2008 Skyscraper Competition
Claudiu Barsan-Pipu, Oana Maria Nituica, Irina Maria Dragomir, Bogdan Nicolae Ispas
The “genetic” predisposition
The urban structure of the city of Bucharest was designed without a master plan; since its creation, drifting neighborhoods developing around religious centers have defined its urban characteristics. This continuous migration, as well as the poor “circulatory irrigation”, led to a city predisposed to suffer from massive “urban strokes”, both in terms of functional disposition, as well as in the associated circulatory system.
During the last years of the communist regime, Ceausescu tried to impose his utopist, totalitarian vision over Bucharest. His top-bottom approach did not manage to change the urban structure of the city, but merely cause a massive stroke in its continuity. By the significant intervention, that eradicated almost a quarter of the old urban tissue in his attempt to “upgrade” the city, he only created the premises for what was about to be known as urban necrosis.
As it is often the case after a major, near fatal stroke, the urban tissue of Bucharest was severely affected by the urban stroke Ceausescu induced. The necrosis of the “new urbanisim” led to an increasing separation from the rest of the city in terms of public appeal and commercial functions.
Our proposal tries to suggest a new type of radical intervention, to rise up to the utopist totalitarian urban dream. We propose a vascular urban system that can revitalize the affected tissue and, without any attempt to hide the scars, provide a new start, a new lifestyle, and a new building approach.
As Ceausescu literally erased all the urban structures of a pseudo-rural city; we are now emphasizing two major changes.
1) Restoring the link between the old (traditional tissue) and the new (Communist and contemporary interventions) by recreating a new urban system; overlapping the existing and by-passing the flow of public interest to these dysfunctional spaces.
2) Creating ecological hotspots that can provide a new and self-sufficient way of living, acting and socializing, with continuous interlinks between the one and the many, the small pseudo-rural traditional houses of Bucharest and the gigantic communist spatiality.