4/30/2011

Mumbai Workshop: Redeveloping Mumbai's Back Bay at Harvard GSD

Aerial view of Mumbai. Originally appeared on Huffington Post

Harvard University Graduate School of Design will host a workshop on Mumbai titled: Mumbai Workshop: Redeveloping Mumbai's Back Bay.
The work in Mumbai focused on South Mumbai, the nerve center of India's financial institutes and the hub of formal commercial activity for the city. The landscape of South Mumbai is an amalgam of historic districts, contemporary business districts, the city's most expensive real estate, and slums — all juxtaposed in extremely close proximities. The area, which is considered some of the most valuable and land in the world, is contested by long-term fishing villagers, slum dwellers, neighboring high end apartment owners, government, commercial and business interests.

For more on participants and workshop agenda: here.

Jacques Herzog will lecture at Harvard GSD this coming Thursday May, 5th

Originally appeared on PropertyWeek

Jacques Herzog of Pritzker Prize winning Herzog & de Meuron will lecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design the 5th May, 2011, from 4pm to 5pm. It will be held at the Piper Auditorium and is free and open to the public. As usual, the lecture will be streaming live on the GSD webcast page.
For more: Here.

4/29/2011

News: Gal Nauer Architects designing the historic renovation and conversation of the Post Palais Hotel in Berlin, A Project Spanning Two Centuries

Gal Nauer Architects unveiled to be commissioned to design the Historic Renovation and Conversation of the Post Palais Hotel in Berlin.
Façade of the Palais Hotel, Berlin, Germany © GAL Nauer Architects

A project spanning over two centuries, the Post Palais Hotel originally served as a post office and will now be adaptively re-used as a modern luxury hotel incorporating a historic façade. The building is comprised of approximately 120,000 square feet.
As part of its inclusive design concept for the six-story, early 20th Century building, GNA will create a comprehensive interior design plan for the new hotel, including the guest rooms and all public spaces such as the lobby, restaurant, cigar bar, night club, ballroom facilities, wellness center, spa and executive meeting facilities.
"We are excited to be a part of this significant project and introduce a new standard of contemporary design, along with a universe of hospitality amenities, which complement Berlin's already thriving cultural and tourist communities," said Gal Nauer, Chief designer and president of Gal Nauer Architects. The open, inviting spaces and unique design elements that we have incorporated into this project will transform the Post Palais Hotel into a magnificent new city destination reflecting the cosmopolitan, vibrant culture of Berlin.
GNA's interior design for the hotel goes well beyond conventional hotel room design, which often resembles a box-shaped envelope. Each space will be inviting to guests and enhanced by high ceilings and large windows, with the goal to create an "open space feel" combined with interiors that feature natural design elements and a reference to the Orient. "The overall design incorporates destination points for visitors and guests that reflect a world of experiences from health and fitness entertainment and business activities," added Ms. Nauer.
The project is expected to be completed by year-end 2012.

Who are they?
International architectural and interior design firm, Gal Nauer Architects has two locations to serve its distinguished clientele — GNA Studio in New York and GNA Studio in Tel Aviv. The firm was founded by architect and designer Gal Nauer in 2000. The GNA team provides innovative solution for high-end projects, from luxury homes to large-scale, mixed-use developments. GNA brings its expertise to bear on master planning, architecture, interior design and product design.


Source: Gal Nauer Architects

News: Revitalizing Cities Think Tank April 28-April 30

Revitalizing Cities Think Tank: April 28-April 30, 2011. It will begin at 8:00 am EDT and conclude at 5:45 pm EDT.
Here is the summary of this program:

The "Revitalizing Cities" Think Tank will seek to reconceive the urban agenda. While we have witnessed social progress in cities in the latter half of the 20th century, urgent domestic and international challenges remain. Why has there not been more progress? What's missing? What are the emerging social innovations? How can we build a a better social infrastructure? Tackling these issues requires not only cross-sector thinking but also advanced leadership to identify and enact 21st century solutions. The event will involve 120-150 prominent public officials, experts, advocates, social entrepreneurs, thinkers and community leaders such as you. It will present concrete examples of innovative and proven strategies, while fostering dialogue on how experienced leaders can help fill leadership gaps.
Prior to the start of the Think Tank, we produced a series of Think Pieces on HBR. Which generated thought and discussion. To supplement the live streaming of the Think Tank, we will be posting exclusive video interviews, podcasts, photos, and discussion on the Think Tank's Facebook page







