ECOWEEK: The Book #1: 50 Voices for Sustainability Edited by Elias Messinas and Dan Price Forward by David Orr
EDITORS: Elias Messinas and Dan Price DESIGNER: Artemis Petropoulou PRODUCTION MANAGER: Elias Messinas ISBN: TBA
Copyright: ÂŠ 2016 ECOWEEK This book is a project by NGO ECOWEEK. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanically, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission. This book is available for limited time for a special discount, when purchased online. For details visit: http://ecoweekorg.wix.com/ecoweekbook
“This is sustainability: the revolution in our minds and in our tools. It will take time but there is no other way.... because we have to. If not, we shall not meet the requirements of the next generations.“ Françoise Hélène Jourda, Jourda Architectes
PREVIOUS: Activating Public Spaces: Valle Aurelia park in Rome. ECOWEEK workshop led by Orizzontale, OSA Architectura e Paesaggio with Living Urban Scape (pages 2, 3 Images ECOWEEK) 1. Sketching in London. ECOWEEK 2014 in London, UK.
2. Collecting reclaimed materials. Tel Aviv port. ECOWEEK 2013 in the Middle East. 3. Closing event. Chiostri dellâ€™ Universita Statale. ECOWEEK 2011 in Milano, Italy. 4. Workshop. Technopolis. ECOWEEK 2011 in Athens, Greece.
5. Site visit. SHOOTING RANGE in Wola Justowska. ECOWEEK 2012 in Krakow, Poland. 6. Workshop. Valle Aurelia Park. ECOWEEK 2012 in Rome, Italy. 7. Workshop presentations. MOCAK. ECOWEEK 2013 in Krakow, Poland. 8. Workshop presentations. Megatrend University. ECOWEEK 2012 in Belgrade, Serbia.
50 architects, landscape architects, designers and environmental leaders from 15 countries around the world, share their vision to inspire, provoke and educate. In articles, interviews, project presentations and manifestos, they join their voices and vision on sustainability, sustainable design, urbanism and architecture, to amplify a message of social, economic and environmental sustainability, embodied in their work. The contributing authors to this publication are among the extended ECOWEEK ‘family.’ They have lectured or led ECOWEEK
workshops in cities around the world. Among them Kengo Kuma, Bjarke Ingels, FrancoiseHelene Jourda, Diebedo Francis Kere, Michael Sorkin, Gernot Minke, Prof. David Orr, Robert Swan, OBE, professionals, leaders and educators, young professionals and students. They share insights about their work - schools, public buildings, housing, rehabilitation of existing buildings, gardens, community gardens, environmental education, environmental leadership, and more - from the angle of sustainability and sustainable design.
ECOWEEK is an NGO created in 2005 with the mission to raise environmental awareness and to promote the principles of sustainability. ECOWEEK international conferences and sustainable design workshops, bring together professionals and students of Architecture, Design, Landscape Architecture, and Environmental Engineering around the world. ECOWEEK workshops are assigned design or designbuild interventions in the public realm, aiming to educate, train and empower, while contributing to the local communities. For hundreds of young professionals and students, ECOWEEK has become a unique experience and a turning point to their professional growth and career. The ECOWEEK NET [www.ecoweek.net] network has members in 54 countries. This book is a project by NGO ECOWEEK marking its first 10-year anniversary and its commitment to education, cooperation, and sustainable design.
Contents FOREWORD by David W. Orr Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics Oberlin College (USA) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 4
INTRODUCTIONS by Elias Messinas Architect (Greece) and Dan Price Architect (Israel)
A. SHORT ESSAYS Julie Bargmann Landscape Architect DIRT Studio (USA). Manifesto Series 07: Finding the Formless > Fall 2012. Bjarke Ingels Architect BIG (Denmark & USA). Hedonistic Sustainability. Françoise-Hélène Jourda Architect Jourda Architects (France). About sustainability.
Public Space Design: Three Couples and a Trio. Braha Kunda Architect HIT (Israel). Towards “Urban Acupuncture”. Ivan Redi Architect ORTLOS (Austria & UK). Urban Eco-System - Holistic approach toward regenerative Architecture. Richard Ingersoll Architecture Historian Syracuse University (Italy). Eat the City. Thomas Doxiadis Architect and Landscape Architect Doxiadis+ (Greece). Symbiotic Design and Didactic Landscapes. Galia Hanoch-Roe Landscape Architect (Israel). Sustainable Design of Educational Landscapes.
Michael Sorkin Architect Sorkin Studio (USA). Love Thy Neighbor(hood).
Marialuisa Palumbo Architect InArch (Italy). Towards an Urban Ecosystem: the Productive Footprint Design Method.
Marta Pozo Architect MVRDV (Holland & China). Contradictory Guest.
Jan Johansson Architect (Denmark). Designing Sustainable Quality in Architecture for the Users.
B. FROM URBAN TO ARCHITECTURE
Gil Peled Architect eco-challenges (Israel). Green Retrofit: a Challenge at Global Levels.
Kengo Kuma Architect (Japan). Eco-city. Annalisa Metta Architect (Italy).
Ulf Meyer Architect Ingenhoven Architects (Germany). In Search of the Green Building.
Elena Barthel Architect Rural Studio (USA & Italy). Ingredients. Isaac Meir Architect Ben Gurion University (Israel). Green Architecture or Architecture of Survivability. Vasileios Ntovros Architect (Greece). Looking for ECO-Logic. Joseph Cory Architect GEOTECTURA (Israel). Green Scale.
Daniel Pearl Architect L’Oeuf (Canada). ‘Benny Farm’: Theory into Practice. Alessio Battistella Architect ARCo (Italy). Resilient Design. A possible approach to sustainable design in emergency contexts: A school in Al Khan Al Ahmar, Palestine. Jana Leoni Architect (Germany). The “Green Moabit” urban district development concept in Berlin, Germany.
Orjan Nyheim Architect PiRII (Norway). The Architect’s Framework for Sustainable Architecture in Norway.
Orizzontale (Italy). Challenging the Hidden Potential of the City.
Barak Pelman Architect (Israel). Sustainability – an intrinsic part of architectural design?
Maria Livia Olivetti Architect (Italy). Valle Aurelia in Progress – A ‘planning for real’ experiment.
Stelios Zerefos, Chris Tessas Architects Zerefos Tessas Architects (Greece). Reuse and refurbishment as an ecological approach to architectural design.
Hilde Sponheim Architect LPO (Norway). Vulkan area | reused | restructured | revitalized.
Maciej Siuda Architect (Poland). Redefining Architecture.
Tom Rankin Architect (Italy & USA). A Place for Re-Use in Rome’s Via Portuense. David Knafo Architect Knafo Klimor Architects (Israel). Building a Green School in Israel.
C. PROJECTS & EXAMPLES Ivan Harbour Architect Rogers Stirk Harbour (UK). ‘Homeshell’.
Alexandros Kouloukouris Architect KARD Architects (Greece). Business Building ‘Ben 10’ Panorama, Thessaloniki.
Michael Christensen Architect (Denmark). Soil Center and DTU-Compute Center in Copenhagen.
Benjamin Gill Environmentalist BioRegional (UK & Greece). Interview: From Eco to Happy Communities.
Gernot Minke Architect (Germany). Load-bearing vaults and domes from straw bales.
Michael Photiadis Architect (Greece). Interview: The New Acropolis Museum in Athens.
Uri Gilad Architect office_winhov (Holland & Switzerland). Second life for a city monument: Transformation of a monument into W Hotel Amsterdam. The Netherlands.
Francesco Bedeschi Architect University of Arkansas Rome Center (Italy). Educating (young) architects in Italy.
E. (YOUNG) VOICES FOR SUSTAINABILITY Costas Stef. Tsipiras Architect (Greece). Macedonian Sun: Bioclimatic Passive House in Thessaloniki. The First Holistic Philosophy Residence in Greece. Abram de Boer Architect (Holland). Reconstructing Architecture: The Octrooigebouw
Annalisa Metta Architect (Italy). Tips to young professionals. Magdalena Malska Architect (Poland). Journey through Architecture. Mehtap Leyla Turanalp Planner (Turkey & USA). Reflections of a young planner.
D. INTERVIEWS Robert Swan Leadership & Environmental Expert 2041.org (UK & USA). Interview. Diebedo Francis Kere Architect (Germany & Africa). Interview: School in Gando, Burkino Faso. Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen Architect Gehl Architects (Denmark & China). Interview: Invite 1:1.
Dimitrios Farmakis Architect (Greece). Interview: Meaningful Synergies. Jelena Lucic Founding Chairman ECOIST (Serbia & China). Interview.
The designers’ challenge 7
David W. Orr
specter haunts our common future. We have warmed the Earth by more than 0.8°C with at least that much more on the way. A 2°C increase by 2050 is likely with absolutely no assurance that we can stop it there. Even in the early stages of climate destabilization we’re now witnessing weather extremes and changes that were not supposed to occur until mid-century or later. Since CO2 remains in the atmosphere for a long time, we have committed posterity to centuries of rising temperatures, rising sea levels flooding coastal cities, ecological chaos, and collateral effects including famine, violence, political and economic turmoil, and psychological trauma. Now we must act to contain the consequences of our past actions, not for a few years or decades but over centuries and millennia. The challenge posed by rapid climate change is not an anomaly, but rather a manifestation of the logic inherent in the larger economic and political systems. It cannot be resolved within the paradigm and worldview in which
it was created. It is a global crisis, beyond the capacity of any nation-state to solve on its own. If humans are not merely to survive, but to thrive, we will have to change the structures that have generated the crisis, not merely change the coefficients of change. The challenge of climate destabilization has no solution, as we customarily use that word, but it is possible that we can design systems that permit humans to adapt to a different world. In 5,000 years of history our ancestors did considerable damage to the forests, soils, and biological diversity of Earth. But in time the effects were repairable and/or occurred at a small enough scale that they did not diminish the slow but steady demographic and material advance of humankind. Until quite recently an “empty” Earth had plenty of room for migration to less populated regions. We now live in a very different and “full world” in which the last lands on the five continents have been occupied and exploited. The continually quickening pace of change now threatens to upend virtually everything humans have taken for granted including our
humanity itself. Everything is changed except our manner of thinking that remains tribal, insular, and wedded to the short-term.
Until the middle of the 20th century, however, the discussion about “man in nature” mostly concerned growing human pressures on resources (soils, wildlife, and forests) and pollution of air and water. In the early 1970’s, however, issues of resource conservation, population growth, science, and careless technology, were subsumed into a larger analytical framework. The advance of ecology, the development of systems dynamics, and the use of satellites and computers as research tools extended the capacity to research and model complex ecological, economic, and human interactions at the global scale over long periods of time. The behavior of complex systems is often counter-intuitive to what we expect. They are ‘non-linear,’ with emergent properties, long lead and lag times between cause and effect, and they can change abruptly from one state to another. Little of this was evident in the mechanistic worldview of Newton or to the architects of modern science. From a systems perspective, the goal of sustaining civilization is the ultimate challenge to the design professions. It will require calibrating energy, water, and material consumption as well as the ecological impacts of seven and soon, perhaps, ten billion humans with the complex realities of ecology, thermodynamics, the bio-geo-chemical cycles of Earth in perpetuity. The transition goes beyond simply changing technology,
although deployment of better technology will be necessary. It will require extraordinary changes in the economics, regulations, and planning that effect design of buildings, communities, cities, and regions. We are not, however, very adept at bringing about large-scale changes that work as intended. Instead, we act and later discover unanticipated side-effects, paradoxical results, and ironic outcomes. Revolutionaries, urban planners, and system changers of all sorts have a dismal record of anticipating the effects of what they do. Change mostly happens incrementally, a little at a time, for reasons that often appear only in hindsight. In periods of rapid change, however, our capacity for foresight is further diminished by the sheer speed of chaotic events at multiple levels. Complex social and economic systems with hundreds of variables are inherently unpredictable. We change things and initiate results that we cannot anticipate and may not understand even long afterward. But there is no controlled experiment by which we could compare against other alternatives we might have chosen. Nonetheless, if civilization is to persist and thrive in the long-term we will have to calibrate knowledge of how the world works as a physical system with professions of architecture, engineering, agriculture, forestry, and planning while leaving wide margins as a precaution against error, malice, and acts of God. So how might changes of the necessary magnitude occur? The great architectural critic and historian Lewis Mumford concluded
his magnus opus The Pentagon of Power with no grand plan, no proposals for technological miracles, only a plea for a â€œsteady withdrawal of interest, a slowing down of tempo, a stoppage of senseless routines and mindless acts ... replac(ing) power with plenitude, compulsive external rituals with internal, selfimposed discipline, depersonalization with individuation, automation with autonomy.â€? Given the formidable power and wealth of defenders of the status quo and the underwhelming record of utopian schemes, ideologically driven revolutions, and largescale planned transformations, a steady withdrawal from dependence on large and unaccountable institutions and organizations and a commensurate rebuilding of the foundations of society from the grass-roots upward may, indeed, be the only course available to us. Further, because they are too complex and contentious, some of the issues we face cannot be solved from the top-down anyway. We have unwittingly stacked the deck against ourselves, but we also have capabilities and potentials to make a world far better than that in prospect. Accordingly, this book is based on the belief that we are not fated to destroy the Earth. But that faith is accompanied by an equally strong conviction that a better future will require changes scarcely imaginable at the moment. The authors in this book write in the belief that designers, architects, engineers, landscape ecologists can rise to the challenge. It is written in the belief that design strategies
utilizing sunlight, maximizing efficiency of materials, energy, and water can contribute much to the making of a fair, decent, beautiful, and durable world. It is also written in the conviction that we will have to act fast, much faster than we ever have before to head off catastrophe from the perils that we have 9 brought on ourselves. Led by many in the design professions, the shift to sustainability and resilience is already underway. It is growing out of initiatives led by neighborhoods, transition towns, forwardlooking cities, colleges and universities, agile companies, and organizations of all kinds. It comes from the recognition that we are citizens in the larger community of life that extends back beyond memory and forward as far as imagination permits us to see.
David W. Orr is a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and Executive Director of the Oberlin Project.
Aknowledgments Acknowledgements are always humbling. One is reminded that no matter how much work one may have done, nothing worthwhile or sustainable can happen without the moral, physical, intellectual and financial support of an entire team or community.
