Location: Kalmar, Sweden
Area: 24 rondels
Status: Architectural analysis
See the report HERE
For a long time roundabouts have been considered as unique places through their function and design as a place for sculptures, flower beds, etc. This image is changing. The roundabouts are now more commonly used as traffic solutions and they have lost their special exhibition status. Roundabouts which previously served as points of orientation have become ordinary functional traffic spaces. The requirements for the space in which the roundabout is placed have increased.
The number of roundabouts in Kalmar Stad has increased to the extent that it has become important to place them in a new context – the question is how to handle the new status of this traffic space.
Our claim in this report is that through the increase in the number of roundabouts they have lost their unique status and that they cannot then automatically be equalled with a natural precondition for e.g. a public embellishment. The unique preconditions of the place no longer justify the qualities of the object.
It is therefore interesting to analyse the roundabouts in relation to their surroundings. This creates the possibility to generate ’new’ urban spaces with qualities which can explain the composition and identity of the town or city. The fully developed roundabout will become a qualitatively structured element for the city as a square, a park or as a part of several squares in a larger context.
In this way the city can reclaim the roundabouts as a part of the urban space and move the limits for what can be perceived as town centre, limits for the traffic landscape or what is perceived as a park. This may be an interesting parameter when talking about densification of the city and its areas ripe for development.
New connections – new possibilities