1/31/2012

Submission: LOG Journal Issue 25: Reclaim Resi[lience]stance, Guest-Editor François Roche

Just to remind that Log is calling for papers for their next issue 25 Spring/Summer 2012, which theme is Reclaim Resi[lience]stance. It will be edited by French architect François Roche/R&Sie(n).

Call it madness, if you want… but the new world knows only resistance… when I bend in order to avoid accepting the rules and their authority, I am destroying the foundations, I am insulting their legitimacy… There is rage in the face of my madness, a ferocious rage as if they found themselves faced with an act of revolt… Cretin, don't you understand that it's exactly that?
Antonio Negri, The Bent Man: Didactics of the Rebel, (2005)

Two worlds face each other today: Davos and Porto Alegre. One represents business and the operative economy, both financial and managerial; the other, the multitudes and their potential for organization from the bottom up -- for a productive and operative resistance against the first.
How can the architect, artist, scientist, writer, and citizen absorb, swallow, and digest this Janus-like condition without favoring one over the other? How can they walk on the razor's edge, following a schizoid strategy of weaving together contradictory forces, of knitting together two genetically opposed wires? On the one hand, technology as a vector of invention in the pursuit of the "businessdom," the mix of free-enterprise and the ideology of progress that was a basis of the democracy empire, and on the other, the growing of the bottom-up, of the delegation of power's simulacrum as a highly imperfect and corruptible system that needs to be renovated by, and through, the multitudes and their creative energy and potential.
Log 25 will explore ways to navigate this antagonism, which could be negotiated in an (un)certain and ambiguous manner… nonhierarchical, nondeterministic, defining a path in which Urbanism and Architecture could fuse bottom-up and top-down, contingently, simultaneously, as if the ingredients were making recipes, and recipes were modifying the substance of the ingredients… apparatuses of exchange, [1] which transform the game of power and the knowledge diffused through that game.
The stuttering between Resilience (recognition of vitalism as a force of life and innovation) and Resistance ("Creating is resisting" [2]) will be the goal… 1+1=?
Architecture today is shifting, or drifting, in the pure logic and strategy of shaping, where fabrication, expertise, efficiency, and computation have become substitutes for the logic of the raison d'être. Like the car company producing cars, where a specific social organization has been created to manage production without diagnosing the structural and human alienation produced by that system, the discipline of architecture is going back to its own ghetto, constructing simultaneously an efficiency and legitimacy of knowledge from evaluation and expertise, which gather and target a high degree of professionalism… while raising the fences, the fortress wall of its "territory," with loneliness and detachment and a kind of absurd arrogance[3].
Paradoxically the world is being pulled and pushed in so many directions, producing contradictory tensions, new conflicts, new nationalism, new local ideologies, even new El Dorados with flickering financial firewors - mirages in the desert. In this context, it is not innocently that a group of philosophers requestions the foundation of democracy, the validity of its structure and the procedures of deliegation of power; requestions the notion of government, of governance. Yet architecture, wallowing in its comfortable post-digital affect, or afraid to lose the privileges acquired in a period when the reason of a few presided over the destiny of many, stands straight in the phantasm of control, with tooling at its origin (master planning) and substituting the green-washing expertise of "ecology," or the social meanings of "social networking," for the need to refound its own practice, and the reason for this practice, in a polis-political approach.

More: Here. And the deadline is February 15, 2012.

Log is the premier print journal of architectural writing and criticism today. Recent topics include: the necessity of the metacritique in architecture; burgeoning urbanism in Dubai; Venice and its defiance of the modern; lying with images; unanswerable questions posed by signature buildings; the vainglories of "research architecture"; cultural patrimony in Paris; the political and material expediency of the building envelope; molecular gastronomy as an analogue of the excesses of parametric architectures; the troubled, but fascinating reception of Gilles Deleuze in New York, in the 1970s, and the subsequent development of the publications Semiotext(e) and Zone; and Peter Greenaway's multi-media intervention, Wedding at Cana, at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
A carefully crafted compendium of essays, conversations (interviews), and short observations on contemporary buildings and trends, Log published thre times a year.

