THESES OF THE DISCUSSION
Conference „CONNECTIONS — The Town and the River"
1. Today, we design our cities without one common idea of a plan. Under the guise of creating a “spatial order”, the city arises without deliberation over the significance of urban space as an act of building a work of art.
2. The City with the River are not only tools for living. The City and the River can be “invented” according to rules of art – composition (decomposition), order and harmony of urban tissue – principles that do not exclude the diversity of the Game in the City.
3. The first step in creating urban relations are bridges. A bridge – as a line stretched over a river between two points – marks a direction and forms a connection.
4. The river is a great metaphor – it may be a sentimental journey in search of all kinds of sources, a procession of things carried by a flood, a personal memory of holiday in childhood. The river means time, constant movement and unpredictability. The river is a continuous and natural change. The city can be a frame for this metaphor.
5. The relation between the City and the River is not just building – it consists of giving meanings and defining the term architecture in the phenomenon of nature. Currently, in the course of the River, the expressive borders of the City are symbolically marked by the Abbey (West) and the heat and Power Plant (East). The both buildings need the River.
6. The view prevails – very valid in the times of sustainable urban development – that River banks in the City should not be built-up at all – they should serve the city with their natural development and form ecological corridors. This corresponds to the Howardian ideas of the garden city, which should be treated today as a search for a system (linear, polycentric) based on the natural course of the River.
7. Perhaps, however, one should return to the concepts according to which the monumentalization of space benefits the City-River relationship? Yet, monument buildings are primary elements; they participate in the evolution of the city and over time they become urban archetypes (residential and public) creating the urban identity and the specificity of the place. Thus, Architecture becomes a tool of a Plan.
8. The City and the River expresses therefore an idea containing the composition of the Place – defined by the geometry of elementary urban meanings (square, museum, temple, bridge, perimeter building, block of flats, street, port, park). The Architect’s drawing determines everything.
9. The sense of the City and the River may be to create recognizable (model) places without unnecessary attempts to re-transform them in the future. Dense urban tissue, as well as “open” urban forms may prove useful in thinking about the future scenario for the Metropolis.
10. Therefore: the River in the City, the City by the River, or the City and the River…?
D.Sc. Ph.D. Arch. Marcin Charciarek
Chairman of the MBA’2019 Conference