First, we want to thank the contributing writers. They contributed their professional insights and provided the graphic material of their work, sharing a personal commitment to professional excellence, sustainability and education. We are grateful for their individual contributions and patience and their collective vote of confidence in the first ECOWEEK publication. The community spirit in the writing of the book was also evident in its financing. When it became evident that adequate funding would not be available, we turned to the ECOWEEK community. The community responded and enough books were pre-sold to complete the funding of the publication. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki, Greece, the undertaking was completed successfully. The Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki has been a supporting partner of ECOWEEK since 2011. We thank Peter Panes, Director of the Goethe Institute in Thessaloniki, for his long-time friendship and cooperation to promote environmental awareness and sustainable design in this part of the world. The graphic layout was masterfully undertaken by Artemis Petropoulou in Athens, Greece. Though Artemis’ is working in a country suffering a financial and social crisis, her work has shown that young talent, professionalism and hard work are rising to the challenge. We particularly want to thank the hundreds of ECOWEEK participants – young professionals and students of Architecture, Design, or Landscape Architecture – from around the world, whose enthusiasm, creativity and innovation sustain and motivate us in our commitment to communicate the message of education, cooperation and sustainability. This publication is the result of a broad, sustained and collective effort to make a difference and we sincerely appreciate the help of all who helped make it happen. We welcome constructive feedback and any omissions or errors that are brought to our attention can and will be corrected in future printings. Elias Messinas and Dan Price Tel Aviv 2015
“The choice of materials was determined by availability and cost. To ensure sustainability we needed to use local, cheap, and abundant materials.” Diebedo Francis Kere Architect
PREVIOUS: Urban Innovation and Green Design:Turning a parking lot into a park in Thessaloniki. ECOWEEK workshop team of Doxiadis+: Thomas Doxiadis (Architect and Landscape Architect), Despoina Girti (Architect) and Aggeliki Mathioudaki (Architect) (Courtesy of Doxiadis+)
1. General view of the design-build interventions at Prishtina University School of Architecture courtyard during the ECOWEEK 2015 workshop in Prishtina, Kosovo (Image ECOWEEK) 2. Students of the ECOWEEK 2015 workshop at work building outdoor seating at the Prishtina University School of Architecture courtyard in Prishtina, Kosovo (Image ECOWEEK) 3. Remodeling of a kindergarten courtyard at the ECOWEEK 2012 workshop in Thessaloniki, Greece (Image ECOWEEK) 4. Testing a bus-stop built entirely of newspapers at the ECOWEEK 2014 workshop in London, UK (Image ECOWEEK) 5. An outdoor exhibition space built of reclaimed wood at Boscoincita park, at the ECOWEEK 2011 workshop in Milano, Italy (Image ECOWEEK) 6. A bicycle sharing station prototype, built in Piazza Sta. Anastasia, at the ECOWEEK 2012 workshop in Rome, Italy (Image ECOWEEK)
ECOWEEK: 10 years of seeking sustainability
hen I was a student a Yale back in the 1990s, the Dean, architect Tom Beebe, used to say that ‘we bring many of the best professionals for our students to learn from and copy. However, after copying one, then the other, students get confused. This is when they start developing their own architecture and discovering their own voice.’ It is not accidental that this book – the first by ECOWEEK – is about 50 voices. 50 articles by ECOWEEK speakers and workshop leaders who present their approach to sustainability. Whether a student, a practicing professional, a thinker, a researcher, an educator, an entrepreneur, an environmental leader or an activist, we have much to share and learn from each other. The professionals and students in this book are not only inspiring because of their work. They are role models of professional dedication, making a positive, meaningful and creative impact on society and the environment. A friend of mine, Dr. Scott Lawrence, a
successful New York chiropractor living in Jerusalem, asked me once ‘what happens at that point in time when the music stops?’ Where does that moment find us? How have we spent our lives, our talent, skills and abilities and what impact have we made to better this world? ECOWEEK was created the same year my second daughter was born, out of a sense of responsibility to do something for my children. In the fall of 2015, 10 years later, at ECOWEEK in Prishtina, Kosovo, it became clear how ECOWEEK has begun to catalyze change. Prishtina is a small capital city in a newly established country in the Balkans struggling for recognition from the international community. My first impression of Prishtina reminded me of Athens in the ‘60s and ‘70s, where I grew up: the public domain is neglected, the motor car is overwhelmingly dominant, people park on sidewalks. The city infrastructure is not maintained, there are limited pedestrian options, no bicycle paths and no transparency in public decision
making. The silent acceptance of this situation by people who assume that this is the way their lives are destined to be, is terrifying. I now know it can be different.
these missing places. And they did just that! Therefore it was not surprising to see the space filled with students as soon as it was created.
Prishtina bookstores are full of self-help guides, of ‘How to…’ literature including the ’10 easy ways to design green…’ It may be fine to follow guidelines, until a process becomes second nature. But, to make a difference, we need a process. First to ask the right questions, then, make the informed choices, and finally act. ‘What do the people need and how can we make a difference?’ In Prishtina, the students could ask the question and give insightful answers. But for years their campus lacked an outdoor meeting place. During ECOWEEK, they realized that not only could they ask the question and brainstorm for answers, but they can also act and create
The students also learned that sustainable design is about systemic change which requires shifting the ‘point of departure’ or asking a different question. For example, as architect Jean Robert Mazaud pointed out in his ECOWEEK lecture in Pristina, sustainability may not be about changing the transportation involved in the production of food, but about growing food close to where people live. Or, it may not only be about planning bicycle and pedestrian routes, but giving people options to walk, bike or use public transportation, as Gehl Architects associate Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen explained in his ECOWEEK Copenhagen lecture. People are always the
key to every change. I have often heard the phrase: ‘It cannot be done’. There are solutions that require a combination of actions and the involvement of many people – especially if you only have one week to achieve them. This is why architecture students in Prishtina were skeptical at first. They have grown accustomed to neglected, abused and dis-used public spaces in their university campus and in their city. At the ECOWEEK workshop in Prishtina, our team of architects Teuta Jashari-Kajtazi, Elizabeta Poljoska and myself, guided the students to ‘occupy’ and reclaim the public space for their use and for the students of a near-by public elementary school. Students envisioned new installations, designed and built them using reclaimed materials, and for the first time, began to do what is rarely done at their school – or in Prishtina in general: dream and act to change their reality. It was a small change but the process had begun. Students will be reminded of the possibilities of change every time they sit in their installations. The enthusiasm was contagious too. The organizing team led by architect Argjira Krasniqi, started planning to expand the interventions in additional university campuses, experiment with Permaculture vegetable gardens and pockets parks in downtown Prishtina. This is a city ‘struggling’ to reclaim and protect public spaces from private interests. This process of empowerment, courage and initiative does not only apply to Prishtina, and
the special conditions there. We witnessed it from Copenhagen to Rome and from London to Tel Aviv. In all these cities, students were eager to get their hands dirty to design and
build installations that change the existing reality, in a variety of circumstances and scales: a bus stop of recycled newspapers in London; a wooden pavilion in Boscoincita park in Milano; street markets in Copenhagen; public seating and areas for play at the Valle Aurelia urban park in Rome and a park in a soccer stadium parking lot in Thessaloniki. These are only a few examples of what students have accomplished during the ECOWEEK workshops. Palestinian architect Omar Yousef once said that ECOWEEK is like a healthy forest: it provides a safe platform for diversity and cooperation. Like bees will come when we plant flowers, children will come when we set up seating or playing installations. Watching studentsâ€™ enthusiasm, I have come to believe that the majority of architecture students have chosen this profession because they see themselves not only as designers, but also as entrepreneurs and as advocates for change. At ECOWEEK they find an educational platform to think outside the box, experiment, ask different questions
and design interventions in cooperation with professionals and students. A social dynamics develops through human contact, communication, mentorship, learning, exchange of ideas and the weaving of a human and cultural web. At ECOWEEK students have access to a growing network of peers in 54 countries and opportunities to secure internships at leading firms. After 10 years of activity in 12 countries, 24 international conferences, 200 design workshops, and more than 4,000 young participants, the experience in Prishtina, reminded me again of my years at Yale. The diversity of voices that is at the heart of ECOWEEK and is now presented in this book, the wealth of sustainable projects and intellectual and professional commitment, are here to inspire us and to confuse us to the point where each reader will discover their own voice. Prishtina, Kosovo October 2015
Elias Messinas is an architect, environmental consultant, educator and social entrepreneur. He is the founding chairman of ECOWEEK and the coordinator of its activity around the world.
“People should be able to live exactly the way they want, or even better, while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. Essentially it is to approach the question of sustainability not as a moral dilemma but as a design challenge.” Bjarke Ingels, BIG
PREVIOUS: Experimenting with newspapers in London. A bus stop built entirely of newspapers. ECOWEEK workshop team of HAWK (Germany) Thomas Kauertz (Architect) and Anja Markwart (Civil engineer) (Photographer Antonina Bukowska)
1. Urban development above an unused railway right-of-way linking separated residential neighborhoods with a linear park and mixed use buildings (Courtesy of Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects) 2. The linear park, lined with galleries and cafes, includes a pond for returning processed run off rain water to the natural aquifer. A bike path in the park avoids intersections between the cycle route, the light rail and motorized traffic (Courtesy of Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects) 3. Urban Renewal of an old industrial park with mixed use buildings along the park (Courtesy of Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects) 4. An Industrial park revitalized with a rapid transit system, bike lanes linking residential neighborhoods, new public spaces on illegal parking lots and a linear park passing over the huge underground national water carrier pipes (Courtesy of Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects)
Bringing it all together 19
ver the past few years our office has become involved in large urban renewal projects and in particular, revitalizing old industrial parks. These industrial parks were originally designed and built by architects trained in the modernist tradition many of whom harbored a deep faith in the redemptive power of technology and believed that industrialization would herald a brave new egalitarian society. Unfortunately World War II shattered their hope and we came to understand that together with enormous benefits came the threat of mass killing and environmental destruction (Auschwitz, Hiroshima, et alia). Indeed social mobility, improved health care, affordable housing, cheap global communication and efficient mass production have improved the lives of many millions. Yet even more have been left behind. We may concern ourselves with social, economic and environmental sustainability but others are concerned with mere survival. The growing disparity between the top and bottom percentiles of our society is a veritable stain on humanity.
The speed with which the economies of the industrial and developing nations adopted and adapted to new technologies has proven to be an equally sharp double edged sword. As professionals and academics we are constantly retraining and retooling: learning new software, studying new legislation, understanding new materials and filtering the endless stream of new products flooding the market. If ‘once upon a time’ we revered the elders of our profession for their depth of knowledge, today we reward those who have broad ‘horizontal’ knowledge, a superficial understanding of different fields and nimble enough to integrate them. This is where ECOWEEK has found its footing. During the one-week workshops we, the participating tutors, are removed from our safe and familiar environments and are stripped of our ranks and roles. We meet colleagues and students from different countries and adjacent disciplines to find out more about their practice, how they are coping with the challenges and share our concerns. Unlike
many professional conferences, at ECOWEEK workshops there is no hierarchy of expert lecturers and passive participants. We all roll up our sleeves and work. No-one is paid and there are neither grades, nor reports to academic committees or shareholders. No-one is selling anything to anyone. We do however have the opportunity for selfsearching, open discussion, non-judgmental evaluation and the not-so-supple reminder that we all have a lot to learn.
neighborhoods. Indeed, all the industrial parks built in Israel from 1948-70 reflected these town-planning principles. They were typically located down-wind and topographically below the residential neighborhoods with access to sources of water used for cleaning and cooling. All too often the industrial plants also dumped their refuse into these bodies of water until in the 1990â€™s regulatory authorities stepped in to enforce the law and protect the environment.
ECOWEEK is also an opportunity to role-play. Unfortunately, professional specialization is encouraged and guarded both by academia and professional guilds. ECOWEEK workshops, organized around multi-disciplinary teams, allow us to briefly play the role of other professions and enrich our understanding of their specialized knowledge.
Fifty years later the Israeli economy has been transformed and business parks are now regulated, quiet and clean. Rather than workers in greasy blue overalls, one sees technicians in white lab coats. Smoke stack industries have been replaced by hi-tech hubs of global corporations and hyper-energetic start-up teams collaborating in shared spaces. However, the industrial zones are still separated from the residential neighborhood and the old tire repair shops and panel beaters are being squeezed out by rising rents and the value of real estate.
Specialization was also a characteristic of early urban planning expressed by a rigid separation of functions and land-use by zoning. For example, planners believed that because industries produced noise and pollution and because they required access for trucks and heavy machinery, it was wise to locate them some distance from residential
During the past few years our office has become increasingly involved in urban renewal and specifically the issues of old
industrial parks. Our focus has been on integrating these industrial zones with the city fabric by linking them with bike lanes, running paths and public transport routes. The buffer zones between the existing residential neighborhoods and the old industrial parks have been landscaped into public parks with sports facilities, community gardens and wetlands. But most controversial has been the effort to introduce residential development into the industrial parks to develop a truly sustainable urban environment. In Israel there is currently an acute shortage of affordable housing and the investment in student housing, protected living for the elderly and long-term rental units has become very profitable. Together with the municipal
planning authorities and through carefully orchestrated public participation, we have been able to develop an economic model which uses residential building rights as an incent to developers to invest in the industrial neighborhoods and their infrastructure. Our work in urban renewal involves extensive research into the history of the area and understanding how and why the specific urban morphology developed. In one project we discovered that a large makeshift parking lot had evolved because of a huge national water carrier tunnel passing deep below. In another project we learned that the Israel Railways Company had a historic right-ofway through the property which limited
development and created planning anomalies never intended or expected. In both these projects we identified the opportunity to create large urban parks and wetlands which themselves could catalyze urban renewal and invite residential development within the industrial zone. Transforming these ideas into statutory plans is a long complex process, primarily the result of a coherent and committed client/ design team. The ECOWEEK discussions cemented our conviction that when thinking about urban renewal our contribution to social justice and economic sustainability are possibly more important than the environmental objectives. My involvement in
ECOWEEK workshops forced me to confront profound questions regarding sustainability, teamwork, stakeholder participation and the potential of seemingly minor urban interventions to radically transform our reality. I hope the collection of articles in this first ECOWEEK book will similarly challenge and inspire others and motivate them to share their stories and enrich us all.
Dan Price is an architect, principle at Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects practicing in Tel Aviv and a PhD candidate focusing on the social housing projects built in Israel 1948-1967â€™s as a model for sustainable housing.
â€œECOWEEK is like a healthy forest: it is about diversity and sustainability.â€? Omar Yussef Architect
A. SHORT ESSAYS
24 PREVIOUS: ECOWEEK 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by Mimar Sinan University (Image ECOWEEK)
1. Rail track demolition at Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 2. Trenton factory meadow, Trenton New Jersey (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 3. Copper processing plant, Ducktown Tennessee (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 4. Evaston (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 5. WARNING sign, Union Railroad railyard, Milwaukee Wisconsin (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 6. Rail track demolition at Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 7. Salvaged concrete pavers construction at Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 8. Trenton factory meadow, Trenton New Jersey (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 9. Be Inspired billboard, Trenton New Jersey (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 10. Boy Scout collage with Ray Mortenson photo (Courtesy of DIRT Studio) 11. Park Ranger collage with Ray Mortenson photo (Courtesy of DIRT Studio)
Julie Bargmann (USA) Internationally recognized as an innovative designer in building regenerative landscapes and in interdisciplinary design education.
Julie Bargmann 25
Finding the Formless Julie Bargmann Citation required: Excerpt from the forthcoming publication ‘#01 Formless,’ part of the Storefront for Art and Architecture Manifesto series. 1. Wasted landscapes are beautiful. Certainly some of them are poisonous and we shouldn’t eat the dirt. But they aren’t as bad as many people claim. Derelict land isn’t bad; it’s just been abandoned.
3. Industrial standards weren’t very nice either. They allowed dumping waste into earth and water to make more and more and more. Dumping crap anywhere industry wanted was business as usual. And by the way, you, the consumer, were no innocent bystander.
2. Trashing a landscape takes a lot of hard work ---machines running on fossil fuels and hundreds of men, women, and children working for generations. They made the stuff we want - but at a cost to all of us. The ground is soaked with toxins, but also with the sweat of human labor. The decision to so called “clean up” these troubled sites -- which really means to camouflage them -- doesn’t recognize all that hard work. The impulse to erase evidence of that hard work isn’t very nice.
These landscapes where goods were 4. formed now seem formless. At first glance they’re a jumble of useless stuff now kept at careful distance. But they deserve as second glance – and a second chance. Industrial leftovers are good ingredients; industrial processes can reproduce healthy frictions. Still to most people this landscape appears worthless.
5. Beneath the asphalt cracks there are ambitious tracks. The concrete is full of energy, namely the human energy that poured it into place. Why throw away such good energy? Why banish it to a landfill when it’s fine as is, where it belongs? And what about that stream that’s working its way back to the surface? You may not be able to see it ---- but it’s there. The wasted landscape, the formless landscape, the empty landscape is dormant yet full.