1/30/2012

Infographic of the day: Threats and Opportunities to the UK

The Guardian posted Thursday 26 January an infographic revealing threats and opportunities to the UK, identified by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that could arise as a result of climate change.

Below the graphic.
A Summary of potential opportunities and threats for the UK. Originally appeared on The Guardian


As seen in this graphic, overheating building, residential properties at significant risk of flooding, change s in soil organic carbon, changes in species migration patterns, summer mortality due to higher temperatures, number of unsustainable water abstractions, flood risk to high quality of agricultural land, risks to species and habitants due to drier soils, potential decline in summer water quality (point source pollution), and so on and so on, are the forecasted negative outcomes of climate change. As for the opportunities, this can be enumerated as follows: decline in winter mortality due to higher temperatures, reduction in energy demand for heating, changes in grassland productivity.

Source: The Guardian. The graphic can be downloaded: Here.

1/23/2012

Conference: Social Cities of Tomorrow

Our everyday lives are increasingly shaped by digital media technologies, from smart cards and intelligent GPS systems to social media and smartphones. How can we use digital media technologies to make our cities more social, rather than just more hi-tech?
Social Cities of Tomorrow is organised by The Mobile City, an international research group on mobile media and urban design, Virtueel Platform, the Dutch e-culture knowledge institute, and ARCAM, the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture.
Its main focus is how to use digital media technologies to make our cities more social, rather than just more hi-tech, and it will be investigated during a workshop (pre-conference) from 14 to 16 February and a conference on 17 February.
The International conference brings together key thinkers and doers working in the fields of new media and urbanism. Keynote speakers such as Usman Haque, Natalie Jeremijenko and Dan Hill will speak about the promises and challenges in this newly emerging and highly interdisciplinary field of urban design. The keynotes will be accompanied by presentations of 'showcases' from various disciplines, such as architecture, art, design, and policy.
The prefonference workshop will be held at ARCAM, Amsterdam for a select, interdisciplinary group of designers, programmers and digital creatives. The aim of this experimental workshop is to bring together local stakeholder organisations, and participants from various professional and national backgrounds to collaborate in real-world social design challenges. Unfortunately application for the workshop was closed on December 30th. The results will be presented at a public event on Thursday February 16 at 20:00 hours at Mediamatic Bank, Vijzelstraat 68, Amsterdam.

Ticket, information: here.

In Progress: Jubilee Gardens by West 8

West 8's Jubilee Gardens progresses surely. The Jubilee Gardens is another project as part of London Olympic 2012. It is located on the iconic Southbank and forms part of Lambeth, one of the funded boroughs.
Jubilee Gardens in progress © West 8

The agency just announced that important milestones have been completed and the gardens continues its progress. This includes the installation of new drainage, the formation of tree pits and the production of granite seating edge units and paving setts.
Jubilee Gardens in progress © West 8

The next step will be the edge installation, the assembling of the irrigation system and the placement of the sub- and topsoil. Will be included: English Oaks, Common Beech, Sweetgum, Small leaved Lime Trees, Pin Oak and Bald Cypress.
Jubilee Gardens in progress © West 8

The Jubilee Gardens is announced to be completed by May 2012 in accordance with Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, the agency said.
Jubilee Gardens in progress © West 8

The Jubilee Gardens will feature a lush, new green landscape to Royal Parks standard, red Geranium and Lilium 'Orange Pixie'.
Jubilee Gardens in progress © West 8


Below some renders of Jubilee Gardens design
Jubilee Gardens, London © West 8
Jubilee Gardens, London © West 8
Jubilee Gardens © West 8
Jubilee Gardens, London © West 8
Jubilee Gardens, London © West 8
Jubilee Gardens, London © West 8



Project fact
Project: Jubilee Gardens
Landscape architects: West 8
Team: Adriaan Geuze, Edzo Bindels, Jerry van Eyck, Alyssa Schwann, Freek Boerwinkel, Joris Welijts, Karsten Buchholz, Maarten van der Voorde, Matthew Skjonsberg, Perry Maas
Location: London, UK
Client: South Bank Employers Group
Partners: AKT Engineers, BDSP Partnership, Soil and Land Consultants, Buro Happold
Year of Completion: May 2012

