Our cities are in a constant state of change as a result of global warming, air pollution and soil sealing. These problems push us to test and apply new, innovative concepts and principles. The Corona crisis in particular has shown how important the design of surfaces in urban space is for people to stay in our cities when they do not have the option of going out into nature or travelling. Far too often, however, our cities are not designed for a relaxing stay, but for the most effective use possible by car.
In recent years, more and more cities in Europe have expressed the plan to become car-free. In most cases, this involves traffic-calmed zones in the city centre that can only be used for public transport and delivery traffic. At the forefront are cities such as Barcelona, Oslo and Paris, which have launched an entire agenda to reduce or even ban cars from city centres. In most German cities, these are merely pilot projects that are supposed to deliver results over a medium-term period on the effects of car freedom and what changes. 
The banishment of private cars from the city centre makes large parking areas in the same area obsolete. The same applies to multi-lane roads leading into the city centre, which become superfluous when only delivery traffic and public transport use the roads. The resulting spaces that are created in the urban space have to be made usable again for the inhabitants through new concepts and design, as they were primarily designed for the car. This fact inspired me to look at different possibilities to play with these spaces and to make the city experienceable again.
Research and problem statement
In times of the Corona pandemic, when ever larger parts of life had to take place outdoors, the need for well-designed solutions for urban spaces became obvious. Commercial actors as well as cities and local governments were forced to find new ways to enable and make outdoor gathering, eating or playing more attractive.
That's why I decided on a system that can be modified according to budget and application to be specifically adapted for a use. The basic elements of any seating group are ways to sit down. In order to prevent vandalism and the indiscriminate moving of seating and to make the theft of individual elements impossible, MIKADO consists of permanently installed benches and high tables that can be variably adjusted to the desired height by the responsible authorities. These elements are complemented by planters with trellises that can be integrated into the system.​​​​
Operation and construction
MIKADO is based on a modular system with 4.5 m long hot-dip galvanised steel poles at its core. They have a T-slot along their entire length, which is used to mount benches, bar tables and other attachments.
The masts are inclined outwards at an angle of 7.5° and thus not only create structural stability, but also open up to the users in a friendly manner and invite them to enter the footbridge.  
​​​​​​​The substructure consists of solid concrete foundations that not only support the masts but also form the mounting for the wooden deck. Thanks to the various individual parts, MIKADO can be put together in a large number of ways and assembled according to budget or space requirements. 
If required, the system can be electrified through the poles in order to mount lights. In addition, due to the variable pier construction, the insertion of plant containers and the attachment of trellises can be made possible.
Sketches and modelling
In the process of form finding, a wide variety of drawings and concepts were visualised on the basis of the existing research and tested both three-dimensionally and digitally. The majority of the elaborations were created in Cinema 4D, the renderings in Keyshot 10.
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