From apart this video, you will find (if you have a Facebook account, and I presume you all have) on Revitalizing Cities' Facebook Page a series of interesting texts, posts, podcasts and videos.
Some examples:
Douglas Foy, Cities Are the Answer. What Was the Question?, posted in the blog page of Harvard Business Review
Marc Ott, Tools for Sustainable Cities, in the blog page of Harvard Business Review
Charlers Ogletree, Why Do We Keep Choosing Ineffective Urban Interventions?, in the blog page of Harvard Business Review

Workshop: Agentware, a workshop and symposium directed by Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez

Workshop
Agentware is a seven-day workshop in Rovinj, Croatia directed by Alisa Andrasek of Biothing and Jose Sanchez of Genware. Its focus is generative algorithmic ecologies. The workshop will be followed by a two-day symposium entitled Proto/e/cologics. The symposium will bind together ideas of speculative realism in philosophy', expanding developments in science, and shifting modes of production as it pertains to design — all working towards a redefinition of materiality and adaptation in complex environments.
Agentware, © Biothing, Genware

Symposium
2 day Symposium at Rovinj Croatia, 6-7 August 2011
The Symposium will tease out speculative directions for architecture that move beyond innocent and reductive approaches to ecology, as in notions of "sustainability" and "green". As Slavoj Zizek reminds, the so-called "balance of nature" is in itself a myth since catastrophes have always been an integral part of natural history.
Agentware © Biothing, Genware

 Rather than acting from a position of idealization with regards to nature, can we conceive of agency within a condition that is already artificial, accepting noise and errors and embracing actual complexity? Recent tendencies in architecture take a unique point of view, with aesthetically novel and unnatural sensibilities emerging from a close scrutiny and study of apparently natural systems. These speculative tendencies are being driven by mathematical and computational abstractions that transform the way we understand the matter-information relationship. Instead of form being imprinted upon matter, matter is understood as an active agent in its own formation. These formative movements can be seen to enable the hybridization and incorporation of complex natural agencies into architecture. Through this matter-information convergence and under conditions far from equilibrium, architecture begins to fuse with a denaturalized material ecology.
Agentware © Biothing, Genware

Speakers: Wold Prix, Reza Negarestani, Patrik Schumacher, Enric Ruiz Geli, Sanford Kwinter, François Roche, Ed Keller, Tom Kovac, Sylvia Lavin, Adrian Lahoud, Michael Meredith, Brett Steele, Daniela Zyman, Jeff Kipnis, Usman Haque, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Srecko Horvat, Bruno Juricic, Alisa Andrasek.
Agentware © Biothing, Genware

For more, click Here.

Beitun New City by Buro Happold and Barton Willmore Design

Beitun New City, North West of China, will be an environmental-friendly eco-city which purpose is to accommodate a population of 250,000 by 2025, that is to say much more than the existing 30,000. The goal is to reach the number of 500,000 people in the long term. It will support transport and infrastructure. A new rail line will link the old town to the new city. Beitun New City will be divided into 'one garden and two districts.'
Beitun New City © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold

The architectural style will mix influences from northern Europe and from the Kazak nationality. According to Liu Yi, an official from the Beitun New Area Construction Headquarters, "The area will be converted into an environmentally-friendly, energy-saving eco-city with forest cover exceeding 60 percent. The highest building will not exceed four stories with a low density distribution."
Beitun New City © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold

The master plan was drawn by the joint venture composed of Buro Happold and Barton Willmore Design. Buro Happold provides the engineering input for the masterplanning while Barton Willmore the architectural input. The focus will be energies, water, waste, and transportation, as Buro Happold Infrastructure Group Director Daryl Johnson says: "when looking at water, we could improve a lot of things at once; ecology, river quality, insect problems, flooding. We used one huge integrated strategy".
Beitun New City — Land use and Massing Diagram © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold

Both Barton Willmore and Buro Happold are considering the option of using the river to provide a setting for parks, public buildings, high-quality residential, leisure and employment facilities. Building height will be constrain to a maximum of 8 storey which will ensure a perimeter and core accessible to all.
Beitun New City, © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold

Beitun New City is expected to become a political, economic and cultural center which aim is to replace Aletai as the area's capital. The area where the city is developed is flat and spacious with dense forests.
Beitun New City, © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold

Nick Sweet, a partner of Barton Willmore says that the master plan goal is "to expand a major city in a key growth area in China. [The Joint Venture] intends to draw on expertise from both the UK and Asia to ensure that Beitun is developed in a way which will ensure the needs to residents, businesses and the environment are considered."
Beitun New City, © Barton Willmore Design and Buro Happold