News: Erect Architecture Team winning Queen Elizabeth North Park, London

While James Corner Field Operations Team won the Queen Elizabeth Olympic South Park design, London-based Erect Architecture Team has been chosen for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic North Park design.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic North Park, London © Erect Architecture Team

The goal is to design a community hub and destination playground that will as part of the parkland and river valley of the north park area.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic North Park, London © Erect Architecture Team

This project will feature a playground themed on its surroundings with the chance to climb trees. It will be enterily linked with nature.
The team is composed of landscape architects Jennette Emery-Wallis and Claire Greener from Land Use Consultants, quantity surveyor Ian Jupp from Huntley Cartwright, Structural engineer Toby Maclean from Tall Engineers, Services engineer Neil Daffin from Max Fordham and artist enabler Ashley McCormick.

ConceptUsing native ecology as our key tenet, we have created a series of landscape characer areas which tell life cycle stories — from the pioneer birch and hazel woodlands through to climax pine forest and the developmental stages in between. Interweaved with this is the play layer which uses these stories to inspire bespoke play and potential event opportunities within each space.
Hazel CopseWe are proposing a pioneer copse of hazel woodland to enclose the event lawn to the east. The copse will be augmented by rich woodland under-storey planting, with informal weaving paths of bark mulch to create a magical play setting to explore and discover. To manage the hazel wood effectively it would be coppiced in rotation every 7 years. The harvested wood could then be actively used by children to create dens, undertake arts and crafts activities and encourage children and adults to learn about the wood and its folklore through environmental workshops and seasonal play activities.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic North Park, London © Erect Architecture Team


Den Making and Bug HotelsMoving out of the woodlands groups of hazel and rowan trees are set within grassy glades providing space for den making activities. Enabling children to manipulate their environment is a key requirement in rich play making. Long serpentine walls of log piles are proposed to provide playful hide and seek elements, whilst also performing a valuable role for insects and invertebrates by creating bug hotels and places to find and observe mini beasts.
Seed Heads' PlayBeyond here, close to the Hub, are a series of large scale artist-craftsman made timber/stone seed heads that have been 'dispersed' by wind from other trees and plants across the Olympic Park site. These are tactile play elements, which children can interact with, take 'bark rubbings', use as informal seats, as well as learn about key botanical and life cycle messages.
Sand + Water PlayThe design of the sand and water play is inspired by the industrial heritage of the River Lea as a key navigation route. The braided landform inlaid with layers of fine gravels mimics the river's overall morphology in miniature with water criss — crossing the area in a series of rivering tributaries, while children are encouraged to dam, flood and manage the flow of water through a set of weirs, locks and sluice gates — becoming their own water engineers. The water is then filtered for sand and re-directed to irrigate plant beds with any excess directed into the existing western swale to be filtered by the marshland habitats.
The Life Cycle Story of PlantsAlongside the sand and water play is a long bank of richly banded planting which will continue the storey of life cycle and succession, whilst also providing a colourful and sensory plant-based play element. Visually this will be a very attractive element of the play environment giving children a sense of time, seasonality and successional change, which again could be actively interpreted through environmental education workshops.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic North Park, London © Erect Architecture Team


