DASUDA, Move Mobility, Movares, RebelGroup, Prome consulting engineers
The heartbeat of Kampala; that is what Old Taxi Park is. OTP Omutima!
OTP has been the place of arrival for passengers coming to visit, trade, shop or sell at the numerous shops, market places and arcades around. The character of this place and the value attached to it, make clear the task to sustain OTP as the most important place in the Downtown area and to make a strong spatial and functional plan for the site. Central to the concept of this plan are the symbiotic character of main place of arrival, central public space and a bustling shopping and market area. Strengthening these functionalities will enhance the symbiosis of functions and make the heartbeat of Kampala even more powerful. Therefore the concept of the Master Plan emanates this heartbeat. As it is named in Luganda: OTP Omutima Gwa’Kampala.
To allow for the coexistence of different functions, OTP is envisioned as a layered complex. This conceptual gesture is further supported by the twelve meter topographical height difference between the two sides of the plot. The transportation hub is located at the top of a deck which at the same time serves as a roof of a multi-leveled shopping center.
The first component of the OTP Omutima is the public transport terminal. The terminal is central to a nearby network of mobility functions that include the city bus, BRT and coach station and the pedestrianized Luwum Street. Without the public transport facility and terminal, OTP would not be the Omutima, but the reverse is also true: the commercial functions make OTP a very popular destination for many. By adding a shopping mall to the large array of shopping and commercial activities in the city centre, OTP also enhances its attraction as key node to enter the city centre. The complex can be further enhanced by the addition of three high-rises with flexible programme depending on the market opportunities at the moment of implementation.
OTP is a public transport hub not merely consisting of infrastructure, vehicles and buildings. It is first and foremost a place for people. The OTP Omutima embraces the concept of making room again for people: providing space where pedestrians are comfortable moving through, stopping to wait, to meet, or to connect to the core of the city. Adjacent to the NMT corridor at Luwum Street, there is a comfortable space for people that offers accessibility and a meeting space that enhances social relations and exchanges.