Building facts
Project: Beitun New City
Client: Beitun Development Board, Government of the People's Republic of China
Masterplanner: Barton Willmore Design Ltd
Engineering: Buro Happold
Services: Flood assessment, Highway design, Hydraulic & hydrological analysis, Sustainability & alternative technologies, Transport modelling, Urban planning & design, Utilities design
Sectors: Masterplanning & regeneration Waterfront development
Key people: Andrew Corner, Daryl Johnson

Source: Barton Willmore DesignBuro Happold, New Civil Engineer, Chinadotorg

4/28/2011

S.MA.R.T. Skyscraper constructed by futuristic robot bees

What to think of this S.M.A.R.T. skyscraper? In particular its workers which have the form of bees? I have a strong interest of this apparent combination of architecture/engineering and robotics, and precisely biologically robotics (or biomimetics). If you remember, I have shared, in a previous post, a video found on the site of Fabricate 2011. This video shows Ruairi Glynn and Bob Sheil's Multiple Axis Robot that is constructing, I presume, a building. The question that this video poses is Robots the future of building?
S.M.A.R.T. Skyscraper © Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han

I concluded this short post with this: Multiple Axis Robot opens up new perspectives for architects and engineers. Consequently this leads to a question, which impacts will the introduction of automation construction, robotics systems have on architecture and engineering? The question may have found a first answer with this project S.MA.R.T. Skyscraper and its hard workers, futuristic robot bees. This project is designed  by Korean architects Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han, both from Seoul. What does S.M.A.R.T. mean? Swarm Manufacturing and Augmented Reality Technology. The principles are to use a combination of digital tool and a positioning system, precisely CAD and LPS (for Local Positioning System) to create and control the robot bees.
S.M.A.R.T. © Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han

These bees are programmed to "augment the structure virtually, turning virtual information and data into physical realities", the architects say.
These robots can utilize cartridges filled with agents which permit them to construct literal physical material. The tower is conductive. The envelope is a responsive system: electricity and data flow throughout the envelope. Thanks to this system, the pulses are directed to very specific locations.
Data displayed by high-definition video cameras which function is to receive and process these data can be requested and controlled via the user's mobile device. As the architects say, as the bees are conductive, "information can be shared between S.M.A.R.T. buildings instantly, providing an unprecedented level of information sharing."
S.MA.R.T. Skyscraper © Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han

So what can we think of this project? As I wrote above (at the beginning of this post), robotic systems and automation construction open up new perspectives in terms of construction. The rising problems regarding construction, such as quality, safety, working conditions require new approaches of constructions. Other problems are added to this list. Given the introduction of new increasing issues like global warming, urban population growth, new technologies, to name a few, revolutionary solutions will be required. Hence robotics and automated construction have the potential to improve the construction field as well as, and generally speaking, architecture and engineering fields. The smarter our societies, the more complex the building construction. Safety will be much more important than before. Human workers will face difficulties to operate in some construction sites, in particular contaminated sites. For example: the construction of the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement which, due to the high potential risks on site, such as radioactive dusts, requires an interventions off-site of some parts of this new confinement. With automated process, it enables the possibility to operate on-site without the presence of human workers. Another example concerns new technologies, such as wireless networks, GPS/LPS (General Positioning Systems/ Local Positioning Systems), sensors, etc. Building may be able to communicate with its environment, internally and externally. New Technologies will facilitate (and at a large scale, cities) the adjustment of buildings to environmental constraints. For instance, minimizing energy consumptions. The introduction of new technologies may enhance the performance of building to save a maximum of energy, or better: new technologies can make the building self-sufficient. The introduction of plants (algae, plants) as well as bacteria in the entire building or, in some components, can be accompanied and facilitated with robotics processes. Hence the renewed interest for robotics.
S.MA.R.T. Skyscraper © Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han