The Pine ForestThe final 'climax' planting of our narrative is told through a group of Scots Pine set along the central raised landform. Using a play surface of natural pine cones, the play opportunities here are based on high level climbing and platform walkways using timber structures that mimic the form and habit of the pine to create billowy cloud-like enclosures high up amongst the real tree top canopies. This will be a physical and challenging play element attracting the 8-12 age group. Clear views of the wider North Parklands would be obtained, giving good observational and orienteering opportunities.
Large Scale Swings
Along the edge of the raised landform and pine forest are a series of large scale and robust swings, which groups of children and teenagers can use. These together with the pine forest play installations and the adjacent skate park and rockspace mark an increase in speed, intensity and physicality in the play offer to provide meaningful play challenges for older children, teenagers and young adults.
Rock LandscapeThe final element in our narrative is the creation of a bare rock landscape where our cyclical life cycle starts once more. Bands of graded shales and gravels set within a textured concrete surface traverse across the area, bordered by broad bands of meadow and grass planting, low scrub and birch trees, and large swathes of grass. Within these bands remnant industrial artefacts and rusting steel can be discovered, linking the site back to its former industrial heritage. Set amongst these artefacts are a group of large scale monolithic boulders which can be used for climbing and parcour activities. The focus of the area will be a large, bespoke, competition grade skate park set in the landscape like a piece of archaeology buried below the surface. This physical and challenging element will appeal to older children, teenagers and young adults and could  become a destination skate park across the London region for competitions and connect well with other activities linked to the Velodrome.
Integrated landscape and Hub Design
Much as the Suth Park's '2012 Gardens' celebrate the Britsh love of Plants from around the world, inspired by Victorian pleasure gardens, our landscape palete intends to explore and celebrate our rich ecological heritage. We have taken the theme of life cycle and ecology to inspire our design approach to the Hub and playground.
In response to the powerful and sculptural topography of the wider North parkland, three tensioned and dynamic landforms have been set up to respond to this context and take the form of an 'unfurling leaf', with the Hub forming the hinge point and focus.
Using the design language of the staged timber seating used throughout the wider parkland, which accentuate and transform the fluid landforms and add layers of human inhabitation, the Hub repeats and builds upon these forms to develop the building volumes. Set back from the street, views of the Hub will be seen across an expansive species rich meadow whose landform guideds the visitor to the entrance following a low mound, which forms a threshold between and east west connection and park. The mound is overlaid with stepped timber ribbons, which increase in height to form the volume containing the building's ancillary spaces. The south facing external seating forms spill out space for the café, animating the south facade.
From this location the Hub will benefit from views not only at city level to the Olympic venues, but also past the large scale mound of planted birch woodland and beyond the River Lea and the riverine landscape. A large solitary tree marks the building entrance and the beginning of the existing line of trees, accentuating pathway and swale beyond. The building is designed as an extension of the landscape, internal and external spaces read together. Local meadow species blown in on the wind will naturally colonise the brown roof above the services spine to become a rich ecological habitat in its own right. The smooth but robust weathered hardwood lining forming the external seating and service spine cladding extends into the interior of the building.
The building has been designed to limit the need for mechanical services by getting the physical form of the building to provide most of the environmental control and in this way that building is doing more and architecture is working with nature. The café and multipurpose room volumes are arranged either side of the ancillary spine. Their gently sloping timber roof planes relate to the dynamic and directionality of the landforms and frame views into the landscape. Generous roof overhangs and the coninuity of the paved floor finish blur the transition between inside and outside. The caracter of vertical structural elements and detailing of the timber cladding are developed in dialogue with the surrounding tree planting.
The interior of the hub is characterised by the warmth and texture of timber. All rooms are naturally lit, key rooms like the foyer, café and multipurpose room are lit from two sides. The vertical façade cladding acts as shading device and creates an animated play of shadow and light. Reception desk and some simple built in seating and platforms in the cafés and multi-purpose room storage and designed as an extension of the external seating features intensifying the connections with the landscape and signalling inhabitation and usability.
The external spaces are an extension of the building and have been designed to allow as much flexible use as possible. Similar to the southern side the northern elevation of the building forms a generous external café seating area, which also includes space for future building expansion, if the café proved to be a success. The café spill out space is defined by the mound with stepped seating on the eastern and the line of trees, swale and pathway on the western side. It allows for natural surveillance of the under 5's sand and water play area, which runs along the existing swale site boundary. The eastern volume contains the multi-purpose community room, which opens onto a large but intimate grass lawn, enclosed by hazel woodland. The large grass area will become a natural gathering space for families to picnic and enjoy the hub and play space, it is also large enough to receive small scale community gatherings, house stalls or a marquee and spill out space for weddings and community events.

A very interesting project that must be followed to see more.

