Togliatti is a Russian city organized in a grid structure of 1km x
1km; within its meshes housing districts are settled which can be
described as little autonomous villages. The city is situated on the
river Volga; its prosperity derives from large scale chemical industry
and the Lada car factories. The municipality organised an international
competition to improve the identity of certain abandoned areas.|
The main intention of the design is to connect the city centre with
the river embankment. By doing so the proposal denies the brief and
rejects introducing a mono-functional zone which only increases the
separation between the city and river.
The strategy to colonise the area is based on the programmatic insecurity
of the commissioner; the proposal was intended to work even when the
ambitions of the municipality were much higher than their means.
The design extends the city grid up to the waterside, but using a
smaller / finer framework of approximately 90m x 170m (to illustrate:
a Barcelona block (113m x 113m) fits 49 times into a Togliatti block.
For this new grid structure different scenarios of possible programmes
are developed. The building programme is concentrated in the edges
of the blocks (‘density scenarios’) while the inner area
of the blocks provide a collective quality (‘courtyard scenarios’).
The aim is to keep the edges of the blocks rather thin in order to
work as a filter between an informal inner world (‘horti conclusi’)
and the public domain. By combining different scenarios, which can
also be adapted to actual needs and ambitions without losing their
spatial quality, an unlimited diversity is brought into existence.