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M4H - Merwevierhaven, Rotterdam: the 21st century Port-City interface.

Davide Del Bono, Martina Franco

M4H - Merwevierhaven, Rotterdam: the 21st century Port-City interface.

Rel. Angelo Sampieri. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2020

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Since the 1960s, "European ports have seen a rational migration away from their traditional urban cores, to deeper and less regulated waters". The World Gateway was no exception: during the most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, the city of Rotterdam and its port developed a “living-apart-together” type of coexistence, since economic driven transformations led their functions to follow relatively separate development trails. Their relationship started loosening until the port turned its back on the urban core completely switching role from the manually operated heart of the city, into a distant automated wealth propeller. The breakup between the city and its port can be identified in a specific spatial fallout, more precisely in the inner harbour areas left vacant by the port moving northward and the city pushing towards the sky. Following the “waterfront renaissance” trend, that touched port-cities globally, those traditional spaces of trade and production have slowly attracted the attention of city planners for their cultural heritage, symbolic architecture and high-quality urban design. The projection of these traits into the turn of the 20th century led these port-city interfaces to become pivotal points in new development plans for a city going through a government-driven transition from its roots as a traditional, industrial port city to a sustainable, and resilient modern metropolis. Such transformation is curiously marked by a gradual change originated in the past few years from the port starting reconsidering its role within and in relation to the urban logic. After years of relegation to the backstage, it is now evolving following the modern economic trend to offer services related to the information technology and the knowledge economy in general, opening its boundaries toward a systemic coexistence with the urban environment. At the apex of this turmoil, Merwe-Vierhavens is one of the last areas outside the dykes that in this phase of transition, still maintain their original port-related function, therefore it has been a redundant subject in both agendas to answer City and Port authorities contemporary needs. Early on 2018, the city of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority decided to re-brand the Merwe-Vierhavens areas as part of the future “Rotterdam Makers District”, the place in the region for the innovative manufacturing industry. Though, this west-ward bit of inner harbour is still far from being truly part of a single urban system, offering a fertile ground to set roots of a design proposal that could join the quest for innovation and experimentation. For the purpose, this research presents a project that defines a phased strategic vision for the district which exploits the new possibility to mix clashing functions in the same area. The proposal relies on the balance between the contamination of the port with a dense urban character, and the deconstruction of the harbour body for the realization of open spaces. Such ambition is meant to bring the city closer to the river, with residential and tertiary activities leading the real estate development, while spaces of manufacture, knowledge and cultural production engage economic and social values development both for the district and the facing neighbourhoods at first, and to the whole city in the long-term future.

Relators: Angelo Sampieri
Academic year: 2019/20
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 193
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/15012
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