Numerous researchers have stated the fact that it is "inevitable that intelligent machines will find their way into construction" (Bernold, 1987). As I just mentioned, the integration of new technologies will require adjustments on constructions on sites as well as in the planning and design phases of buildings and, at a larger scale, cities. Automation of construction can be used as a means of saving costs, reduction of project duration, high quality, and safety.
Biomimetics is one of these examples of this renewed interest for robotics. Architecture and engineering expand their fields of research by developing new bridges with biomimetics, robotics to respond to becoming-complex (or devenir-complex, if we want to use the Deleuzian word of devenir) and intelligent of construction of building. The higher the building, the smarter the facade, the more responsive the building, the more difficult the construction. Biomimetics is the study of adapting design from nature to solve modern problem. Biomimetics means to imitate biological systems. According to researchers on biomimetics — including architects and engineers who link biomimetics to architecture and engineering —, the development of a new class of biologically inspired robots, like these robot bees, will facilitate human intervention tasks: planning/design as well as manufacturing.
Take a look at eVolo 2011 Skyscraper Competition. Which remark can we draw? BIOMSgroup/Maria-Paz Gutierrez's Detox Tower, Geoffrey Braiman and David Bell's Voronoi Tower, Kinchun Ma and Chiawei Liao's Urban Swirl, Julie Defourneaux, Irène Galente, Jean Paillard, Laetitia Paneta, Guillaume Pele and Charles Murzeau's UP2U (Up to You Skyscraper) are among these design proposals that may need the intervention of robotic process from the planning and design to fabrication of the entire tower, or at least, some components like the facade.
S.MA.R.T. Skyscraper © Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han
These skyscrapers appear to be complex, "intelligent". They are announced to be capable of responding to the environmental pressures; they may require the integration of complex systems that only an automated system can offer. In terms of construction, the design of these skyscrapers may require another type of intervention than that of human. Robots, be they biological or not, may facilitate tasks, construction duration, safety, and high quality for these skyscrapers.
To conclude, and back to our S.M.A.R.T. Skyscraper designed by Yoon H. Kim and Yang-Kyu Han opens up new interrogations, new approaches in terms of constructions. It is clear that the integration of a "smart" system, i.e. new technologies, will require a new way of construction. It will however not limit to construction but will include design-to-production process — computation playing yet more important role in planning and design phase with the advance of CAD/CAM technologies including software, CNC (computational numerical control) machine, etc.

Source: eVolo
See also: Rohana Mahbub's thesis: An investigation into the barrier to the implementation of automation and robotics technologies in the construction industry.
Martin Berthold, "The Return of the future: A second go at robotic construction", in Architectural Design, Vol. 80, Issue 4, (July/August 2010).
Bernold L.E. (1987), "Automation and Robotics in Construction: A Challenge and a chance for an industry in transition", International Journal of Project Management 5(3):1-2

4/27/2011

News: Foster & Partners announcing New CITIC Headquarters Tower in Hangzhou breaks ground

Foster + Partners announced the construction of the New CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower in Hangzhou, China, has commenced. This tower is a 100-metre-high high-rise tower bold diagonally-braced structure, with a striking geometric form. Its facade will be pulled inwards near the base to form a symmetrical V-shape across the south-facing elevation.
New CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower © Foster+ Partners

The New CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower will have a minimum footprint on city and respect views of neighbouring structures. At the base of the tower, a 30-metre-high A-frame canopy will stretch 72 metres across the ground floor to create a dramatic entrance experience.
New CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower © Foster + Partners

This entrance leads to the heart of a diamond-shaped central atrium, which will rise up through the full height of the 20-storey tower and help to encourage natural ventilation during the mid-seasons.
New CITIC Bank Headquarters Tower © Foster + Partners


Source: Foster + Partners

Update: CITYFÖRSTER, ATENASTUDIO, and 3TI ITALIA reveal to be General Building Consultant for the New Lands Commission Headquarters in Accra, Ghana

CITYFÖRSTER, Rotterdam, ATENASTUDIO, and 3TI ITALIA, both from Rome, announced to be General Building Consultant for all work phases for the New Lands Commission Headquarters in Accra, Ghana.
The Joint Venture has been awarded first prize in the respective international competition.
New Lands Commission Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, © CITYFÖRSTER, ATENASTUDIO, 3TI ITALIA

The design responds to the call of the Ghanian Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the design of a landmark building of 5,500 square meters, housing the national and regional Land Sector Agencies. The headquarters of the New Lands Commission shall be a symbol of the new spirit of transparency and efficiency, bringing together the dispersed Land Sector Agencies for improved collaboration and communication. The building has an important symbolic importance due to the recent nation-wide establishment of the land registry and is to represent a new All-Ghanian identity. The building costs are estimated at 3.5 million Euro largely financed by KfW, the German development bank.

