PROBLEMS OF NEGLECTED PLACES UNDER BRIDGES: A CASE STUDY OF YEREVAN BRIDGE, BEIRUT, LEBANON
Free (open access)
739 - 750
The bridge is the symbol of the obstacle that has been crossed, and the ability of man to overcome blockages of nature via technological development, which makes it a remarkable architectural element. Its urban features are multiple providing an outstanding potential for cities. Despite the importance of the bridge as infrastructure, unfortunately in some cities in developing countries, its problem is the impact on the urban environment that causes poor conditions to the spaces underneath by blocking light and air, brings blight to the surrounding areas, and creates undefined, unclear, fuzzy spaces that often are misused. These spaces become negative, undesirable, and unwanted by communities. The inhabited bridge or “überbautenbrücken”, known as a hybrid structure – due to the fact that it bears many functions in addition to the mere crossing – has added to its multiple values the concept of inhabitation, and has revealed a new potential by bringing it closer to mankind: a certain “humanization”. This paper, therefore, aims to produce solutions to develop the neglected places under bridges by turning them into potential urban spots. Subsequently, it works on drawing out the various urban qualities of bridges. As a case stud y, the paper analyzes and surveys Yerevan Bridge in the Bourj Hammoud Area, Beirut, Lebanon, trying to produce solutions for the neglected areas beneath it through the transformation to an inhabited bridge. Through these solutions, the paper envisages innovative ideas susceptible to enlightening the path, or even participating to the rebirth of the concept of an inhabited bridge.
architecture, bridge, neglected places, infrastructure, superstructure, habitation