Kranzgasse 18/5B, 1150 Vienna, Austria
project image
Birnbeck Pier
Birnbeck / England - second prize
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 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. 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. (...) 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 (...).