Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Photography: Ethan Lee
The 1.7-km-long former railway line crossing downtown Taichung was an important catalyst for the development of the old city. The railway’s historical value plays an important role in the revitalization of the urban realm around it.
Near the historic city of Morelia, this project in a forested area takes the form of a vaulted concrete shelter to create a family home, integrated within the site’s lush surroundings. The main inspiration came from the subtle murmurs of the untouched environment and the user’s search for protection and shelter.
Location: Pyeongtaek, South Korea
Area: 209.00 m2
The Black over Black garden, an unavoidable entrée, located in the direct vicinity of the main entrance, is a scenic overture to Dongmal Neighborhood Park. It readies visitors for the things to come and invites the contemplator to concentrate entirely on the sensory experience of passing through this cleansing environment: the cloudy mist that rises from the ground feels pleasantly cool on the skin and then disappears between the trunks of the birch trees. With the slight rustling of the leaves above and the firm dark ground underfoot, the visitor walks through this protected space and is connected with another world.
Having lost the capacity to think the city as a whole, architecture has seen its field of incumbency restricted almost exclusively to the design of the individual building. Because of this, architects can only contribute to the city in a disjointed and fragmentary manner, without ever having the opportunity to conceptualize a project of its totality. At the same time, urbanists seem indifferent to the possibility of defining concrete urban space and more preoccupied instead with issues of operational management of the city. While consistently avoiding any significant propositional stance, they limit themselves to the metrics of abstract metropolitan dystopia.
Jon Lott / Para Project, completes the Brugge Diptych – a temporary pavilion for the 2021 Brugge Triennale, TraumA, Brugge, Belgium. The Diptych served as an event space for the Triennale’s programming, addressing issues in urban trauma, and was one of several international commissions open within the city through late Fall.
As one of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients of the second edition of Exhibit Columbus, SO – IL took on the preservation effort at the Miller House and Garden and turned it into a temporary landmark for play in the city of Columbus, Indiana.
Enric Miralles talked a lot about the beginning of a project. How to begin, where to begin, and what to begin with? These are complex and important questions to discuss, because a project’s beginning will determine its direction. There are many productive ways to begin a project and each implies a certain process of working.
Architects: Karim Nader Studio with architect Ivana Nestorovic
Location: Beirut, Liban
Area: 1,000.00 m2
Photography: Dia Mrad
On the August 4, 2020, the third biggest non-nuclear explosion ever recorded rocked Beirut from its epicenter at the port, spreading across several kilometers, leaving the city and its neighborhoods in a state of complete destruction and human despair. As part of the relief efforts to rebuild and recover educational spaces that were affected, Karim Nader Studio was approached by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to repair 10 public schools in the west of Beirut in an emergency swift action in coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Ground Truth is an ongoing project that aims to provide historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalised Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert, Israel. While forced physical displacement and illegalisation render these communities non-existent on maps and aerial imaging, state-led land works and afforestation transform and erase their land and material cultural remains. The project aims to document and collate disparate legal, historical, and material evidence for the continuity of the sedentary presence of the Bedouin population on this land, as well as traces of their repeated displacement and destruction by government forces.
Leire Asensio Villoria and David Mah, founders of asensio_mah, talk about upgrading mid-century model systems through the refabrication of tectonic prototypes. They discuss how they engage with Austrian-American sculptor Erwin Hauer’s work in their book Systems Upgrade, published by Actar Publishers.
In 1968, the exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity opened, curated by Jasia Reichardt and held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. That exhibition marked the first experiments using computers in all different creative processes, from musical composition to literary exercises, from graphic production to interactive installations. That same year marked the death of Sigfried Giedion, author of Mechanization Takes Command, a study that reformulated historiography by reviewing the impact of mechanization on Modernism. To an extent, the exhibition marked the beginning of a new phenomenon digitalization which replaced mechanization in the articulation of prevailing culture. Nearly half a century has passed since then and digitalization permeates every level of our lives.
This study is, in part, a criticism of the specialized microhistories through which the digital phenomenon in architecture is generally approached. In a society that constantly promotes specialized knowledge which multiply at an exponential rate it is increasingly difficult to amass “general knowledge,” and architecture is no exception in that regard. If technology is put forward as the basis for specialization, but it also affects architectural culture as a whole, we need to engage in studies that look at digitalization from a holistic and cultural point of view. That does mean we should attempt to establish a globalizing narrative or macrodiscourse, but we should aim to provide a vision of the phenomenon that is as open as possible.