6. I say, Go ahead, work with it! The traces of labor can be sublime. So don’t domesticate them. Simply show that the layered landscape you uncover will be full of site histories. Do it with conviction, but with caution. Use restraint. The forms you’ll find are better than anything you’d be able to design.
7. What will you name this landscape? It’s not a park as we know it. It’s not exactly a garden. It’s not landscape urbanism. It’s a landscape of urbanism. Perhaps a form of wild urbanism? It’s 40% of Trenton. It’s very, very Detroit. It’s the urban wilderness we have yet to grasp and celebrate.
8. This is our Urban Frontier.
9. This is our American Icon.
10. This is our National Park.
1. Amager Bakke Waste To Energy Plant in Copenhagen (Courtesy of BIG & MIR) 2. Danish Expo Pavilion 2010 (Photographer Iwan Baan) 3. Copenhagen Harbor Bath (Photographer Julien De Smedt) 4, 5,6,7,8,9. Amager Bakke Waste To Energy Plant in Copenhagen (Courtesy of BIG)
Bjarke Ingels (Denmark & USA) Architect founder of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) after co-founding PLOT Architects and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Author of Yes is More.
Bjarke Ingels 31
Hedonistic Sustainability Bjarke Ingels
he general perception is that Sustainability implies a moral code: How much of our current quality of life are we prepared to sacrifice in our quest for Sustainablity? It is the protestant perception to be good requires pain and that therefore a sustainable lifestyle requires sacrifices. We are looking at how sustainable cities, or sustainable buildings, can improve the quality of life. We want to find ways of designing buildings and cities as ecosystems that are both ecologically and economically profitable and where people need not alter their lifestyle to placate their conscience. People should be able to live exactly the way they want, or even better, while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. Essentially it is to approach the question of sustainability not as a moral dilemma but as a design challenge.
We designed the Danish Pavilion of the Shanghai World Expo. The principal idea was to illustrate that a sustainable city can increase the quality of urban life. We used the example of Copenhagen where we prioritize the use of bicycles. 37% of all Copenhageners commute by bike and we have virtually no traffic jams. 33 The joy of riding your bike replaces being stuck in a traffic jam or looking endlessly for parking. In Copenhagen our harbour is clean enough for people to swim. So the Copenhagen Harbour Bath, one of our first realized projects, extends public life into the water in the middle of the city. These are ideas which enhance the physical quality of urban life for those who use the facility and for those that donâ€™t. The entire community benefits. In our current project, the Waste-To-Energy Power plant, the building serves as a ski slope for the citizens of Copenhagen. The building is
economically profitable because it turns waste into heat and energy. It is environmentally profitable because it reduces the amount of waste destined for the landfill. In Denmark only 4% of waste ends up in landfills: most is either burned for energy or recycled. The building is also socially profitable because it actually encourages social activity and sportâ€“ skiing - which would otherwise be impossible. Copenhagen has the climate for snow skiing but not the topography. With this building Copenhagen will have its first ski mountain. Currently people commute eight hours to southern Sweden where the slope is only a third higher than on this building. We are designing a black slope, a blue slope, and a green slope all of which loop around. There is even a mogul slope! The lower slope is for beginners and children. All end up at the elevator adjacent to the incinerator chimney.
The brief called for a visitorâ€™s center to show school children where and how the waste turns into power. We were concerned that the children would only visit the facility oncewhen their teacher asked them to. What if the facility actually became a destination? What if this was a place you discover by accident? Why did we put this ski slope here? Ah, itâ€™s because it is on top of a waste-to-energy power plant. It becomes the ultimate symbol of sustainability. We were asked to design a building around the machinery, and to make it look beautiful. The beautification of a factory.. The client also asked the architects to illuminate the factory so it looks beautiful at night. If you
take a cynical approach, adding lights is just a waste of energy. So we thought to add a social program. How do you take the ultimate symbol of work, production, and pollution and turn it into something playful and educational? 35
The factory chimney we soon learned, is a thirty meter diameter cylinder that fills up with steam– 200 kilos of steam to be exact. So we designed a piston which blows giant steam rings. The idea is a symbol of hedonistic sustainability: a factory which blows giant steam rings. But the idea is that steam is also difficult to measure. We know that one of the main drivers of behavioral change is knowledge. We can “know” what we can measure. Until now we do not really understand what is coming out of the chimney. When the Waste-to-Energy plant opens to the public by 2017, I can tell my children that every five steam rings that come out of the chimney is one tone of CO2. It is like a game. How to take the ultimate symbol of work, production and pollution, turn it into something playful that helps you measure and understand, and through play lead to behavioral change towards sustainability.
1. Botanic Garden, Bordeaux (Courtesy of Jourda Architects Paris) 2. Rehabilitation of Halle Pajol, Paris (Photographer Axel Tilche Dahl) 3. Formation Center, Herne Sodingen (Courtesy of Jourda Architects Paris) 4. Collective Housing, Vitry sur Seine (Photographer Axel Tilche Dahl) 5, 6, 7. Rehabilitation of Halle Pajol, Paris (Photographer 11h45)
Françoise-Hélène Jourda (1955-2015) (France) Award-winning architect Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. The article was written in August 2013.
Françoise-Hélène Jourda (1955-2015)
About Sustainability Françoise-Hélène Jourda
he world is undergoing lasting change. We are all confronted with this reality and we recognize that our current way of life must be reformed and our consumption contained. Bridging the gap between developing and industrialized countries is critical. As fortunate denizens of a democratic and wealthy Europe, we have participated in the exploitation of the world’s available resources (and are still doing so) and therefore are responsible in part for Climate Change resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases. The building sector consumes roughly 40% of available materials, water resources and fossil energy. As architects we carry a particular responsibility because of our influence in the building sector. We propose, design and
build our cities, thereby directly influencing the quality of life for millions of people. The challenge is to discover alternate methods of building spaces, of designing them and working together with our clients, consultants and future users. We need to start our own revolution! We need to accept that we work in the service of others. We need to acknowledge that we are not the only participants qualified to think about the city and the built environment. We need to be more humble. We need to be more respectful of our environment. I am not sure we are prepared for this challenge. I was brought up in the 1950’s
and 1960â€™s when technical progress was perceived to ensure a better life for everyone on the planet. We thought there was no limit to the resources available and there was little consideration for their renewal. 40
Today we know better. We have to invent a different Architecture, work closer with technicians and engineers, listen to the users, respond to their needs and give priority to comfort and health.
Our responsibility is even greater considering that our current European lifestyle cannot be seen as an example to developing countries. We need to renounce our â€˜universalistâ€™ aspirations which we hoped would offer lasting answers to all human needs. Every building has to be different in response to the
site, the topography, the climate and the local resources. Our work should minimize the use of non-renewable resources, learn from traditional architectures and aspire to frugal solutions. Writing these thoughts is indeed easy: putting them to practice is far more difficult. We have clients; there are lobbies and our laws and regulations sometimes make this approach difficult, even dangerous. In my practice I try every day to push the limits. We constantly ask ourselves if we are making responsible Architecture, discovering new shapes, experimenting with new technologies, looking at new ways of using old materials or exploring new materials. We seek to work with builders and firms who
are trying to transform their businesses and 41 relationship with their clients or employees. This is sustainability: the revolution in our minds and in our tools. It will take time but there is no other way. There will be failures along the way. We will stumble and pick ourselves up, because we have to. If not, we shall not meet the requirements of the next generations. Addressing these challenges makes me a happy architect!
1. A small-scale agricultural center (Courtesy of Terreform) 2. An automated vertical produce farm (Courtesy of Terreform) 3. A vertical poultry farm (Courtesy of Terreform) 4. A small urban greenhouse (Courtesy of Terreform) 5. A re-purposed street, including agricultural production (Courtesy of Terreform) 6. Section through a self-sufficient block in Sunnyside, Queens (Courtesy of Terreform) 7. A vertical farm in Manhattan with produce growing capacity for 30,000 people (Courtesy of Terreform) 8. Block interior in Sunnyside, Queens (Courtesy of Terreform)
Michael Sorkin (USA) Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York. President of Terreform and principal of Michael Sorkin Studio.
Michael Sorkin 43
Love Thy Neighbor(hood) Michael Sorkin
eighborliness is the hallmark of the decent city. While this quality, which compounds generosity, caring, tolerance, and quotidian exchange, is not uniquely urban, it is founded in the idea of proximity. The idea of a “nearest neighbor” may be flexible, it is, nevertheless, a product of geography: one might travel to the next farm to find a tow for the tractor, but a cup of sugar or glass of scotch is more likely borrowed across the hall. For an urbanist, geography is destiny. There is a conversation in philosophical circles – descending through Jesus, Freud, Levinas, Zizek, and others – about the nature of the neighbor. The biblical imperative to “love your neighbor as yourself” is contradicted by Freud who understands the relationship to the neighbor – especially the stranger – as marked by a fundamental and mutual hostility. For Levinas, though, the biblical injunction is not simply immanent in ourselves, it potentiates our very being. This discussion always involves the intercourse of physics and metaphysics and, in considering neighborliness, neither can be excluded. Let us, therefore, stipulate that propinquity and neighborliness are overlapping but nonidentical categories. But let me also state a preference for the idea that physical settings have the capacity to support and advance styles of life and habits of conscience and that the neighborhood – although it can be inward-turning, riven, sectarian, or hostile – has a singular ability to nurture not simply affiliation but amity.
The neighborhood is, of course, the physical construct that most clearly embodies the idea of neighborliness at the scale of the group. It’s a territory defined by a density of social networks and by a primacy offered to the possibilities of encounters face to face. The predicates for such places are a 45 compound of dimension, community, safety, accessibility, convenience and an array of compacts of both conviviality and collective self-regulation. However elastic their boundaries may be, there is an inevitable basis in limits, which describe the terms both of affinity and strangeness. Neighborhoods also have a temporal component, which help to define their modes of succession and fix their identities. There is, for example, a difference between the character of the historic succession of immigrant communities through the Lower East Side of New York and the rapid turnover of young singles in the cookie-cutter studio apartments of the Upper East. Some of this is the product of culture and some the result of the physical circumstances of adjacency and of the character of the interstitial space of the street and of other places of mixing and encounter. Modernist planning, in its utilitarian undertaking, recognized the central role of neighborhoods in the formation of cities but attempted to reduce them to a fundamentally mathematical construct. Thus, “neighborhood units” became a functionalist attempt to assess how many school seats, how many football fields, how many square feet of commercial space, and how many apartments comprised the ideal increment of
urban addition. The fantasy that morphology produces community is also characteristic of the New Urbanists but with a different inflection. For them, the artistic displaces the arithmetic as the guarantor of community. In their mimetic project, the architectural forms associated with putatively successful historic neighborhoods are transferred to new territories as an act of faith. But, witness the girl recently shot dead in Detroit as she knocked on a stranger’s front door after her car broke down, a front porch is an insufficient apparatus for assuring urban decency. For some time, Terreform, the non-profit I direct, has been working on a project to examine the level of self-sufficiency that might be achieved by New York City. Our study – New York City (Steady) State - looks at the impact of a more economic and ecological expansion of the defining idea of neighborhood, accepting the idea of a threshold of completeness but dramatically enlarging its remit. While this fairly wooly undertaking - and the idea of autarky - are
not uncontroversial, our work is meant to look at the way in which the city functions in a decent and neighborly way in its relation to the planet. It examines the nature of the exchange by which we “borrow” oxygen, water, food, energy, labor, and other forms of wealth from our global neighbors, both human and “natural.” We treat New York as, inter alia, one neighborhood in a global city and – assessing an income gap as extreme as between Park Avenue and Mott Haven as parallel to that between France and Sierra Leone – try to imagine a native distributive system that will contribute to the projects of both equality and responsibility. But, if New York can be seen as a neighborhood on an urbanized planet, it is also a city made up of a mosaic of neighborhoods and the vitality of each should be understood as critical to the variety of all. Our re-imagination of the city has, as its fundamental predicate, the idea that the infrastructure of self-sufficiency should be as legible as possible. We’ve therefore been interesting in an idea of a semi-autonomous
or “harmonized” neighborhood, a place in which all of the necessities of daily life are located within walking distance of home. This, of course, has quite a few implications for urban design. To begin, it suggests that the mix of uses in the city will be reproduced in microcosm in individual neighborhoods, that each will include numbers of jobs, school seats, recreational activities, and retail and cultural opportunities that bear a direct relation to the number of people who live nearby – we do not eschew the quantitative and admit our debt to past formulations of neighborhood and production units. It also suggests that that the demographics of neighborhoods reflect the array of opportunities that each offers. Thus, one would expect that they would provide the opportunity for affordable housing for teachers, baristas, shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, musicians, janitors, craftspeople, farmers, policemen, and all the others necessary to make the neighborhood go. Of course, the idea is not to make noncommunicating enclaves – gated communities - and, for this reason, we prefer the idea of harmonization to more coercively communal strategies. The decent city must preserve the idea of freedom of choice and one of 4
the foundations of choice and development in such a city is the continuous production of accidents of encounters with both neighbors and strangers. Ideas about movement and its freedoms are obviously fundamental to this. The notion is to ratchet up distributive equity via the allocation of residential, 47 employment, and opportunity across a wider ambit while simultaneously assuring the protection, flexibility, creation and intercourse of communities. The search for greater levels of urban autonomy – and responsibility – will continuously beg the question of various bounding membranes. These must always be transparent to ideas and to the movement of bodies. Beyond this, though, one might expect a variety of gradients defined by affinity, culture, and various forms of self-interest. More, one does not look, as modernist planning so tenaciously did, at the creation of an arrangement of fundamentally identical cells a la Brasilia, the neighborhood unit, or the suburban subdivision: the task is to find the balance of equity, autonomy and difference. Which begs the question of the sources of neighborhood variety. Our proposal is not hostile to the idea of comparative advantage but assumes that this will grow from different 5
skills, cultures, and choices, not from uneven development, access to raw materials, or the plan of the colonizer or central committee. Indeed, the struggle of the globalized city, threatened simultaneously by the relentless homogenization of everything, is precisely to find the basis for its own originality. I am arguing that the power of increasingly localized means of autonomy can be the primary hedge in this struggle and that this will embrace culture, bio-region and art, as well as the economic implications of selfreliance. New York is particularly interesting as an example because of the enormous diversity of its population, and we glory in streets intensely inflected by Bangladeshi culture in Jackson Heights, Arab culture in downtown Brooklyn or Chinese culture in Flushing. While none of us wishes to sacrifice the vibrancy of this arrangement, we still tread a fine line between the ghetto and Disneyland. Self-determination is the key to resisting both. The fantasy informing our project is that neighborhood specialization can enjoy strong cultural inflection, produced by certain forms of elective yet non-exclusionary affinity. If the array of economic opportunities remains broad and the availability of housing reflects a progressive attitude towards equity, the
grounds for choice will be far less coerced and a protected price structure will forestall gentrification and other subversions of security of tenure. There must be limits on the creative destruction of people’s lives in the name of the so-called freedom of the market. Is it controversial to say that the right to stability is now a progressive default? As I write this, a new mayor has just taken office in New York, elected overwhelmingly on the promise to make an equitable reduction of our obscene income gap his top priority and we address this project to just such hopes. In our scheme, the devolution of responsibility and autonomy down the scale of urban spatial increments – from the city to the district to the neighborhood to the block to the building to the dwelling – is not simply a strategy for democratizing the city but for radically altering its environmental performance. It’s always logical to begin to think about sustainability on the demand side of the equation and this means not simply that individual behavior is central but that the opportunity costs for such behavior must be reduced with the least possible sacrifice. To cite one example, urban transportation demand is in great measure a product of the daily cycle of commuting. But, if a neighborhood offers both residences and
workplaces, the need for large movement systems can be dramatically reduced, if only by smoothing out the cycle of demand. The same is true for a variety of other functions and, of course, constellations of adjacent neighborhoods – accessible on foot, bike, or other environmentally benign means – can be planned to house functions that require a larger population to support. The same strategy can be applied to a variety of other respiratory functions, but the outcomes are often complex and less straightforward. For example, we have spent several years examining the prospects of food self-sufficiency in New York. Although we have proved the marginal possibility of providing 8.5 million people with 2,500 nutritious calories per day from production entirely within the city’s political boundaries, the costs are high. It isn’t simply that the production of certain categories of food are either very difficult – coffee to take one utter necessity – or disproportionately expensive. It makes very little economic sense to compete against the grain production of the great plains in that the mode of production, which would necessarily involve widespread use of vertical farms, presents considerable difficulties of organization. Such large-scale production begs the question of large-scale control and the difficulty in keeping the wolves of agri-business from the door of such farms
would be great. More, these farms are hugely 49 inefficient from the standpoint of energy. We have estimated that for a 100% food solution, heating, lighting, and the energy embodied in construction would require the equivalent of something like 25 nuclear power plants. Not in my backyard! But now the exercise gets interesting. If the premise is to maximize both local control and local respiratory autonomy, a much more subtle and flexible attitude is demanded. And the pursuit of a set of “sweet spots” of neighborhood communal enterprise is where the conjunction of morphology and metaphysics might be said to truly occur. This is not the occasion to go into the variety of technological, organizational, morphological, and social strategies we have investigated, although some are illustrated and we have published many more. It is clear, however, that from the perspective of the formation, defense, expansion, overlap, and intercourse of urban groups, the introduction of higher levels of neighborhood autonomy and a collaboration with the largest group of all – the citizenry of earth – can be a major influence on the pervasiveness of the institutions of decency in the city. This is a task for both metaphysics and physics, for democracy, for culture, for survival…..and for urban design.
