Page 1


#26.3 APRIL 2016


FROM THE BOARD Committees 2016

Dear Polis members,

We could not be as visible as we are without the great effort of a lot of active students. With the help of them we can organise excursions, lectures, workshops, drinks and events. The Polis board wants to thank all the people involved for their great efforts and positive input!

In front of you lies the first Atlantis issue to be published under the new board of 2016. We are proud of the Atlantis Magazine which has always produced excellent quality. ‘Energy and the City’ is another great compilation of thoughts and ideas from both professionals and the students themselves.

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join. Interested in one of the Polis committees? Do not hesitate to contact us at our Polis office (01.west.350) or by mail: URBAN AND LANDSCAPE WEEK ATLANTIS EDUCATION PR COMMITTEE BIG TRIP & SMALL TRIP

Polis board Supriya Krishnan - Chairman Alex Chih-Chu Lee - Secretary IJsbrand Heeringa - Treasurer Alankrita Sarkar - Public Relations Panagiota Tzika-Kostopoulou - Atlantis

Become a member Not already a member of Polis? For only €12.50 a year as a student of TU Delft, €30 for individual professional membership, or €80 for organizations you can join our network! You will receive our Atlantis Magazine (for free) four times a year, a monthly newsletter and access to all events organized by Polis. You will also get the warm feeling of supporting the work of a passionate group of students! E-mail to find out more.

Together with the board change, which you can read about on page 5, there are many new members to welcome to the committees of Polis. This years team is again a great mix of cultures and nationalities. We have an almost brand new ‘Urbanism and Landscape Week’ team, with the exception of Kim van Doesburg who has decided to stay with Polis for a little while longer. The team has been planning from the beginning of the year, to make 2016’s UL week even more exciting than last years. The ‘UL week’ is keen to challenge the students and professionals in a new format, on which of course I mustn't say too much. Our Trip committee is also new, and will this year be providing us with two trips, a small one and a big one. Of course we cannot tell you yet where we are going, but the considered options are interesting and refreshing. The PR committee is also almost completely new, but for our former board member Mark Disco who did not want to leave us just yet. The PR-team is motivated to improve the visibility of Polis, and simultaneously build on our network with students and professionals. Lastly, the Atlantis committee has been seeing a lot of new faces lately, though many longer term members still remain. In the midst of all this change, it is proper to pay special attention to Chief Editor Kate Unsworth, who has managed the magazine with excellence. After this issue she will be gradually giving her position to our new Chief Editor team, Kritika Sha and Shruti Maliwar. We thank all of our former Board and committee members for their work in 2015 and their support during the first stages of 2016, and we assure them that we shall take good care of their legacy. We at Polis feel very content with our new team for 2016, but of course we always have space for more people in our midst. For us the year has only just begun, and we can assure you that there are lots of great events and projects in which you can be of great help. So if you are interested please contact us by mail, or drop by at the office for a coffee. We wish you pleasant reading. On behalf of the Polis board 2016, Alankrita Sarkar, Chih-Chu (Alex ) Lee, Panagiota (Nagia) Tzika-Kostopoulou, IJsbrand Heeringa & Supriya Krishnan. 1




Atlantis Volume #26 Are you passionate about urbanism and landscape architecture and would like to contribute? Contact us at:

As Steve Matthewman and Hugh Byrd point out (p.15), we are a peculiar species. Beyond the energy we get from the food we eat, humans have built an existence which is entirely reliant on additional sources of energy. Since the first time we lit a fire and burnt wood, we have become increasingly entangled in this dependence, transforming the landscapes around us in pursuit of sources of this energy. In some cases, as Gintare Norkunaite shows, entire life worlds have been constructed to this end (p.11). In the first half of this issue, we explore the complex reality that this has created, looking at how to work with the spatial and social legacy of our energy 'habit' and highlighting possible directions for the future. For example, Professor Carola Hein shows how this entanglement has not only changed our physical landscapes but also our ‘mindscapes’ (p.7) and Ting-Wei Chu explores what new design models might emerge as we try and change our relationship to energy consumption (p.25). But energy is more than the electricity to light our homes or the fuel to drive our cars. It is also the mental energy to get from one day to the next (p.35), the vibrancy and inspiration of everyday life. In the second section therefore, we have brought together articles exploring how design and other tools can be used to cultivate the energy of people and place, not only to achieve the physical regeneration of areas but also to reinvigorate cities as sites of debate, democracy and human experience. Among a broad collection of articles, Shruti Maliwar talks to artist Florentijn Hofman about giant rubber ducks and aardvarks (p.27), Ioana Ionescu highlights the role social media has played in collective action in Bucharest (p.49) and Angeliki Meli has us suspended between buildings in a manifesto for a more playful urban environment (p.55). As I talk of all this, I am also reflecting on the enormous amount of energy I have gained from being involved in this magazine over the last year and a half. It has been an inspiration to see the commitment of my fellow team mates: their endless enthusiasm and creativity in sourcing content, their support for each other to improve writing and layout skills, and their vision for the magazine. In particular it has been a joy to work with Alkmini Papaioannou, whose high standards, artistic eye and supportive approach have made it so easy to create such a beautiful magazine. She will be handing over to Gaila Costantini who I know will bring her own talents to the role. This is also my last issue as editor in chief as I hand over to Shruti Maliwar and Kritika Sha, who have done a tremendous job in gradually taking on my duties. They bring fresh energy and ideas to Atlantis (the last 'energy' reference I promise...) and if you have any comments or suggestions about the magazine that you would like to share with them, please get in touch by email: I believe publications like this are critical to keeping our research and design practice energised (oops, one more), and it has been a pleasure to contribute. I'm excited about where the team will take it next. Happy reading!

Kate Unsworth


05 07





























Chairman Supriya Krishnan

Treasurer IJsbrand Heeringa

Public Relations Alankrita Sarkar

Secretary Alex Chih Chu Lee

Atlantis Panagiota Tzika-Kostopoulou

The New Board of Polis. The first Atlantis issue of the new year brings along the time to introduce you to the new Polis board of 2016. Before we begin, we would like to say a huge thank you to the previous board and all committee members who turned 2015 into a very successful year for Polis. We also express our gratitude to the Board of Advice, who have been a tremendous help for the team. This year Polis turns 26. We are very happy and encouraged to say that the number of memberships is very close to the 400 mark, which is all due to the efforts of our predecessors. Now without further ado, I introduce to you: the new Polis Board. First and foremost, our new Chairman, Supriya Krishnan, who hails from India. The position of Secretary this year will be covered by Alex Chi-Chu Lee, from Taiwan. Chair of PR will be Alankrita Sarkar, also from India. From the Western Hemisphere, we have a new Atlantis representative, Nagia TzikaKostopoulou from Greece, and lastly, a Dutch Treasurer IJsbrand Heeringa. We are extremely excited to start the new year as Polis Board members, and we have been working towards initiatives to carry forward the ambition of Polis. One of our chief goals this year is to provoke discussion and debate among our fellow students. We are keen to capitalise on the rich diversity we find among our members to get fresh perspectives from our international fellow students and share our ideas with students in other parts of the globe.

Objectives In line with our ideology we have set up the following objectives:

1. Polis wants to reach out to international

universities and students, through the contacts and networks of its own international community. By inviting them to collaborate on our projects, such as ULWeek and Atlantis magazine, we hope to engage better with these universities and students.

2. Polis wants to set up a network of fellow

urbanism and landscape architecture student societies. By doing so, we hope to create a strong basis for exchange and interaction.

3. Polis wants to set up a platform for debate and discussion, in order to enhance the exchange of the ideas within our international community.



Ijsbrand Heeringa

MSc student, Urbanism TU Delft


Plan of action Polis Patrons collaboration: Polis is

working on improving its base within the professional community. By expanding our professional network, we hope to offer our students more chances to find contacts for internships and career opportunities.

Polis PR: Polis is also keen to spread its message

more widely. We have good assets in the shape of ULWeek and Atlantis and we are keen to utilise them to attract more international attention.

HARDtalks: a series of lectures and debates

specially designed to tackle contemporary urban issues and evoke discussion among our members. The events will be short, strong and sweet, with one hour debates focussing on controversial topics.

Knowledge Network: Polis will set up a

network in collaboration with our fellow urbanism and landscape architecture students from around the world. We are hoping to integrate as many relevant student societies from different universities and countries into one network which will not only ease communication between ourselves, but also within the urbanism and landscape architecture society as a whole.

Brand new UL week: The Urbanism and

Landscape Week,which is the biggest event at the Faculty of Architecture, will be back with a brand new format this year. The committee is working on hosting an interfaculty competition that extols academicprofessional engagement and is working hard to get international speakers on the panel. Polis has set high ambitions for 2016 and is extremely excited about the challenges ahead. 2016 will be an explorative and surprising year for us, and we hope, also for our members. If you wish to contribute to one of our projects, please feel free to drop by the office (01 West 350) or write to us at Cheers Alankrita, Alex, IJsbrand, Nagia and Supriya •

1. Team of 2016 (Polis Board with committee members)





Imagining Fossil-Free Futures Over Contemporary Petroleumscapes Global corporations, such as the oil industry, are powerful actors in the transformation of the built environment even if they don’t have official planning powers. In conjunction with public institutions, they have constructed industrial structures and buildings of diverse scales, types and forms and have helped shape regional landscapes. Together, public and private actors have transformed not only our physical environment but also our lifestyles around the global flows and networks of the production, transportation, resale and consumption of oil. In order to imagine alternative energy practices beyond oil, to transform existing cities and to design meaningful new urban forms and practices, urban design professionals need to both reflect on future technologies, design approaches, and governance strategies, and to study how the collective effort of oil companies and public actors and its perception by the general public have shaped built form. Urbanists and landscape architects therefore need to critically explore the complex present of petroleumscapes, that is, the ways in which oil is inscribed in our spatial and mental surroundings. They need to identify and analyse the interconnected places of oil, their social, cultural, economic and aesthetic impact and the ways in which not only their industrial, retail and administrative buildings, but also their infrastructure, have shaped our imaginaries and mindscapes. Studying spatial and mental petroleumscapes and replacing them in favour of new energy landscapes raises numerous questions for preservation of heritage, for urban transformation, and for future designs. 7

by Carola Hein Head of the Chair, History of Architecture and Urban Planning, TU Delft


How can we clean up industrial oil sites and potentially preserve some elements? Contemporary industrial oil sites, with their refineries, storage tanks, pump stations and pipelines are unlike other industrial landscapes that can be turned into a heritage landscape. The IBA Emscherpark in the centre of Germany, where former coalmines form part of the attraction, is one example for the preservation of industrial structures as a means for rewriting and reimagining an entire region. Cities around the world have also reimagined industrial waterfronts and historic warehouses as new urban districts. The industrial areas of petroleum with their extensive refineries, storage tanks and pipelines are more difficult to transform. Remnants of industrial drilling, such as the oil pomp Jaknikker in Schoonebeek (The Netherlands) are already included in the register of national monuments; entire sites, such as the Oil Region National Heritage Area in Western Pennsylvania are being commodified for touristic purposes. Such processes have only started for the large refining sites. Petroleum has polluted the ground for decades and sometimes even longer, often with noxious impacts on neighbouring housing districts. As refineries and storage areas around the world disappear, they will require extensive and specialised cleanup. The longterm environmental challenges and high costs of such a cleanup are evident in places such as Greenpoint (Philadelphia), where some 50 refineries polluted the ground over decades and where more than 64,000 m3 spilled into the ground. Urban planners have to start

thinking of new strategies to combine cleanup along with the development of preservation recuperation, and redefinition strategies for these sites. How can we reimagine and recreate new connections? Many old refineries emerged in what was then agricultural area, often alongside a river, and as an extension of the port. Refineries, as large, highly specialised industrial complexes have a strong staying power (Fig.1). Once established, they tend to attract further funding and use. The refinery on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, established in the 1870s, was up for sale and potential decommissioning, but instead continues to function, as oil is shipped by train from North Dakota into the densely built centre of Philadelphia. Oil companies developed their own rail and road infrastructure that then tied in and often influenced the design of national transportation systems. As areas of corporate and (often) national security interest, they are fenced off and largely inaccessible. As part of a working port, the street infrastructure that accesses them can’t accommodate a large increase of non-port related traffic. One challenge of redeveloping industrial oil sites is also redefining the use of transportation lines and specialised pipelines. Furthermore, as not all the sites can become heritage areas, we need to develop new strategies for these highly polluted areas, perhaps in conjunction with physical and mental transition processes that bring these sites into the general imagination.

1. Refinery, Botlek, Rotterdam. Image by ANP Foundation, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 2. Gas station 3. Headquarters of gas company in Astana 4-5. Representation of oil in our lives

2 8



How can we rethink the large-scale road infrastructure and associated gas stations?

What is the role for iconic oil headquarters in a post-oil future?

Gas stations are small structures; they are also architectural signs of the transformation of urban and rural landscapes. The location of gas stations has a fascinating history that reveals the growth of individual transportation: From pumps in urban centres to highway gas stations that also serve as mini-supermarkets, these structures document the transformation of our environment and of urbanism as a discipline. Some of the gas stations, notably the architect-designed ones, have found new users, including architectural offices or have been moved to new locations including museums. Yet others serve in their original location as coffee shops, or restaurants. Gas stations are small and relatively easy to scrap and - after appropriate clean-up of the soil - also easy to replace (Fig 2). Their main role can only be understood in conjunction with the road infrastructure, thus, what will we do with the highways that have been built for cars?

Once petroleum is in our past, how will we contextualise oil-related structures such as headquarters or gas stations that are part of our heritage, even already added to the national heritage list? How shall we analytically frame transformations such as the renovation of the “A’Dam Tower,” the former “Toren Overhoeks” first designed by Arthur Staal for Shell, into an urban icon at the heart of Amsterdam? Many administrative and research buildings of the oil industry are located in historic urban areas, designed by well-known architects of their time, in close proximity to public buildings and ministries. These buildings are easily reassigned: The former Exxon building in The Hague is now a flexible office building called Spaces. The huge scale of some of the oil corporate headquarters notably built in the 1960s and 70s in new office districts on the outskirts of cities, such as in La Defense in Paris, or in Hamburg’s City Nord, will challenge urban planners to rethink the form and function and infrastructure of these districts. Some of these buildings have already been demolished, and are replaced by smaller structures, as in the case of the former BP building in Hamburg.