Over the past decades, the world has encountered mounting challenges resulting from unprecedented rapid rates of technological advancements, increasing social and economic disparities, dangers from natural disasters, conflicting values and cultures, and more recently, life-threatening pandemics.
Architects: Kéré Architecture, Diébédo Francis Kéré
Location: Koudougou, Burkina Faso
Area: 1660 m²
Photography: Iwan Baan and Kéré Architecture
Located in the third most populated city in Burkina Faso, the Lycée Schorge Secondary School not only sets a new standard for educational excellence in the region, it also provides a source of inspiration by showcasing locally sourced building materials in an innovative and modern way.
After 18 months directing a context-specific research effort, designer Lucas Muñoz has created his largest project. The restaurant Mo de Movimiento is a compendium of several techniques and strategies mastered by the author throughout his career. Ventilation systems based on terracotta and water are the cooling hearts of a construction that deploys a complex, yet simple, water management system. These red clay elements cool down Madrid’s dry, hot air through an adiabatic exchange of temperature – in an innovative combination of vernacular knowledge and low technology, created specifically for this location by Lucas and his team. Furthermore, the space heats its own water using the remnant power of its two hand-made pizza ovens. There is also a triple filtration of the water supply: pumped through different deposits, grey water is reused to flush the toilets, and rain water and the runoff from the terracotta cooling systems are used to irrigate the garden. Water is a scarce resource in Madrid, and Lucas’ project for Mo de Movimiento is a design that counts on every drop for a chain of cooling, cleaning and gardening functions.
Sanya Farm Lab is a 4,000 sqm four-story exhibition space located in the Nanfan High Tech District of Sanya, the southernmost city on tropical Hainan Island. Showcasing advanced scientific and technological agricultural processes that respond to Sanya’s characteristic climate, the multi-functional compound combines research, commercial and educational uses, and communal experience.
Excerpt from Out-onomy, edited by Silvia Colmenares, published by DPA Prints’. Architectural Design Department, ETSAM-UPM.
In June 2016 the second Critic|all conference, in coordination with the 7th edition of the MPAA Master program, proposed reconsideration of the concept of architecture’s autonomy and its current role both in professional practice and in architecture theory.
The call issued by the conference made reference to globalization’s pragmatism and its impact over and through the economic, social, political, technological, warfare and ecological realms. And, it declared, as heir to Postmodernism and its distaste for Utopia and ideology, globalization promotes a concealed recognition of the status quo.
In “Fragment on Machines,” Marx made the case that with investment in automated technology, which he called fixed capital, capitalism is able to reduce necessary labor time and increase both surplus labor and value. Marx then speaks of the possibility of sublating surplus labor to free time, which he understood as “both idle time and time for higher activity.” This speculation, in which the type of labor corresponding to a capitalist mode of production disappears, is predicated on new technological developments. Within the concept of free time, Marx envisions a communist emancipation of the subject, since free time “[transforms] its possessor into a different subject, [who] then enters into the direct production process as this different subject.” This idea resonates with Marx and Engels’s famous lines in The German Ideology in which they state that within a communist society, it is “possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” With this utopian image in mind, however, we should not, as Marx himself emphasized, confuse “free time” with “play” in the sense of Charles Fourier. Instead, free time needs to be understood as productive, as for allowing individual interests and desires to be developed while contributing to societal and scientific progress at large. The will for free time requires its organization against constant valorization, which is to say, alienation. One hundred and sixty years after the Grundrisse was written, Marx’s question of how to effectively sublate surplus labor has yet to be fully resolved. Yet in the recent past, there have been three main responses, which can be summarized as follows:
1) Seize the means of production, such as in various socialist collective projects.
2) Transform surplus labor into a form of resistance and the general intellect into a multitude, as outlined in the work of thinkers like Toni Negri, Paolo Virno, and others.
3) Accelerate towards full automation, implement universal income and an ethic of “working less,” as in the Situationists and, more recently, accelerationists.