Who are they?
Erect Architecture is an award-winning team of architects led by Barbara Kaucky and Susanne Tutsch. Erect Architecture's projects range from architecture to public space design to different kinds of interiors. Erect Architecture provides full architectural services, interior design, undertake community participation projects and offer fundraising advice. Erect Architecture's solutions are creative and hard working, tailored to the varied requirements of our clients.
Erect Architecture is a RIBA Chartered Practice.
Erect Architecture also has a blog.

More: Erect Architecture and Legacy Company.
 
 
 
 
 
 



1/22/2012

News: James Corner Field Operations Team winning Olympic Park South Competition

James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) in collaboration with Make Architects, Arup, Piet Oudolf, L'obversatoire International, Tomato, Groundbreaking, Playlink and Deloitte, announced to have been selected for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park South Park Project.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The South Park, London, © James Corner Field Operations, Make Architects,
Arup, Piet Oudolf, L'Observatoire International, Tomato, Groundbreaking, Playlink and Deloitte.

The aim of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Competition was to design a visitor centre and playground in the green river valley of the north park, and a 50 acre urban landscape in the south plaza sitting between the Stadium, Aquatics Center and the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
The team's proposal consists of a tree-lined promenade connecting flexible spaces for events, cultural programmes, food stalls and other attractions. It is announced that the area will have a London South Bank feel and will welcome the majority of visitors to the Park.
The problematics raised in regards ecological and social complexities in high-dense cities, here in a European city with its history, is how to incorporate green features including park, path, garden, promenade, ground cover, among others, within such an urban fabric as London. Throughout this project, it will be interesting to see how James Corner and its team address the complex ecological and social forces that constitute London's urban landscape.

Below is the presentation of the winning team:


The South Park Pleasure GardensHow might South Park become a much-loved leisure destination for London, a spectacular attraction for both residents and visitors frim around the world?
Furthermore, how might the design of the park provide spaces that flexibility accomodate a wide variety of future programming events while at the same time appealing to a broad spectrum of the public on ordinary unprogrammed days?
For the main southpark and hub area we propose four physical landscape frameworks that can be easily implemented and shape a highly social and eventful series of "pleasure gardens": 
     1. Arc promenade 
     2. Planting ribbon & hedgerow 
     3. Event rooms 
     4. Lawns & Garden 
Takes together, the Arc Promenade, the Planting Ribbon, the Event Rooms and the Lawns and Gardens create a powerful landscape framework for both everyday use and enjoyment as well as for supporting a wide range of event programming, from food festivals and markets to rides and small circuses, to concerts and performances, to arts, culture and education. The design is clearly legible, iconic, playful and varied, while at the same time capable of supporting a diverse range of uses. This theatrical event site, set within a larger network of ecological green systems, waterways and world-class attractions, creates a destination legacy park for London —scenic and social on a daily basis, and eventful and active when programmed.
The South Park Hub © James Corner Field Operations, Make Architects, Arup, Piet Oudolf, L'Observatoire International, Tomato, Groundbreaking, Playlink and Deloitte.
The South Park HubThe hub building is a simple yet elegant rectilinear form located at the southern end of the promenade, in close proximity to the orbit. It will become a key destination for visitors to the south park, with its prime setting offering strong visual connections with the river and the surrounding park.
Due to the scale and complexity of the park's prominent stadia, we propose a simple, low-lying pavilion which is substly stitched in to the flowing lines of the landscape, complementing the nearby large-scale structures rather than competing with them. The Hub takes the form of a series of horizontal and vertical planes which enclose both the internal and external spaces. The spine walls separate the public and private areas and provide connection points for the organic lines of the planted landscape ribbon as they extend out from the building.
A large, open café space is located at the heart of the pavilion, with an impressive transparent glazed frontage revealing the animation. Flexible event spaces are available if required, as well as covered external seating and a roof terrace above the café area which reveals stunning panoramix views of the south park. The vrtical spine walls which project out from the building provide the ideal location for art and media projections, which will generate interest and encourage public engagement.
Our strong yet simple concept provides a flexible design framework on to which future additions can be easily incorporated. This rational and practical design approach results in an elegant and well-proportioned pavilion which is highly efficient and buildable, facilitating the quick delivery of a high quality building within a challenging budget.