How can we go beyond the affective landscapes of oil? The industrial, physical flows of oil, from transportation to storage, refining and resale have emerged in interrelation with administrative and research installations, creating diverse spatial patterns and interconnected built forms. In addition to these physical manifestations, the companies have also generated select mindscapes that go beyond the places that they actually occupy. Through free road maps and associated imagery and through ads and apps, corporations have associated oil with national pride and security, depicting the car as a vehicle of freedom and the gas station as a haven of security, and have thus claimed rural and traditional spaces far beyond the ones that companies actually occupy. Global oil companies have also established new iconic cities from Dubai to Astana (Fig 3), even inspiring urbanists to design new floating cities for the extraction of oil in the Atlantic. Large parts of the world are benefitting from oil production and the celebration of its benefits. These mindscapes form additional petroleumscapes that influence architects, artists, writers and the general public as they produce buildings and other artistic works that reference the built environment (Fig 4-5). Mindscapes shape how people generate new physical petroleumscapes; changing them is perhaps the first step in creating fossil-free energy landscapes. We can


turn to new technologies to help scholars and the general public track the history, location and spread of petroleumscapes with their role in the popular imaginary (an augmented reality tool and a website are already under development at TU Delft). We also need to generate new imaginaries around fossil-free technologies that allow the general public to embrace new energy technologies and landscapes. Traditional windmills and canals, which were also originally engineering devices, have now become part of the national imagination and a tourist attraction. Couldn’t we achieve the same for the novel technologies? As scholars Dominic Boyer and Imre Szeman argued in a 2014 article, “The Rise of Energy Humanities”, “today’s energy and environmental dilemmas are fundamentally problems of ethics, habits, values, institutions, belief, and power.” Integrating novel perspectives into technological debates and in the fields of urbanism and landscape architecture, seems particularly important in the light of contemporary conversations – such as the ones held in Paris in December 2015 as part of COP21 on climate change, rising sea-levels, and sustainable energy futures beyond oil. History, both its writing and its remnants in the built environment, are a powerful tool of shaping the future through selective reading of the past. •

References Boyer, Dominic, and Imre Szeman, March 2014: The Rise of Energy Humanities, University Affairs



Nuclear power and the city At the beginning of the 20th century, new forms of energy were discovered which attracted scientists’ attention like no scientific discovery ever had before. Nuclear fission was expected to revolutionise the energy sector. Initial applications of nuclear technologies came into practice with the detonation of the nuclear bomb in 1945. The first nuclear age had started. The military aspect of nuclear innovations was later covered with the veil of peace and promoted for it's energy potential by U.S. president Eisenhower (Eisenhower, 1953). Nuclear energy was a symbol of progress and modernity that could solve most of the energy issues. The 1960s-1970s was the period when large scale nuclear power plants were constructed all around the world.


Gintare Norkunaite MSc student, Urbanism TU Delft


Nowadays, due to political decisions, accidents or as facilities come to the end of their operational time, approximately 150 of such nuclear facilities have been decommissioned. This presents a critical period of transition for these nuclear landscapes, calling us to reconsider the relationship between nuclear power and a built environment, as well as the social, spatial and environmental impact of decommissioning. Network of a nuclear power plant Large scale nuclear power plants, being part of a centralised energy network, create a huge amount of infrastructure; city sized industrial sites and complexes for facilities. Entirely new energy landscapes (Fig. 1) are created, characterized by high voltage energy transmission lines, spent nuclear fuel landfills and safety zones with restricted land use activities. Life in the region with such nuclear power plants is associated with a constant threat of radioactive pollution due to accidents or even a meltdown of reactors. Utilisation of spent nuclear fuel is another question under debate in nuclear countries attracting the attention of the broader society. For instance, sculptor James Acord tried to raise awareness about long lasting nuclear waste by making sculptures out of uranium. Furthermore, nuclear power plants are part of the larger nuclear network that consists of uranium mining industries, milling, conversion, enrichment,

fabrication plants, spent fuel reprocessing plants and storage facilities. Uranium mining pollutes the environment and causes cancer in people working and living in its proximity. In this way, nuclear power plants affect our lives directly or indirectly, by transforming our environments and leaving structures behind for the centuries to come. Emergence and decline of atomgrads Large scale nuclear power plants also created new settlements as part of existing towns or completely new towns. The latter one has a specific term – atomgrad (Fig. 2). This is a small industrial city, between 30.000 – 80.000 inhabitants, built to house nuclear power plant workers. There are several dozen of such cities around the world, mainly in the former Soviet Union and America. Such cities have a distinct urban shape. The spatial form of such towns is determined by the sanitary protection zone (3 to 16 km), resulting in territorial urban units, scattered in the landscape. Nuclear facility cities are situated in sparsely populated areas, usually forested, marshy or agricultural lands in the proximity of large waterbodies to cool down reactors. There are certain restrictions for residential and agricultural land use inside sanitary protection zones. Therefore during the operation of nuclear facilities, such zones have become nature reserves - sites rich with diverse flora and fauna



habitats valuable not only on regional but also on national and international levels, for example Hanford national monument in the U.S. (Fig. 3) Atomgrads house a very distinct type of population. The cities function as isolated islands of non-local populations, which are almost exclusively white and mostly highly educated1. Residents form strong and privileged communities, which usually have support from higher government levels as being the showcase of exemplary society in nuclear age propaganda (Brown, 2013). They fear less the impact of radiation than the shutdown of their nuclear facility – the main economic pillar. The specific knowledge of

such workers and language barrier becomes an issue in finding work after the decommissioning, causing unemployment and a shrinking population in the atomgrads. The impact of decommissioning The decommissioning of large scale nuclear facilities is not only an economic issue but also a threat to the identity of atomgrads. All the decommissioning options defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency involve dismantling the nuclear power plant. Therefore the nuclear facility disappears both functionally and physically.



Reconsidering decommissioning The process of dismantling causes a huge amount of waste and the loss of valuable structures. The heritage question of nuclear power plants is controversial. There are very good examples of nuclear power plants that functioned without any accident, even with a positive impact on the natural environment and population, for example providing oxygen to flora and fauna of a frozen lake, creating well-paid jobs and sustaining nuclear science. On the regional scale they can be seen as an achievement, however, they still support the radioactive uranium mines by creating demand for nuclear fuel. The heritage questions of nuclear power plant site are even more complicated in former Soviet Union countries, where such nuclear power plants were seen as invaders built by foreigners. Decommissioning could be a time when the value of nuclear power plant structures is reconsidered; compromises between conflicting opinions are made.

they have cultural value, how they could be adapted to future uses, how the relationship between isolated industrial sites and the surrounding environment, city and the region should change. We should think about the knowledge value of former nuclear power plant workers and ways to reuse it; and finally envision development possibilities of nuclear power plants settlements and the interventions required. A more integral plan of decommissioning is needed to build the future of nuclear power plant sites and cities on the relics of the First Nuclear Age. •

References Brown, K., 2013. Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters. Oxford University Press. Eisenhower, D., 1953. Atoms for Peace Speech [WWW Document]. At. Peace Speech Int. At. Energy Agency. URL history/atoms-for-peace-speech (accessed 1.3.16). Wendland, A.V., n.d. Atomogrady. Nuclear Cities between Utopia and Disaster in Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania 1965-2011 [WWW

The phenomenon of nuclear power plants affects us directly or indirectly, creating physical and mental imprints: infrastructures, wastes and brownfields, cities, populations, memories and knowledge. Decommissioning tries to eliminate the danger of radioactivity from our environment, however, it takes away more than that. As designers, we should question structures under demolition, whether or not

1. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Visaginas, Lithuania ©Andrius Pavelko 2. Skyline of Kuznetsovsk ©Dyakov Vladimir Leonidovich 3. Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington, United States ©

Document]. URL individual-projects/atomogrady-nuclear-cities-between-utopia-and-disasterin-russia-ukraine-and-lithuania-1965-2011.html (accessed 10.19.15).


Note 1. For example 85% of Visaginas' population, an atomgrad in Lithuania, came from across the whole former Soviet Union.


Ouroboros City Death and Rebirth of Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant The power sources which provide energy to human civilization are about to be out of commission, leaving the cities facing remnants of these gigantic facilities to be dealt with. Besides traversing the magnificent technical spaces in awe, what are the possibilities in terms of urbanism and architecture to convert this place that has once been so full of "energy", to become energetic again? This is an architecture fable story, a future archeology dystopia, a fictional city which science would consider as alchemy, religion and mythology. Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), in Kenting, Taiwan, is set to decommission in 2025. It has turned into the Cathedral and Zeitgeist of contemporary civilization, becoming a sci-fi feature dystopian urbanism proposal. Situated in the south end of Taiwan, the Kenting area bears the paradox of being simultaneously a beach resort of Consumerism and Hedonism, and a heavily secured site of the nuclear power plant. Combining national resorts, beaches, and Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant, it is an area the size of Jerusalem and Venice, a site turned into a city. It can be gathered that, after the Maanshan NPP's decommissioning, the vast complexity and contradiction in such a site and the critique of pure Rationalism and Absurdism, will continue to coexist simultaneously. The story begins with imagination. There are different building types in this city of surrealism, where waste stock can be considered as a palace axis, water tanks


Lu, Hao-yeh

M. Arch I Graduate Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan

as squares, drainages as canals, and the nuclear power plant as cathedral. It is the Zeitgeist of Contemporary Civilization, after theocracy, sovereignty, and democracy. In this post Fukushima era, the nuclear power debate has turned into an ideology, and critique of pure rationalism is considered as blaspheme. Science hasn't gained more importance than suspicion and mythology. Scientists have turned into priests, and they take control of taboos and the sacred-profane dichotomy. Decommissioning has become a modern alchemy ceremony. Maanshan NPP is ready to decommission in the near future. The vast campus, the timetable of purification, the final disposal of matter with a half-life period much longer than the history of human civilization, etcetera. Those issues consecrate this site to transcendent industrial heritage. From this beginning, back into Ouroboros, the symbol of Alchemy, the predecessor of modern science, of self-eating, self-infliction, and self-creation. In the sense of Eternal return and one is the all. This dystopia city is not only a metaphor, but also an accelerator-

I’m the prime mover seed that gets sown after the heat death of the universe when the Ouroboros swallows itself and the cycle begins anew with a big bang.� -- Laird Barron, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All: Stories. 1



driven nuclear waste refining system, along with a vast nuclear waste final disposal underground city. A ruin city for archaeologists from the future. This city, just like Angelus Novus to Walter Benjamin, is: 'not an optimist pressing forward, but a storm that we call progress, that irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned.' All in all, this is trying to tell an architecture fable story, a future archeology dystopia, a fictional city in which science is considered as alchemy, religion and mythology. This is also a project about the importance of this nuclear energy in transformation, showing how this energy is regarded as detonator at the present, and how to recover its past menace and translate it into another energetic city of the future. • 13

1. Site Analysis of Maanshan nuclear power plant 2. the 1/2000 city design model 3. The idea of the Cathedral and Nuclear power plant as Zeitgeist of contemporary civilization. 4. Manshan Nuclear power plant reactor exploded drawing . 5. 1/400 nuclear power plant reactor model .





References 1. Fredric Jameson , 2005 , Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called

4. George Masche ,1971 , Systems summary of Westinghouse pressurized

Utopia and Other Science Fictions ,Verso (October 17, 2005) . 431 pages.

water reactor nuclear power plant . Westinghouse Electric Corp., PWR

2. Robert Harbison. 1993 .The Built, the Unbuilt, and the Unbuildable.

Systems Division; 1st edition . 238 pages

192 pAGES.The MIT Press.

5. Nuclear Engineering International. 1986 .The World's Reactors, No.

3. Giovanni Battista Piranesi : the complete etchings = Gesamtkatalog

90, Vandellos 2, Vandellos, Tarragona, Spain. Wall chart insert, Nuclear

der Kupferstiche = Catalogue raisonne des eaux-fortes . Taschen - Istituto

Engineering, 1986 . Available at :

Nazionale per la Grafica (2000)



Energy and the City: Thinking Sociologically about Electrical Power All other living creatures rely on a single source of energy - food. We humans however have a specific problem: we require additional fuel for personal and collective wellbeing. Without additional fuel our species is hopelessly unequipped for survival.

Accessibility and security of fuel supply is a fundamental social requirement. However, even in the world’s most privileged places a specifically modern problem presents itself: life is sustained by complex critical infrastructures which are more fragile than is commonly supposed. In the case of electrical power these infrastructures are getting frailer. Many concerns have been raised. The UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (2004) urged that the project for 21st century social science should be to tackle urban vulnerability and network failures. Here, we make a small contribution towards this project by focusing on one network failure: accidental loss of electrical power (blackouts).

Understanding blackouts is more than just analysing a record of past failures; we believe that today’s blackouts are dress rehearsals for the future in which they will appear with greater frequency and severity. And, as urban areas become more compact, blackouts will also have greater consequences. Around 66 per cent of the planet’s urban population lives in cities where inequalities have risen consistently across the last few decades (UN-Habitat, 2014). This inequality also shows in the access to energy. Living sustainably in cities is one of the most pressing issues that humanity faces, and it includes issues of energy poverty, environmental degradation and the “right to infrastructure”.

There are several motivations for doing so. Blackouts – including supra-national ones – are on the rise. The scale of these events, their costs and the numbers affected are staggering. For example, the 14 August 2003 blackout in the north-eastern United States and Ontario took power away from 50 million people, while the blackout in India on 31 July 2012 affected 20 of the country’s 28 states, taking out three of its five grids, affecting as many as 700 million. The estimated costs of the 2003 US blackout are $6.4 billion. On average, power interruptions have an annual cost to US consumers of $79 billion (LaCommare and Eto, 2006: 18). A second motivation for the article is the fact that blackout risk tends to be underestimated. Dedicated studies of infrastructural failure continue to be few, despite their disastrous impact on modern life. Many blackouts are not caused by systems failures, but by network failures due to inadequate energy supply. This seriously compromises grid integrity and exacerbates blackout risk. Issues of energy security remain for those countries with access to significant renewable energy supplies.

We predict an increase in the number of blackouts due to a certain rise in demands that may not be met by an uncertain supply network. Supply will become increasingly precarious because of peak oil, political instability, industry liberalisation and privatisation, the insecurity of energy delivery systems, infrastructural neglect, intensified urbanization, global warming and the shift to renewable energy resources. Demand will become stronger because of population growth, rising levels of affluence and the consumer “addictions” which accompany it.

The weather is becoming more of a risk-factor due to climate change. Dire warnings are being sounded over the reduction in the generating capacity and increased demands for water, which is used to generate and cool almost all of the world’s electrical power provision.


Steve Matthewman & Hugh Byrd Department of Sociology University of Auckland

“ is sustained by complex critical infrastructures which are more fragile than is commonly supposed. ” Infrastructures The term “technological unconscious” refers to those invisible infrastructures that make everyday life possible while escaping everyday attention. For Edwards (2003: 185) these infrastructures are nothing less than ‘the invisible, unremarked basis of modernity itself ’. This makes modern technology remarkable: it 15


fails to register except when it fails. Of course failure in our complex infrastructures should be expected. However, when these failures do occur, they are particularly devastating in tightly coupled systems, like the US and European energy grids, where processes are rapid, intimately linked and hard to stop. The vulnerability of the electricity system is ably demonstrated by a blackout which took place on September 28, 2003, in Italy, which escalated into grid collapse. It began when a falling tree broke an electrical power line in Switzerland’s Lukmanier Pass, which caused the nearby San Bernadino line to overload. Shortly afterwards, a second tree came down in the San Bernadino Pass. The failure of two important lines overstressed the system. The overloads tripped the other interconnectors towards Italy, separating the country from Europe’s electricity network (UCTE, 2004: 4-5). The low voltage level in the north of the country caused several power plants to trip. All of Italy was left without power. Blackouts like this speak volumes of the fragility, complexity and interconnectivity of the modern world’s energy infrastructure. The insecurities of electrical power meet the International Risk Governance Council’s definition of critical infrastructure. The IRGC measures criticality by space, size and time: the failure’s geographical spread, the severity of its effect and the speed with which it is felt. Net failures, such as the incident in Italy, are potentially international in scale, and can profoundly affect those within the afflicted area, and it can do so immediately (Kröger, 2007: 10). Disruptions to critical infrastructures are likely to have rippling effects as they are dynamic and interdependent arrangements. Electricity powers, connects to and synchronises with other systems. Our relationship to electricity and the appliances it powers is one of absolute dependence: ‘we are all now hostages to electricity’ (Abley quoted in Leslie, 1999). Conclusions

Even in the privileged west, energy systems have suffered neglect. Infrastructural investment in both the US and Europe has been poor. New transmission facilities, though sorely needed, have not been high on the agenda. Power grids are consequently operating close to capacity. This stops planned outages for routine maintenance and increases the risk of cascading blackouts. Serious questions will have to be asked concerning the social and environmental implications of energy security at both the individual and collective level. •

"The term 'technological unconscious' refers to those invisible infrastructures that make everyday life possible while escaping everyday attention."