This project is located in a housing development in the Western Sierra of Madrid. Set within a pine forest, next to an SPA (Special Protection Area) for birds, it forms part of a biodiversity-rich area that is currently under threat. The project consists of a sociobioclimatic, multifunctional cabin for a migrant couple and their extended family, as well as other, small animal architectures based around one insect that has become a defining agent in this ecosystem: the pine processionary moth. Together these make up a micro-landscaping and architecture project for humans and other animal species in which alternative ways of inhabiting the place are explored from a care perspective.
Upcycle House is an experimental project, aimed at exposing potential carbon emission reductions through the use of recycled and upcycled building materials. In the case of Upcycle House, the reduction has been 86% compared to a benchmark house.
With increasing building performance in regards to operational energy consumption, focus has now shifted towards CO2 emissions associated with construction. Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or waste products into new materials or products of higher quality, resulting in a reduction in production and therefore CO2 emissions. When building houses, it is therefore environmentally beneficial to think in terms of material recycling, since the materials have already emitted CO2. It is even better to develop processes where garbage or useless materials can be upcycled and reused for new building materials of higher utility value than they had originally.
A total of 8,300 m2 of zero-km wood from the forests of the Basque Country were used to build the 10,000 m2 floor area of the new building in Cornellà de Llobregat (Barcelona), consisting of 85 social dwellings across five floors. The most notable aspects of this new social housing block by the Barcelona practice Peris+Toral Arquitectes include the layout of communicating rooms to eliminate hallway spaces and make full use of the floor plan, and the use of wood to enable the industrialization of the process, improve the quality of the construction, and notably cut down on building times and reduce CO2 emissions.
In February 2016 the National Housing Commission, CONAVI (for its acronym in Spanish), renewed its operating rules for providing federal subsidies. New regulations established that the use of traditional materials and constructive systems such as bamboo, straw, bajareque, palm, carrizo and wood, was considered precarious, denying access to federal funds for self-construction practices using these materials.
Therefore, the first housing exercise, carried out jointly with the community of Tepetzintan in five workshops focused on technical training and participatory design, was ineligible to receive government support, making it difficult for residents to self-build the project.
The Weggishof, a mixed-use development in Weggis on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, is a hybrid wood construction and consists of 39 apartments made of prefabricated wooden elements. These are intersected with a bracing concrete fundament, which houses 1,200 m2 of commercial space with public uses. The apartments, ranging from simple studios to five-room apartments, are double faced and open onto the green, seasonal and biodiversity-oriented courtyard with a garden and a playground, which is a public meeting place for the community.
The elderly care home is a part of the Skärvet city block, which is the starting point of Bäckaslöv, a new urban district in Växjö being developed along the railway connecting the city center to the Norra Bergundasjön lake. The L- shaped building is the first phase and the cornerstone of the city block, offering mixed forms of tenure around a spacious, shared courtyard.
Crises caused by natural disasters or situations of conflict are always a challenge to health and habitability. They put a strain on care systems and their capability. In countries where health, housing and welfare services are already limited, these needs will be exacerbated.
Walking has great potential. It may not be the fastest or, according to some, the most comfortable way to get around, but it is the only type of movement which doesn’t require a vehicle. By walking more, we limit the influence of our movements on the environment. As a result, creating room for walking frees up space in the city, which can be used to tackle diverse social and environmental challenges. Oddly enough, the pedestrian is often forgotten in the design of our public spaces. This research by design is developed in close collaboration with urban psychologist Sander van der Ham (STIPO). It provides insight into the potential benefits of walking and identifies the necessary design tasks in our built environment to realize those benefits.
Each year, hundreds of magazines around the world issue their own “most livable city” surveys. These questionnaires attempt to measure urbanism by the vague idea of quality of life. Vienna is perpetually at the top of this list, followed in short order by Vancouver, Zurich, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Sydney, and other places that we might have enjoyed on a vacation but are not lucky enough to live in. Most of us inhabit perfectly functional cities that will never appear on a “livability” list. These are places that the tour books tell us to skip, ringed by industrial sectors, agglomerations of infrastructure, nondescript suburbs sprawling out into the landscape. Their historic evolution has not been an attempt to preserve some fictive past but to provide a staging area for future developments. Houston is one of these. It is unlikely to ever rank on a “most livable” list, because it lacks the historic districts, quaintness, and walkability that seem to be prerequisites for inclusion in this club. Instead, it is comprised of mirrored glass towers, broken pavement, abandoned storefronts, ubiquitous strip malls, and other detritus of contemporary urban life (which are, incidentally, qualities that many Houstonians have affection for). It feels, at moments, much more like a relic of the developing world than a gleaming, wealthy northern metropolis.
