- p_006 birnbeck pier
The site conjures the common architectural dilemma of how to amalgamate the antagonizing spatial qualities of an iconic figure with those of unobstructed open space.
On the one hand, Birnbeck Island represents a pivotal point within the distinctive identity and picturesque promenade along North Somerset seafront. As such, it seems perfectly fitting for a figural landmark and it often has been argued that such an iconic development would have an important regeneration effect both locally as well as regionally.
On the other hand, however, any large aggregation of built space would inevitably erode the pier’s principal spatial qualities: blocking yet unobstructed vistas towards mainland and sea, obstructing lively open plazas for promenading, leisure and public gathering etc. Moreover, it would pose a disproportionate counterweight to both the existing historic fabric as well as the delicate natural backdrop.
The project's main ambition is to overcome the aforementioned dichotomy and suggest a spatial composition where the open space is modulated such that it becomes the icon itself, rather than the built space in a traditional figure-ground composition. In order to achieve this we suggest a model that acknowledges the necessity for an icon in order to foster the attractiveness of the region and, yet, responds to the existing qualities of the site, the historic fabric, and the subsequent size constraints (...).
- project data
Project: "birnbeck pier" | Year: 2008 | Type: Competition Finalist "Birnbeck Pier Competition" | Client: Urban Splash | Location: Weston-Super-Mare, England | Publications & Exhibitions: Published in "Urban Splash" | Competition Team: moh | Collaborators: - | Consultants: -