References Economic and Social Research Council (2004) Conference on Urban Vulnerability and Network Failure, Centre for Sustainable Urban Regional Futures, University of Salford, United Kingdom, 29-30 April. Edwards, Paul (2003) ‘Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems’ in T.J. Misa, P. Brey, and A. Feenberg (eds) Modernity and Technology, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 185-225 Kröger, Wolfgang (2007) Managing and Reducing Social Vulnerabilities from Coupled Critical Infrastructures, Geneva: International Risk Governance Council. Kröger, Wolfgang (2005) ‚Der Umgang mit systemischen Risiken – Das Angebot des International Risk Governance Council‘, Präsentation in der Vortragsreihe „Umgang mit gesellschaftSrelevanten“, ETH Zürich, 13 April, available: LaCommare, Kristina Hamachi and Eto, Joseph H. (2006) Cost of Power

Grid supplies of electricity have democratised energy distribution in many countries across the world. The immediate, cheap and reliable supply of electricity has allowed economies to develop at an unprecedented rate in history. This supply is generally taken for granted in western societies which have developed an “addiction” to the electrical tools and appliances. Yet it will become ever more difficult to meet demand for electricity. Increasing numbers of people are living longer and enjoying rising living standards, increasing demand for electrical appliances.

Interruptions to Electricity Consumers in the United States (U.S.), Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, LBNL-58164, available: pdf Leslie, Jacques (1999) ‘Powerless’, Wired, 7: 4 (April) ,available: html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set= Mehrota, Shruti and Bowie, Benedick (2011) ‘Energy and Peace: The Dangers of Our Slow Energy Transition’, Open Democracy, 13 July, available: energy-and-peace-dangers-of-our-slow-energy-transition UCTE (Union for the Coordination of the Transmission of Electricity)

Who will access supply is an important question. Some suggest that a smaller proportion of the world’s population will have access to electricity in 2030 than currently, raising serious questions about social justice, energy poverty and global security (Mehrota and Benedick, 2011).

(2004) Final Report of the Investigation Committee on the 28 September 2003 Blackout in Italy, available: italy/UCTE_rept.pdf UN-HABITAT (2014) Urban Equity in Development - Cities for Life, Concept Paper: World Urban Forum, Colombia.



Trans-scale Sustainability The features of today’s living environment are no longer aligned with the requirements of a society undergoing constant climate, economic, technological and cultural changes. Fundamentally different approaches have started to be sought in order to ensure the future availability of human resources. Some projects stand out in the numerous collection of design proposals for sustainable cities or constructions. Different countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Denmark or Greece bring along challenging characteristics. Professionals all over the world, in their quest for innovation and socio-economic resilience, have been coming up with interesting new ideas and concepts. Within this context, questions about their success arise; are they too ambitious to become true? Which are the approaches and tools used in order to thrive? We have collected a sample of our favourite sustainable projects, and decided to show you our own take on them. The projects contain aspects such as carbon free city, self-driving cars and other such technologies. What these projects have in common is that they all seek to integrate existing technologies into new, innovative, form organising and governing models.


Enjoy reading...


Samsø island Denmark

The project announced by the Department of Energy in Denmark in 1997 raised the issue of renewable energy. This raised the question of which island could present the most realistic and achievable plan for being converted into a 100% Renewable EnergyPowered island. The aim of the competition was to highlight renewable energy and investigate what level of increase in percentage of renewable energy could be achieved in a well-defined area by using the currently available technology. The main priority of the ministry was to reduce energy consumption in all sectors, especially in the areas of heating, electricity and transport. Another top priority for the project was the level of local participation. The business community, local authorities and local organisations should support the proposed central idea. The aim was that technical solutions for the proposal should be drawn mainly from the technology available, but also consider new ways of organization, finance and ownership of proposed projects. Finally, the plan was to describe how the project will gain its place as a global "showcase" for the new technology of Denmark. Samsø won the competition and was named

Denmark’s first renewable energy island, based on its ambitions to become energy independent by 2008. In 2006, Samsø already met 100% of its electricity needs with energy from wind turbines (11 onshore and 10 offshore) and 70% of its heating needs with renewable fuels. Despite the general negative reaction of people towards big scale urban transitions, it is important to mention that the residents of the concerned area fully supported the transformation of Samso to a 100% Renewable Energy Powered island. Preceding this success, an integrated communication strategy was organised. “Think local - act local” summarizes succinctly the Samsø Energy Island experience. Their way to consider Climate Change was to look at the changing/degrading process of their place and try to improve their quality of life by being aware of local potentials and limits. Therefore, from this point of view Samsø is a real revolution because of the capacity of the community to put aside the ‘it is out of my control’ type of social behaviour, to become again aware of their potential and to finally decide autonomously their future.


Edited by

Ijsbrand Heeringa,

Kritika Sha, Panagiota Tzika Kostopoulou MSc students, Urbanism TU Delft





Torrent Research Center

Sustainability or Green buildings can be interpreted in many ways which can vary according to context. The use of local materials and technology play a crucial role in classifying what is or is not a ‘Green building’, especially when dealing with a complex and diverse environment like India. Architects Parul Zaveri and Nimish Patel have strived to clarify to the building industry that, ‘Green’ is only a direction of attaining greater sustainability, and is not a system which generates ‘sustainable buildings’ by the use of ‘Green’ building products. Torrent Research Center is one such example where the architects aim to achieve energy conservation, sustainability of resources and the use of traditional wisdom and knowledge along with the optimum use of low technology, materials and products. It employs the bottom-up approach to sustainable design, which implies minimising the consumption levels, rather than focus on maximizing the savings.

Ahmedabad India

regulatory body of green buildings in India, TERIGRIHA, has established that new green buildings in composite climates should not consume more than 140 KwH/m2 of energy. The Torrent Research Center has been operating for the last 15 years consuming only 54 KwH/m2 of energy and emitting 72 Kg/m2 of carbon dioxide. The additional investment into civil works was 13% of the total cost. As per the client and the architects, the savings from the electricity bills have paid back the additional investment in less than a year. Also the total cost of the civil works has been recovered by within 13 years, by the generated savings.

At the research center, a Passive Downdraught Evaporative Cooling (PDEC) technique is used, which maximizes the reliance on building fabric and minimizes the reliance on mechanical equipment. A system of designated inlet and outlet shafts generates the movement of air, enabled by the design of their locations, sizes and heights, and supported by simulated and in-depth researched configuration. The result produced has been remarkable. The architects claim that current Indian buildings are reported to consume 280-550 KwH/m2 of energy and emit 350-670 Kg/m2 of carbon dioxide. The

3 18

1. Samso – a Renewable Energy Island, 10 years of Development and Evaluation by PlanEnergi,Peter Jacob Jorgensen (source: 2. island-on-earthTtdeSsyqLJXWtDAF.97





Straw-clay house

Soil is a widely available material that has been used in construction since prehistoric times. Compressing, baking or combining it with other components adds strength to the soil and converts it into a suitable material for building. Moreover, it is, still, an economical material, since it exists in abundance in nature. During the last years, a new trend has started in some places in Greece. Organised teams, usually under the guidance of experienced people, learn through handson procedures how to build houses made by processed soil, like cob, adobe, straw-bales, soil in moulds and straw-clay. During the summer of 2015, a house made by strawclay was erected in the city of Volos, in central Greece, becoming the first house created by such materials in the civil structure of a Greek city. It consists of a wooden frame and is filled with straw and clay, which is used in order to stabilise and connect the straw. In more detail, the straw was impregnated with clay


Volos Greece

which was dissolved in water and then pressed into moulds with a maximum height of 0.50 meters. In order for the building procedure to go on, the first built parts should get completely dry. Furthermore, the roof, in accordance with the regulation of the area, is made of Roman type tiles, while for the base of the building, bricks made of recycled materials were used, in order to protect the “feet� of the house from getting wet. The main advantages of this method are the manufacturing speed and the excellent thermal insulation. However, the fact that a frame is needed makes the construction more expensive. Regardless, however, of the practical pros and cons in the building procedure, the question remains, what is the use of such an approach. Well the ecological, economical and sociological benefits are really strong, as such houses have a zero- carbon footprint, while the realization that one is directly dependent and sheltered by nature could seed a social bond that seems long gone.


8 19




Masdar City

Adu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

Masdar City is arguably built in one of the most challenging spots for a sustainable city; the middle of the Arabian Desert is not really a place where someone would imagine to use little energy. Of course this is completely intentional. Masdar is not so much a city of the future, but a show piece on how the future might look like and what is currently technically possible.

and specially designed streets which are able to utilize the wind for cooling. On top of all, energy and water usage is monitored by a ‘Green police force’. The ‘Green police force’ has its very own 1984-style observation tower which is able to monitor the inhabitants every move. Many resident students have compared their time in Masdar City with living in a psychological experiment.

Conceived in 2006, this 18 billion dollar project was meant to be the world’s first carbon free city. This ‘brain child’ of Sir Norman Foster, was initially supposed to accommodate 50,000 people and 40,000 commuters. Foster imagined a Utopian city with selfdriving cars and a billion other technical gizmos, all driven by renewable energies.

It is easy to criticize Masdar City for being overly ambitious, overly technical, and downright Orwelian in its control over its inhabitants. These critiques are, of course predictable in the case of such radical projects. However, Masdar City is one of the few sustainable projects in a sea of unsustainable projects, such as ski-resorts and gargantuan sky-scrapers.

However, due to financial reasons the project fell short of its marks. What has been realized is a handful of buildings which inhabit just about 7,000 people, most of them students. The project considered this aspect and thus, a library and the Masdar Institute have been designed.

To be fair, the critics have lots of good points, but the project should not be dubbed as wrong or failed. Apart from being fairly successful in achieving its initial goals, it has still become a pretty sustainable place for inhabitants. It touches upon many issues which we have to deal with when building and maintaining our future ‘green’ cities. When push comes to shove, we might really need to start thinking about ‘green monitoring’ if we want every citizen to live ecologically. •

Foster did manage to integrate some of his sustainable technologies, such as solar based air conditioning, wall cavities filled with extra insulating Argon gas,



References Samsο, the Green Island: a case of transition to a green economy, Salvatore Marano, 2010 Samsο, a Renewable Energy Island, 10 years of Development and Evaluation, PlanEnergi and Samsο Energiakademi, 2007 Abhikram / Panika , an Architecture, Interiors, Heritage Conservation and Planning consultancy.


4-5-6. 7. 8-9. spiti-apo-achiropilo-sto-voloto-proto-panelladika-meikodomiki-adia- se-poleodomiko-isto-th/ 10. http://weburbanist. com/2013/07/23/self-sufficient-city-zero-waste-carbonneutral-car-free/source MAsdar city image 11.http://creabuild. com/?attachment_id=13234




in Rotterdam’s refineries Refineries and industrial sites generally do not make the Top 10 list of things to see in tourist guidebooks. This does not mean that there is nothing to see there. The rich diversity of constructions, pipelines, chimneys and buildings create a unique type of productive landscape. The harbour, however, is neither a place for conservation, nor for recreation. In the case of Rotterdam, it is the engine of the city’s and perhaps the whole country’s economy, and therefore spatial planning serves industry to be as efficient as possible. Unlike the rest of the city, these areas are made neither for the citizen, nor for the urban designer. The refinery itself is a city within the city (especially in places like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Muscat or Rijeka where the harbour is close to residential areas), where entering is impossible without having proper authorisation. It is not necessary, however, to enter these grounds in order to see them. Due to their size, visibility, noise and smell, these industrial constructions interact with the surrounding public space. In the summer of 2015, we had the chance to map and include these unique structures in our plans within the framework of the GreenGate project, under the commission of Deltares. The GreenGate is a joint initiative of the Port of Rotterdam, Rijkswaterstaat, the Municipality of Rotterdam and WWF/Stichting.

Ark. The Greengate project The project site, Landtong Rozenburg, is a narrow piece of land (only 100 m wide and about 8,5 km long) between the two waterways of the Nieuwe Maas. This strip of land shapes the entrance of Rotterdam for water related transportation. The Landtong was formed by the construction of the Nieuwe Waterweg (New Waterway), which ensured a better connection

between the open sea and the harbour. Just like its past, its present and future is also inseparably intertwined with the surrounding energy and industrial landscape. Our design challenge revolved around the following question: How does recreational function fit into an environment where energy production dominates all senses of seeing, smelling and hearing? The answer was to embrace it. The gigantic structures that provide our wealth are permanent parts of the 21


Floor van Dijk, Lilla Szilagyi

MSc students, Urbanism TU Delft



Landtong, even if they are on the other side of the waterway. The world’s biggest ships that arrive to the multitude of dinosaur-sized loading terminals pass the tip of the land only meters away. This unique function can be used to create quality and identity for the Landtong. Even though refinery grounds are off-limits to the average citizen, the public space surrounding them is for everyone. As part of our analysis we mapped the most prevailing structures to be seen along an accessible route within the harbour.

Coal, iron ore, minerals, biomass or grain are stored in open dry bulk deposits in the harbour until it is distributed. Rotterdam is the largest dry bulk port in Europe.


Sights in the harbour SHIPPING




These types of containers are the most typical ones to store liquids.One tank can contain from $20.000 up to to $ 200 million worth of crude oil depending on their size. They are situated in lower holes surrounded by dikes, so that any leakage can be captured in a short time. These spherical shaped storage structures contain gases under high pressure. The shape is no coincidence - spherical containers have no weakest points. Just like its white color, the shape is also useful since it helps keep inner temperatures low. There are countless chimneys and towers taking part in the refining process: from the container, crude oil goes through the heater, the crude unit, the coker, the distillate HDS, the hydrocracker, the reformer and the blender that all have distinctive shapes dictated by function






The harbour of Rotterdam has the deepest waterways in Europe, therefore it can accommodate the largest container ships in the world. Loading terminals are also among the most advanced ones. National transmission lines of Great Britain and The Netherlands are connected via the harbour, therefore the highest voltage towers in the country can be seen here. The Rozenburg wind wall was built in the 1980s by architect Martin Strujis and artist Frans de Wit. It is made of 125 concrete slabs with a height of 25 m. The slabs have curved cross-sections that give them unique shading. 10% of electricity from wind in the country comes from the 12 wind turbines of the port, adding up to a total capacity of 200 MW (one household needs about 3-7 MWh). There are five more awaiting or under construction.


The Future Today, there are various structures to be seen in the harbour, all taking part in the energy production process. This spatial context is about to change in the future, which has its impact on the Landtong as well as on our project. Based on the ‘Havenvisie’ (port vision) of the port of Rotterdam there are two possible scenarios determined for the future of the direct surroundings of Landtong Rozenburg.