New Lands Commission Headquarters in Accra, Ghana, © CITYFÖRSTER, ATENASTUDIO, 3TI ITALIA


Source: CITYFÖRESTER, ATENASTUDIO, 3TI ITALIA

4/26/2011

Acadia Tree Tower: How to minimize building footprint while providing smart density by Petr Pospisil

How to minimize building footprint while providing smart density… can be one of questions that the Acadia Tree Tower, designed by Czech architect Petr Pospisil, raises.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

As urban population grows, needs for housing and infrastructure are increasing. The question of building footprint on city is an issue that needs to be reduced. This leads to the interrogation of the concept of urban density, the second issue that Pospisil interrogates. In response, Pospisil's Acadia Tree Tower combines both footprint and density by proposing a small footprint on the city while being monumental in scale.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

The name Acadia Tree Tower is derived from the Acadia tree and the African desert. Pospisil says that his design can adapt to the scale of the built environment by proposing different heights of his tower, like the Acadia tree which adapts to its environment.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

The building is supported by three pillars which serve as office spaces and elevators. Plants will grow along these legs. This building is much more a vertical city combining housing, office, shops, entertainment and green areas.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

A hotel, a spa, as swell sports areas are located on the top. On the ground level, instant users will take advantage of entertainment, shopping and employment facilities.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

The sustainable part of this project consists of green areas: green legs and a park with trees and swimming pools on top. Solar panels and tanks are also installed on top. Their function is to store rainwater.
Acadia Tree Tower — Diagram © Petr Pospisil

Each apartment enjoys best views and is equipped with a large, landscaped terrace.
Acadia Tree Tower © Petr Pospisil

Source: eVolo

Second word of the day: Architectural Protocell

The second word that I think will play an essential role in the near future of architectural practice is Protocell. The definition is coined by the same Dr Rachel Armstrong of UCL Bartlett. As guest-editors of the current issue of Architectural Design point out, Protocell architecture opens up a new link between artifice and environment, between built environment and nature. This link leads to creating positive environmental changes; it "is orchestrated, rather than controlled, through the processes of cultivation".  "Protocell technology is native to the 21st century and likely to define it and striking at the core of the current dominant ideologies and tyrannical dogmas about the nature of the architectural practice" the guest-editors add.
Word of the day: Architectural Protocell
A protocell is a primordial atomic globule, connected to the environment through the languages of physics and chemistry. Uniquely, protocell technology possesses material complexity, and is capable of self-organization.
Protocells can be made of pre-existing biological materials such as protoplasm — for example, the protoplasm of the green algae Bryopsis and slime mould — or can be fabricated from scratch using organic and inorganic chemicals.
This gives rise to the possibility of Protocell Architecture, as protocell units work together to generate their output.

Source: Rachel Armstrong


> Protocell engineering, Living Architecture, Responsive, New materialism, n-Non-bio-logical

Word of the day: Living Architecture

Word of the day: Living Architecture
A new model of Sustainable architectural practice that directly connects the built environment to nature. The unit of Living Architecture is the Architecture protocell.

See: Architectural Design Magazine, Protocell, Volume 81 Issue 2, March/April 2011, guest-edited by Rachel Armstrong and Neil Spiller

Who's she?
Recently described as a polymath (and a fairy) by Tom Reilly, TED's Community Director, at this year's TED Global Oxford conference, Dr Rachel Armstrong's extensive interdisciplinary practice engages with a fundamental driving principle — the fundamental creativity of science. Her work uses all manners of media to engage audiences and bring them into contact with the latest advances in science and their real potential through the inventive applications of technology, to address some of the biggest problems facing the world today.
Dr Rachel Armstrong's research is about the development of new (green) materials that are programmable, environmentally responsive and have some of the properties of living systems. Although it is at an early stage of development, the research prompts a revaluation of how we think about our homes and cities and raises questions about sustainable development of the built environment. The new materials that she is actively developing in collaboration with international scientists and architects have the potential to form a kind of material language between the built environment and nature. It is proposed that if they are situated on the surface of our buildings, it may be possible to fix carbon and ultimately, direct combat climate change. Dr Rachel Armstrong is currently working to develop an active coasting for buildings called "Biolime" that can fix carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turn it into a limestone-like solid form, or carbonate. Dr Rachel Armstrong views the development of this product as being the first steps towards engaging practitioners of the built environment in the possibility of carbon capture and storage technologies at the major site of its production — our cities.
See also for more: here.

