proposed dissemination would compose of circular patches that would be created on unoccupied areas around the Suq.
These patches would create small vegetated areas in which people could take advantage of the shadow the palm trees would provide.
These patches could also have benches and other urban furniture so that people could have a picnic, work in the outside, play cards or just enjoy a good book.
- LARGE SCALE DISEMINATION - At a large scale dissemination screens simillar to the minarets would be placed on public plazas (with the same characteristics of the medium sized dissemination proposal around the Suq). Here activities that would be happening at the Bab Al Bahrain square would be projected in live feed, creating an extension of the main Plaza. In alternative the screens could also have an independent program.
- XLARGE DISEMINATION - Physical limit is no longer a communication barrier. Smartphone applications and a website could be created, in which anyone in the world could know and even participate in the events happening in the Manama Square.Through live feeds Manama square would become the first physical world public space.