Email Interview: Jasmax who received the second prize for the Tallinn Vision Competition Street 2020

We continue our discussion with the winners of the Tallinn Vision Competition Street 2020 held under the auspices of TAB Tallinn Architecture Biennale.

Below is the interview I did with Jasmax, who received the Second prize, about their design proposal The Urban Lobby. Jasmax is composed of Kenneth Li, Mark Craven and Fraser Moor.

from: Why do you think a hybrid condition between street, square, and park may be more efficient for a city like Tallinn?
to: We believe that part of what a more liveable and efficient city is about is that different modes and speeds of movement should be the derivative of what the space should be. A hybrid condition between street, square, and park allows the flexibility to priorities pedestrian, cyclist, tram patrons, vehicles to simultaneously enjoy the space that they are navigating through. Especially for cyclists and pedestrians, they should be able to enjoy their journey, whilst allowing them to pause and rest, look around, allowing our design elements to promote unforeseen activities, and provide the feeling of a 'sense of place.'

from: When I read the text that accompanies your design proposal, it seems that movements and nodes act as efficient tools to reorganise Tallin urban space. They appear to be central in your proposal. Can you tell us more?
to: We saw that the chosen site intersects the existing city grid along its length. Rather than ignoring these intersections (nodes) we saw them as reception areas for the city, where the public can congrate and invigorate the immediate context. They also act as crucial collection and redistributed points along the entire length of the site for humans to easily flow to their desired location. At each node selected program is either amplified over diminished based on its immediate context, the result is they enhance and produce a more successful urban fabric. Movement along the length of the site, between each node, is executed through three key program arrangements. Each length caters for the varying number of volumes in each program that move along the site, the result is the positioning of the program (public pedestrian and cycling movement, vehicle movement, tram movement, public park space, and private buildings) changes in relation to each other.
The Urban Lobby — Tallinn Vision Competition Street 2020 design proposal © Jasmax

from: How does The Urban Lobby resolve this current oppisition between programs (common in cities) — foot versus cycling versus vehicles (cars, tram, bus… — to allow for a more open, flexible and high-quality urban space?
to: The urban lobby resolves this current oppisition by breaking up the large site into manageable smaller scale lengths that key into their immediate contect. Joining these length together is made with the nodes. The result is these hybrid lengths minimize conflicts between program and maximizes synergies. The result is long-term cost savings, improved performance and life cycle, reduced environmental impact, and increased returns on municipal investments.

From: Why does "Lobby" mean in The Urban Lobby? I understand it more as closed to the paradigm of "relationship"…
to: Traditionally, a lobby to a building is apoint of collection and redistribution, we find this usually an interesting place which promotes informal interaction. If we apply this idea at an urban scale, te intersections of movement in a city only allows for redistribution and not collection. Our design aims to redesign intersections a places for collection too. By injecting programmes into these 'lobbies', it produces a hybrid urban fabric, they become interesting places to be.
The Urban Lobby — Tallin Vision Competition Street 2020 design proposal © Jasmax

from: Thank you Jasmax

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