The second scenario, named Energetic Port, is based on the influence of green innovations and industries. The harbour will shift towards an energetic port as a showcase of advances in sustainable technology. This transformation towards a high-tech campus will provide even more attractive views from the Landtong than what we can currently see.

The first possible future, the Gateway Port is described as a change towards a more automated port with a dominance of container industry, along with increased levels of noise pollution. With large logistics companies and the dominance of containers, the morphology of the harbour will change. There is a demand for more dockings for big ships.

The direction this transition takes strongly depends on what Rotterdam itself wants to stand for, what kind of image the city aims to have in the globalised world. The harbour however is not set in a determined path towards one designated future. It is most likely going to take many years for any development to take its future form suiting one of the scenarios.








Designing in a shifting energy landscape Making a design in an environment so eager to change requires great flexibility. Our goal was not just to create a recreational area on the Landtong, we aimed to create a new experience by making our design location (the Landtong) interact with the surrounding harbour. Since such an environment does not exist anywhere else it was certainly an opportunity to grab .

of 30 years. This means more vegetation, more access and more human activity in the grounds. Recreational, natural functions on the Landtong are more in line with this imagined line of development, therefore with a designed circular routing people can experience the combination of recreation and energetic productivity in only one trip.

To highlight the unique tidal system we designed an ecological corridor based on the specific soil and water conditions as a first phase of our design. Vegetation zones with different characteristics are linked to different areas along the Landtong. With the different tides, different vegetation zones become visible, that creates a different experience along the land through time. The second and third phases are scenario specific.

With proper and convenient infrastructure the harbour offers a rather extraordinary but nevertheless scenic route into the physical reality of energy production. As the function of the harbour shifts to a more sustainable future, Rotterdam’s inhabitants are given the opportunity to experience this change. The hidden beauty of these constructions can be highlighted if instead of trying to hide them behind buffer greenery, they become a canvas of creativity. •

The harbour already gives the impression that it is operated by machines due to the general lack of human presence in public space. The Gateway scenario projects a future where human input would actually become redundant. The harbour would become a gigantic machine whose non-stop operation could only be admired from distance. Refineries and their formations would be substituted by colorful container towers and landing terminals. Adapting to this scenario, our design takes place on the Landtong itself and focuses on a destination-oriented routing, since being in the harbour will neither be attractive, nor qualitative or even desired. The high level of noise pollution was oddly an opportunity. Without significant human presence in the vicinity, the tip of the Landtong is the place to produce noise as well - it is the perfect place for festivals and concerts. In the Energetic scenario, it is estimated that hightech industries powered by renewable sources will dominate the harbour landscape in the course

References BRAGET, K. (Director). (2012). Oil Refinery Overview [Motion picture on Video]. Retrieved January 12, 2016 from: watch?v=O4R0GJ6GB0Q Dry bulk Rotterdam. (n.d.). [Online] Retrieved January 12, 2016 from KAUSHIK (2013) Rozenburg Wind Wall. Retrieved from: http://www. NORRIE (n.d.) (2010). STORAGE TANKS & VESSELS. [Online] Retrieved January 12, 2016, from articles/oilfield-101/5130-storage-tanks-vessels-gas-liquids?start=5 Rozenburg Wind Wall. [Online] Retrieved January 12, 2016 from: http:// REGIEGROEP HAVENVISIE (2014) Havenvisie 2030 Port Compass, Havenbedrijf Rotterdam Wind Energy. (n.d.) [Online] Retrieved January 12, 2016 from: https:// Soil Quality Map (n.d.) Retrieved May 2015 from


1. Impressions of the Rotterdam harbour © authors 2. Visual interaction of sights in the harbour and public space. The harbour and the Landtong are connected via boat 3-4. Illustrations of the two scenarios drawn up by the Havenvisie 2030 (2014): the Energetic Port and the Gateway Port 5-6. Designing a pleasant view and a new experience in the changing harbour landscape as a fusion between production and recreation



Energising the city with renewable energy - De Ceuvel Urban metabolism and circular economy: Cities are often metaphorised as living organisms, which can transform raw materials into infrastructure, human biomass, and waste as a process of metabolism (Wolman 1965, Bai 2007, Kennedy et al. 2007). For conducting the processes, they play a major role in world energy consumption and also generate energy issues such as economic security and climate change (Keirstead & Shah, 2013). As cities have expanded in size, density and complexity across the globe, their energy flows of inputs and outputs increase as well (Kaye et al. 2006, Kennedy et al., 2007). This brings increasing negative impacts on our living environment, which leads people to rethink the process of energy production and use.

We are used to think in the linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economic model which relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy. However, it is reaching its physical limits. The concept of the circular economy has raised people’s awareness in recent years, which aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times by design. Products which are “made to be made again”, power the system with renewable energy. So, for us as spatial designers, how can we consider both metabolism and circular economy in thinking, and fulfil it in design? De Ceuvel, a project in Amsterdam North, could be one of the possible answers to this question. De Ceuvel, Amsterdam North Situated in a part of the former industrial area, Buiksloterham, the site of de Ceuvel used to be an abandoned and contaminated shipyard. After the economic crisis of 2008, the municipality could not afford to remediate and prepare the land for development. Therefore a competition was launched with a call for a sustainable, innovative and low-cost plan with an offer of 10-year lease for development. The winning entry was a design for a garden with both high-tech and low-tech sustainable technologies, including plants purifying the soil, as well as renovated houseboats to accommodate housing, offices, ateliers and workshops. The urban concept, urban design and architectural design is done by Space & Matter, with the design, research and management of the purifying park at ‘de Ceuvel’ done by DELVA Landscape Architects in collaboration with the University of Ghent. The technical and environmental system (so called Cleantech Playground) is done by Metabolic.


Ting Wei Chu

MSc student, Urbanism TU Delft


In this article I will focus on the latter, to illustrate and explain the technology that Metabolic has applied in the park. The Cleantech Playground - technology system in de Ceuvel The Cleantech Playground is both a decentralized cleantech utility and a demonstration and testing site for new technologies that can transform how we produce and consume resources and public services in cities. Throughout the site, solar technologies will convert energy from the sun into heat and electricity. Green roofs and water collection systems are designed to collect, purify, and store rainwater for when it is needed. Also, sanitation systems will extract energy, nutrients and water from the waste produced for onsite food production. A network of sensors provides information on performance and user behaviour. The Cleantech Playground applies the model of ecosystems to human neighbourhoods to make them more resilient and empowered. Moreover it brings an educational value to the public, giving visitors a 25


chance to understand how these systems work and how the technologies on the site are interconnected (De Ceuvel website, 2016).

hot water supply, 100% renewable electricity, 100% wastewater and organic waste treatment and 100% water self-sufficiency.

A pleasant visit in de Ceuvel

Apart from those innovative technologies, another focus lies in the ‘Do It Yourself ’ spirit and participation during the process. The community has worked together to construct their own boat-houses and some of the technologies under Metabolic’s guidance, which makes social cohesion and the identity of the community so naturally cultivated.

During my visit on a Monday afternoon, there was a cozy vibe going on. The cafe at the waterfront was closed, which actually brought a peacefulness to the office community. Country music came from somewhere in the corner and white walls were coloured by an orange shadow. A wooden pathway wanders through the campus. Guus, the manager of Metabolic Lab in de Ceuvel showed us around and we had an unforgettable tour in this innovative place. The tour kept my eyes very busy. I invite you to follow my observations and imagine the place in your mind. Looking at the ground, you will notice that the field of reeds creates a strong landscape image but at the same time it actually helps to purify the polluted soil. Looking a bit above, you will notice that those planter boxes installed adjacent to each office boat actually serve as bio-filters, which filter grey water into clean dischargeable water to reduce the stress on municipal water systems. According to Metabolic, bio-filters are optimal in contexts where there is no access to sewer infrastructure.

To conclude, I was amazed to see how the concept of urban metabolism and circular economy are realized and applied in a real case. It reveals the fact that sustainability can still be achieved despite the limitation of budgets, materials and land. It is much to hope for that such a nice and delicate project will prove itself to be strong and resilient enough to expand beyond the 10-year lease period. Furthermore, hopefully it can function as an inspiration for more metabolism based developments in the future. •

References Eva Gladek, 2013, Cleantech Playground: A Cleantech Utility in Amsterdam northellen macarthur Foundation 2015, Towards a circular economy: business rationale for an accelerated transition metabolic website,

Standing there and raising your head, you will see the heat pumps on the rooftop of boat-houses. The heat pump functions as a heat exchange ventilation system, which captures 60% of the heat leaving the boat and extracts heat from the surrounding air. In this way, the need for gas can be reduced, as well as the costs. Next to the heat pumps, the roof also accommodates solar panels. In total there are over 100 solar panels installed to provide a significant amount of energy on site. The energy can be shared within the whole community, which creates an independent energy circulation system. Of all the ingenuities, the compost toilets impressed me the most. This toilet does not require water for flushing. Instead, you have to cover excretion with straw and the bacteria will conduct the decomposition. After the process the mix will be stored in a box beneath, which will then be collected and transformed into fertilisers. The café uses ingredients fertilised by this, which makes the waste circle a closed system: the compost toilets save water, enable nutrient recycling, reduce fertiliser purchasing costs and offer an effective sanitation solution in places that lack access to sewer infrastructure.

James Keirstead & Nilay Shah, 2013, Urban Energy Systems: An Integrated Approach Tisha Holmes & Stephanie Pincetl, 2012, Urban metabolism literature review


In de Ceuvel, Metabolic Lab serves Metabolic’s goals of education and public outreach. Besides, it also plays a key role in closing the nutrient cycle in the park, using human waste streams and monitoring both resource consumption and environmental parameters. By featuring the installations of solar heating system, waste treatment and urban food production, de Ceuvel aims to achieve 100% renewable heat and

1-2. View and birds-eye view of De Ceuvel park. 3-4. Compost toilet and the toilet waste collection. 5. Technique for the metabolism on site


5 26



Art and Energy in the city The recent reactivation of the Bartok quarter in the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands, is what inspired me to explore the topic of Art, and how it can be used as a tool in the field of Urban Design. In the context of the regeneration of this area, the presence of art as a creative industry and as a public space is being utilized to build a new identity for the district, and Arnhem as a whole, while adding to its creative economy. The Feestaardvarken, created by Florentijn Hofman, commissioned by the Burgers’ Zoo, is a strong example of how weaving art into the urban fabric has transformed and reinforced the energy of neglected parts of the city (fig. 2). We spoke to Florentijn Hoffman to understand more. What is the aim of these installations? What are the reactions that you expect from the public?

create astonishment and open their eyes and minds, in order to be more susceptible to the world around them.

Well, what I am always searching for while making the installations, is that people step out of the ordinary, open their eyes and become aware of the space surrounding them.

With regards to the location for the installations, what is the methodology that you follow, and do you think that context influences the installations?

When they snap out of their routine or daily rhythm, people open up. In that moment, they are more sensitive to dialogue and other people they meet. My works are not only sculptures but they are social installations. You meet people and have discussions with them maybe, about life, about the work, but also about the change of Arnhem centre for instance, or wherever I create my installations. The core aim of my work is to create installations that get people together,

Most definitely! For example in Arnhem, my commissioners showed me various favoured locations that I thought didn’t make sense for design. And then we walked past the Bartok quarter and I could sense that this was an ideal site to locate the Feestaardvarken. There were two landscape artists that had already been developing the square, Bartok park, to recreate the Veluwe, but it wasn’t really working. So I kept insisting upon that particular location. I was 27

Interview with

Florentijn Hofman


Shruti Maliwar,

MSc student, Urbanism TU Delft

1. The Rubber Duck. The rubber duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, approachable and suitable for all ages. Since 2007, the ducks have been on display in several places. © Courtesy Studio Florentijn Hofman



wanted to create something that would change the way the space was used. So we painted it all blue, like a blue screen in the movies, to appear like a set, or a ghost image. 2

also influenced by the energy of the Rozet library, that was being built at that moment. I conveyed that to the commissioners, and told them that if we put the Feestaardvark in the centre of the energy, it will trigger all this potential and help reanimate the site. After that we needed to test it. In all of the projects it is essential to conduct various trials and experiments on site. Lots of artists work in the studio where it’s very safe. I prefer to work in the public space - that’s my studio. And if it turns out to be a mistake, then so be it, but if it is successful, then all the effort pays off. I also owe it to the experience that I have gained over the past 15 years, based on which I decide whether a location is appropriate or not to work on. That having said, the placement of the Feestaardvarken worked out and now that I speak to people about it they tell me that every time they visit or pass by the installation, there are always people on it, around it and experiencing it. And that's great you know. To me that is the essence of art. To communicate. And the context of the installations plays a vital part in fulfilling that. What other installation has been really important to you? I think the turning point in my career was in 2004, when I created the Blue Wall project in the city centre of Rotterdam, next to the Central Station (fig. 3). The structure was dysfunctional, set up to be demolished, and was full of unwanted activity. Nobody really took care of it any longer. Hence, I

And from the most unseen block houses, they became the most visible ones. This was a very important moment in my career where my understanding of what I wanted to do with my work and the installations became apparent. There was also the concept of the traveling Rubber Duck (fig. 1) that I came up with in 2001. These were both markers in my career. I feel that the concept comes across really strongly in all of the projects. The installations reactivate these neglected areas, because they generate an awareness among the people, about their context and where they stay. Yeah, take the HippopoThames (fig. 4) for example. When the foreshore of the Thames river runs dry it can be walked upon and some people do it, to scavenge valuable items. But the general public don’t usually walk upon it. That’s what the commissioners showed me and asked if I could create a concept around it. So now people get closer because of the Hippo, and they start to use the foreshore when it runs dry, which means walking through the mud, along the Thames river. You then have this experience along the river where you can get really physical with the installation. And you use your eyes! You are somewhere else. You experience different textures, different materials to walk upon as well. You snap out of your daily walkabouts. So for me, this was a really good work. A lot of the works thus also influence the context around it. And you can use that characteristic to involve the people. They are not only the viewers but are also a part of the project. They are the art. 28

2. Party Aardvark Arnhem (NL) 2013. The Feestaardvarken is a 30 meter long concrete sculpture which has the appearance of an abstracted aardvark with a golden party hat on. The work is site specific and was commissioned by Burgers’ Zoo. The sculpture is a present from the zoo, celebrating it’s 100th years anniversary, to the city of Arnhem. By placing the aardvark away from its natural context and habitat, it adds another dimension to the site, and is reminiscent of the Burgers’ Zoo, which now conceptually also becomes a part of the urban fabric of the city, the ‘green space’ encroaching the built environment as a concrete element. The aardvark was chosen to reinforce this dynamic, creating a pop-up park in the city. © Inge Hondebrink 3. Beukelsblauw, Rotterdam © Rick Messemaker



It really helps in appropriating the city, because then you start using different parts of the city which you didn’t even know existed, or knew that you could use. But what do you think happens when these installations are no longer in place? Do you think then that the effect that you created in the surrounding area stays without these installations being physically present? Yes, that’s an interesting question, that actually nobody’s ever done a study about. I always say that - with the rubber duck as an example - we changed the city, we changed that area. People missed the work once it was removed, and wanted to have it back. But I think that the best part of that kind of temporary work is that you give back the public space eventually, as you want to give an opportunity to another artist or architect, to design it with a different perspective. So I think temporary works are required as well, because you reactivate the site by adding the installation and then allow for change once the installation is removed. It is interesting to consider that, once it has brought out change in the area in a way, it should move along. That is why I really like the idea of the Rubber Duck and how it travels. But sometimes creating a permanent installation that is purely site specific, like the Feestaardvarken, is also very important, and serves a different purpose. However, the concept is my main concern. The material always has to be spot on and well chosen, for

the execution of the concept. For instance, the Bear installation in Amsterdam acted as a gate keeper for the community and needed to appear strong. That’s why its concrete. It lends a sense of security to the community. Sometimes you need an assortment of things to glue it all together. You mentioned that you carry out a lot of trials on site to see whether it works or not. So then what is the design process that you follow? Do you start by sketching ideas or with models or do you speak to the people on site? It's a mix of a variety of ingredients. I speak to people, I travel to study the sites for the assignments, and once I'm back with all the influences and data, I review it and think about whether I can come up with good concepts for the project. If not, I give back the assignment. If I do come up with a good idea, then I delve into it further. All my works looks very simple, but it's a puzzle which needs to come together. The Hippo for example, is also not chosen out of the blue. Apparently, Hippos used to swim in the Thames river around 2000 years ago. And that’s an interesting detail which when included, makes the work relevant.