1. The Vertical Village (Courtesy of MVRDV) 2. 3. Shopping Center in Barcelona (Courtesy of MVRDV) 4. 5. Almere Oosterwold, The Netherlands (Courtesy of MVRDV) 6. Floriade, Almere (The Netherlands) (Courtesy of MVRDV) 7. The Vertical Village (Courtesy of MVRDV)
Marta Pozo Gil (Holland) Architect and licensed BREEAM assessor. Project Leader and leading Sustainability at MVRDV.
Marta Pozo 51
A Contradictory Guest Marta Pozo
he United Nations holds megascaled international conference on sustainable development, Vogue promotes eco-friendly fashion by Eco Chic Parties. President Obama allows the White House roof to be retrofitted with solar panels. Google is creating a green web that is better for the environment. Traditional light bulbs are banned in favor of energy efficient alternatives. Ecotourism is becoming a profitable business…. Yet despite all the attention and consensus, sustainability is still the contradictory guest of our cities. It is a concept as popular as it is manipulated. I. An uneasy relationship Sustainability was an avant-garde idea when it emerged in the 1960s; then it became a style, a concept, a trend, a religion, a regulation and nowadays, in many countries it is a standard of different fields and categories. Embarrassingly enough, in the field of architecture and urban planning, sustainable solutions have often eschewed attractiveness . Buckminster Fuller once wrote “when I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have
finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.“ Focused on breaking the addiction to kilowatts and emissions, sustainable approaches have often ignored the qualitative benefits of beauty and pleasure, forgetting that urbanities 53 love allure and delight. A neighborhood which is loved by its residents improves the quality of life in the city for all. Furthermore, people take care of the places they love. As the Senegalese environmentalist Baba Diorum said “In the end we will conserve only what we love”. Long term value is impossible without a sense of beauty and delight to boot. People do not waste what they enjoy. If places inspire citizens, it is likely that they will continue to use and preserve them. MVRDV’s proposal for a new shopping center in Barcelona, Spain is an example of how nature can stimulate our daily urban activities, and bring new experiences to our daily routine. The forest on the roof of the center has a positive impact on its immediate surroundings, a welcoming and iconic element that brings new identity to
the neighborhood and enriches the daily life of the neighbors by both offering an intense experience of nature and by improving the air quality. The shopping center becomes a real public green space where children run after squirrels and rabbits while their parents do the grocery shopping. The building is an example of how shopping malls can become less generic, less hermetically sealed environments, and give back more to the local communities. Furthermore the green roof provides excellent insulation and allows the building to function as much as possible without air-conditioning due to the cooling effect of the forest above. The building embodies an integrated or holistic idea of sustainability which goes beyond technical solutions. II. Do-it-together Urbanism Over the last few decades, the reaction of architects and urban planners to sustainability has all too often been confusing and selfcontradictory: either extremely complex or extremely naive. As professionals we have faced our responsibility towards the planet with high-tech solutions or by merely dressing facades in green. Designs allege sustainability through the inclusion of urban farming, or complex diagrams that the users will neither understand nor implement. The result has been the construction of buildings that people do not feel comfortable using and do not understand. Is there a way to design buildings which are efficient, beautiful, and loved by their users? Is there a way to successfully communicate issues of sustainability in buildings and urban environments to the public in a way which is
playful and enjoyable? Architects want to create individuality, identity and singularity for the good of the citizens; however the design process is still exclusive to architects, engineers and developers. The development of a more open creative process could have a great impact on conservation, sustainability and comfort. The question of creating high quality sustainable environments through master planning and urban design is one which has fascinated MVRDV since the publication of early manifestos such as KM3 and Farmax. MVRDVâ€™s Project Freeland is a development strategy for Almere Oosterwold, in the Netherlands which offers maximum freedom for individual and collective initiatives. Freeland started from a governmental decision to promote initiatives so that residents can create their own neighborhoods. These need to include green commons, energy supply, water and waste management, urban agriculture and infrastructure. Freeland is an unexpected urbanism full of surprises with a rich collection of houses and alternate initiatives. This is a city not dominated by
“structure - a city that we develop collectively. Here facilities are developed by individuals, collectives and public organizations. Freeland is imagined as an alternative mode of development to the typical, mono-functional suburb. It is a bottom-up, open source city; a kind of do-it-yourself, or actually do-ittogether urbanism which will create a new kind of sustainable city. Freeland allows the community to grow organically over a long period of time. To contribute to the city’s sustainability goals, 50% of the area will be used for agriculture, producing food products for the city and maintaining the current agricultural character of the landscape. This development strategy, based on individual initiatives, will transform the large-scale polders into a more differentiated landscape, integrating green and urban programs, and creating a truly mixed use living and working environment. The development will be guided by a set of principles for each participant, based on one main idea: you are able to do everything you want, but you have to arrange everything yourselves, while not harming those around you. The initiators will develop all elements of their plot according to a predefined programmatic division, which includes a piece of public road, green space, water buffer and space for urban agriculture. A continuous accessible ‘path’ around each plot and a setback from the roads for all building programs will guarantee a permeable and continuously accessible green landscape. III. Addictive Fun Despite all the positive effects of sustainable
design on creating high quality buildings and environments, it is still considered by developers and architects as a burden. Many professionals think of sustainability as a necessary sacrifice to save the planet or as a politically correct position to get commissions. It is only through a new relationship between 55 urban planning and the natural world that sustainability can mean added excitement and stimulating activities in the city. The Wild and the Urban can be good bedfellows, if city planners focus on coexistence between urban development, people and nature. The city can become a melting pot of multi-culturalism and multi-naturalism to the benefit of all. Weaving nature into urban environments creates places that are not just ornamental or
isolated parks. It creates exciting, interesting and stimulating places. Once you have been there, you want to return. Floriade, another project developed by MVRDV for the city of Almere in the Netherlands takes as its premise the simple pleasure of plants and trees integrated into our everyday lives and the city around us. This simple idea will translate into an urban landscape that directly integrates the qualities of different species into the built environment. It will create a rich variety of architectural and urban experiences which embrace, rather than eschew, the natural world. Can such a symbiosis between city and landscape be an alternative to the rapidly depleting resources which result from rapidly and massive urbanization? Enriching our everyday lives with plants, while creating a world-class, energy- and food-generating city center, will be the challenge of the project as it develops over the next 10 years. Almere Floriade will be a grid of gardens on a 45 hectare square shaped peninsula. Each block will be devoted to different plants. The blocks are each focused of different programs, from pavilions to homes, offices and even a university which will be organized as a stacked botanical garden, a vertical ecosystem in which each class room will have a different climate to grow certain plants. Visitors will be able to stay in a jasmine hotel, swim in a lily pond and dine in a rose garden. The legacy of the project will be its conversion into an extension of the existing city centre.
It will offer homes in orchards, offices with planted interiors and bamboo parks. The Expo and new city center will be a place that produces food and energy, a green, urban district demonstrating how plants, indeed nature itself, enriches every aspect of our daily lives. IV. Individual, Informal, Intense2 Sustainability is a contradictory concept; it requires long term thinking in a world of constantly changing conditions. We build today without knowing what the needs and goals of our society will be tomorrow. Architects and urban planners are required to interpret our era as well as the future. In this regard, flexibility has become the key to sustainability. Over the past decades debates on city planning have become more and more concerned with sustainable urban development, encouraging more research, but very little in the way of change or action. We should address the subject with renewed vigor. Is there an existing model for a new kind of city? Does a highly structured neighborhood offer the sustainable growth to which experts and citizens aspire? Is Masdar City in Abu Dhabi the example to follow? Is the renovation of historic European cities such as Copenhagen or Oslo more relevant? Are there alternatives to these two scenarios? Certain ideas have been broadly accepted: a compact footprint, high density living, mixed used programming, affordability, diversity,
human scale, low energy consumption, vibrant public spaces, and community life. It is important that the future of the city should lie not in the opaque, top-down model of city planners or in the self-promotional dreams of developers, but at the intimate scale of the needs and desires of its inhabitants. MVRDV and The Why Factory envision a new model for the development of cities. The Vertical Village is a three dimensional community intended to bring back personal autonomy, diversity, flexibility and neighbourhood life to the cities. Driven by demographic and economic forces, Asian cities are rapidly changing. In a relentless â€œBlock Attackâ€?, massive towers, slabs and blocks with repetitive housing units, floor plans and facades are invading â€“ scraping away the urban villages that have evolved over hundreds of years. These alien buildings provide a western standard of living, while destroying indigenous communities and richly evolved social networks. Their rapid development obstructs urban innovation and discourages diversity, flexibility and individually tailored ideas and design solutions. Is there a better way to develop these areas? Could we densify them without sacrificing the informality of the urban village? Could we apply the principles of informality to generate new neighbourhoods? What if we could develop urban villages vertically, as an alternative to the monotonous sea of blocks? To develop the Vertical Village, a truly selforganized and self-motivated model of city building is required. The model combines
individuality, diversity and collective organisation with the need for urban density.1 Paradoxically, sustainability is becoming a part of mass, consumer culture at the precise time that international institutions and politicians are facing the difficulty of maintaining a collective agenda. This represents a success for the sustainability movement on the one hand, but also the lack of a long term collective commitment and political will. Are these contradictions too profound or can we address the contradictions and will our design skills rise to the challenge? It is critical that sustainability is no longer a guest in the design discourses, but an integral player in the mix of interests. Will the architecture and urban planning of the future be a merging of buildings and nature, of towers and small houses, of glamour and folk art, of intellectual debate and spontaneous gestures, of planned cities and favelas, of creativity and conservation, of dreams and reality? ------------------The Vertical Village, introduction. Is there a better way? Winy Maas 2 The Vertical Village, Individual, MVRDV with The Why Factory 1
B. FROM URBAN TO ARCHITECTURE
1. Pineapple cake shop, Aoyama (Photographer Edward Caruso) 2. Pineapple cake shop, Aoyama (Photographer Daici Ano) 3. City Hall, Nagaoka (Photographer Erieta Attali) 4. Yusuhara Marche (Photographer Takumi Ota Photography) 5. Yusuhara Marche (Photographer Takumi Ota Photography) 6. Commune by the Great Wall Hotel, Beijing (Photographer Satoshi Asakawa) 7. Pineapple cake shop, Aoyama (Photographer Daici Ano) 8. City Hall, Nagaoka (Photographer Erieta Attali)
Kengo Kuma (Japan) Architect graduate of the University of Tokyo and Columbia University.
Kengo Kuma 59
Eco-city Kengo Kuma
any people associate eco-city with a kind of urban design. The concept of eco-city is not to seek simple architectural beauty, but to conceive the city as a whole on a different scale. Thinking about the eco-city on a small scale is all important. I think that the biggest problem of the 20th century city is the scale of Architecture. In the 20th century, it was considered important to construct large buildings. In the industrial society, the size of Architecture determined its value: the largeness enriched the value of a structure. Therefore, towering buildings attracted attention, and designers and developers alike competed on the size of their structures.
poles around. If the materials fell they would not be crushed to death. These materials do not threaten the human body. That is why it is possible to start the conversation between the human body and Architecture. On the other hand, there are a few constraint 61 in the use of concrete. The material bonds rapidly and becomes an elusive monolithic object. There is no way to establish a conversation between the frail human body and powerful concrete. I prefer not using concrete even if it can be proven to be an eco-friendly material, since a conversation cannot be established between the human body and concrete. Itâ€™s impossible to build an
These huge buildings were too large. They could not relate to the scale of the human body. Architecture is where people can have an intimate and slow conversation with the world. Therefore, people built houses and churches. However, intimate conversation was lost in the 20th century. To retrieve the conversation, all we have to do is to decrease the size of Architecture. If itâ€™s possible, we should make building blocks smaller. Then the conversation will be started again between the human body and small building blocks. In traditional wooden buildings, the conversation was established between the human body and Architecture because building blocks of wooden building are small. The building blocks were inevitably small because there were a lot of constraints. Architecture should be constructed with 3 x 10 cm poles. People could carry these wooden
eco-city with such materials. I also do not want to use large blocks of any materials, even wood. I donâ€™t use laminated wood with large cross-sections. When I use wood, I want to construct a building using short pieces with as delicate a cross-sectional surface as possible. It is important to me that building blocks are small so that everyone can take part in the construction. This means that the making of Architecture is open to society.
I think that Architecture needs to be accessible to everyone, so that the expansion/reduction of a building can be done by the users themselves. I believe there is huge demand for this future Architecture. Eco-city is an open city where people are empowered. Architecture should also be open in the sense that everyone can contribute and participate in the design process. Buildings are not open to the society by being physically transparent.
We have to consider the meaning of being open not only in space but also in time. To participate in the process means to be open temporally â€“ until design decisions are made.
Young architects need to design the process not only the beauty of the object. A city consisting of temporally opened architectures is the real eco-city.
1. Construction of the new staircase leading from the street to the Valle Aurelia park (image ECOWEEK W9/W10) 2, 3. General views of the Valle Aurelia park (image ECOWEEK W9/W10) 4. Building the signage leading to the Valle Aurelia park (image ECOWEEK W9/W10)
Annalisa Metta (Italy) Landscape Architect at OSA Architetture e Paesaggio set up in 2007 in Rome.
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Public Space Design: Three Couples and a Trio Annalisa Metta
he seventh ECOWEEK workshop was held in Rome in September, 2012. Our workshop - Valle Aurelia in Progress - VAP1, was a production of temporary urban transformation entirely self-financed and self-built. In five days twelve students from five different countries2, worked together, building an installation on the site at the Valle Aurelia Borghetto.