Beckmann-N'Thépé and TN Plus unveiled the design of the Saint-Petersburg Biological Park

The City of St Petersburg, Russia announced to have selected Paris-based architects Beckmann-N'Thépé and another Paris-based agency TN Plus, an agency founded by two landscape architects Bruno Tanant and Jean Christophe Nani, to design the St Petersburg Zoological Park.
The site has a total of over 300 hectares, located on the town's outskirts.
Primorskiy Park — Close-up. Artifactory © Beckmann-N'Thépé in collaboration with TN Plus

The principle of the Zoological Park, also known as Primorskiy Park (we will use choose Primorskiy Park for the following of this post), is based on the the Palaeolithic supercontinent Pangea.
Primorskiy Park — Section A © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus
Primorskiy Park — Section B © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus

The park will play a major role as biodiversity preservation. In addition and above all, it is conceived as an educational tool and a research center helping to preserve the Earth.

Scheme and Master Plan © Beckmann-N'Thépé in collaboration
with TN Plus.

Primorskiy Park — Africa. Artifactory © Beckmann-N'Thépé
In collaboration with TN Pus.

In keeping with the master plan, this Primorskiy Park consists of lush islands representing South East Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, North America and Eurasia. Both North America and Eurasia are linked with one another by the pack ice of the Arctic Pole. Primorskiy Park looks like a network of islands which, like ecosystems, are linked each others.
North Pole, Artifactory © Beckmann and N'Thépé in collaboration
with TN Plus

A glass window building consisting of a simple stack of slabs is implanted in the North Pole site.
Primorskiy Park. Artifactory © Beckmann-N'Thépé,
in collaboration with TN Plus.
This building aside, the islands house a network of bubbled steel and glass greenhouses which will cover the animal pavilions.
Pattern of intersecting circles © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Pus.

The envelope of these greenhouses is made out of a pattern of intersecting circles.
Scheme of the pattern of intersecting circles © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus
Scheme of the bubbled greenhouses © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus

The site contains a profuse water supply and lush greenery and foliage that will surround the entire park.

Scheme the Park © Beckmann-N'Thépé in collaboration with TN Plus
Africa — Primorskiy Park. Artifactory © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus

Primorskiy Park is due to be completed by 2014 and will eventually house nearly 480 different species.
Scheme, Earthwake © Beckmann-N'Thépé in collaboration with TN Plus
Primorskiy Park — Biozone © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus
Scheme, Greenhouse © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus
Scheme, Greenhouse © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus
Scheme, Greenhouse © Beckmann-N'Thépé
in collaboration with TN Plus

4/23/2011

The HaitiSoftHouse a transitional shelter by Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric and artist Mark Parsons

A beautiful housing project for Haiti is revealed by inhabitat. This is HaitiSoftHouse.
One year after the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake having hit Haiti, architects and designers designed housing for emergency.
HaitiSoftHouse © Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and Mark Parsons.

The HaitiSoftHouse is a project created by a New York City based team. This team is composed of Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and artist Mark Parsons. The team has also collaborated with Chicago-based textile firm Fabric Images.
HaitiSoftHouse, © Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric and artist Mark Parsons

This collaboration results in a hexagon-shaped housing made out of a steel frame. This house is easy to construct. The raison is to help communities help themselves to fabricate their houses. It integrates high performance fabric which aims at withstanding Haitian environmental constraints: rainy season, tropical storms, cyclones. This, obviously, will not withstand any earthquake. However as construction of housing is an emergency in Haiti, this project can be a temporary response, very easy to build, flexible and adaptable to various soil conditions be they solid ground or recycled concrete. It integrate a environmentally-system of ventilation.
HaitiSoftHouse © Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and Mark Parsons.
> The system is based on an easy-to-assemble to facilitate the communication
to help themselves in the fabrication of these shelters and future shelters.

According to the designers: "Given the superior environmental performance and structure stability of the design, this system can be reused in various configurations and sites as needed, and the high-performance material can be recycled into smaller applications and integrated into the local economy."
HaitiSoftHouse © Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and artist Mark Parsons.

This housing project is an interesting project for the million of displaced who wait urgently for housing and intimacy. If these soft houses which resemble tents can allow for protection and comfort for the residents while being sustainable and responsible, and responding to the user's urgent needs, it will be a great project for the population to help themselves through local production and fabrication of the homes, as the designers say.
HaitiSoftHouse © Lonn Combs, Rodney Leon, Dragana Zoric, and artist Mark Parsons; This shelter can house up to 4 residents. The design of the interior is
simple but flexible to guarantee best living conditions for the users.

Source: inhabitat

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