Ghost Cities are vacant neighborhoods and sometimes whole cities that were built but were never inhabited. Their existence is a physical manifestation of Chinese overdevelopment in real estate and the dependence on housing as an investment strategy. Little data exists which establishes the location and extent of these Ghost Cities in China. MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab developed a model using data scraped from Chinese social media sites and Baidu (Chinese Google Maps) to create one of the first maps identifying the locations of Chinese Ghost Cities.
This community facilities center (a nursery school, an elementary school, a gymnasium, a library and a school canteen) designed by the trio Atelier PNG, Julien Boidot and Emilien Robin for the village of Neuvecelle in Haute-Savoie, just won the most prestigious French architectural award, the Équerre d’argent 2021. The architects worked on a family of buildings, inspired by vernacular mountain architecture but resolutely contemporary in their materiality, their openness and fluidity. The project generates an interesting interplay between the programs, the urban context and the landscape of Lake Geneva with a very attentive scale relationship with its users and especially the children.
There are a lot of restrictive conditions on the site. There are metro emergency exits and the Eco-huis in the back has to be accessible to emergency fire services and deliveries at all times. For this reason, the new office building was conceived as a bridge spanning the entire site.
Architects: BonhôteZapata architectes and La Touche Verte architecture paysagère
Location: Chêne Bougeries, Geneva, Switzerland
Area: 5200 sqm
Photography: Johannes Marburg and BonhôteZapata architectes
This green construction of 49 apartments and a nursery school is the result of a competition organised by the Council of Chêne-Bougeries to assign a plot of land to a cooperative for a social and architectural project.
The conditions were for the cooperatives to provide innovative, economic and sustainable housing, to be put on the market at cost price.
If there are a set of institurions that have symbolised the aspirations of an independent Indian state and its people, these are the twenty-three Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) spread across the country brought into prominence by a 1961 Act of Parliament. However, the idea of the IITs was sown prior to independence, as early as 1943/44, when the Nobel laureate Professor A.V. Hill, at the behest of the Viceroy, submitted a report titled ‘Scientific Research in India’, in which he identified the need for technical education in the country. This cause was further championed by Sir Ardeshir Dalal who was on the Viceroy’s Executive Committee, and the Sarkar Committee, whose Report is widely acknowledged to have led directly to the establishment of the first five IITs.
Excerpt from Open City by Almudena Ribot, Enrique Espinosa, Diego García-Setién, Begoña de Abajo and Gaizka Altuna. Published by Actar Publishers.
How can the unplanned process of shrinkage be qualified? Strategies for action to date have failed to formulate a satisfactory answer to this question.
If we agree with the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu that social space translates into physical space, it must be said that social problems are reflected in the crisis of physical space in shrinking cities, and that without efforts to address this crisis, little of substance can be said about the transformation of cities. But that is not all. Not only are social constellations expressed in urban space —which can be read as a kind of mapping of them— but social problems are reflected in the conception of the models for action themselves (and their crises).
Though U.S. news media show climate change and oil depletion as partisan matters of opinion, major institutions—from insurers to armed services—have sidestepped these conflicts to form plans of action. Architecture firms have codified sustainability principles into a straightforward set of best practices: embrace LEED standards and renewable products, or stay out of the way while engineers and bureaucrats handle it.
The river is change and the passage of time.
Time has left a stone on the riverbank.
The stone remembers the past and stops time for a moment.
The idea of the project was born while visiting the place. The direct inspiration was a postglacial stone lying on the shore in the thickets. Its form, location and symbolism gave rise to reflections, searches and references to the symbolic sphere. Erratics are scattered across the landscape and, in this part of Europe, they draw a map of the extent of glaciation. Their highest density occurs in the Warsaw region. They are the witnesses of natural processes, natural exhibits sharing tales about the distant places they have come from.
