SuperTent is a proposal for a dynamic urban generator: a multi-faceted social hub to enter into a symbiosis with the existing urban context, and to set standards as the focal point of newly built districts.
Symbiosis of a City
The enormous footprints of the conventional mixed-use archetypes, and more so their duplication throughout the city, create a state of ‘urban tristesse’: Large, impermeable boxes seek to absorb all activity into their interiors, effectively cutting communication with their surroundings. Entrances become ‘black holes’ in the urban fabric that contributes to physical and social disconnection in our cities.
Tent for Social Encounter
In an optimistic outlook, SuperTent breaks the mould of these closed volumes: Envisaged as a plug-in recreational shelter, it is an assembly of various leisure, cultural, entertainment, and educational elements under the permeability of a tent cover. Its aesthetic of incompleteness, apparent throughout the plug-in scheme, mirrors the ever-changing conditions in urban development.
Visual and physical porosity evades social exclusion and marginalization of public space while offering expandable solutions for commercial program. In line with an activated hub function, public transportation has been anchored at the centre of the SuperTent rather than being placed on the site perimeter.
Plug-in Recreational Shelter
The SuperTent offers a glimpse into a microcity, its beauty, its order, and its chaos. On a generic site of typical mixed-use plot dimensions, it gathers the tools usually attributed to city planning, by assigning formal functions – districts, edges, nodes, and landmarks – to elements. In parallel, it creates cultural, educational, and recreational functions for a centre of genuine civic value which contributes positively to city life.