This was the starting point of VAP: working on voids, transforming the absence produced by demolition. We saw this as an opportunity for healing and creating a new space of urban memory. The vacant lots were seen as an opportunity for socializing and sharing common interests, for playing and meeting, 67 through temporary, reversible and low-cost interventions.
Until the 1950â€™s, the Borghetto was a little village of workers employed in bricks production. They lived in great hardship with appalling housing which was often built without permits. The extreme poverty and poor construction was exacerbated by the recurrent flooding of the valley. The neighbourhood developed a distinct cultural and social identity.
The design and self-building process used by VAP is part of several similar experiments that propose examples for â€˜Lighter, Quicker, Cheaperâ€™ (LQC) urban spaces. Eric Reynolds3 suggested that the terms of comparison ought to be a set of procedures and outcomes of traditional urban design: heavy, slow and expensive. This scenario has been widely investigated in recent years4. It is perhaps appropriate, especially in Italy, to dwell on the relationship between this practice and the usual design process, in an attempt to put aside oppositions and propose different ways to conceive and practice urban design5.
In 1976, the City Administration launched a renewal plan for Rome suburbs and plans for economic investment and social housing were drawn up and realized. Despite the hard and tenacious opposition of the community, in the summer of 1981, the Borghetto was demolished, with the forced relocation of the residents to the new public housing. Thirty years after their forced evacuation, a few old buildings stand on the vacant lots in place of the demolished houses. Neither the demolition nor the rehabilitation have been carried out. The original inhabitants keep the memory of the violent destruction alive and nurture the ghost of the past vitality of their community. The symbol of the public amnesia and abuse is in the abandoned and empty lots.
Intensity/Permanence Works such as VAP create temporary landscapes, not built to be durable, but to be intense with a high degree of emotional and physical engagement among inhabitants and visitors. The aim is to work on the meaning and intensity of experience rather than on the permanence of construction. Their outcome, while being visible only for a short time, may trigger new interactions among people and places. For this reason, the design cannot focus on the production of an artefact, but the construction of spatial, cultural and
experiential participation. VAP and similar projects can be useful as experimental laboratories for testing the city, dealing both with physical an immaterial components, checking possibilities for marginal landscapes, collecting and spreading ideas of residents, planners, and managers. They can work as prototypes, realizing what Michel Desvigne calls “désir de realite et d’architecture”6, to be applied not only to the spatial modulation of the intervention but also to its timing. This is not an academic exercise, but a necessity caused by the real outcomes of the financial, economic and production crisis of the last five years. The inadequacy of long term planning is clear: we have to change, become flexible and responsive, and structurally available to accommodate often unpredictable urban dynamics. Project timing from the master plan to the built work, usually measured in multiples of years, (in Italy it could be decades), suffers from a constant lag with respect to urban phenomena. By the time plans are approved they are irrelevant. Works such as VAP are possible in real time.
If measured against the usual time scale of urban transformations, these projects happen immediately. Risk/Certainty The freedom allowed in temporary projects to define new categories of spaces, invent new uses, propose new aesthetics, is certainly greater than in projects intended to be permanent. Clearly greater care and consideration is required of permanent projects to avoid mistakes, which will persist for generations. In other words, temporary projects, because they are reversible, can afford to fail and stumble. Testing the extraordinary creative potential of typological, spatial, behavioural, expressive and technological innovation is possible in these projects. Temporary projects can break rules, test the limits, can suggest new ideas and provoke intense reactions. They can propose new kinds of spaces as yet without names and suggest uses by integrating and adapting them. The lesson learned should be adopted by lasting interventions. However, this requires a reconciliation of the dichotomy between
risk and certainty. Permanent projects tend to be founded on prediction. They will last, so they need precise configuration not just of aesthetic design, but also of how they will work, the activities which will be allowed and an anticipation of the accidents that could happen. This approach implies a denial of the unexpected and incidental and the opportunity connected with risk. It builds on the dangerous and not the inventive side of unknown situations. All has to be well known in advance. Actions such as VAP, on the contrary, show the benefit of design as a form of negotiation: negotiation between places, natural elements and people, instead of design as imposition. They ask to think about how to respond to, support and follow people and places instead of how to control them. They ask how to welcome and not reject unpredictable events, because life itself is dynamic, and changeable. Landscape could be a good paradigm from which to learn. As Gilles Clément writes: “Ethnologists, botanists ... even sociologists … work with the flowing data of the living world. They are never allowed to describe a situation as stable or permanent. If we take into account
... the philosophy deriving from this, we would imagine planning in a quite different manner. Instead of stiffening the framework of the garden or public spaces, we would imagine those flexible and deep, capable of absorbing the transformation of the living world”7. Public/Common Most of public spaces we learnt to deal with in our cities are a creation of modern urban culture. We have to go back to the 18th century, when major cities in Europe provided citizens with spaces for open air social life. Not only public gardens and public parks, but also alleè, boulevards and cours, added to the historical streets and squares8 were built. It’s not a coincidence that it was the same period of our history when fights for a welfare government, social equity and justice started to achieve impressive results. In our urban tradition, public spaces have been a great achievement of societies confident of their cultural, political, ethical values. The public spaces have always been a symbol of the maturity and health of our civil society. But in recent years we are witnessing a dramatic and, in my opinion, alarming change. The
â€œpublicâ€? has become the taboo of our days, not only with regard to urban open space. In a moment of worldwide crisis of representative democracy, the idea of public has been replaced by the idea of common. These two words refer to two different definitions of what is collective: public is what belong to everybody, with no restriction, of any forms, neither that of nationality; common is what belong to a group, more or less large, composed of people who share something that distinguish them from others who are left out. Communities are a value, they are the glue of our shared life and of course lots of the best built projects for urban open spaces in last decades were realized thanks to the efforts, works, desires and skills of groups working as communities. But I deeply believe we, as designers, have to fight in defence of public space and try to make places fit to express the identity of specific communities and welcome difference and creative conflicts, where different people and ideas can meet and match: real public space. Authoritative/Authoritarian/Authorial When referred to the social dynamics, top down or bottom up are usually used as two opposite adverbs showing the direction of democracy. In recent years, there has been a tendency to support initiatives, ideas, actions directly conceived and realized by communities as the most authentic form of democracy, in opposition of what derives from decision taken by central governments. By extension, the idea of professionalism in the design of public space has been confused
with the idea of power and authority applied to city and citizens. I think we are dealing with a great misunderstanding. To overcome the paradigm - lazy or cynical â€“ of citizens as customers of a final product; to promote practices of genuine involvement of people, trying to become familiar with the projects in their communities can never mean, not for designers or administrators, that they abdicate their professional duty of planning by, delegating choices and action to the inhabitants. To associate democracy with a lack of design is ruinous and to interpret interventions as VAP as a waiver of planning responsibility is misleading. On the contrary, the professionals reclaim the importance and necessity of design in term of a non-deterministic, joyful, inclusive, not rhetorical consultation. Designers - urban planners as well architects and landscape architects - have a critical social function. They are called to build a better habitat, for and with all other citizens, but with proper tools and skills. Well refined, responsible, socially engaged design is our antidote to the current crisis. This is our commission and we cannot disregard it. Professionalism in design is critical to our democracy. We must definitively overcome any confusion among three terms, when referred to design: authoritative/authoritarian/authorial. A project for public space should always be authoritative, in the meaning of leadership,
cultured, aware, creative and deep-rooted. It should never be authoritarian, in the meaning of despotic, intransigent, rigid, hierarchical and oppressive. It should be authorial, in the meaning of consciously expected and deliberate. The author can be a group of people as well a single person, but if we all trust in elective democracy and we all work to share our idea of a democratic city, urban life, sustainability, beauty, justice and wealth, we will proudly say that, finally, community will always be the author of every authentic public space. -----------
1 VAP was held by LUS-Living Urban Scape of Roma Tre University, the design office OSA architettura e paesaggio and the architecture collective Orizzontale. Living Urban Scape is a research program for young researchers funded by Italian Ministry of School, University and Research. The workshop Valle Aurelia in Progress (VAP) was conceived and led for LUS by Annalisa Metta and Maria Livia Olivetti. VAP was realized with a € 1.000,00 budget, bestowed by LUS. Osa architettura e paesaggio is Massimo Acito, Marco Burrascano, Luca Catalano, Annalisa Metta, Luca Reale e Caterina Rogai. Co-authors with Osa for this project: Mario Leonori, Lorenzo Senni, Marta Spadaro. Orizzontale is composed by: Jacopo Ammendola, Juan Lopez Cano, Giuseppe Grant, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Roberto Pantaleoni, Stefano Ragazzo. 2 Students who took part to VAP: Edward Joseph Allgood, Malgorzata Anna Golabek, Selen Gor, Irem Halis, Giulia Marino, Seda Sevilay Onat, Beril Poroy, Kenneth Roposh, Ayse Savas, Alessandra Schmid, Gamze Unlu, Melanie Whedon. 3 Founding Director of Urban Space Management (USM). http://www.urbanspace.com/ 4 Among others, just to mention: Karen Franck and Quentin Stevens, editors, Loose Space. Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life, Routledge, London
2007; Margaret Crawford, John Chase, Kaliski John, Everyday Urbanism, Monacelli Press, 2008; Territorio, Issue 56/2011, Franco Angeli, Milano; Martí Peran, Post-it city: ciudades ocasionales, Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior (SEACEX) y el Centro de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) – Turner, 2009; Peter Bishop and Lesley Williams, The Temporary City, Routledge, New York, 2012. 5 Some of these reflections recall what already express in previous articles. See: A. Metta and M. L. Olivetti, “Design as adaptive and provisional practice”, in S. Staniscia (editor), R.E.D.S. Rome Ecological Design Symposium, Trento: LISt Lab Laboratorio Internazionale Editoriale, 2013 (MONOGRAPH.IT); A. Metta, “In tempo reale. Know how-Do how”, in A. Lambertini, A. Metta, M. L. Olivetti (editors), Progettare paesaggi quotidiani, Roma: Gangemi Editore, 2014. 6 Ariella Masboungi, edited by, Le paysage en préalable: Michel Desvigne, grand prix de l’urbanisme 2011, Joan Busquets, Prix spécial 2011, Éditions Parenthèses et Direction générale de l’Aménagement, du Logement et de la Nature (DGALN), Paris 2011. 7 Gilles Clément, Le jardin planétaire: Reconcilier l’homme et la nature, Editions Albin Michel, Paris 1999. 8 Franco Panzini, Per i piaceri del popolo. L’evoluzione del giardino pubblico in Europa dalle origini al XX secolo, Zanichelli, Bologna 1993.
1. At the Jessie Cohen neighborhood in Israel (Photographer Ran Biran) 2, 3. Along the A40 Autobahn in Germany (Photographer Ran Biran) 4, 5. Along the Ayalon Highway in Israel (Photographer Ran Biran) 6, 7, 8. At the Jessie Cohen neighborhood in Israel (Photographer Ran Biran) 9. Along the Ayalon Highway in Israel (Photographer Ran Biran) 10, 11. Along the A40 Autobahn in Germany (Photographer Ran Biran)
Braha Kunda (Israel) Architecture and Environmental Design Senior Lecturer and former Head of Interior Design Department at the Design Faculty Holon Institute of Technology.
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Towards “Urban Acupuncture” - A work in progress Braha Kunda
Holistic perception; values, integrative and cross disciplinary methodologies and knowledge. These are some of the essential ingredients of design for sustainability. To generate balanced environments and healthier habitable places, we need to understand the principles of eco-systems, the forces and rules of nature and reassess the design processes. If designers are to embrace sustainability as a leading paradigm, we need to conceptualize the urban environments and their components as complex systems of organisms not merely as a compilation of functional mechanical systems. Whether we like it or not, we are still dominated today by the Modernist paradigm of functionalism, brutally controlling human habitats with its “Top-Down” hierarchy. The system may be efficient and functional on a macro scale, but it results in social alienation and environmental degradation. Sick or injured environments generate social, economic and political instability, significant income gaps and potential
conflicts. Neglected and alienating urban human environments reflect a short sighted approach to town planning adopted by authorities and professionals. Conventional urban planning was born of and reflects the ills of Late Capitalism on our society and habitat. “Wounded” urban spaces reflect 75 the exclusion of local inhabitants from development processes and expose the neglect for health and well-being in our globalized culture. New paradigms and design methodologies may emerge by focusing on the values of sustainability. These ought to address the healing of urban space and extend beyond the application of “green technologies” and innovative environmental solutions. They should first and foremost, reintroduce connections and interactions between people and between the people and their city. The process of reconnecting addresses the universal human desire to “belong”, to identify with a community and place, as a social and a psychological need. This biopsychological need to “belong” is a condition
of our primordial nature as human beings. It is integral to the way in which we inform and mediate emotions and knowledge and the material manifestations of our reality. To acknowledging human-beingsâ€™ basic need to be connected and belong an art/ design/ research project was initiated by a team of dancers and choreographers (KaiserAntonino), a photographer (Ran Biran) and an architect and environmental designer (Braha Kunda). We collaborated on this special project conceiving the human body as both a mediator and sensor through which we relate to physical places along the Ayalon Highway
passing through Tel Aviv. In recent history, parts of existing neighborhoods and a stream which flowed through them, were demolished to accommodate the construction of the Ayalon Highway, a major national infrastructure project. The construction resulted in amputated streets, and disconnected neighborhoods with private yards blocked by acoustic walls breaking any sense of continuity and connection. A particularly offensive example is the main street of the Jessy Cohen neighborhood in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.
The project explores the lost spaces, the fragments and left-over voids along the Ayalon highway. It tries to expose a sociogeological section of the gaps between rich and poor, the powerful and the weak. It uncovers the wounds caused by detached, functional, central planning. Primarily, the project is about the interaction between the body and the urban environment. This is a project in progress. It takes place along the Ayalon Highway in Israel and the A40 Autobahn in Germany. The art project aims to investigate, analyze and reflect spatial and material conditions
along these mega infrastructures. Through the use of various media, the group researches the dissonance between the body primal knowledge and expression and its relationship to urban spaces which initially disregard human scale and primary needs. Our products at this stage include a unique dance performance, a photography exhibition and an installation. More details on the project and information on future performances, lectures and exhibitions, are posted in our blog http///:non-place.biz. The blog is open to feedback regarding the project and the issues it raises.
1. Trajectory of Environmental Responsibility (Courtesy of Design Collaborative and Regenesis 2006) 2. Urban Eco System (2011) A case study for the urban development of the former Bayernoil site (75 ha) in Ingolstadt (Germany) which illustrates the main principals of regenerative architecture (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering) 3. Diagram showing the flows of resources (information, energy, waste and matter) in a building life-cycle. The typical building typology or “apartment cylinder” is connected to the vertical farming hub with bridges which facilitate small scale production and commerce. Ecology, economy and living are brought into one selfsufficient system. Self-sufficiency and localization is emphasized not only because it strengthens security but also because it disentangles the community from the snares of the global supply chains and keeps wealth within the community (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering) 4. A materialized vision of the urban development based on regenerative architecture principles. The cylindrical form of the buildings is a metaphor for the oil tanks previously located on the site. The project follows the idea “from fossil to carbon neutral”. The community relies on diversity in every respect: energy sources, biodiversity, food diversity, land use diversity, mixed-used housing, cultural and ethnic diversity (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering) 5. Inner courtyard of the typical “living node” building. The inner circulation is filled with vertical gardens, while the apartments are oriented toward the outer perimeter. The building is lifted from the ground and the space below is open, freely accessible by the community as a covered space with fresh air. The social aspects of community are fundamental, hence the focus on social metrics such as job, wealth-creation and recreational facilities (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering)
6. Detail view of the master plan for the urban development “Urban Eco-System” inspired by Ebenezer Howard’s idea of small functional nodes connected to large nodes. Each node maximizes the functional efficiency of the system. Instead of seeing the city organized as a rigid linear grid, this solutions is a polycentric web: a network. The largest branches are connected to “recreational nodes”. Each of the branches has one parking node, and the “living nodes” have a “vertical farming” node. The commercial and working nodes are in the outer ring. The importance of mobility and access in the contemporary urban development reinforces the importance of collective space (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering) 7. A Vertical Farming node supplies up to 7 “living nodes”. The community can use the facility to produce food, and thereafter help reduce the financial and environmental costs. This would make the urban development relatively selfsufficient and create additional employment locally (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering) 8. The building typology for Science and Technology is considered as a “workplace node” in the master plan. It incorporates the main design elements such as high performance envelope, multi-layered functions, flexible floor plans and energy and activity flows. The objective is to create a perforated envelope as “living skin” and water-recycling machine. Regenerative architecture suggests that the function of design is not only to make buildings and cities attractive, but to also make them adaptive, fluid and capable of accommodating changing demands and unforeseen circumstances (Courtesy of ORTLOS Space Engineering)
Ivan Redi (UK & Austria) Principal of ORTLOS Space Engineering based in London and Graz, founded in 2000 as a network of interdisciplinary partners.
