Cities are constantly undergoing transformations. In the urban development of today, the elements of the city increasingly appear as hybrid structures, where infrastructure, built structure and open structure fuse. The borderline between the different layers of the city disperses and blurs and new hybrid typologies with intertwined layers appear in the city. The focus is to assemble the many layers of the city in one large urban structure, where the city becomes building and the building become city. This project is about the design of a city landscape where city, urban spaces, buildings, infrastructure etc. melt together. The project site is Budolfi Plads (Budolfi Square) in Aalborg city with a central placement in the history of Aalborg and among the inhabitant of Aalborg.
Aalborg has always been known as an industrial city with red brick buildings, grey concrete, large industrial facilities and working middle class families. However, in the last decade there have been changes, which have shaken the industrial foundation. Changes that are taking Aalborg from an industrial city to a city with a focus on knowledge, education and culture. These changes are also happening on Budolfi Plads. Historically the site has gone through several stages; as a slum neighborhood, a market place, a public space and today as a mix of parking space, commercial buildings and transit area. Well-defined building volumes and the infrastructural network of the inner city define the site. It is a central part of the old city of Aalborg, but now it appears as a disconnected part between two shopping streets meant only for the car traffic. The high and slender form of the church tower of the Budolfi Church makes it best suited for the old city with narrow streets instead of a large open square. The city has many shopping possibilities but it is lacking the opportunity of a recreational stay without spending money. The inner city is missing functionality, such as grocery stores, kindergartens etc. that makes the everyday living easy for families with children. The centre has become a place for young people living in smaller apartments without any outdoor spaces whereas families with small children live out in the suburb.
The project connects the public spaces, while simultaneously creating a building, which interacts with the historical aspect of the site – such as Budolfi Church and the Museum. The design has resulted in a single building volume, which has several contrasts and functions that attracts all kinds of different people, but with the family being the prime audience. The building contains a science center and daily functions such as grocery shopping, fitness and a kindergarten.
Furthermore there are a wide range of different urban and public spaces for instance the large green path area on one part of the building, which has seating areas, a playground and different views. The green path uses the nature of Ådalen (the Valley of the Stream) as an inspiration to create a new layer in the city, where the citizens find peace and intimacy. The top floors have different sized apartments, all with a terrace, laundry and other services. At last there is a huge parking lot below the building, which is highly needed to maintain the parking facilities required for the inhabitants in this fast growing city.
The two contrasting V’s expression interact with the city as it together with the surroundings create a variable experience of the spaces around the building. One has a geometric urban character and a high building density and the other has an organic character. At all places the building meets and integrate with the context as the shape of the building does not generate a backside. The project works with the heights and flows in the area. The building steps down towards the church to give it space, but build up in the opposite corner as a gesture towards the church tower. The city, the building and the flow fuse in different levels.