South Park Event & Activity Hub © James Corner Field Operations, Make Architects, Arup, Pied Oudolf,
L'Observatoire International, Tomato, Groundbreaking, Playlink and Deloitte.


South Park Event & Activity HubWith its strategic proximity and important support functions for the orbit — undoubtedly the greatest attraction of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park — the South Park Hub will become the focal point of day-to-day activity the park.
To emphasize and support its role as the "Event Hub" within the Park, we have located the larger event rooms and spaces around this new feature. The Hub Building provides a generous and welcoming gateway to the Hub plaza area, spilling café uses and moveable furniture onto the plaza. This is a flexible event area, open, porous and social. The hard plaza meets a softer lawn area to the north, where one can sit, picnic and sun, or begin to stroll into the gardens and event rooms along the Arc.

The South Park Pleasure Gardens © James Corner Field Operations, Make Architects, Arup, Piet Oudolf, L'observatoire
International, Tomato, Groundbreaking, Playlink and Deloitte.


Source: Olympic Park Legacy Company

1/21/2012

The proposal of the day: Aberdeen City Garden, Scotland by Diller, Scofidio and Renfro

The proposal of the end of the week will be this networked park and cultural center for Aberdeen, Scotland. This Aberdeen City Garden, also known as Granite City, is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DSR).
The Granite City, Aberdeen, Scotland © Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
This Granite City is driven by ecology, and environmental and cultural dynamics combining garden and culture.
Aberdeen City Garden, Scotland © Diller, Scofidio and Renfro.

The regeneration of the city is in heart of this project. Apparently, Diller, Scofidio and Renfro (DSR) seem to address crucial questions of what it means to be urban, actively engaged with ecological context.
Aberdeen City Garden, Scotland © Diller Scofidio and Renfro.
DSR collaborated with landscape architect James Corner Field Operations in the New York City High Line. Principles of resilience, adaptability and flexibility appear to drive this Granite City as these phenomena can be applied not only to environmental systems but also to city-systems, and buildings.
Below is DSR's presentation:

The Aberdeen City Garden will fuse Nature and Culture into a vital social network at the heart of the city. Rejecting the classical model of the cultural building isolated on the green, the Garden extends the surrounding urban fabric as an elastic web of 3-dimensional interconnections across its site. The warp and weft of urban lines support both park and cultural activities within a resilient fabric of layered programs, conjoining history with the contemporary and the urbane with the pastoral. Stretching across the historic river site, this parkland web is permeable, revealing a multi-tiered archeology while connecting to the city's emergent future as a technological hub for art, performance, leisure and commerce.

The Aberdeen City Garden is scheduled for completion by 2016.
Aberdeen City Garden © Diller, Scofidio + Renfro.



Project fact
Project: Public Park
Architects: Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
Principal-in-Charge: Charles Renfro
Project leader: Albert Cavallero
Type: Public park
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Date of Completion: By 2016

Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid by Amann-Canovas-Maruri

Amann-Canovas-Maruri (ACM) completed the Housing in Carabanchel, Spain, consisting of a massive colorful metallic housing block and a central courtyard combo. While achieved in 2009, it is interesting to look back at this project as it continues its exploration of Le Corbusier's mass housing principles that appear to dominate Spain's housing development.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid, 2009 © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo credit: Miguel de Guzman

The Housing in Carabanchel is impressive with its façade punctuated by these colorful panels that screen the envelope. The enclosed courtyard plays is in the heart of this housing project, as the architects say.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

This massive yet elegant as well as functional residential block, rectangular in form, encloses a private courtyard and express a colorful façade with these red, blue, brown, yellow, orange and red shutters.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

Volume
The compact volume reminds MVRDV's Celosia, located in Madrid, as well as Le Corbusier's Immeuble-Villas, 1922. As known, Les Immeuble-Villas seem to have nurtured these recent housing development in Madrid, at least they served as model for mass production of block housing.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo Credit: Miguel de Guzman