“When they snap out of their routine or daily rhythm, people open up. In that moment, they are more sensitive to dialogue and other people they meet.”




I agree that the works are really complex. There are so many layers involved that, as you get deeper into the story, it gives you an idea about the city itself, which is very interesting as a tool to study urban design. Do you think that there can be collaborations with different fields like planners and architects in the future to design cities or reactivate dysfunctional zones? Of course. The best example again is the Feestaardvarken project, where we collaborated with landscape designers. This also gained them a lot of recognition and awards, which is important for them because of the level of competition in the field. But it’s a big example of how you can work together, and I think on all our projects we work with locals, another designer, architect or various such players in the cultural field. All the little details from the different players come together in the execution. Who exactly defines the problem statement that you design for? Is it the client, or yourself ? It’s always different. Sometimes the client has some restrictions or a theme in mind. But most of the time they come to me with a budget or an assignment, asking me to come up with something, which I prefer. If I’m not allowed to come up with the concept, then I don’t take the assignment, because I’m not a decorator you know.


been a no go due to restrictions and superstitions. At the end of the day, I like my freedom. With regards to the concept, who does it then address, as design can be perceived subjectively by various people? Yes, and subjectivity also depends on what state of mind you are in. You could have a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the morning and when you bump into the installations you are not responsive, because you’re not in the right frame of mind. We had this series on television 20 years ago called “12 cities 13 accidents”. They showed different story lines all leading to moment ‘X’, the accident, which had terrible consequences. But what was always interesting to me, and I was 12-13 years old when the series was on TV, was the fact that there are different story lines in life. So when you meet someone, you cannot always expect it to go amicably. It’s their respective backgrounds and mindsets that you need to be aware of. This is what I always keep in mind when I create the works, that there are different people involved and we all meet at the same public space. You have the guy that works on the sewage, you have the architect, you have the painter and the student. And they all bump into your work! It has to be good for all of them. •

Some contexts are more difficult to work in. For example, I've had a lot of projects in China that have


4. HippopoThames, London, 2014. For totally Thames the studio created an extraordinary 21-metre-long sculpture. The installation HippopoThames was semi-immersed in the river at Nine Elms on the South bank. HippopoThames’ design was inspired by the location and its foreshore as well as the fascinating prehistory of the River Thames, which the hippos used to inhabit. © Steven Stills 5. Beukelsblauw, Rotterdam © Frank Hanswijk 6. Party Aardvark, Arnhem (NL) 2013. © Inge Hondebrink


Nod Makerspace


‘Nod Makerspace’ is a creative workspace developed in a former industrial cotton factory placed on the edge of Dâmbovița River in Bucharest. What used to be the ghost space of a former 1970 communist factory turned into the place of the future maker. At the smaller scale the factory accommodates the young maker generation, at the larger scale, this place is a node in an emerging network of creative industries in the city of Bucharest. Nod Makerspace caught the attention of the European Commission as demonstrating good practice and it is also one of the 15 initiatives nominated for ‘Funding the cooperative city’, a project that investigates experimental economic models driven by community groups. This interview addresses three members of the initiative: a founder (Tamina Lolev), a maker (Alexandru Radu) and an urban designer (Cristina Zlota). The energy of the young designers and co-founders of Nod, the enthusiasm of the new maker, and the perspective of the city designer, explain how this approach is meant to energize and positively contribute to city making in Bucharest. (the Nod) On how to make a Nod (by Tamina Lolev) What is the story of Nod Makerspace? Nod makerspace is the answer we found to an existing need in our multidisciplinary group: the need for space and tools to build projects together. That is why Nod is a “working playground” that provides access to a wide palette of tools and equipment for digital fabrication and fast prototyping. Also, Nod ('knot' in Romanian) means a place where people and projects meet and tightly bind together.

We occupy the 2nd floor (700sqm) of the main building, in the former industrial site of the Cotton Factory, in central Bucharest. The space layout is made of: 350sqm open-space for co-working area and 10 private studios for young designers and their teams; 150sqm of prototyping, manufacture and digital fabrication workshops; 100sqm of bricolage and design workshops for children. The workshops include a wood working area, a metal working area, a ceramics room and a painting room. The open-space is equipped with a 3D printing area, an integrated kitchenette with a chill-out area and a conference room with a large ping-pong table.


Interview with

Tamina Lolev, Alexandru Radu & Cristina Zlota


Anca Ioana Ionescu Msc student, Urbanism TU Delft


We address all designers, artists, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs. Anyone who has an idea, an invention, a prototype and wants to design it beyond theory finds at Nod makerspace the tools, the fabrication equipment and a community for advice and assistance. The transformation of the industrial space was realised in six months, with a team of 15 volunteers and an investment of 120.000 euros: 40% of the total amount was accomplished with sponsorship through products and services from partner companies and the remaining 60% was our private investment. Nod makerspace is designed to function as a business with a clear social component. The long term aim of this project is to create opportunities for improving living standards, both locally and globally, and to incorporate a powerful open-source community. The objective for the first two years is to be a selfsupported makerspace using the services department, such as the workshop facilities: 3d printing, welding, furniture production and design production in general. Afterwards, the percentage of revenue from services should decline. Also the plan is that the profit will be reinvested in the development of the space and equipment or in the emerging businesses. Nod is therefore something between a business and an NGO because it is for and about the community and its needs. It is self-sustaining and the profit will be constantly reinvested in development. Currently, Nod makerspace extends up to 1000sqm, comprising a logistical reconfiguration of the technical workshops and a public events area. There are a lot of projects developing at the same time at Nod: the makers’ own projects, competitions for designers and the production of their prototypes (financed by different actors – for example, Peroni design competition), building the prototypes of a series of exhibits for a science center in Bucharest-Casa experimentelor, La firul ierbii – the transformation


of another industrial space into a debate and public initiatives center etcetera. During 2015 Nod hosted dozens of public events, such as public debates for good governance, seminars, thematic workshops, career guidance conferences for young people, creative workshops with children and adults and a design fair with local products. (the Maker) About the makers (by Alexandru Radu) You are one of the first makers of Nod. What is your story? My name is Alexandru Radu, I am 26 years old and I am a Structural Engineer from Bucharest, Romania. Since childhood I have been fascinated by structures, in particular 3D structures, made of wood and metal. In school, my passion for aeroplanes grew so much that I remember secretly filling up all my notebooks with sketches of aero models during my classes. As years passed I embarked into adulthood and I decided to pursue a career in Civil Engineering, tunnels and bridges section. My thirst for knowledge didn’t end there and I moved to Denmark to start a

1. Nod Makerspace , 650m of common workspace renovated by a large team of makers © Catalin Georgescu 2. First meeting with Nod Makerspace community: people that build their own projects and people that build projects together. This encounter ended up with a conclusion: ‘so many things can be achieved when people gather and listen to each other!’ (Nod Makerspace on Facebook) ©Nod Makerspace 3. Launching the Planescaler ©Nod Makerspace

2 3 32


Master program in Structural and Civil Engineering. However, all this failed to meet my expectations and the professional vision I had moulded throughout the years. I introspected on what I truly wanted to do in life and the answer didn’t hesistate to appear. My passion for aeroplanes was still alive and I suddenly realized I should dedicate all my time to making my dream come true. In May 2014, after one year abroad, I came back home and started my education in entrepreneurship. Shortly after this I met Florin, the co-founder of NOD Makerspace. Together, we created Planescaler, an aeroscale factory. A Planescaler model is a faithful Radio Controlled (RC) replica (90%-95%) of a real airplane, that maintains and incorporates the materials and building techniques used in the real aircraft production. Planescaler offers a unique experience to the clients through their customized products. Giant aeroscale models combine the flight characteristics of a real aircraft with the authenticity and particularization of our designed and manufactured products. I started building the first prototype in a diorama studio, while at the same time NOD Makerspace was under construction. I moved to NOD Makerspace in 2015 while I was still working on the first prototype and I volunteered to share my knowledge with the team for the finalization process of the construction site. Although each person working at NOD has a different passion and background, like arts, electronics, IT, product design or architecture, we all share the same vision: to make the best of who we are and to follow our heart. My mission at NOD Makerspace is to continue developing Planescaler, while leveraging my skills and experience for the betterment of the community. (the Space) Nod in Bucharest (by Cristina Zlota) What does Nod Makerspace change in Bucharest? Creativity and culture play a crucial role in contemporary societies that aim for a higher quality of living. Contemporary Bucharest is working on growing its cultural scene, focusing on its fastest growing economic sector: the creative industries. With a population of almost 2 million, Bucharest is a very mixed city in terms of both socio-cultural and built environment aspects. The city grew without clear physical and legal borders, in a continuous loop of incomplete grand urban planning visions. Today, Bucharest represents a strong engine for generating economic growth and new jobs through the creative industries, ranking no. 18 out of 253 European regions by salary share of creative industries compared to other economic sectors (according to a study conducted by GEA Strategy & Consulting – The economic importance of creative industries: a territorial approach).


Promoting a specific local culture as the core premise for a complex process of community development, Bucharest is experiencing a natural tendency for transforming unused industrial buildings. A group of businesses, active in the local creative community, have recently moved their activities in to the former cotton factory of Bucharest [Nod Makerspace, ed.]. At the same time, the group is focusing part of their efforts on the urban transformation of this former industrial area that is very close to the city center, with great accessibility and a good connection to Dâmbovița River. The final goal for this transformation process is developing the area into an important center for Bucharest’s creative industries scene. In the longer term (until 2021), we envision the former cotton factory to be fully transformed and also to function as a successful example to follow for developing similar hubs for creativity and entrepreneurship. At the same time, we believe that active citizen participation in the process of urban development is one of the big shifts in how we decide to inhabit our cities today. Though a bit optimistic for the local urban environment, we see Bucharest as a collective project rather than a rigid plan concerning only the urban planners and the public administration. We quickly realized that our efforts to transform the former cotton factory needed to also have a strong connection with the local communities in Bucharest (other than just those concerning the creative industries). Recently, you inaugurated a project entitled ‘La Firul Ierbii’ (Grassroots) and so the transformation of the factory continues. The construction site is open and anybody can join in the making of the space. What is the story behind ‘La Firul Ierbii’? We developed our latest project “La Firul Ierbii” (Grassroots), as a center for sharing ideas, debates and civic initiatives aimed at strengthening the local creatives’ interactions within and with different active communities in Bucharest. This project is designed 33

4. Exterior perspective image of Nod Makerspace, a former industrial cotton factory placed on the edge of Dâmbovița River in Bucharest ©Nod Makerspace 5. Cristina Zlota in her office at Nod Makerspace © Catalin Georgescu 6. Tamina Lolev, debates durring site construction at Nod Makerspace ©Nod Makerspace 7.Painting the Planescaler ©Nod Makerspace


as a communication and collaboration tool for the further transformation of the cotton factory. The main activities of “La Firul Ierbii” will be the hosting of public debates, dialogue sessions (between public administration, NGOs and active citizens), workshops and working groups (focused on community building), training sessions, conferences and lectures for the creative and social business communities, press conferences on relevant city issues etcetera. Also, the project will be a platform for informal meetings and working and neighborhood evenings intended for the local community (movie nights, unplugged concerts, theatre plays and community cook-offs). Due to the lack of previous similar local initiatives we envision this project as a continuous process of learning by doing, defined by the people actively involved and not by a rigid coordination effort. With “La Firul Ierbii” our goal is to help kick-start a local culture of civic implication and honest dialogue between citizens and administration.


Tamina Lolev, architect co-founder @ Nod makerspace Tamina is a young architect, partner at Wolfhouse Productions (design studio) and co-founder of Nod makerspace. During her architectural studies she had international education and professional experiences in Belgium and Shanghai. In 2012 she co-founded Calup project, a series of cultural events aiming at the temporary conversion of unused buildings in Bucharest. Since 2015 Tamina, together with Florin Cobuz has managed the Nod makerspace design and construction site in the former cotton factory, while developing a series of collateral projects for the makerspace.


Alexandru Radu, co-founder of the start-up Planescaler Alex has the background of a structural engineer. Besides design, he is passionate about Giant Aeroscale RC (radio-controlled) models, designing and construction. His skills range from working with strength of materials, structural calculations, construction details for prototyping and design objects. Cristina Zlota, urbanist and designer @ Wolfhouse Productions Cristina is an urbanist and co-founder of the Bucharest based Wolfhouse Productions (design studio). She has recently returned to work in her home city after gaining valuable experience working on urban planning projects with LIN Architects and COBE, both based in Berlin (DE). Her recent interests cover a wide range of design scales, from urban transformation of former industrial sites to fashion design adapted for the particularities of Bucharest’s urban environment. •




Rhythms and the Daily Grind Living in the modern city is a constant drain on our energy levels. We consume vast quantities of stimulants, adopt punishing regimes to wake up when we are supposed to, travel many miles to get to work and maintain often bewildering rituals to go to sleep at an appropriate time. This is all the better to function as a useful citizen, at work and as we go about the rest of our day. But it is all against the demands of our poor neglected mental wellbeing.


Charlie Clemoes

Editor at Failed Architecture




For many, the experience of the city is an exercise in Simmel's famous description of the blasé attitude, where in order to tolerate the noise, the crowds and the overall rush we behave as if totally uninterested in the world around us. Simmel writes in his seminal essay The Metropolis and Mental Life, that our nerves are torn “so brutally hither and thither” by the rapidity and contradictoriness of our impressions of urban life that there is often no time to gather new strength. “An incapacity thus emerges to react to new sensations with the appropriate energy.” But it is not just the city's over-stimulating chaos that affects our energy reserves, it is also our seeming need to order our lives in the most minute detail. We have become subordinate to an unnaturally repetitive and rigid conception of time, often developing an intricate, constantly shifting and exhausting timetable filled with possibilities of how much we can squeeze into our day. “Commuters are computers” says Rachel Bowlby in an essay on commuting, “constantly counting the minutes”.


