Seen as a great divide across Romania, the River Somes is to undergo an ambitious renewal that will see it transformed into a hub of activity and plantlife that seamlessly connects the natural world and the urban landscape.
Rethinking Somes is an ambitious project that aims to breach the divide created by the River Somes in Romania. This project will integrate large public spaces and ecological systems that will turn the river from a distinct divider into a seamless part of the city.
The River Somes as it is now
Spain-based Studio Practica won a competition to redesign this iconic landmark by producing a diverse range of solutions to the varied conditions of the river and proposing a re-imagination of its role to the people of Romania. Their vision is to create an urban connector of public spaces, green areas and travelling paths for pedestrians and cyclists. The river is expansive as it crosses through Cluj-Napoca for over 15kms, and Studio Practica sees it as the perfect foundation to create a new space that people of all ages can enjoy.
The landscape will be softened to allow puclic integration into the natural space
Studio Practica has proposed a three-part plan that will bridge the gap as an urban connector.
Firstly, a terrace system will expand the river’s edge and seamlessly blend it into the urban landscape. This will allow for the hard edge to be softened and naturalised with the inclusion of rocks, sand and local vegetation and greenery. The river will become more accessible and incorporate areas for a diverse range of recreation and activities.
Secondly, a system of bicycle and pedestrian paths will promote population circulation along the river. As pathways are currently fragmented and restrict manoeuvrability, this will open up a new source of public energy and space and will allow the river to become the primary source of movement for the city.
Finally, a set of diagonal pedestrian bridges will extend partway across the river to create a visual and physical connection between the city and the river, connected by the people.
Small pedestrian bridges will connect the land with the river
Rethinking Somes is a project that carries a lot of responsibility and high ambition. To transform this large landmark that divides an entire city into a central hub of life and nature is no easy feat and requires dedication and passion from the team at Studio Practica. However, once completed, the River Somes will be an icon of bridging the gap between the natural world and the urban landscape.