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Holistic approach toward regenerative Architecture Ivan Redi and Andrea Redi
eyond the traditional notion of the architect as a designer of forms and functions of buildings, architects need to become designers of eco-systems. These ecological and economic systems are maintained not only by the flow of people but also by the flow of resources: information, energy, waste and material. The systems also incorporate human consumption patterns into our natural environment. The current discussion about sustainability suggests that modern society is a kind of ballast for the planet and detrimental to the environment. Therefore we need to provide pro-active solutions in search of developments which are not limiting and restrictive to our current life-style and achieve the sustainability and the human-nature equilibrium we all seek. Sustainability is simply not enough. The term “regenerative urban design” describes processes where people intentionally participate in natural systems. People actively evolve with the whole system thereby creating urban systems that integrate the needs of society with nature. Regenerative design can be understood as the examination of nature, its models, systems and processes as a source of inspiration and a model to be emulated. Biomimicry of ecosystems provide for all human systems to function as a closed, viable, economic system. Regenerative urban structures are holistic frameworks that seek to create intelligent buildings in urban environments through structural efficiency, zero waste, intelligent use of water , well managed thermal environments
and solar energy with an aspiration toward biomimetic cities. The goal of regenerative design is to develop efficient systems that allow for the evolution of the humans as well as other species. An urban community: interacting activities and their environment The growth of the urban population and the supporting built infrastructure has affected both urban environments and surrounding areas. These include semi or ‘peri-urban’ environments on the fringe of cities and agricultural and natural landscapes. Urban environments are affected by their surrounding environment but also affect that environment. Considering urban areas as part of a broader ecological system, it is interesting to investigate how urban landscapes affect other landscapes with which they interact. ORTLOS’s research on urban ecosystem for the development of the formal Bayernoil site in Ingolstadt (D) focused on understanding how cities work as ecological system. We
were interested in how sustainable structures can improve the quality of urban life. The task was to develop the city fringe and reduce the negative affect on the surrounding environments. Further, we sought to design a project which would contribute to the health and economic opportunities of the citizens. The whole system required a complex, diverse design of densely interconnected structures which generated “zero waste”.
(the know-how rather than the physical good) leads to a decrease in resource consumption and waste, this premise points to a different, softer path towards trade liberalization. The main principles of urban ecosystems are the centrality of the natural landscape and the environment’s endowment. Eco-infrastructure is designed to map human infrastructure onto underlying eco-structures, in a ways that is
This inspired the idea of solar “income” as a local resource. The transportation of manufactured goods consumes a large amount of energy, most of which originates from fossil fuels. The transfer of knowledge, on the other hand, relies on the transmission of electrons, requiring an infrastructure of fiber-optics that consumes far less energy than trans-ocean shipping. The premise of the “intelligent economic policy” is that goods and information are, to a certain extent, substitutes. To the extent that knowledge of, say, green technologies
complementary and mutually reinforcing. Such eco-structure will be guided by the interactions of various closed-loop cycles
individual and community needs. However, suburban towns (or “Town-Country”) surrounded by agricultural land are no longer possible and these romantic landscapes must rather be seen as the landscape of active surfaces.
(water, food, energy, materials, nutrients, information and money). Urban Network By 2002 48% of people living in the world lived in urban areas. By 2050 it is estimated that more than 75% of the world population will live in cities: huge cities and small cities, high-speed and sleepy cities. As new forms and urban landscape develop, new global and local spatial networks are emerging. The difference between city and countryside will disappear. “Multiple City” proposes that the 21st century will be the “century of the cities”. In “Garden Cities of Tomorrow”, Ebenezer Howard, (1850-1928) offered in 1898 a vision of towns free of slums, enjoying the benefits of both town (such as opportunity, leisure and high wages) and country (natural beauty, fresh air and low rents). The towns would be largely independent, managed by the citizens who had an economic interest in them. Howard proposed the creation of suburban towns of limited size and surrounded by a permanent belt of agricultural land. His ideas were conceived in the context of a capitalist economic system and sought to balance
Programming the urban surface invokes the functioning matrix of connective tissue that organizes not only objects and spaces but also the dynamic processes that move through them. Urban surfaces are dynamic, responsive and regenerative through networks. The traditional notion of the city will be largely replaced by a web-like sprawl: the regional metropolis. The infrastructure and flow of material will become more significant than political and spatial boundaries. The emphasis shifts from forms of urban space to process of urbanization, processes that network across vast regions. The urban site consists of ambiguous areas that may be called peripheral sites, middle landscapes that are neither city nor country, all with a
remarkable increase in mobility and access. This refers to the increased instability of capital and investment, and to the abundance of information and media. 84
We suggest a fundamental shift from viewing the cities in formal terms to looking at them in as dynamic surfaces. Familiar urban typologies of square, park, district, are less useful than the infrastructure, networks, ambiguous spaces and other amorphous spaces that constitute the contemporary metropolis. Unlike the hierarchical structure of traditional cities, the contemporary metropolis functions more like a spreading
rhizome, dispersed and diffuse, but at the same time infinitely enabling. Strategically placed surfaces allow for a transformation of ground-plane into living, connective tissue between increasingly disparate fragments and unplanned programs. The function of design is not only to make cities attractive but also to make them more adaptive, more fluid, more capable of accommodating changing demands and unforeseen circumstances. Vertical Farming Indoor farming is a relatively recent phenomenon expanded for cultivation of tomatoes, spinach and numerous herbs and
spices. The techniques, however, require research and new technical approaches. Vertical Farming aims to meet the requirements of the additional 3 billion population forecast to popular our cities. A very large amount of land will be required for urban farming depending on the yield per hectare. Scientists are concerned that the required farmland will not be available and that severe damage to the earth will be caused by the additional farmland. Vertical farms, if designed properly, may eliminate the need to create additional farmland and help create a cleaner environment.
performance envelope, an intelligent facade, the use of solar energy (photovoltaic), maximum use of natural daylight, natural ventilation and passive shading. Boundaries will be understood as behavioral. They remain variable and exist only when energy is transitioning form one state to another. 85 Multiple possibilities exist for space use (research lab, demonstration center, living zones and recreational areas). The different temperature zones will hopefully be a prototype for an architecture that works as a climatically dynamic environment.
Vertical farming would reduce the need for new farmland due to overpopulation, thus saving natural resources which are currently threatened by deforestation. Vertical farming, used in conjunction with other technologies and socioeconomic practices, could allow cities to expand while remaining largely self-sufficient for food. This would allow for large urban centers that could grow without destroying considerably larger areas of forest to provide food for their people. Design Parameter The performance of the buildings should be in balance. Materials, aesthetic, form, program, lifecycle, renewable energy, interactivity, sensitivity and the ability to network with other structures are parameters which should be considered with equal importance. The primary design focus is on a high
1. Isle Derborence by Gilles Clément (Lille, 1992) (Courtesy of Richard Ingersoll) 2. Time Landscape by Alan Sonfist (New York City, 1978) (Courtesy of Richard Ingersoll) 3. The Lakes of Focognana by Carlo Scoccianti (Florence, 1998-2005) (Courtesy of Richard Ingersoll) 4. Nærum allotments by Carl Theodor Sørensen (Copenhagen, 1948) (Courtesy of Richard Ingersoll) 5, 6. Nomad Garden by Marta Donati & Richard Ingersoll (Montevarchi AR, 2012) (Courtesy of Richard Ingersoll)
Richard Ingersoll (Italy & USA) Born in California. Educated in architectural history at UC Berkeley, taught at Rice University and currently teaches at Syracuse University in Florence, Italy.
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Eat the City Richard Ingersoll
rban development during the past half century has significantly eaten away the clear edges of cities, leaving lots of ambiguous empty spaces. Such patchy areas contradict the expectations of coherent urban morphology yet provide the setting for at least half of humanity, and thus should demand more attention as the subject of design. The novelist Philip Lopate, who like myself spent several years in academic exile in Houston, described this most sprawl-bound of cities “like a smiling face with a lot of teeth missing.” European cities tend not to have the same dental mishaps, at least in their historic centers. However, along their peripheries, the fabric of streets and buildings start to fray and begin to look more like suburban Texas and the global condition of sprawl. Here infrastructure prevails over buildings. Areas that since Neolithic times had been reserved for growing food are overrun by new construction. Torn by roads and parking lots, the splintered vacant lots are overgrown with weeds. Such spaces, in their identity as leftover terrain, are neither part of a natural ecosystem nor part of a landscape. They qualify as examples of Gilles Clément’s provocative theory of the “Third Landscape.” While their state of abandon may contradict the aesthetic sensibilities of landscape professionals, and sometimes contribute to an overall feeling of danger, such untended sites represent for Clément an important evolutionary habitat as the “refuge of biodiversity.” Thus, when confronting a gap in the urban fabric, rather than thinking about how to fill it, or correct it, perhaps one’s first instinct should
be to gather an awareness of its potential as a Third Landscape. What species of plants have succeeded in surviving here? What signs of animal life thrive? Does it already have a formal character? Clément’s Manifesto of the Third Landscape, launched in 2004, came as a perverse invitation to indolence, 89 to letting things go, so contrary to the ambitious reshaping of the land connected to the design professions. When I first read it I thought, “This may be appropriate for France, which often has too much landscaping. However, in Italy or any other country, this approach might encourage a tolerance for urban decay.” Clément as a practitioner proposes an example of a landscape he designed in Lille, the extraordinary Isle Derborence. This is a man-made butte that juts out 7 meters from the flat lawns of the Parc Henri Matisse. Completed in 1992 as part of the urban renewal scheme of Euralille, the Island is much more than an inaccessible and untouched bit of land, achieving poetic status as a marvelous conceit. It replicates the desert Island of Antipodes, south of New Zealand, in its extruded, irregular shape and area of 3.500 square meters. Theoretically one could cut an axis through the globe from Lille to New Zealand to connect the two islands. After two decades, this “unnatural” island, which underwent some preliminary planting, has fostered a spontaneous mantle of tall trees, producing an autonomous ecosystem. While remaining inviolable by humans the island has become a superb asylum for the birds in the center of the city. A similar though much smaller sanctuary
in New York City anticipated Clément’s call to inaction. In 1978 the artist Alan Sonfist threw up a cast-iron fence around an empty lot, keeping the site off-bounds in perpetuity. His conceptual art work, the “Time Landscape,” sits amid the dense blocks of Lower Manhattan on a typical developer’s plot, 25 by 40 feet (7.5 x 12m), belonging to New York University. Sonfist seeded the lot with a hierarchy of autochthonous species, ranging from low grasses to saplings and fruit trees to taller oaks and elms, in the effort to recreate the range of plants that covered the island before settlement. While the site in Lille, elevated on its tall base, has acquired a monumental presence in the city, the Time Landscape usually goes unnoticed, like a leftover piece of land that was too small for an entrepreneur’s attention. After 30 years its effulgent, un-manicured vegetation testifies to the power of nature to reclaim the land and maintain itself. I would like to consider one last example of the art of leaving things alone: a very large piece of the suburban puzzle surrounding Florence, the Oasis of Focognana. Driving
toward the Firenze Nord entry to the Autostrada you will find a ziggurat-shaped hill, once the city’s dump. Not far from it the concrete warehouses of some of the Italy’s leading fashion companies, such as Gucci and Roberto Cavalli, spread out as horizontal boxes amid vast parking lots. In the late 1990s, the World Wildlife Foundation together with one of Florence’s contingent cities, Campi Bisenzio, began to acquire the lands between the hill and the Autostrada. Led by the biologist Carlo Scoccianti, the site was reshaped by bulldozers into a series of small lakes. Currently 63 hectares and growing, the Oasis of Focognana has been planted with reeds, canes, and other native grasses and fenced off so that humans will not disturb this re-naturalized park. Entry is only permitted if accompanied by trained volunteer guides. The funding for the project came from the river authority from funds needed to build catchment basins (casse d’espanzione) due to the perennial threat of floods. Additional funding also came from several factories and the Autostrada, which were persuaded to donate because they had disturbed the balance of the local ecology . A wealth of flora and fauna has been attracted to this re-naturalized periurban site and has resulted in a sort of Galapagos of fascinating, rare species, safe from hunters and urban intrusions. Scoccianti in retrospect has promoted the project as a work of art, involving the creative spontaneity of human decisions left to be developed by nature itself. Each of these three landscapes, while eventually dedicated to the absence of human
maintenance, required complex preparation of the site and selective planting. So while they may appear as the revival of wilderness, they are actually highly artificial products of design. Such Third Landscapes are thus only a few steps away from the Second Landscape maintained by gardeners and farmers. While such a contradiction does not infringe on any moral presupposition about allowing nature to take its course, and one can truly be swept into the metaphysical quality that accompanies a “natural” sanctuary in the city, I question how many times such a strategy of programmed abandon can be applied to the gaps left by sprawl. I sympathize with Christophe Girot when he writes: “A scruffy nature left to grow unattended at the edge of some old brownfield site does not convey the same positive sensual emotion as a vertical garden (i.e., Patrick Blanc’s very unnatural hydroponic planting of walls), despite all its inherent ecological merits.” For many years I have been advocating an alternative approach to landscape in urban environments that I call Agricivismo, roughly translated as Civic Agriculture. All cities, even the densest ones like New York (which allegedly has 700
community gardens), have the potential to be reconceptualized as agricultural parks, supplying many different scales and genres of food production. While I have yet to come across examples of agricultural interventions that possess the majesty of the Isle Derborence or the grandeur of the 91 lakes of Focognana, I believe that vegetable patches and productive crops can assume a desirable aesthetic role in urban situations. Aside from this, they inspire a high degree of citizen participation which makes the city feel safer. Thus for these same abandoned terrains that might be appreciated as Third Landscapes I would propose to reclaim them as edible landscapes. The benefits should interest any politician: the recuperation of untended land with few maintenance costs; a heightened sense of security due to the constant presence of citizen-gardeners who have taken responsibility for their places of cultivation; the improved health of the population through the physical activity of gardening and through the consumption of safe, biologically superior local produce. Agriculture was always an active ingredient of preindustrial cities, and continued to serve the industrial city--as the great industrial fabric of Birmingham with its famous allotments attests. After the Second World War, the pressures of real estate speculation, coupled with the hegemony of petrol-based agriculture, banished food production ever farther from the urban core. In suburban California where I grew up I never had the pleasure of witnessing a live chicken or a vine-grown tomato. While such alienation
from the source of food has become typical of globalization, one senses a growing demand for a shift back to farming in the city. This may be partly due to the good intentions of the ecology consciousness movements and partly to economic necessity. The current crisis of capitalism, which began in 2008, and despite regular reports of optimism shows no signs of relenting, has been decreasing the value of urban land to the point that one can imagine Serge Latouche’s program for “degrowth” may begin soon. Detroit, which in the late 20th century lost more than half of its population and has become a city of worthless, vacant lots, has welcomed various initiatives for urban farming. Agriculture in some cases can increase the value of land. In Pessac, a suburb of Bordeaux made famous among architects by Le Corbusier’s intervention for workers’ housing, the cost of land for the vines of its superb wine currently runs higher than that for building development. This has helped to contain the sprawl of developement. Perhaps specialty crops in other urban contexts will help to keep land out of the development market. Another