All this effort, and for what? As David Graeber argues in his essay On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs, “Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed.” We live in a society which ought to have worked out by now how to dramatically reduce the number of hours spent working and ought to have created the conditions for an energy-efficient urban experience. But instead we struggle on against our better nature. How did it come to this? In fact this is a relatively recent state of affairs. Our time is compartmentalized in a way that would have been unimaginable even as recently as the 18th century. Historically society's daily rhythms harmonised with our natural bodily rhythms. There were no clocks so we did not face the onerous task of waking up and getting to work before we had fully rested. Our ancestors went without a lot of things but sleep they had in spades. In fact, before the advent of the village clock, street lighting, domestic lighting and the widespread access to tea and coffee it was common to have two sleeps, one short sleep after dusk followed by a short waking period and then a second sleep. Historian Roger Ekirch has shown in exhaustive detail the many examples, in diaries, court records, medical books and literature, that it is not natural for humans to sleep in one solid block, awaking for the daily 9-5. This modern requirement that our everyday life be structured against the natural rhythms of our body occupies a central theme in the theory of





“rhythmanalysis”, developed by the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre and his partner Catherine Regulier. Starting with the basic notion that there are two conflicting types of rhythms, the “linear” regulating rhythms of the city and the “cyclical” rhythms of nature and biology, they argue that the subordination of the body’s (cyclical) rhythm to society’s (linear) rhythm amounts to a dispossession of one’s own body. In their terminology, the body is an excellent example of a “polyrhythm”, a collection of rhythms working concurrently, with our heartbeat, digestion, breathing and respiration working in concert to keep us ticking along. When left to its own devices the healthy body is also an example of “eurhythmia”, a state in which rhythms operate harmoniously. But the demands of modern society to get up and go to work at the same time as everyone else often intervene. This turns “eurhythmia” into what they call “arrhythmia”, a jarring clash of rhythms which often leads to feelings of fatigue, discomfort and even sickness. As Lefebvre and Regulier argue, the way we feel about a particular place is a product of the prevailing rhythms in that place. Ideally we should feel comfortable in the places in which we go about our day. Even the busy central areas of a city should always have an energising impact on people passing through them, especially given their vitality. But often the opposite is the case. A map produced by Public Health England shows that metropolitan areas, and especially London, feature consistently above average instances of mental health problems (fig 2).

A few factors can explain this: cities are busier, their citizens are exhausted from working longer hours and due to the transient nature of inhabitants there is less time to engage in meaningful community activity, leading to a sense of alienation and loneliness. Working longer hours means that there are more acute demands on our time, with stricter convention that we be at work at about the same time, and usually at times that are not suitable to our body's natural rhythms. As a result, the prevailing rhythms people encounter upon their movement through the city's central places are busyness, rush, traffic, noise and general chaos, all often experienced while the person is not fully awake… disharmony piled upon disharmony. But it probably doesn't need to be this way. Just as much could be done to reproduce the city in all its vitality without reducing citizens to exhausted wrecks. I would like to venture two interconnected approaches for making the city more conducive to maintaining a citizen's energy level throughout the day: first, we permit people to go about their day with fewer demands that they arrive on time, fewer expectations that they work consistently throughout the day or perhaps more radically we make it possible for people to work much less; and second we transform cities so that they allow for rest, doing so by providing spaces of rest and lifting the taboo on sleeping in public. While it would be more difficult to keep a constant eye on the efficiency of the work force, to transform our rigid 9-5 pattern would have numerous knock on effects. For instance, it would reduce the cost of


1. Commuting ©Claus Gerull. 2. Map of the percentage of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses. Areas in dark blue are below average, yellow areas are similar to national average. Light blue areas are above average. Public Health England, Community Mental Health Profiles ©Public Health England 3. Walking Rush Hour | New York Subway Commute ©Michael Tapp 4. Friday commute hell: Trouble on I680 ©John Krzesinski 5. Rickshaw nap – Delhi, India ©Maciej Dakowicz



childcare, the commute would be less busy and public transport would be under less pressure. There are many hints that some of this has been acknowledged by urban planners, spurred on as they are by a feverish attempt to make cities “smart” A recent article in The Guardian reported on the Singapore government's introduction of a points system on their travel cards, rewarding people working outside of peak times and another project in Bangalore offering lottery tickets to switch commuters from their regular pattern. As for creating a more rest-friendly city, there are already many examples of sleep being assimilated into city life. The practice of inemuri in Japan, being present whilst sleeping, has been an essential component of their work culture. Likewise, many big companies, out of a need to get the most out of their employees (particularly the younger ones) have introduced designated napping facilities. An article from The Entrepreneur describes how napping has become increasingly popular in the tech industry, “where developers are often required to work long hours, but where company culture hinges on creating a laid-back atmosphere in order to attract top talent and compete with companies who offer perks such as game rooms, lounges and on-site frozen yogurt stations.”

fundamental purpose of a city. Rather they assume that it is just a complex economic system. Indeed, for demonstrating how to become more attuned to the cyclical rhythms of the body, neither the underslept Japanese nor the corporate world are shining examples. Likewise, policies emerging from the smart city fever are all too frequently geared towards the notion that the city is purely an economic machine which will be more productive with smarter analysis of its flows. Both trends are predicated on the idea that we need to squeeze as much as we can out of the workforce. The more benevolent aim of rhythmanalysis is to explore ways to construct a city more attuned to the many different rhythms of its citizens. Only then will we harness the city's full energetic potential. •

References BOWLBY, Rachel (2010): Commuting, in: BEAUMONT, Matthew and DART, Gregory (eds.): Restless Cities; London and New York: Verso GRAEBER, David (2013, August 17): On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs, in: Strike EKIRCH, A. Robert (2006): At day’s close : a history of nighttime; W.W. Norton & Company, New York HICKEY, Shane (2014, December 7): How GPS and smart card data is used to reduce city transport congestion, in: The Guardian

All these examples are basically attempts to make the city's linear rhythms more nuanced, so that it functions better. They are steps in the right direction which hint at manifold possibilities for deregulating the city's rhythms. That said, they do not question the

EVANS, Lisa (2014, August 24): Why you should let your employees nap at work, in: The Entrepeneur




City energiser Westerpark: Redefining Amsterdam's Public Space “This park is dynamic, meant to grow in phases. It is self-evident and looks as if it has always been there. That is what this park is all about; a combination of leisure and performance that transforms a neglected area of the city into the focus of activities.” These days, the design of public space is a key issue all over the world. The matter isn’t always a lack of public space, but the presence of public spaces that attract people and create what can be called 'energy' for the city, such as Westerpark in Amsterdam. The intense interest the city park has attracted both at home and abroad has marked it out as an example of an active city energiser. Project manager Evert Verhagen, the public face of the Westergasfabriek development project, is regularly invited to speak about this concept at international conferences on the public space realm. Although the park is primarily an amenity for the neighborhoods Spaarndammerbuurt, Staatsliedenbuurt, and Jordaan, the events that occur there attract people from all over Amsterdam and sometimes far beyond. To get to know the idea behind this project, Atlantis visited Evert Verhagen at his studio in a typical three-storey Amsterdam house. We made ourselves comfortable in a cozy meeting room in which piles of books on architecture, urban design and philosophy were scattered around tables, chairs and the floor. Evert described his particular experience of the city and we continued our talk about Westerpark and how it’s been transformed from an old neglected gas factory to a public zone that energizes and lights up Amsterdam.


Interview with Evert Verhagen

Project Manager, Creative Cities


Maryam Behpour

MSc student, Urbanism TU Delft


“The factory was originally built to bring light to the city. And now it brings the energy to the city by attracting, integrating and exchanging ideas.” What are the primary ideas behind today’s Westerpark? In general, there are always two ways to start a project: 1) You follow in the footsteps of others and do things by the book. 2) You do something from your own experience; you see it as your one and only big chance and you go for it. When I started there in 1990, I was 35 with the experience of living in times of old structures and old neighborhoods in an unsafe situation. Before I came to work on the old gas factory I worked in Amsterdam southeast, an area based on concrete modernist city planning which means building, economy and everything separated but not integrated. I found that these ideas would not work anymore.


I was sure that this time, we had to do something different as we need integration within a creative environment. That’s how I knew I had to do something completely different with the Westergasfabriek. I started to think about it in terms of energy; the energy that was produced in the gas factory for a century. The factory was originally built to bring light to the city. And now it brings energy to the city by attracting, integrating and exchanging ideas. As I know, just a few months after the first tenants settled into the Westergasfabriek, the public were allowed in. At that time the site was almost empty. What was the reason for the temporary opening of the project site? How did you later integrate the temporary experience in design and program? At the beginning of the project, we encountered some harsh realities as well as different problems while imagining the concept: 1) The site was previously industrial and therefore was contaminated. 2) At that time Amsterdam was considered dangerous and safety was an important issue for everyone. We didn’t want to take the risk that the place would be occupied by squatters.


3) The gas factory (as an idea) had a strong negative association with people. It made them think of the war. 4) We were sure that we could not change this situation in one year or so. Therefore to examine the situation and people’s reaction, we made a plan for temporary use of the site. The main question to be addressed was how to bring people together. We wanted to be successful, but how can one make a big change while taking the least risk?


1. WGF TheWeb Festival © Arjen Veldt 2. Western gas factory under construction and redevelopment © Caro Bonink 3. Cinekid event -The Street’s official name is Pazzanistraat. It’s Westergasfabriek’s hub for media and for the general public. Dutchview Studios, Ketelhuis Cinema and several restaurants and galleries stand adjacent or opposite one another © Arjen Veldt



"Successful projects have the capacity to become like a magnet, to give new direction to the main flows of people in the city."

The factory was already there with all its negative associations. We didn’t want to change what people knew for many years. Rather we decided to redefine the contaminated gas factory. We decided to warm up the frozen ideas about the gas factory. The result was satisfactory; the first performance in the Gasholder, the opera Antigone by “Ton de Leeuw”, immediately became the high point of the 1993 Holland Festival. Antigone highlighted the spectacular possibilities of the huge structure. At the end, we understood that these industrial buildings were focused towards the inside and that we had to do special things to create a new connection between buildings and public space.

What is your global theory to make a project successful? What are the objectives of these “forever energetic” projects? Successful projects have the capacity to become like a magnet, to give a new direction to the main flows of people in the city. You may ask how to make that happen. The main objective is to find the right program. Energy is in the software, not the hardware. Flow is not a stable situation; it changes every day. If we look at the world over the last 200 years, movement is increasing. The successful cities are those that have the capacity to be a magnet and attract the flow, energy, to themselves. In this project, we had a neglected area and now we have a magnet.


4. Westergasfabriek Zuiveringshal West - expo ©Arjen Veldt 5. Cinema Sandwich event ©Arjen Veldt 6. Semi Public space © Evert Verhagen 7. Drum Rhythm, Picnic, Pitch and Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) with its ideal blend of ambience, people, park, and rugged indoor spaces Pitch ©Arjen Veldt


This is my global theory. 25% of the world population are going to become migrants in the next thirty years; in that case, we need to make a place that supports people with diverse backgrounds and ideologies; a creative place where creativities survive and grow. A good design should also be capable of having an adaptable program. For the case of the Westergasfabriek, there are even today some very beautiful completely empty buildings that support different activities. Actually, the successful project was already there. It’s a kind of museum with a unique architectural style. What I want to say is that the original architect in 1894, Isaac Gosschalk, was creative to make a beautiful building for the gas industry that is flexible to new programs today; better to say, it had the right program from the beginning. So, my theory for the Westergasfabriek was to keep that fire burning through a new programme that won't freeze in design. I believe that in many cases, emptiness is better than architecture; just leave a part for the experience.


All these ingredients and more, made the Westerpark perform as a magnetic character. It attracts, it moves around and lets ideas integrate; therefore energizing Amsterdam. Do you believe that Westerpark can be a model for redefining public space and energizing Amsterdam? Why? Yes, I believe it is already known as a model of the energetic urban zone in many countries. Westerpark is a place where people can enjoy multiple activities in a clean, attractive, safe, exciting environment where things can happen in an informal setting. Except for design, an integrated program, creative supportive team and the fantastic history of the location creates a place where people can feel welcome and not neglected; the feeling that you are welcome with your personal beliefs and ideas.


In Westerpark, we designed semi-public areas rather than public ones; this strategy aimed to help users to find themselves within a big urban area faster and easier. •

"I believe that in many cases, emptiness is better than architecture; just leave a part for the experience." 7 42

1 43


Space Syntax The role of space between buildings

Creating well-functioning, vibrant, safe and lively urban areas requires throughout, tested analysis methods. These methods must have empirical support and contribute to operational theories useful for urban design and planning practice. The Space Syntax method, developed by Bill Hillier and his colleagues since the 1970’s, has been applied to urban studies and urban design practices during the last two decades, and it consists of calculating the relationships of spaces between buildings and linking the results to socio-economic characteristics of the built environment.


Akkelies van Nes

Professor at the University College Bergen, Norway, and Assistant Professor at the department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft


In urban analyses, according to Hillier, space syntax is characterized by four things. 1.




The method gives a concise definition of urban space, which makes the method operational and suitable for the comparison of various built environments. It is a family of techniques for analysing cities through the networks of space formed by the placing, grouping and orientation of buildings. It is a set of techniques for observing how these networks of space relate to functional patterns such as movement, land use, area differentiation, migration patterns and even social wellbeing and malaise. Based on the empirical results from research, space syntax has made it possible to make a set of theories about how urban space networks relate in general to the social, economic and cognitive factors which shape them and are affected by them.

The most well known is the theory of the natural movement economic process, which states that the spatial configuration of the street network affects the flow of pedestrian and vehicle movement as well as the location of economic related activities (Figure 2). The higher spatial integration of a street or a road, the higher flow of movement and the higher concentration of economic related functions locate themselves along these integrated streets (Hillier et al, 1993). If a new road link or street blockage affects the degree of integration of a shopping street, shops will relocate themselves to the new optimal location (van Nes 2002). The techniques have been applied to a large number of cities in different parts of the world. In this way a substantial database now exists of cities which have been studied at some level using space syntax (Hillier, 2007).


1. Space syntax analysis of Hilversum 2. Theory of the natural movement 3. Spatial intervention analysis of Hilversum with R-high 4. Space syntax analysis of Hilversum with R-low 5. Spatial intervention analysis of Lelystad with R-high 6. Space syntax analysis of Lelystad with R-low


Description of the method What space syntax does is to calculate how each street, path, road or alley relates to all others in terms of the total number of direction changes. The street and road network is represented as axial lines and from this map the degree of spatial integration can be calculated. The Depth map software provides colour codes for the various spatial integration values, from red to blue. Therefore it is possible to see the location of the most accessible and visible streets in a built environment in one glance. The red and orange colours show the most integrated streets, which are the most accessible streets. The blue colours show the most segregated ones, which are the least accessible streets. The method has been improved throughout the years, including angular weighting, incorporating metric distances, and mathematical calculations on normalising the data for comparison between different cities. These various spatial calculations are correlated with various socio-economic data.


The angular integration, analysed with various metrical radii, shows the most accurate and interesting results. These kinds of analyses highlight the different types of urban centres and their local catchment area for potential customers. Figure 3 shows a spatial integration analysis of Hilversum with a high metrical radius. The main routes leading through the centre are highlighted as red lines. Most vehicle transport use these streets as well. Figure 4 shows a space syntax analysis of Hilversum with a low radius. It is shown that a high number of pedestrian frequent these streets.


