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Sigmarsdóttir, Gudrún Birna, 2014. Searching for site-specific design : a case study of harbour transformations in Køge, Denmark and Reykjavík, Iceland. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)

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Abstract

Humans experience space in diverse ways; through their senses, observations and emotional attachments. People connect with their environment on individual and group basis and create a variety of structures, based on different meanings and experiences. Hence, our built environments represent different values and meanings. All human made structures represent history and tradition; they are signs of their time. (Tuan, 1977) As old structures and designs give way to modernising transformation, it is essential to respect and if possible to maintain some of this quality of the place and time. Consequently, a precise and detailed analysis of the nature, role, significance and value of a place pegged for re-construction has to be carried out.

During the last few decades, the transformations of old harbour areas have often been characterised by tabula rasa. This approach is increasingly being rejected by local authorities and community members who call for the preservation of many of the existing characteristics and qualities of old structures in the planning process. (Diedrich, 2013a).

Urban designers are responsible for recognising the historical and sensitive qualities of place and capturing the essential characteristics of the areas they work with; to draw on their experiences and utilise their training to create environments which fulfil the needs and wishes of the users as well as complementing and respecting the surrounding areas and the site itself.

This thesis will explore the different ways in which designers experience and value built environments. It will outline and analyse the means by which urban designers engage with such values whilst meeting the needs and wishes for the local people and authorities. Through the use of specific case studies – two harbour areas - this thesis will explore how a respectful and creative design can combine the values of the past with the expectations of the future.

This thesis will provide a critical evaluation of the responsibilities placed on urban designers. Through the use of case studies, the focus is drawn to two different harbour sites outlining and evaluating how local Municipal Plans and urban design can come together in harmonious ways. The focus will be on understanding site, site specificity, alternative planning and temporary design. The thesis will take the reader through the particular processes Abstractand practices which have in some cases taken place and in others are still in planning for the case study sites.

This thesis examines the links between the past, present and future; it explores current transformations and future visions for the two harbour Areas - Køge, Denmark and Reykjavík, Iceland - by utilising analytical methods developed by Lisa Diedrich. A literature review will provide a detailed explanation for the concepts of ‘space’ and ‘place’ and it will further outline how vital good planning and sound design are to the successful creation of practical and meaningful environments in redeveloped harbour areas. It will also outline different methods that can be used to evaluate areas and sites due for re- development.

The concluding part of the thesis describes how the two case studies might benefit from utilising flexible plans; it will outline the positive aspects of designing and building areas in phases, where experiments with temporal design are used in reflective ways, with key foci on efficiency, utility and human activities.

Main title:Searching for site-specific design
Subtitle:a case study of harbour transformations in Køge, Denmark and Reykjavík, Iceland
Authors:Sigmarsdóttir, Gudrún Birna
Supervisor:Diedrich, Lisa
Examiner:Lindholm, Gunilla and Dacke, Peter
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM006 Landscape Architecture 120 HEC
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:specificity, harbour, site, transformation, Køge, Reykjavík
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-3993
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-3993
Subjects:Landscape architecture
Language:English
Deposited On:17 Nov 2014 11:19
Metadata Last Modified:17 Nov 2014 11:24

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