important manifestation of reprogramming urban land for agriculture occurred at the Internazionale Bauaustellung (IBA) of 2010, sited in seven cities of the ex-DDR. Since 1989 these cities have had a declining population. The program proposed removing superfluous plattenbauen housing and creating better urban connections through allotment gardens. The IBA planners’ slogan: “Progress without growth,” while seeming contradictory, launched a profound challenge to the design professions to rethink their priorities. Despite the improved connections achieved through new networks of orchards and grazing lands in places like the Paunsdorf Siedlung on the outskirts of Leipzig, the IBA attracted scarce attention: it failed to address an aesthetic agenda that could spur the collective imagination. While urban farming should not be reduced to a question of aesthetics, so often I find little effort on the part of planners and participants to create a meaningful landscape. Having an urban orchard is not the same thing as subsistence farming. Yes, you can grow food in the city, but such farming within the
public realm begs for art. I always return to the finest example ever built, the Naerum allotments in a suburb north of Copenhagen. In 1948 the talented landscape architect Carl Theodor Sorensen (1899-1979) designed 50 allotments, enclosing each 500 square-meter lot within an elliptical hedge of hawthorn and privet. The two-meter interstices separating the ovals remained for public use, while each allotment had its own tool shed and could be organized as the individual tenant desired. Within the hedges the gardens acquired their own character according to the tastes of each gardener, but the grassy intermediary public areas, conditioned by the uniform, head-high pruning of the hedges, enforced a strong formal unity for the site that resonated with primordial oval constructions in the region. Naerum remains after more than 60 years a stunning public park maintained by 50 very willing private gardeners. I keep focusing on the scale of the allotment rather than the larger prospect of agricultural parks for two reasons: 1) the agricultural park on a regional level, which is desirable for all cities, requires herculean bureaucratic and political organization to negotiate and sustain, and 2) I am more confident about the smaller scale of the unconditional willingness of gardeners to participate. Several Mediterranean cities, including Pamplona, Barcelona, and Milan initiated an agricultural park on a regional scale, attempting to bring public access and awareness to areas within the metropolitan urban system where traditional agriculture is still practiced. Pamplona’s is the smallest and the most
coherent, linking by bicycle paths a variety of cultural and farming activities, including an ancient pilgrim’s bridge and the bullpens that supply the famous “corrida”. Europe’s first agricultural park resulted from discussions in Milan in the late 1970s, within the Polytechnic University. Design professionals analyzed 93 the geographic and hydrological resources of the region, cataloguing the location and scale of farming activities. The Parco Agricolo Sud gained official recognition in 1990 under the aegis of the Province of Milan, involving 63 municipalities (including Milan), 46,000 hectares, and more than 1,400 farms. It is still enigmatic, however, and, excepting the Bosco in Citta, a well-organized public park within, one does not know how to visit the park nor even how to locate it. One also senses that the pressures of real estate remain a constant threat to its survival. Barcelona’s agricultural park derived directly from the experience of Milan and shares similar problems of multiple authorities and no sense of where the park becomes accessible to visitors. Occasionally one finds a sign in the towns near the Llobregat River referring to the agricultural park, but for the moment the areas within its jurisdiction are not connected or accessible to visitors. The likely places to begin the important links are the water courses, streams and canals, which legally are protected as fluvial parks. These examples, while they do not weaken my interest in advocating that all cities should declare their edges part of an agricultural park, demonstrate how the process and the outcome are difficult to manage and resist
the input of design. Allotments by contrast have fewer intermediaries: the municipal government, citizenâ€™s groups, and sometimes private businesses. They can serve individual families, as at Naerum, or can include scholastic institutions, botanical societies, therapeutic activities (mental patients, prisoners, etc.), and ecological testing grounds. In 2010 the small German city of Andernach decided to plant the public lands surround the castle in the center of town with a variety of vegetables that the citizens were invited to pick and take home. While most of the work is done by municipal gardeners, the townspeople do the harvesting, allowing one literally to eat their way through the city. School gardens provide proven benefits to education, but due to the absence of students after the month of June, require commitment or professional assistance to the plants until the fall semester begins. One of the most successful projects involving school children, â€œEast New York Farms!â€? was organized in 1998 by professors from the Pratt Institute. Set in a decaying suburb of Manhattan, where the mostly African-American youth are destined for gangs, the program took over empty lots, and paid a token stipend to school children aged 12-14 to come work on the gardens for a few hours a week. The transformation of both the raggedy lots and the disadvantaged children was astounding. A few years later a Farmers Market was established and several of the residents now have careers in urban farming. Germany has the greatest number pro-capita of allotment gardens in the world, and in
many German cities, in particular Munich and Berlin, the demand far exceeds the supply. Associations have developed such as Nomadisch Grun in Berlin, which pursues a strategy of mobile gardening. The founders, Marco Clausen and Robert Shaw, initially created Prinzessinnengarten as a temporary garden in 2009 on a derelict site in Kreuzberg near Moritzplatz. They assembled stacks of plastic beer crates, vinyl gunny sacks, and cardboard milk cartons and filled them with topsoil for planting. A group of about 40 volunteers now participate in these mobile landscape transformations, and during the winter months transfer the portable planters inside the local market hall. The project has generated a restaurant using food grown on the site and attracts continuous cultural events. The nomadic tactics of Prinzessinnengarten inspired a spinoff in Berlin when dozens of people started occupying the abandoned runways of Templehof Airport, creating spontaneous gardens using the techniques of nomadic gardening. Such a desire for mobile gardening was taken to an even
further extreme by the American filmmaker Ian Cheney, who in 2009 filled the back of his pickup truck parked on the streets of Manhattan with soil to create the “Farm on Wheels.” It has inspired a fleet of 25 similar trucks, now known as Truckfarms. Allotments enrich urban sites socially and environmentally and can happen almost anywhere, as Michelle Obama proved in 2009, when she dug up 100 square meters of the White House lawn to prepare the “First Garden” and advocated a healthier diet for the youth of America. In May, 2012, with my colleague Marta Donati, an agronomist who works on therapy gardens with ex-drug addicts, I prepared a Nomad Garden in a medieval cloister in Montevarchi (provincia di Arezzo) as part of an arts program devoted to greening the city. Since it was a historic site that we could not alter we conceived of the garden as a prototype made of completely portable elements that would be accessible to children and people with disabilities. To give it a formal structure we prepared a pergola of bamboo using a 9-square grid. Eight chambers for different types of horticultural experiences surround a central void. We positioned many of the plants at a height of one meter so that they can be observed or touched by people in wheelchairs. One entered on a path through cut broom. In the second room rose a column of laurel leaves, symbolic of the residue of nature gathered and allowed to decompose. The third room displayed crates (an idea borrowed from Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin) with growing seedlings that were in season (potatoes, grain,
beets, broad beans). The fourth room housed an exotic ficus set in a pyramid of bamboo poles. The fifth was lined with gunny sacks stuffed with soil and planted with aromatic plants (a practice copied from the ghetto of Mathare in Nairobi). The plants include mint, basil, sage, rosemary, wild fennel and 95 margoram. The sixth room had a bench for resting and a hibachi grill. The seventh room offered a spiral of cabbage seedlings watered by an upturned demijohn and a slow-drip hose, loosely inspired by Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. The final room set up a bed covered with carnations, literally a flower bed. The Nomad Garden cost 67€, took four volunteers 6 hours to build, and thrived in the cloister for three weeks without causing damage to the place. Allotments can be made almost anywhere, and they do not need to be permanent. The display of growing plants, made accessible to all and cared for by conscientious gardeners offers a vision of hope for the city. Rather than a city consumed by sterile development one could live in a city with a continuous fabric of growing edibles.
1, 2, 3, 4. Antiparos Symbiosis (Image Doxiadis+) 5, 6, 7, 8. Varkiza Didactic Beach (Image Doxiadis+) 9, 10, 11. Junk to Park (Image Doxiadis+)
Thomas Doxiadis (Greece) Architect and Landscape Architect, ASLA. Graduate in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. Founder of Doxiadis+.
Thomas Doxiadis 97
Symbiotic Design and Didactic Landscapes Thomas Doxiadis
ur heads in the clouds, our feet planted firmly on the ground, and our hearts in between to connect them. This is how we think of ourselves and this is how we approach design. Ecology is not a fashion or a marketing tool. It’s quite clear to us that humanity and nature are not separate systems in competition for survival. Either humans will learn to manage nature and coexist with it, or we will bring ourselves to a precipice of destruction. We are aware though that today, untouched nature is almost nonexistent. The natural systems we work with are influenced, and in many cases created, by humans, and must be managed as such. We believe in ecology and see the Earth as humanity’s only home, a home that must be treated with great care and respect. Within the context of this book it is perhaps taken for granted but in our everyday practice we find
that a pre-industrial mentality is still prevalent: people cannot believe that the terra firma on which they have grown up is in fact so fragile. Most don’t realize or refuse to acknowledge the collective and cumulative effect of each individual’s action. So we have to fight and 99 to educate. Head in the clouds, feet on the ground and the design process to connect them. We have clear and strong beliefs about the need for continuous pull towards a balanced future. With our head in the clouds we look forward. Yet we approach each project with our feet. We find physical reality sacred. The tectonic forces that shape the land, the soil with its gritty grains, the minerals and myriad micro-organisms, the plants that manage to sprout and grow, the water and its cycles, the wind and all the other forces. And human interaction, which in our land – Greece - has
shaped the landscape for more than 7.000 years â€“ all need to be understood and respected. Design is the process where feet and head come together. Sensitivity and knowledge allow us to read a site; to understand the existing and historic forms and processes. Each project provides new challenges. We usually have to work with great economy, so common sense leads us to elemental solutions. The design process is a bottom-up formulation of a symbiotic future, guided by our principles.
Antiparos Symbiosis is a pristine site, the result of millennia of cultivation and a few decades of abandonment. It was about to change economic activity: from agriculture and pasture to tourism, a transformation that is usually destructive. Usually tourist development not only degrades a siteâ€™s ecology, but tends to degrade the very beauty that is being sold to attract the tourists in the first place. Yet this economy is a new reality, so we need to address the challenge. A methodical examination of the natural and historic landscape revealed a natural amphitheater, seasonal streams, large juniper trees, seasonal frigana vegetation, pezoules agricultural terraces - and xerolithies - dry-built stone walls. The strategy was to establish a symbiosis between the existing elements and the new ones: The pezoula system needed to be re-built and extended. It was used as a skeleton on which all the new elements were structured. Similarly, we planted dense Mediterranean vegetation close to the
houses, and progressively dispersed the planting out towards the landscape in order to allow the indigenous plants to re-establish themselves and create a seamless transition between maintained and natural areas. The developer was persuaded that this strategy would be much more economical than the usual constructed and heavily maintained and irrigated landscape. The result has been the creation of a new paradigm which has changed the mentality of developers towards the landscape in Antiparos and progressively in Greece. In the Varkiza Didactic Beach, the existing conditions formed the foundation of our intervention through the cultivation and growth of what was already there â€“ a softscape to support the rich public program. Located just south of Athens, Varkiza is one of the capitalâ€™s main beaches accommodating hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. While large and scenic, it has been damaged over many years, partly due to the lack of maintenance and partly by people driving cars and walking randomly over the landscape. Rather than proposing new elements for the site, the design upgrades the
existing elements after identifying five zones: ‘infrastructure’, ‘forest and bathing beach’, ‘natural stream’, ‘ecological demonstration park’ and ‘the wilderness’. To maximize the impact of limited resources and demonstrate ecological principles it was necessary to develop intelligent techniques. If damage by cars and pedestrians impedes the natural regeneration a simple fence could limit this damage. Different fencing densities allow different degrees of use and therefore of the type of disturbance. This in turn leads to the development of different plant communities through natural regeneration and habitat succession. In this way the park becomes a lesson in what to do (or not to do) so that nature can resurrect itself. We used earthworks and vegetation to organize uses and to collect rainwater for irrigation. Dense planting of the parking lot helped make it bioclimatic: sunny in winter, shady in the summer. The stream bed is cleaned up and configured to re-create a seaside wetland. With the use of xerophytic plants we could ensure that the park will be water-zero in year five. The beachfront canteens are located in bioclimatic pockets on the forest fringe which we created. In addition, all the beach facilities now use renewable energy.
which was turned into a park through recycling and community involvement. Dimosio Sima forms part of the walk that connects the three main archeological sites of classical Athens: the Acropolis, the Kerameikos Cemetery and Plato’s Academy. It is one of Athens’s most important archeological sites. Waiting the day when excavations will begin, the site had for a long time been abandoned and full of decrepit buildings and waste, wounding an already depressed neighborhood. Local inhabitants and volunteers joined forces to change this space into a temporary park. Our office volunteered professional services for the design and construction supervision of the park and joined the volunteers in the construction phase. The design reduces reuses and recycles. The demolition materials are used to create the new park, in a design that maintains elements from the preexisting buildings. The exterior walls of the demolished buildings are used as retaining walls at the perimeter of the site, whereas the interior walls are used to create the benches.
The design demonstrates that landscape ecology and environmental design can create a beautiful park at a very low cost. More importantly, it addresses our responsibility to change people’s thinking towards a sustainable future. Finally, Junk to Park, was a degraded urban site
Together with the red earth, the white lime gravel and the Mediterranean vegetation, we created a symbolic distillation of the Attic landscape. More than half of the demolished material was reused for constructing the landscape. The real challenge of the project was to create with very limited means (money, materials and time) a revitalized urban space that has archaeological connotations. Through the use of volunteers, recycled materials and sensitive design, the park was created in 6 days for a mere â‚Ź3,000. It was immediately adopted by the neighborhood, and is today the most active and most popular public space of that part of Athens.
Our true hope is to stand firmly on the ground, and use our work to inspire others to join us in the clouds.
1. Educational Agricultural Farms in Tel Aviv area (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe) 2. Usishkin School, Ramat Hasharon. Fourth grade students designed an outdoor classroom made of recycled materials, including a cob owl, benches made of recycled industrial sludge (by Greenrock Co.), mosaics made by the children from recycled waste (Ceasar Rock Co.), surrounded by herb gardens (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe) 3. Hadar School, Ramat Hasharon. Adjacent to the school a sustainable garden with two camel cob benches and with low-water vegetation were created. The project was aided by volunteers from a nearby elderly club, who painted pictures from children’s books on recycled benches in the garden (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe) 4. Alon High School, Ramat Hasharon. A project designed and built by 10th grade students as part of their “personal obligation program” of time for the community. It consisted of redesigning the backyard into a sustainable landscape which included an edible garden, with elements made from recycled materials and industrial waste (Greenrock Co.), planting local trees in the paved areas, rebuilding an outdoor classroom with mosaics made by the students
from recycled materials, an ecological pool made from a reused bathtub, with irrigation provided by air-conditioning devices (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe)
5. Hamanchil School, Ramat Gan. A project executed by 4th graders, focusing on the design of a science and communication garden, surrounded by a garden of edible herbs and trees. The students planned and built the garden, using an underground communication net connecting various recycled pipes, a bench made by recycling mosaic material, as well as sitting areas made of reused wood and bamboo (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe) 6. Educational Agricultural Farms in Tel Aviv area (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe) 7. Kindergarten Playgrounds in Ramat-Gan area (Courtesy of Galia Hanoch-Roe)
Galia Hanoch-Roe (Israel) Landscape Achitecture graduate of Rutgers University, and Musical Arts graduate of Yale and CUNY, is the Director of the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa Metropolitan Area Chapter of Society for Protection of Nature, Israel.