In historic towns the integrated main routes are tangents or go right through the areas with highly integrated local streets. Often these areas tend to have a large variation of different types of shops, cafes and offices, and they tend to be vibrant urban areas. Considering a new town, the same analyses are carried out on the 40 year old town of Lelystad. In the spatial integration analyses with a high metrical radius (Figure 5), the main routes turn around the various neighbourhoods. When revealing the space syntax with a low metrical radius (Figure 6), the highest integrated streets are inside the various neighborhoods. Like most new towns, Lelystad lacks local centres with a vibrant street life and a variation of types of shops and businesses. Along the junctions of the highly integrated roads, there is a car-based shopping centre. The shops are inward oriented, surrounded by roads and parking lots. Inside the various local areas, there might be a local supermarket, but they lack other types of micro scale businesses.





Scale approach Space syntax has been applied on various scale levels, from interiors inside buildings up to large metropolitan areas. Spaces inside buildings are analysed separately from spaces between buildings. In a research project on space and crime, spatial analysis tools were developed for quantifying the spatial relationship between private space inside buildings and their connection to public spaces or streets (van Nes and Lรณpez 2010). These new tools, named urban micro scale tools, consist of measuring the degree of visibility between buildings in a street, the degree of accessibility between private and public space, and the degree of constitutedness of building entrances towards streets. Figure 7 shows a diagram of how it is measured. Inter-visibility is measured by registering the % of buildings with windows and doors that are inter-visible towards the streets as well as each other. Constitutedness is measured by registering the % of buildings with doors and windows directly connected to the street. Counting the number of semi private or semi public spaces between the private space inside buildings and the public streets, and using the average value for each street segment, measures the topological depth from private space to public space. The method has been applied on several neighborhoods and has also been correlated with the degree of spatial integration of the street and road network.


As the results show, the more segregated a street is, the more entrances are turned away from streets, the higher number of semi-public spaces between private and public space, the lower degree of inter-visibility between buildings on streets and the more unconstituted the street is.


8 7c



Applications In a research project, space syntax has been applied on different problem neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. As it turns out, 80% of these neighbourhoods had segregated local streets, lacking main routes going through the area. Likewise, in 70% of the cases, the building entrances are turned away from streets. Often several dwellings have storage rooms on the ground floor, which contributes to a lack of social control between buildings and streets. Therefore, an urban regeneration strategy is to improve the degree of accessibility and connectivity of the street network and to provide buildings with an active function with an active frontage towards the streets (van Nes and Lรณpez 2012).

Relation to other methods


Space syntax complements other methods applied in urban studies. Through the use of GIS, the results from space syntax analyses have been correlated with building density (van Nes et al 2012), and degree of multi-functionality (Ye and van Nes 2014). As results have shown, the degree of building density and degree of multi-functionality depends on the degree of street network integration on various scale levels. Lively and vibrant urban centres and neighbourhoods tend to have a highly integrated street network on various scale levels, high building density and high degree of diversity in land use. Often historic urban centres, evolved through centuries, tend to have these physical features. Therefore, a natural urban transformation process is steered by the spatial structure of the street and road network (Figure 8). Space syntax is a quantitative tool. It cannot measure qualitative aspects such as place identity and atmosphere. Conversely, space syntax can make diagnoses on places that are perceived as lively or unsafe. During the last decade, space syntax has been applied in urban design and urban renewal practice. The best examples are the location of the new Millennium Bridge and the renewal of Trafalgar Square in London. Space Syntax was used for making diagnosis of the current situation, and to test out the effects of the various design proposals. The Millennium bridge connection contributed to an upgrade of the segregated urban areas in its vicinity. On the first day of the opening, the bridge was so well used that they needed to close it for strengthening the construction. Likewise, through closing car accessibility of one street segment and making a new large staircase at the northern wall, contributed to high pedestrian accessibility of Trafalgar Square. Since the day of the opening, this square is well visited and currently there are several urban design and renewal projects that will be implemented soon where space syntax have been used.


7a. Measure - Visibility 7b. Measure - Constitutedness 7c. Measure - Topological Depth 8. Theory Urbanity 9-10 Millenium Bridge, London. 11-12 Trafalgar Square, London



Conclusions The success of space syntax seems to depend on at least two things: a concise definition of space and high degree of falsifiability and testability. The space syntax method’s context independence makes it applicable on all types of built environments, independently of types of societies, political structures and cultures. We have built a sufficient number of unsuccessful urban areas during the last 50 years. Therefore, it is time to learn from these cases through identification and analyses of the spatial as well as social parameters and to apply this knowledge in urban planning practice, design guidelines, urban regeneration, and architecture. How can Space Syntax explain what is going wrong in current urban design practice? It can be explained on three levels. Firstly, on a city level, we plan cardependent main routes going around neighbourhoods, rather than multi-use main routes going through neighbourhoods. Secondly, on a neighbourhood level, we plan parking streets instead of dwelling streets. Often the spaces between modern housing areas tend to be dominated by parking lots for cars, shaping few possibilities for other social activities between buildings. Thirdly, on an urban micro scale level, we plan buildings that turn themselves away from streets. Many modern buildings lack active frontages, or as Jane Jacobs writes: eyes on the streets. Space syntax is therefore useful to create SMART cities. First we have to Sense the city. Then we have to Map the urban area. Next step is to Analyse the map, before reaching to the map. Reaching the map implies to identify the problem or issue related to the physical framework of a built environment. Finally, space syntax is useful to Test out various socio-economic implications of various urban design or strategic planning proposals (Stonor 2015). The challenge is to think space before form. •


Reference Hillier, Bill, Anthony Penn, Julienne Hanson, Tadeusz Grajewski, and J. Xu. "Natural Movement: Or Configuration and Attraction in Urban Pedestrian Movement." Environment and Planning B 20, no. 1 (1993): 29-66

12 48


Collective Bucharest Tools and events that empower the collective

In Romania Facebook has become a tool to enable collective power, equal voice and self-organization. The online social network has become a powerful instrument for change, capable of consolidating a collective identity and mobilizing people to fight for democracy. Protests are arranged, unbiased information is disseminated and charity actions are organized. The Facebook generation has the ability

to switch between the virtual and the real world, and so the public space of central Bucharest has become in the past few years a scene of claiming justice. The immense and monumental architecture of the city gets today balanced by the huge mass of people in the streets. And so, the boulevards of Bucharest change into a stage of collective walks.


Anca Ioana Ionescu MSc student Urbanism TU Delft




The picture of this social-spatial condition of protest and social action was documented in multiple research and art projects, such as ‘Where are you Bucharest?’ by Vlad Petri (2014), the ‘University’s Squares Kilometer 0’ research done by studioBASAR (2013) (fig.1) or in Dan Perjovschi’s political cartoons (fig.2), such as 'Drawing Protest. From Museum Wall to Facebook Wall and Back’ (2014). In general, social networks as a collective force have been used by several groups in different cities across Romania in the past years. Such successful actions were ‘Save Roșia Montană’ protests (2013-2014) (fig.3), which aimed to stop cyanide gold mining in the mountain village Roșia Montană or the occupation of Cluj city Universities by students in 2012, turning the academic buildings into platforms of debate. This article will focus on two recent events that started online and were played live on the streets of Bucharest. These events give a hint of how Bucharest during harsh times of corruption has become a smarter city and how online social networks have empowered the new generation to claim their right for a safer city and society. As well as being the most recent, these examples are the furthest from the December 1989 revolution (fig.4), when Romania switched from communism to an uncertain democracy. The first event took place on 28th of November 2014, when the course of the Romanian presidential elections took an unexpected turn due to campaigns self-organised on Facebook, in which people managed to vote against corruption. As people outside the country were prevented from voting, Bucharest became the scene of a massive protest. This action invited and motivated people to fight for the right

to democracy. Consequently, Klaus Iohannis, a promising counter-candidate of Victor Ponta, became the new president of the country. Later, on October 30 2015, a pyrotechnic show started a fire in the concert scene of club ‘Colectiv’ in Bucharest. Due to a tragic set of circumstances - insufficient fire exits, flammable wall finishing, dysfunctional smoke ventilation, poor access by emergency services - 25 young people died while trying to evacuate, followed by 38 more in the following weeks due to severe injuries, with many more struggling in hospitals. Operating permits and fire approvals obtained illegally, a practice wide-spread in Bucharest, took a toll on their lives. Ironically, one of the hits played was ‘The day we die’, a song about corruption, the importance of justice and ‘not to give in’. This event shocked the whole country and loudly shouted in our ears that ‘Bucharest is like a mousetrap’ because of corruption, bureaucracy and mutually denied rules. It revealed how vulnerable Bucharest’s daily environment is to unforeseen disasters, such as the predicted earthquake1. This unfortunate story created a large collective response to the inert and opaque reactions of politicians. Through online social networks people massively self-organized: funds were raised, complex charitable actions were initiated, truth was spoken and lies were condemned. It empowered the people to take justice in their hands, to be more aware of the great importance of cooperation and the urgent need to change the way we inhabit our cities and respond to shocks. The most important lesson was the great impact that a collective force has in response to a large scale situation.

1. ‘Kilometer 0’ (studioBASAR 2013) image, identifies types of occupation of University Square in Bucharest at 1989 revolution, 1990 Mineriad and 2012 protests. In 1989 and 1990, it was ‘the first time when the new center wasn’t chosen by a leader, but by the people’s actions, who fixed their Zero Kilometer of Romanian Democracy and Freedom in the University Square’ (studioBASAR 2013). ‘Kilometer 0’ is part of ‘University’s Squares’ (studioBASAR 2013) study, done as a contribution for ‘Planning for Protest’ project (Lisbon Architecture Trienalle, 2013) © studioBASAR 2013 2. Drawing by Dan Perjovschi (2008), part of theexhibition and research ‘Drawing protests. From Museum Wall to Facebook wall and back’, Shedhalle, Zurich (Perjovschi, 2014) © Dan Perjovschi 2008

Note 1. Bucharest sits on a seismic zone with large earthquakes happening at an approximately 30 to 40 years interval. At present the city expects such an earthquake, while large parts of the city fabric are not structurally prepared to resist to this forecasted disaster. info source: http://www. mar/25/risky-cities-redequals-danger-in-bucharesteuropes-earthquake-capital [accessed in January 2016]





On the 3rd of November at 19:00, more than 25 000 people spontaneously followed the call of an online post and occupied the public space of Bucharest (fig.5), claiming their right to safety and democracy. On the 4th of November, 70 000 people all over the country, of which 35 000 in Bucharest, gathered to demand their rights. The city became, just like in November 2014, the stage of massive protests arising from social networks. As a result, on the 4th of November the government and the PM resigned, apparently for the first time willing to listen to the people’s voice. Klaus Iohannis, the president of Romania, declared that from now on ‘the people’ will be directly involved in political decisions. He invited representatives of ‘the street’ to a meeting on 6th of November at the Palace, to discuss ways to restructure the government and the corrupt political systems. Finding the right representatives of ‘the street voice’ was a great challenge. How could people organize so that they could have a say and make a change? In this context, Facebook was proven to be a tool of networking with a great influence on change, rather than a channel for manipulation.The main squares of Bucharest, usually crowded with cars, become during these protests boulevards of massive pedestrian walks. The protest marches were beautiful and their messages told the story of the fair democratic structure that people dream about. The next steps taken by the president

seem to take people’s requests into account. The tragic event of October 2015 motivated a resigned society to have a say. These stories begin to trace a framework for a nation’s regeneration driven by a social collective performance and raises awareness of the power of online social networks to change cities. Communication via social networks, predominantly Facebook, has made Bucharest a wiser city and has educated a collective spirit in a society where communism had taught the individual to watch and denounce the ones unfaithful to the communist political system. During communist times, the fashion was to ironically call each other ‘companion’, no matter how good friends people were. This was a society trained to fear and feel threatened to act collectively. Today, Bucharest’s public space turns into a common stage and people gradually learn to claim their right to a safer city, while understanding, for themselves, the power that they have together. The civic and politic actions of the online community continue today on a more frequent basis: in January 2016 a group of people gathered and cleared the icy bike paths in the city centre, used as a deposit of snow after the local authorities cleaned the car roads. This was again an action initiated online. •



3. Print screen from ‘#roşiamontană, ziua8 Marele marş’ movie (Petri 2013), depicting a protest that celebrates the collective power of the new generation and raises against ecological abuse in Roşia Montana village. (source:, accessed in February 2016) © Vlad Petri 2013 4. 1989 Revolution, Palace Square, Bucharest. The photo is property and part of the archive of ‘The National History Museum of Romania (MNIR) © National History Museum of Romania ( 5. 3rd November 2015, protests in Bucharest after the tragedy in Colectiv Club © Vlad Petri 2015





Skating as Urban Space Activator Public Space Tools @ Rotterdam (04/12) Place-making, citizen empowerment and the right to the city are concepts which have grown in popularity during the last decade. Despite the different interpretations that they are subject to, all of these concepts recognise the collective urban domain as a critical aspect of cities. The task of dealing with the tension of providing more freedom for individual end users and establishing collective values seems to be a serious challenge in contemporary urban practice.


Motivated to confront this challenge, the Spanish collectives Straddle3 and WWB Coop have developed the interactive web platform The platform is built on European experiences with activating public space by sharing interesting practices and revealing the struggles with the legal layer, which is vital but often (nearly) invisible. In its essence the project supports the efforts of the many groups and collectives who are committed to explore and effectively work with the collective urban domain within modern cities. The development of this type of urbanism seems to be necessary in order to cope with the key issue of balancing individual freedom(s) and public value(s). In the Dutch context multiple design collectives and companies in the fields of planning and (landscape) architecture work with place making and citizen empowerment. In order to share knowledge, address these topics and, more specifically, the idea of platform, a one-day workshop was organized on 4th December 2015 in Rotterdam, with the urbanism office Stipo as host and local partner of the event. The workshop was specifically focused on the theme of urban sports and more precisely, on urban skating as a public space activator. Skating seems to have a direct relationship with the public space, the empowerment of citizens and legal issues. Opening presentations Sander van der Ham (Stipo) started the workshop with the company’s application of place making notions and their approach towards public space intervention(s). The next set of presentations were made by David Juarez (cofounder of Straddle3), together with Ale Gonzålez (WWB) and the ex-pro skater and constructor Sergi Arenas. They are three of the main initiators behind First of all, David introduced the participants to the theme 53


Todor Kesarovski Urbanist

Yos Purwanto Urbanist


of public space essence, its dynamics, specifics of the various uses, the “right to the city” concept and legal issues in respect to it. Later on he was joined by Sergi to present their practical experiences of building a skate park through collaborative efforts with local inhabitants and enthusiasts. David finished his presentation together with Ale by introducing the platform. They revealed some specific details concerning the functions and capabilities of the platform combined with examples of how to collect data and use the platform to update it. The skater and city developer Niels van der Zwam closed of the presentations with some footage of skating in Rotterdam. Public Space Safari An essential part of the workshop was a group public space safari which allowed the participants explore the urban space of Rotterdam after the morning presentation session. The safari was led by Niels and aimed to guide the participants through some of the most vital skating spots in the city centre of Rotterdam. Starting points were the historic spots of the 'Delftse Poort' and the City Hall’s bunker. Surprisingly, despite the latter’s monumental value, the long-standing informal usage of the spot by skaters was not regularly engaged with by the police. The safari also included the heavily used public spaces such as De Lijnbaan (shopping street), the recently redeveloped Binnenwegplein and the new plaza in front of the Central Station. These spots have completely different purposes but due to various reasons such as their spatial arrangement, surfaces and design elements, they have attracted special attention by the skaters. However, the route of the safari also included two places which were especially designed for skating: the Westblaak skatepark and the Waterplein by De Urbanisten in the Agniesebuurt. The former location is a famous project in terms of the European skating scene and was at that moment in its final stage of

reconstruction after a long struggle by the skating community for involvement in the redesign. On the other hand, at the Waterplein the possibilities for skating are provided in an informal way. Practical Exercises The workshop was closed off by practical exercises on law regulation(s) and testing the capacities of First, a legal exercise regarding the general behavior and urban sports in public space was done. Questionnaires with set of questions were given to the participants with legal questions to be filled in. On the basis of this a discussion on the legal issues in respect of the theme(s) of interest was facilitated. As a follow up, the participants were separated in two groups aiming to prepare content to be uploaded on the platform online. The first group focused on describing the public space safari in a great detail including specific description(s) of the visited spots. On the other hand, the second group elaborated on the legal exercise by converting it into visual content for the online platform. In any case, both groups provide discussions and feedback on the functionality and the capabilities of the platform. This content represents in full extent the ‘how-to’, normatively practical input which aims to deliver for its users. To conclude, the various activities that took place during the event provided the participants with a mixture of experiences. As a result of this multiple informal connections were created which formed the basis for very fruitful knowledge generation and exchange. This was considered as the highly appreciated positive that every participant was able to benefit from and hopefully build upon in future professional projects. •


2 54

1. Public Space Tools interface © 2. PST Workshop working groups © Todor Kesarovski


Aerial acrobatics Nowadays what we can realise is that public space has lost its playful perspective. Or better said, in design programmes the meaning of game is not included. The city's public space over the last centuries has turned into a passive space since its users are only passing by, using it as an in between space (Sennett 1977).