Accordingly, following Corbusier's concept of residential block, the Housing in Carabanchel is compact in form and provides efficient and flexible units for the occupants.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Murari. Photo credit: Miguel de Guzman

As the architects said, mechanical necessities generate this modular design offering flexible interior spaces with openings in the wall. This rectangular housing block has then been manipulated to generate a inner courtyard.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo Credit: Miguel de Guzman

The surface of the envelope is perforated with colorful panels for air, daylight circulation and views.
It also brings to mind the Corbusian vision of housing that dominated the 20th century architecture. Les Immeubles-Villas are a direct inspiration for this Madrid-based agency.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo credit: David Frutos

These colorful metal shutters across the entire façade break the repetitive façade, common trait in Madrid's suburbs. These also create a colorful affect allowing ventilation and natural light into the inner spaces, while protecting from external views.
Housing in Carabanchel, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo credit: David Frutos

Private terraces allow for solar access and air circulation as well as view into the inner courtyard.
3D type, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

A strong focus on the differentiation…
…accentuated by the use of color patterning. Green, orange, red, yellow, blue, brown… a discontinuous set of colorful panels, in lieu of common panels, play an important role as it used to break down volume, and to generate a formal autonomy formel and a spiritual inclusion, as the architects said.
4D Type, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

Color is particularly utilized to break down monotony and repetition that characterize Spanish typology of residential blocks. Such just as MVRDV's Celosia, FOA's Viviemos en Carabanchel, ACM attempts to create a disruption within the clautrophobic conditions of existing developments in Spain.
Axiometrics © Amann-Canovas-Maruri

Each unit has its own private patio in accordance with the principles of Le Corbusier's Les Immeuble-Villas.
Construction details © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

As the architects mentioned, Le Corbusier spent his life developing research upon how to interprete the benefits of a family in urban housing, including garden, views, orientation.
Lower floor plan © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

The creation of a central inner courtyard is another influence from Le Corbusier, a courtyard that is also reproduced in various project such as MVRDV's Celosia.
Elevations © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.

Units are interconnected by corridors and open terraces, open terraces that also act as tool since air circulates easily in the open terraces and ensures that fresh air gets into the building.
Housing in Carabanchel — Open terrace, Madrid © Amann-Canovas-Maruri. Photo credit: Miguel de Guzman
Situation plan © Amann-Canovas-Maruri.
Type Floor Plan © Amann-Canevas-Maruri.
Scheme © Amann-Canevas-Maruri.
Section © Amann-Canevas-Maruri.



Building facts
Project: Housing in Carabanchel
Architects: Amann-Canovas-Maruri — Atxu Amann, Andres Canovas, Nicolas Maruri
Location: Avenida de la Peseta, Carabanchel, Madrid, Spain
Client: EMVS (Department of Housing, Madrid Council Government)
Site area: 4441.33 sqm
Built-up area: 13419.81 sqm (including parking areas)
Completed year: May 2009
Colaborators: Gonealo Pardo Diaz, Beatriz Amann Vargas, Ana Arriero Cano, Ignacio Diaz Gonzalez, Sara de la Fuente Sanz, Susana Velasco Sanchez, Christina, Parreno Alonso, Ana Lopez, Rafael Marcos, Carlos Rios, Rafael Palomares, Javier Gutierrez
Photographs: Miguel de Guzman, David Frutos

Images originally appeared on Archdaily except if not mentioned. See also: El Mundo (in Spanish): "Los arquitectos hemos sido la punta de lanza del liberalismo mas soez".