This project questions the archetype of the house and organizes different spaces around a central patio. This design solution was born out of the need to respect every existing tree on the site and to provide every space with sunlight both during the morning and the afternoon. The result is an “exploded house”, where the dwelling is composed of isolated volumes that are placed according to the views, the orientations and the existing vegetation.
This essay is an excerpt of Uncharted byJuan Elvira, David Goodman, Pablo Oriol, Roger Paez, Fernando Rodríguez, Lina Toro, published by Actar Publishers.
I meet with Eleni Gigantes and Elia Zenghelis in the inevitably spectacular golden haze of a late Athens afternoon. My hosts are waiting for me in the terrace of a bar across the street from the Athens Hilton, and I arrive a bit out of breath after having walked too briskly from Plaka, across Syntagma Square—where the entire Greek National Police force seemed to be marshaled in anticipation (or provocation?) of anti-Troika protesters—past the presidential palace and the remnants of the 1896 Olympic games, down a busy boulevard choked with smog and French hatchbacks, and through a quiet neighborhood of sturdy and dignified neo-modernist 1960s housing blocks, where roughly half of the street-level storefronts stand empty and for rent.
I am greeted with a sincere warmth and familiarity that feels at once entirely natural and somehow surprising, as I have never before met Eleni, and have only met Elia once, a few months earlier, for a lecture and jury in Segovia.
At some point in our conversation, I take an absurdly large microphone out of my bag, turn it on, and we begin to discuss the first of the many questions I’d prepared. This is the only one of those questions we would address, as the conversation moves in fascinating turns I’d not anticipated, complete with brief engagements with psychic healing, Communists, snakes, and exploding mountains. Through it all: a focus on tourism, territory, infrastructure, and the possibility of intelligence in planning.
It is dark and we are hungry by the time I put the microphone away.
In the 8th session from Nature of Enclosure, Jeffrey S. Nesbit is joined by Mishuana Goeman, Julia Smachylo and Joshua Nason to reflect on territory, as a mode of power embedded in colonialism that maintains and consistently strives for boundaries of legibility within the Nature of Enclosure.
A new taphouse, on the harbor of the Danish city of Koege, will welcome the more than 15,000 yearly visitors to the nearby Braunstein micro-brewery and offer activities for the local community. Copenhagen-based ADEPT is behind the building that is “designed for disassembly” to accommodate a potential temporary lease of land.
The project is located in the Rigot park in Geneva, alongside the Avenue de France, near the Sismondi school. The choice for the location in the park was driven by an urgent, temporary measure aimed at accommodating 370 migrants.
The project consists of two symmetrical five-story buildings made from 230 prefabricated wooden modules. The dwellings are accessed by an external gallery open to a public courtyard, which connects to the Sismondi streetcar stop and to the Rigot park.
As we meander through these ‘unprecedented times’, the concept of impermanence has never been more pervasive in many of our lives. In the midst of a pandemic, and eventually a post-pandemic society, the demand for architecture and design to facilitate our changing needs is clearer than ever.
Is the battle against gentrification already lost? Can tactical housing be a valid instrument to confront this problem?
Urban centers are evolving under great pressure, with serious consequences for inhabitants. On the other hand, there are still different types of urban voids spread throughout the city. We find, for example, disused lots or buildings that can still be developed, representing interesting opportunities for the fight against gentrification.
Located in the old town of Badalona, surrounded by single-family row houses, the building blends in with its surroundings by taking up the randomness and particularity of individual houses, and moving away from the more repetitive and monotonous appearance of a housing blocs.
This public facility houses an adult education center, a language standarization consortium and a hotel on a triangular plot in the Parliament district. Two of the three sides of the site are defined by the heritage-listed frontage of the former Planell glass factory, built on carrer Anglesola in 1913. The building makes use of the entire plot, acting as an intrinsic part of the urban landscape, although the triangular shape and the classified façades prevent it from occupying the entire site. The programme is distributed across four levels which are set back from the south-facing heritage façade. The resulting atrium reconciles construction and heritage, improves the natural lighting for the classrooms and provides a heat and sound barrier. This long, narrow courtyard is reproduced at the northern vertex, which exhausts the geometry but acts as a relational system between the administrative uses of the building and the exterior. The building section shows how it controls and manages the air under natural conditions. In winter, it is necessary to control heat loss due to air renewal, redeem the heavy internal load built up due to the inertia of the wall structure, and draw fresh air in from the atrium, which thus acts as a natural air recycler. In summer, the heat has to be dissipated by moving the largest possible volume of air, and fresh air must be strictly natural, using solar chimneys and chimney caps that apply the Venturi effect. Cross-ventilation between the courtyards is ruled out by the programme and the need to avoid conflicting noises. The building therefore gives each strip of usage space a long structural break where the air circulates vertically, ‘pulled upwards’ into the chimneys by the power of the sun. These chimneys also give the building its silhouette and a distinctive, transparent materiality.