Angeliki Meli

Architect, Aerial Performer, Designer

It's not only children who should play and one should keep in mind that games are not only red, blue plastic and metal. Playgrounds can be part of landscapes, space for socialising and interaction and they can definitely be what our cities need to be energised. ÂŤHomo ludensÂť (Huizinga 1949) should be a political statement of everyday living. A play area should be a wild area, a place where the body and joy in unison, can be weightless, ageless, unrestrained. Neither high up nor down to the ground, needless for legs to walk, or rules on how to play, the body will be free to improvise its own movement on an unstable environment. We need to redesign and rethink public space so that we can get inspired by cities so we can provide them with play areas which are using all axes. We are using the city's space mainly in the horizontal axis, while we are using the vertical axis only for their growth. We could gain so many possibilities by turning the modern city in to a big 3D table game. Using all free spaces and surfaces we can energise the city without making heavy constructions.



Climbing and aerial1 techniques can give us a variety of tips on how to take advantage of the vertical city's playground. Hanging and rigging all over the structures can create a new relationship between citizens and city. 55

Note 1. Aerial techniques, are circus skills which are becoming more and more popular. The acrobat, dancer is using different apparatus so they can move from the ground to the top. Some of them are, aerial silks, aerial rope, lyra or aerial hoop, trapeze, wall running, bunjee, aerial net, aerial cube etc. Through aerials we are reaching the vertical axis by using and exploring new movements.



In Seville, Calatrava's bridge has turned into a climbing wall. The same happened with the antique bridge in Triana neighbourhood. Also the University of Architecture in Volos, Greece is hosting aerial training. In Japan, a hanging playground by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam is giving joy with many new perspectives to its visitors. Energising the city through playing should be our new designing need. Public space should motivate the playful needs of citizens. So, refer not only to the procedure of playing but also to the advantages that we could take from all the possibilities our cities give us in order to design an urban, in situ, playground.

This strange connection seems to be solved by the answer "game". The city can be a big playground, something more than a typical construction for kids, something that could serve not only for pleasure, but also for a creative, playful and energetic urban environment.

References 1. Sennett, R. (1988) The fall of public man. Random House USA Inc 2. Huizinga, J. (first published in 1949) Homo Ludens, a study of the play-element in culture. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, London

What can be easily noticed is that the interaction between aerials and architecture can be more and more intensive as both fields can inspire and affect each other.


1. "The wild joy of Kipselis’ ground. Urban games. Playground" Diploma thesis, Architecture, Thessaly, Greece. Angeliki Meli, 2015 2. Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, Saporro, Japan 3. University of Thessaly, Greece, Angeliki Meli 4.-5. Photos Diploma thesis:"The wild joy of Kipselis' ground. Urban games. Playground", Architecture department, University of Thessaly Greece, Angeliki Meli, 2015

5 56


Energising the city : play Pleasing everyone Working for a community, a city, a neighbourhood, a local authority, a school or a company, means trying to please everyone. By definition, it is somehow an impossible mission, since everybody is a different person. However, one can at least imagine making a consensus on one point when making a gift. A gift is always a nice thing to receive and to give. Let’s say we want to please the whole family. We shall celebrate all together with a Christmas tree and toys for children. Let’s imagine now we want to please an entire neighborhood. We do the same with an original playground for kids, and it shall be even better with a bit of lights. Like a Christmas tree with its garlands.


Clément Willemin Co-founder of BASE

(Bien Aménager Son Environnement / Build A Super Environment)


If there are no children involved, things might be slightly more complicated. You would need a gift for adults. A collective gift. Something that pleases everyone. Something that precisely gives pleasure to everyone. Mainly meaning: that can help you eat or sleep, laugh with your friends, play sports. Apart from that, the design consists of organising circulations and functions, connections, at best. Pleasing every individual adult is harder by solely doing this, without adding the gift on top of it.

Children’s imagination is free and powerful. It doesn’t absolutely need explicit inputs to develop, like ours does. My example is a spontaneous and never-ending play for children of all ages: the cabin. We know the cabin in different shapes: the tree house, cave, forest, etc. There is also a more urban and interior version of it that works as well: Sunday afternoon in the room, a hut made of mattresses, poised between a chair and a broomstick, made out of sheets or towels. One moment it can be a boat, or



a car, the next moment it’s a castle, it lends itself to interpretation and abstractions: It is intelligent. In the same perspective, we seek in our playgrounds proposals to address children's intelligence, specifically in order to mix storylines and super-impose different possible evocations and use of the element. This is to offer different scenarios, different interpretations, different worlds, that may consequently seem abstract and unrealistic for us adults. "This looks like nothing", here, is a desired quality. Or even better: "this is like nothing specific", as it takes minimal effort for one to detect similarities with what is known. Risk taking Risk taking is a fundamental educational concept in the approach of play as a learning and development tool. It is also a great one for building up the cities. It is by taking risks that children learn and push their limits. It is through taking risks that children compare to one another, and stimulate further. On a playground, risk taking may be framed, thoughtful and predictable. It must be visible and obvious for children: falling heights and slippery surfaces are the most explicit examples. Risk taking is a game indeed. Risk of falling and scratching one’s knees, tripping, slipping. It is a game in itself, and a pattern of individual and collective emulation factor. Smaller kids take on bigger risks and seek to push their limits. The dangers are clearly identified. The difficulty of play is assumed.


Infantile sociability (& parental as well) It is striking for us how playgrounds are now mostly used by children along with their parents. This implies a strong influx of parents but also new issues: parents now want to look over their children at any time. Children’s sociability implies that they should be able to play together, meet, and develop their own relations though. Many of our games are rather designed as interiorities, spaces to travel and explore. It seems appropriate to us to provide children with places that are reserved for them with comfortable conditions and specific access, as long as these areas are clearly identified and located. Among the many urban actions that can contribute to give some value to an area, a town or a district, whether old or new, poor of totally gentrified, one seems more powerful and efficient than any. Straightening streets, aligning and rehabilitating facades, planting trees for the future, renewing sidewalks. All these take time, cost money, and the results are uncertain, if one seeks to measure its impact on the lives of people. In contrast, a


playground beast, that looks like nothing known, will arouse curiosity and the interest of families in a very large area, which is likely to literally open up a neighbourhood. Apart from a new shopping centre, we haven’t found a more efficient way to move up crowds daily. In addition, the exclusive, unique and improbable nature of this public equipment can be a source of local pride, a sign of uniqueness that may be what is often lacking. The playful and infantile dimension, like sports, has indeed a tremendous potential for urban development, as it acts directly on the image and projection that people make of their own environment. •


1. Lormont Génicart France - 2014 © BASE 2. Parc Blandan Lyon - France - 2014 © BASE 3. Parc de Belleville Paris - France - 2008 © BASE


SPOOL The financial crisis has had destructive consequences for the architecture industry. This has forced the rich Dutch tradition of architectural publishing to re-energise by exploring new publication methods. Frank van der Hoeven, Director of Research and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft, explains how the shift towards publishing open access journals has led to the creation of SPOOL.

Before the crisis hit the Dutch architectural services industry, some colleagues from Singapore asked me: “Do you build a lot, or do you have easy access to funds that allows you to publish?” For a brief moment I was perplexed. It never occurred to me that Dutch architects, urban planners and landscape architects were able to publish much more than they actually built compared to designers in other countries. The “Stimuleringsfonds voor de Architectuur” supported numerous publications, and many cities, universities, foundations, and (design) firms were willing to chip in. When we look at our faculty we see a similar fascination for books. It is reflected in its publication patterns and in the social customs that come along with it. Book launches within the faculty take place on a regular basis and often turn out to be very special events. When a book has been published the editors tend to gather friends, colleagues and the rest of their network to celebrate the fact with lectures, discussion and drinks. It is one of the key happenings in the social life of the faculty of architecture. Books are one of those things that bind us as researchers together. We should be aware that in this respect the faculty differs from the other faculties within the TU Delft. No other faculty has such a unique publication culture like the faculty of architecture has. Within the other faculties, the emphasis is on publishing in academic journals, not in books. During the past ten years academic journal publishing has become a booming business while academic book publishing is on the retreat. The actual spending of research libraries on journals has been rising rapidly while the money that is spent on books was slowly declining. The architecture domain was one of those rare pockets that was not impacted by this. It was almost


Frank van der Hoeven

Director of research and associate professor, TU Delft

like time stood still until the aforementioned crisis hit us hard. Funds for publishing books dried up. 010 publishers had to give in and sold what was left of it to NAI Publishers. Birkhäuser Verlag went bankrupt and SUN Publishers disappeared. During this time, the faculty of architecture was confronted with the need to gain more recognition for its scientific output. More and more we felt the pressure to publish in academic journals as well. Why hadn’t we done that before? Well, there are many reasons cited by colleagues. One of these is the low quality of the graphic design. The Dutch architectural publishers really produced design books of extremely high design quality. Academic journals on the other hand clearly lagged in design and most of them look rather substandard in this respect. Some of my colleagues had serious doubts if an academic journal could really reproduce the high level of details in the maps they had painstakingly drawn. These concerns were quite real and justified. But doubts were slowly overcome after the journal publications went digital and became available online. This was a major advantage. Books may be beautiful and well designed, but as long as they are not accessible with one or two clicks they are seriously handicapped. The advantages of journals started to outweigh the disadvantages. A gradual shift towards journals took place in most sciences. This move however is increasingly using university budgets, and this did not feel right. If all that knowledge was produced by academics with public funds provided by the taxpayers, why did we lock it up behind a paywall owned by Elsevier, Springer, or Thomson Reuters? Should this knowledge not be available to the broader public for free? They paid for it in the first place, didn’t they? That sentiment gave rise to a movement and it kick-started a revolution in the way that we disseminate research


1. SPOOL's first issue's cover


findings: Open Access. Currently that open access concept is fully embraced by the Dutch government that aims to provide open access to all scientific publication within the next ten years. Publishing open access journals is easier than ever. Open Source software is available for free download like Open Journal Systems (OJS). The faculty of architecture established its own platform based on OJS with the support of the TU Delft Library. First it started with a PhD thesis series: A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment. Next, we unlocked more than a century (!) of Bulletins on built heritage that were published by the Royal Netherlands Archaeological Institute (KNOB). After that, we moved on with the Research in Urbanism Series. Footprint and the Journal of Facade Design and Engineering (JFDE) were next. Finally, SPOOL was added to the list. All these journals can be found at journals.library. SPOOL (together with JDFE) was one of the open access journal proposals that was awarded a NWO grant. Recently the first issue of SPOOL was published titled ‘Landscape Metropolis’. The issue is edited by René van der Velde and Alexandra Tisma who both did a great job. The aim of this first issue is to present state-of-the-art research engaging with the metropolitan landscape in European urban regions from the perspective of spatial planning, urbanism and landscape planning disciplines. Presented papers focus on three specific research fields: Landscape planning for peri-urban areas, metropolitan landscape characterisation, and landscape design in metropolitan contexts. SPOOL will move on from here by emphasising four key topics: Science of Architecture, Climate Change, Energy Efficiency Building, and Urban Europe. These four topics refer to existing and upcoming research programmes/interests in Europe and beyond, and ensure a steady stream of potential copy. Treating these topics as threads within one journal allows SPOOL to focus on the interrelationship between the fields, something that is often lost in specialised journals. SPOOL welcomes within this framework original papers and associated open data on research that deal with interventions in architecture and the built environment by means of design, engineering and/or planning. •

Landscape metropolis Advances in planning, design and characterization of metropolitan territories via landscape

v1/#1 ISSN 2215-0897 E-ISSN 2215-0900 OPEN ACCESS . CC BY 4.0 VOLUME 1 . ISSUE 1


New calls for papers will be launched this year. The first issue of SPOOL can be downloaded from the SPOOL website:


Colophon ATLANTIS Magazine by Polis | Platform for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft Volume 26, Number 3, April 2016 Editor in Chief Kate Unsworth, Shruti Maliwar, Kritika Sha

Cover image Iulia Sirbu Atlantis appears four times a year. Number of copies: 500

Head of layout Alkmini Papaioannou Editorial Team Maryam Behpour, Ting-Wei Chu, Marina Dondros, Gijs de Haan, Ioana Ionescu, Ieva Lendraityte, Angela Moncaleano, Iulia Sirbu,

Printer Drukkerij Teeuwen

Sylvie Chen, Gaila Costantini, Laura Garcia, Ijsbrand Heeringa, Nagia Tzika Kostopoulou, Francesca Mavaracchio, Emmanouil Prinianakis, Jelske Streefkerk

Editorial Address Polis, Platform for Urbanism Julianalaan 134, 2628 BL Delft office: 01 West 350 tel. +31 (0)15-2784093

Become a member of Polis Platform for Urbanism and Landscape Architecture and join our network! As a member you will receive our Atlantis Magazine four times a year, a monthly newsletter and access to all events organized by Polis. Disclaimer This issue has been made with great care; authors and redaction hold no liability for incorrect/ incomplete information. All images are the property of their respective owners. We have tried as hard as we can to honour their copyrights. ISSN 1387-3679


Polis Sponsors


Polis partners

Polis partner universities

North America University of Pennsylvania University of California Berkeley University of Michigan University of Waterloo Harvard South America University of Buenos Aires University of Sao Paulo 62

Europe ETH ZĂźrich Asia Pacific University of Tokyo Tsinghua University Tongji University National University of Singapore National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Sponsored by


Cover image by Iulia Sirbu, EMU student, TU Delft

Atlantis 26 3#energy & the city  
Atlantis 26 3#energy & the city