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The idea of the new development and actions on the Targ Węglowy square came at a time when the parking function disappeared from the historic square, and nothing new has come on its place. Car-free space presented the opportunity to propose a new, organized public square, which the Main City in Gdańsk lacks. City Culture Institute in collaboration with GDYBY group proposed temporary space in the form of urban grassland rooms, as one of the many possibilities of organizing this place and to inspire some subsequent actions.
Form of the design was a result of its temporary character and a relatively small budget, but also a need to neutrally interfere with historical surroundings. The main idea was to drag the citizens into kind of a game, in which they participated from the moment they entered the square. GDYBY group designed a light modular OSB furnishings in a form of cubic boxes. Users had the opportunity to create their own little spaces in which they felt comfortably. Kids were creating their ideal playgrounds and geometrical compositions, while adults used cubes as tables, seats and space divisions. The whole arrangement was completed with natural grass areas which created „rooms” and gathered people around them. This intervention helped manage the considerable size of the square making it a little bit more cosy.
This universally arranged space became a proper background for selection of events carried out by City Culture Institute. The citizens had an opportunity to eat breakfast together, spend the day on reading, relaxing and playing games and in the evening – watch a movie.
The essence of the project was very forward-looking and based on the principle of public participation. Residents of the city by adapting and arranging the space according to their needs, passed important information about what is needed in the square. From August 26 to September 4 Targ Weglowy Square turned into a place to discuss and share opinions about the role that it could play in the future.
Location: Gdańsk, Poland
Organization: City Culture Institute, City of Gdańsk
Architects: GDYBY group – www.gdyby.pl
Partner: Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto
Patronage: Mayor of Gdańsk – Paweł Adamowicz
Collaboration: Joseph Conrad Provincial and Municipal Public Library in Gdansk, Cafe Absinthe