The Glebe4 project includes four elements of a regenerated site in inner west Sydney – The Foreshore Walk, Jubilee Park, The Crescent and the new open space at Harold Park with heritage adaptation of the Grandstand and Bellevue Villa. This project has repaired industrial land and reclaimed harbour areas since 2007 in a highly urbanised precinct that was locked away from public access for more than a century. Combined, these form the western most segment of the City of Sydney’s planned harbour foreshore walk from Woolloomooloo to Rozelle.
Since architects began to flirt with computers in the 1960s, debates about the role of computation in architecture have often been framed antagonistically – as arenas for technophobes and technophiles to clash, each staking a claim on the unique value, or promise, of their respective practices. This dichotomy is tempting. On the one hand, images of automated design systems – offering creative freedom, managerial efficiency, or ‘personalized’ design solutions – abound in architecture’s six-decades romance with computation. Seductive and often reductive, these images outlined the contours of a computationally augmented practice of architecture, and captured the imagination of many architects in academia and industry, effectively ushering an entire academic sub-field.
This cabin is an experimental and artisanal project. Built as a temporary object, the design aims to be disassembled and recycled again. Therefore each material was already re-used, produced locally and put together using dry construction.
Your actions are not yours alone. Any act, however trivial, sits atop an accumulation of countless acts that arose from your interactions with someone else. Therefore it can never be said that what you do belongs solely to you.
Using 1268 cork blocks, Matthew Barnett Howland (CSK Architects) with Dido Milne (CSK Architects) and Oliver Wilton (UCL) built a home almost entirely by hand that uses no glues or mortars and can be disassembled at the end of its life.
Architects: Matthew Barnett Howland (CSK Architects) with Dido Milne (CSK Architects) and Oliver Wilton (UCL)
Location: Windsor, UK
Area: 1,748 m2
Photography: Oliver Wilton, Ricky Jones, Matthew Barnett Howland and Marcus Dennis
On a small island in the Thames, five silver-grey pyramids emerge from the surrounding trees and undergrowth, forming a linear structural rhythm that resonates with the Gothic silhouette of Eton College Chapel in the distance. At close quarters, standing in the outdoor anteroom underneath the first pyramid, the building starts to be understood as a unique construction – the walls are simply large interlocking blocks of solid cork, in which structure, insulation, external surface and internal finish are all one and the same thing. It is looking upwards into the corbelled cork roof above that the total integration of material, form and construction is most legible. The resultant architectural language of pure compression is new and yet familiar – a progressive reimagining of the simple construction principles of ancient stone structures, such as Celtic beehive houses or even Mayan temples. The monolithic use of cork in place of stone adds warmth to the formal simplicity and geometric clarity.
The study of design history can never be complete without the dedicated study of its material artifacts. Different narratives, biographies and theories can be woven together to ascribe meaning as well as significance to the material products of design history. However, this book argues that a focus on examining and describing the material things themselves may also offer us an immediate and tangible window into the many concerns, sensibilities, preoccupations and know-how that have informed their creation.
Interview with Fabio Gramazio (co-founder of Gramazio & Kohler Architects) conducted by the IaaC students of the Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction, MRAC 2018-19, at the Seminar in Theory and Context, lead by Ricardo Devesa, Senior Professor at IaaC.
Location: Romainville, France
Area: 2,060.00 m2
Photography: Sandrine Marc, Guillaume Maucuit Lecomte and Paul Lengereau
The Cité Maraîchère is a new municipal facility for urban agriculture and sustainable food as well as the location of agricultural, social, architectural and technical innovation. Within a neighborhood undergoing regeneration, exemplary in its rationality and constructive logic, the building is a link between traditional and modern market gardening practices.