1/19/2012

Today's infographic: China is now urbanized

China is now urbanized and the chart below proves the increasing urbanized areas in China.
Originally appeared on wsj.
China's urban areas outnumber countryside with 51.27% of urban dwellers. And the percent will continue to increase as rural population migrates to cities for better living conditions and jobs. As mentioned by Tom Orlik and Liam Denning in wsj, urbanization supposes increasingly demand for housing, infrastructure. Neighbors such as Korea and Japan based their economic rapid growth partly upon urbanization in the 20th Century. In this instance, Post-War Japan used urbanism as tool to boost demands for roads, infrastructure, and as falling birth rate and population aging were integrated as important components, health care and well-being became axes in Japan's urbanism. In short, Japan's rapid economic growth profitted from urbanism and China is taking the same way along with a large number of programmes of urban development at a high level. Drawing a perspective on this shift into urbanized country, The Atlantic Cities noted that:
City dwellers represented just 10.6 percent of China's population in 1949, when the Communist Party took power, and just under 19 percent in 1979, when it launched the market reforms, according to official Chinese statistics. That means that in the economic boom of the past three decades, China has roughly matched what economic historians say took about 200 years in Britain, 100 years in the U.S. and 50 years in Japan.
Yet China will challenge a large range of issues to provide best quality of life for each resident, in particular, insofar as China will be engaging in a certain growth slow and population aging that will sap its economic dynamics. But for now China's cities must respond to external issues, in particular demand pressures in terms of living conditions that includes health care, childcare, well-being, housing, infrastructure, jobs to dwell their urban citizens.


1/18/2012

News: SOM unveiling Cornell Campus Proposal

SOM recently revealed its proposal for the Cornell's Campus, implanted in Roosevelt Island which will host 2,500 students.
The goal of this design is to propose a place of work and research based on collaboration, productivity and creativity needs of the students.
Three major axes motivate this proposal based on a flexible open plan: hubs, sustainability, green features.
Cornell Campus Proposal — Rendering, © SOM. Originally appeared on International Business Times.

Hubs
The Cornell Campus will be composed of hubs rather than a complex of closed-off silos: a healthy hub, gathering biomedical and engineering fields, and mobile social hub integrating mobile technology and social marketing studies. These hubs aside, the project will also include walkways, precisely lateral paths, between these hubs.
As views playing an important role in this proposal, interior and exterior paths are announced to be connected aiming at maximizing views for the occupants.

Cornell Campus © SOM.
—> The Cornell Campus will include a multi-story pedestrian network, indoor/outdoor connectivity between academic spaces, a half-million-square-feet of public
gardens and amphitheaters.


Sustainable approach
The second interesting part will be the sustainable approach allowing for energy efficiency, say, zero net energy. This system will be capable of producing as much as energy it consumes, Roger Duffy, a partner of Skidmore Owings & Merrill said. This will be possible with a research on the orientation of the building in relation to sun and to green features.
"You really have to design from the conceptual stage," confessed Colin Koop, an associate director at SOM. "When you have that kind of aggressive idea, you have to design your orientation of the campus around it."



Cornell Campus — Rendering: layout of the Campus, © SOM. Originally appeared on International Business Times.
—> "A 150,00-square-foot photovoltaic array that would be the largest in New York City, and an interactive
sustainability strategy that will boast one of the country's largest net-zero energy structures."
Apart from the zero net energy, the building will integrate not only photovoltaic panels whose function, obviously, will be to capture maximum of sunlight, but also underground geothermal that will help produce power. The layout below shows the articulation of the environmental strategy of SOM's proposal for the Cornell Campus. Radiant celing panels will be integrated to provide sensible cooling to users that will utilize the hydronic system. 
Cornell Campus — South orientation © SOM.


A displacement ventilation will allow for dedicated outside air at the floor level. Operable windows will provide warm air to reduce cooling loads. A congeneration plant will also be incorporated. The building will thus use the tidal energy from the East River.


Cornell Campus © SOM.




Landscape approach
The last part of this project concerns the courtyard and retail that will co-designed with Landscape architect James Corner Field Operations. This project will be composed of public space for pedestrian access. The accent will be put on the western side. A lush landscape made of trees, rain gardens will surround the building such as a park within the campus.
Cornell Campus © SOM.
—> The relation of the facilities and the landscape will particularly be well-represented by a large amount of
the site devoted to green features.

According to SOM:
This is a spectacularly rare opportunity to imagine a new campus from the ground up — and to do so in the heart of a great city. In terms of its urban design, architecture, landscape design and sustainable strategies, this campus will be an exemplar — a living, learning applied sciences community whose design supports and reflects the fundamental ideals of research and innovation.


Source: New York International Business Times.

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