In the same way that the city of Barcelona cannot be understood without its coastline and without its origin as a port, its future will be determined by its ability to manage the unpredictable effects of climate change in this unique area.
ADEPT and Karres en Brands have been named winners of a highly ambitious 80 ha urban development in Köln, Germany inspired by the garden city. WoodHood shows an alternative approach to the future of urban development, allowing both sustainability and landscape to become primary drivers of urbanism.
urbanNext interviews Lucinda McLean, Dermot Foley and Mauro Baracco on Repair and the Kullurk/Coolart Somers Farm and Wetlands at the Australian Pavilion of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.
This 39-story tower of luxury homes was designed for the city of Taipei, in an area facing the Tamsui River that is undergoing an urban transformation. The façade, a large structural mesh, colors the landscape green and provides a large, glazed surface so that all the rooms can maintain a connection with the outside.
Using bioarchitecture, we designed a green building to connect the inhabitants with nature, although they are living in an urban area. In psychology, green is associated with relaxation, harmony and freshness.
The continuous impact of climate dynamics, armed conflicts, non-stop urbanization and economic upheavals presents a distinct need for a hybrid architectural topology to deliver parallel solutions for food and shelter in distressed regions around the world. This is a dual-purpose shelter and modular insect farm combined in one structure.
Architects: Durbach Block Jaggers
Location: Sydney, Australia
Area: 1,927.00 m2
Photography: Anthony Browell and Guy Wilkinson
Barangaroo was formerly part of Sydney’s working harbor, redeveloped into a commercial and retail district with parkland on the harbor’s western edge.
400 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo (‘400’) forms part of the entry sequence to Barangaroo – a hinge – between the city and the harbor.
The historical center of Oberhausen raises the question of how centrality, urban density and public spaces beyond commercial uses can be realized in light of economic structural change. As an answer to this question, the city’s property management company OGM (Oberhausener Gebäudemanagement GmbH) has proposed a development that integrates two very different uses in a new way. For the first time in Germany, a building is being constructed that combines functions as diverse as a job center and a rooftop greenhouse where the possibilities of urban agriculture are practiced and researched. The building technology integration makes the office building, located on the central market square of the old town, usable as a resource for agricultural production.
Interview filmed within the Smart City Expo World Congress, Barcelona November 2019.
Interview by Marta Bugés.
Filmed by Chiara Cesareo.
Edited by Sara Traba.
urbanNext interviews Jeremy Burke and Ramon Gras on Aretian Urban Analytics and Design and how by analyzing quality of life in built environments they are developing tools that contribute to design urban intervention that can propel innovation in cities.
The three development scenarios for East Jutland 2040 were drawn up as part of a Realdania-funded project aimed at proposing a general structural vision for East Jutland. This structural vision is intended to serve as the basis for a coherent long-term regional development strategy for East Jutland – from the northern city of Randers to the southern city of Haderslev. The three scenarios point in different directions and illustrate different possible development paths and dynamics of growth, but they are all based on the goal of implementing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and complying with the Paris Agreement.
The earth common addresses the organic resources which make up the biosphere. Earth processes in cities relate fundamentally to the synthesis and resilience of life—human and otherwise—within urban environments. Life on Earth would be impossible without incessant cycling of key elements that make up biomass. Three cycles – those of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur—are particularly noteworthy: carbon is, of course, the dominant constituent of all living matter (typically 45-50% of dry weight). These three cycles are remarkable because of their complexity, the importance of microbes in their functioning, and because the cycled elements are transported by both air and water away from their sources. How these cycles interact with urban cycles is the key to the perpetuation of non-human life in the city.
Jericho is a project by OFL Architecture/Francesco Lipari, displayed within the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. The project, developed by an interdisciplinary team made up of architects, agronomists, landscape architects and engineers, including Giuseppe Milano as an expert in soil consumption, aimed to return urban environments that have been excessively densified and fragmented to a more balanced relationship with the biosphere through a soil remediation process.
On the occasion of COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, which took place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow – ecoLogicStudio presented two projects related to air pollution and carbon neutrality: the Air Bubble air-purifying eco-machine and the BioFactory system.
Both on-going research projects, integrating the PhotoSynthetica technology, which was pioneered by the studio, were developed in accordance with some of the main goals of the event, such as reaching net zero emissions by the middle of the century, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and building resilient infrastructures.
Interview filmed within the Responsive Cities Symposium organized by the Advanced Architecture Group of IAAC, Barcelona November 2019.
Interview by Marta Bugés.
Filmed by Chiara Cesareo.
Edited by Sara Traba.
urbanNext interviews Rachel Armstrong on microbial architecture and new technologies that could turn users into producers of their own resources.
Bees has been with us for a long time. We are consuming their literal fruit of their labor, not only in the form of honey, but also in the form their help in pollinating plants and flowers. Now some of the bees varieties have shrunk in population, due to the growth of our consumption and, of course, the city. Listen to this session from And the City, with interventions by Annika Engelhardt (annikaen.de) and Lorraine Haist.
To be an advocate—to defend the cause of another or to support the interests of another—is a form of practice that we tend to associate with the realms of politics, law, and social activism. Debates surrounding human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, disability rights, and even animal rights might be the issues that first come to mind when reflecting upon notions of advocacy, but how might an architect operate as an advocate? How might we consider an architectural project as a form of advocacy?
Ciro Najle talks about the politics of building ecologies and the contribution of the book The Ecologies of the Building Envelope by Alejandro Zara-Polo and Jeffrey S. Anderson to create a form ethics.
Mute Icons is, at its core, a book that interrogates images: historical, contemporary, and — more importantly — speculative. This examination concentrates on the increasingly dichotomic state of architectural practice, discourse, and contemporary culture at large. Through the analysis of images that exist and some that we propose, we aim to develop a language and a sensibility for discovering simultaneous, contradictory, and even unexpected readings of images in architecture.
Location: Kokkedal, Denmark
Area: 61 ha
Photography: Thõger Sõrensen, Carsten Ingemann and Leif Tuxen for Realdania
The challenge of the project was to develop a climate adaptation which could also promote improved urban living: connecting fragmented urban areas, creating new attractive meeting points, and bringing nature closer to the residents.
La Mar Bella is a renovation and extension of an existing primary school to increase its capacity twofold. Three interconnected volumes define a 5,400 sqm total surface complex. The existing building, constructed in the 1950s, was fully refurbished and two new volumes have been attached.
Ofenwerkstatt Müller is a workshop with five workstations for the production of rammed earth furnaces. The structure of the workshop should be perceived as a simple, monolithic volume. The building, with a floor space of 228 square meters, is built in a timber-framed construction.
The Feld primary school in Azmoos is delicately situated between two village centers. The new school building preserves the history of this place as it embodies the characteristics of the previously pastoral land.
The Sequential Roof is a structure consisting of 168 single trusses which are woven into a 2308 square meter free-form roof, sheltering ETH’s newly opened research lab on new construction and material science.
Since the eighteenth century when the Western world became human-centered, humankind has not ceased to evolve, and so too has the very concept of the human. In 1933, Le Corbusier and a few other members of the CIAM issued The Athens Charter, a document aimed at orchestrating the emerging technologies of the built environment into a proposal for the future of cities. A classification of human activities became the vertebral spine of this proposal, structured around four urban functions: work, residence, leisure, and transport. This functional classification has structured urban planning policies ever since, but its human-centered approach appears now to be unable to address the problems of our age.
The Element House is a guesthouse and visitor center for Star Axis, a land-art project located in the foothills 120 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The building acts as a gallery and guesthouse for visitors and as a prototype for off-the-grid housing.
For about 10 years now, Stephan Küng, head of Küng Holzbau (Küng Timber Constructions) in its second generation, has put a lot of effort into solid wood construction. “Holzpur” (Pure Wood) is the name of the system that Küng has established on the market.
The basic elements of “Holzpur” are solid wall parts, about 20 cm thick, consisting of seven layers of boards. The boards themselves are made out of “moon wood”, which is usually cut around Christmas before the new moon, when there is almost no water left in the trees. This results in less shrinkage and a smaller risk of infestation with wood pests.
This is the company’s vision, and they find more and more customers don’t want a usual frame construction with boards and adhesives. They want nothing but wood, pure wood.
Designed and developed by Amsterdam-based studio GG-loop, the project is an expression of the studio’s signature and philosophy of responding to the design brief with the experience and wellbeing of the end-user continuously in mind.