Galia Hanoch-Roe 105
Sustainable Design of Educational Landscapes Dr. Galia Hanoch-Roe
he following article portrays a large body of my work in recent years focusing on the design of sustainable educational landscapes, including over 70 different educational institutions around Israel. This work presents a tremendous challenge for a landscape architect, as it involves integrating a broad field of interdisciplinary skills which are not normally required in the design process. The projects required developing new methods for assimilating education and community work and design. Background In recent years, the Ministries of Education and Environmental Protection in Israel have initiated diverse programs to promote sustainability in the educational system. These programs involve children of all ages: Pre-K through High School. As part of this program, a need arose to rethink the design of the schoolyard as a space which can offer an alternative to the standard paved outdoor play areas. Further, the planning and building techniques need to involve the community for which they are built into the design-build process. The design of these spaces became part of a more extensive educational process for both teachers and students and part of the school curriculum and thereby set an example for the incorporation of sustainability at all levels. As a landscape architect, my work involved three fields. In the first, the schoolyards were redesigned by the students in a number of workshops focusing on sustainable design.
In the second, the kindergarten teachers went through a training course on sustainability and developed a five year plan for redesigning their outdoor spaces involving the children. In the third, we involved an educational agricultural farms with additional experience in constructing sustainable landscapes 107 to teach building techniques through participation. All these projects required community participation during the planning and construction phases, and required knowledge of sustainable design-build skills which were new to me. Until working on these projects I had worked on large projects in a conventional landscape and urban design office working mostly with other professionals. I had no experience in working with community participation. In search of advice with community participation and sustainable design practices, I attended various continuing education courses. These helped me acquire the tools: a course on natural building in Tlaxo Mexico: a courses on permaculture, bio-intensive and traditional agriculture in Israel and Jordan, and training in community processes. I established a design-build firm named â€œSpirala, Green designâ€?, led by my partner Ofra Bernstein and myself. Ofra is a ceramic artist and permaculture designer. The firm specializes in sustainable design and community participation. We developed a model which helped us integrate the specific local needs of each community into
the design, while maintaining the principles of sustainable design and advancing the educational agenda. Valuable input from the community both fertilizes the design process and educates the community. The following are examples of these three fields of work. School Yards The projects were mostly commissioned by
schools, as part of a “Green School Initiative” led by the Ministries of Education and Environmental Protection. The schools hired “Spirala-Green Design”, a company I run with artist Ofra Bernstein, to lead participatory workshops with the students, who participated in the planning and building processes. The aim was to transform part of the school grounds into a sustainable landscape while focusing on various educational processes of sustainability. Each school had its own agenda
so I will mention just a few: One community envisioned a space that teaches about the importance of trees for mankind. The landscape was built as an orchard of live and sculpted trees made from recycled materials. Another school planned a herb garden and a seating area to compliment the recycling area in the school yard. The benches were made by a company that recycles industrial sludge into
furniture (called â€œGreenrockâ€?) and included a large owl chair made of cob. A third school wanted an outdoor play area focusing on communication. They used recycled underground pipes as communication channels, enveloped by an 109 edible garden and mosaic benches made of recycled materials. Each project was built by volunteers from the near-by elderly club, youth from the
local community center and neighborhood committee volunteers. At each school we worked with a group of children in a series of workshops where they learned about sustainable design. In these workshops the children did research regarding the landscapes to be designed and suggested plans with sustainable features. They focused on the selection of plant and vegetation, water treatment, materials, recycling and education. The kids drew simple plans and built models with recycled materials which were displayed in each school for peer-review and comment. Then building plans were prepared, integrating the ideas which could be built within the financial limitations. Finally, the designed projects were built with the help
of the local communities. Kindergarten Playgrounds The environmental education department of Ramat-Gan Municipality initiated a project to transform the playgrounds of 24 kindergartens certified as “green kindergartens” into sustainable playgrounds. They hired Spirala, Green Design to develop a five year plan to redesign these spaces into sustainable landscapes. The project evolved further by the “Joint Program for Sustainability Education”, led by the Ministries of Education and of Environmental Protection.
We were hired by the Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI) to work with 18 kindergarten teachers from Givataim, a town adjacent to Tel Aviv. We coordinated a 30-hour course on sustainability and worked with each teacher individually for 10 hours, to develop an annual â€œsustainability planâ€? involving all aspects of operation, design and maintenance of the playgrounds. These new landscapes included a variety of sustainable features, all built by the teachers and their students, including ecological pools, winter puddles, vegetable gardens, edible gardens, spiral beds, wildflower gardens, sculptures and benches of recycled materials, compost bins, bird feeders and
nests, and more. They were all built as part of a wider educational agenda throughout the academic year drawing attention to the seasons. The projects created greener spaces with a wide variety of animal life and an array of experiential spaces for children to explore daily. Educational Agricultural Farms These agricultural farms are spread all over the country and provide spaces for outdoor learning, within a rich natural environment and with an emphasis on small scale agriculture. They offer a place to learn for tens of thousands of students over a wide range of ages, including individuals with special needs. The farms have proven to be
very popular within both the Jewish and Arab communities. The “Joint Program for Sustainability in Education”, led by the Ministries of Education and of Environmental Protection aimed to transform these farms into information centers about sustainability and community. Within this framework I was hired by the “Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI) to work with 11 educational agriculture farms in the districts of Tel-Aviv and the center of Israel. This work will be extended to additional farms throughout the country. I coordinated a 30 hours course for school principals and teachers on various aspects of sustainability. I worked with each farm to design sustainable areas within their
grounds to be built by students of all ages and backgrounds, including children with special needs. Each team of teachers within a farm designed their own space and program. These included ecological pools, hydroponic systems, compost bins (to process the large volume of organic waste of the farms), sustainable agriculture (raised, bio-intensive and spiral beds), butterfly gardens, wild flower gardens , green walls and green roofs, urban agriculture, swales and water retention systems and Cob construction. Working in the field of sustainable design for educational institutions has required that I refocus our design process into an educational one, teaching the ‘clients’ about sustainability in general and about sustainable construction and maintenance
in particular. I had to modify the scale of my work. to work with diverse groups of people and encourage them to generate their own ideas. The materials used are mostly recycled and environmentally friendly. The work requires creativity and improvisation since we did not know in advance which materials would be available. An important component of this work has been the basic building skills required to implement the designs with the communities: the desire to involve the community in the construction requires
teaching these skills as well. I have had great pleasure and satisfaction from the work. The projects are experiential and there is a sense that they lead to real change for tens of thousands of children and adults around the country. For many the projects are 113 their first experience with the joy of shaping their environment. As people acquire new skills and knowledge, they change their habits and they are empowered.
1. The Acquario at the opening of ECOWEEK 2012 in Rome (Image ECOWEEK)
MariaLuisa Palumbo (Italy) Architect and senior fellow of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology of Toronto University, author of New Wombs, Electronic bodies and architectural disorder (Birkhauser, 2000) and Architettura Produttiva.
MariaLuisa Palumbo 115
Towards an Urban Ecosystem: the Productive Footprint Design Method MariaLuisa Palumbo
rchitecture, buildings and cities are often thought of and designed in terms of square meters, volumes, boundaries, envelops or land use, Conceiving buildings this way has caused enormous damage to the planet. The Earth’s vital signs, such as temperature (the first symptom of illness), the quality of our air, water, soil and ecological biodiversity are telling us about a growing state of crisis on the planet. Research, such as the Stern Report, confirms that nearly 80% of carbon emissions originate in urban areas. Furthermore, cities are now reaching average temperatures of 4 - 5 degrees more than the surrounding rural areas due to the “heat island” effect. We live on a sick planet where cities are a prime contributor to this condition. Cities have an insatiable appetite for goods and energy. Air conditioning is becoming a basic necessity given the rising temperatures and polluted outdoor air. The demand for electric power is satisfied by carbon-emitting burning of fossil fuels or results in nuclear waste. The demand for food is satisfied by shipping tons of produce from one side of the planet to the other. The transportation, packaging, storing and waste disposal of food in the cities account for up to the 40% of the ecological footprint of a city. We are already witnessing social and political conflicts in the constant drive to gain control of scarce resources, and more ominously, basic resources such as water, vegetation and arable land. It may be true that we still don’t have clear
solutions, but it is also clear that it is our responsibility to look for them. The idea of an architecture independent of the systems of food and energy production has not worked. Food and energy are primary needs for human shelter, whether collective and common living. The industrial age addressed 117 these needs by dividing and separating them as much as possible, in a “functional zoning” even more radical than the one applied to the urban functions by the Athens Charter: residential, commercial, recreation and transportation. Our challenge today is to reconnect these needs, through a systemic strategy, based on ‘system thinking’. What does “system thinking” mean in urban design? It means that beside the specific and occasional requests of each program, every project should start from a more general and invariable program: a “super program”. This super program is the search for a form capable of correlating vegetation (food, biodiversity and water management), shelter (buildings, public and private spaces) and energy (sun, wind, geothermal, biomass). We need to think of all design projects as a set of relationships dealing with the primary needs of life. Not in a metaphoric sense, but as objective and measurable criteria. We can quantify how much solar radiation a building (or an urban area) is capturing and transforming into usable energy. We know how much energy a building needs. We can calculate how many trees and the species of vegetation the building is supporting and how much productive land and water regeneration have been created together with the building
development. We can also quantify how all this related to the local production of food. However, to design relationships instead of boundaries requires a radical paradigm shift in the way we design buildings and manage our lives. We need to change our idea of architecture as a solid and inanimate artefact: we need to think of buildings as evolving and productive landscape, made of built as well as permeable, cultivated, sensitive surfaces.
smells and more connections with the elements and natural cycles with all of the social and health benefits this implies.
From this perspective, a hybrid and flexible reality may address these contradictions: a weak and diffused urbanism, a fabric of country-city and landscape-buildings. This could be an architecture where the hard impermeable concrete or asphalt are in continuity with soft and permeable green surfaces which are supported by advanced technologies able to capture and convert the diffused environmental energy.
The model for this weak urbanism is not a utopian ideal but really the only viable example we know of a system able to produce sustainable well-being. Nature, as a biological system, is able to transform matter and energy without producing any waste.
This is an urbanism of living-growing-breeding buildings every one of which is also a farm for vegetables, a producer of electricity and a water treatment plant. Each building should recycle its own heat and water for services and irrigation. The continuity between construction and vegetation requires that the buildings contribute to improving the environment not merely ceasing to destroy it. This is a call for a system capable of sustaining and improving life in general and human life in particular. Improving life means more public green spaces; mean more play grounds and relational spaces, more tastes, colors and
A simple wall covered with climbing jasmine is a wall able to breathe. The plants bloom, they clean and perfume the air, host butterflies, bees and ladybirds and create habitat for very small and important creatures in the cycle of life.
Learning how to design according to nature: should be our ethical, ideological and pragmatic goal for the new millennium. Relational design calls for new competences as well as new methodologies. We need knowledge to integrate environmental principles, psychology and biology (the science of life that has to be sustained). From the basic concepts of ecology and ecosystems to sophisticated mathematical models of thermal fluid-dynamics, we need the tools to design our buildings with the logic of a renewable energy plant and a system for the sustainable management of water. Design has to be at the core of this integration process. Designers need to bring together not only the skill, but the ability to measure and evaluate their ideas, their principles and choices.
For several years I have been teaching in the Master program promoted by InArch (Italian National Institute of Architecture): “Designers of Sustainable Architectures”. Together with my colleagues we have witnessed the difficulties young architects experience in changing their approach to architecture to a discipline involving the flow of matter and energy. Since architects are used to working with lines and surfaces, we started talking about the definition of a “productive footprint”. The aim is not to totally balance the “ecological footprint”, but to use this conceptual tool as a design tool that will produce a ‘productive’ footprint. A carefully designed and calculated ‘productive’ footprint can be made of natural and technological surfaces and with in situ renewable resources, to sustain life in each specific context. The correlation between shelter, energy, water, vegetation and food then becomes a simple programmatic layer added to every standard design program: a single family house, an office building, a school, a new neighbourhood, a city. Beyond the didactic objective, the idea of a “productive footprint” is an attempt to establish common ground between scientists and architects. It has to be understood as a planning tool, which takes “productive” needs and data as inputs for designing buildings and cities. The design process involves thinking from the very beginning about the flow of energy and matter and to look for tangible productive surfaces. When we consider the flow of energy and matter as an issues of nonrenewable resources, we can immediately generate questions about the food footprint
of an office building or of the transportation footprint of a school etc. These are exactly the kind of questions which can help us understanding and address the problems. Moreover, this approach make it abundantly clear that the more we reduce our need for energy, food and water, through more 119 efficient spaces, appliances and behaviours, the better. Finally, since the sustainability of our built environment should become the major concern for all, not just architects and scientists, the idea of a “productive footprint” could become a readily available tool to measure the environmental impact and ‘metabolic balance’ of a building or an urban area. We can calculate the productive footprint of a specific project or built area based on the relation between consumption and its regeneration capacity. The footprint could be negative, (if consumption is greater than regeneration), balanced or positive, (if the regeneration capacity is larger than consumption). The ecological footprint has been a very powerful tool to communicate a negative trend. The design processes now need a reverse indicator, to suggest that a positive trend is possible.
1. ECOpuncture project in downtown Milan by workshop W10 at ECOWEEK 2011 in Milan (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2011 Team W10)” 2, 3. Work model of pedestrian and bike traffic crossing over Tuborgvej at “Bispeparken”, Copenhagen by workshop group 1.4 at ECOWEEK 2013 in Copenhagen (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2013 Group 1.4) 4. ECOpuncture project diagram by workshop W10 at ECOWEEK 2011 in Milan (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2011 Team W10) 5. The workshop group 1.4 at ECOWEEK 2013 in Copenhagen (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2013 Group 1.4) 6. Preliminary model of ECOpuncture project by workshop W10 at ECOWEEK 2011 in Milan (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2011 Team W10) 7. Studying sun and shading for the pedestrian and bike traffic crossing over Tuborgvej at “Bispeparken”, Copenhagen by workshop group 1.4 at ECOWEEK 2013 in Copenhagen (Courtesy of ECOWEEK 2013 Group 1.4)
Jan Johansson (Denmark) Architect graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He then had his own office and teaches at KEA - Copenhagen School for Design and Technology, and Copenhagen School of Architecture.
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Designing Sustainable Quality in Architecture for the Users Jan Johansson “The users are just as important as technology” (Bennets R. og Bordass W 2007)
uildings should express architectural quality. Architecture with a sustainable approach must therefore not only celebrate sustainable technologies but also architectural beauty, utility and durability as well. In my opinion Sustainability requires all four. We need to incorporate a social, economic and environmental dimension into each project. We must challenge ourselves and question the traditional methods of the construction industry, which requires the cooperation of politicians, building owners and architects. Since the beginning of 1990s, Denmark has put sustainability high on the political agenda. There has been the political will to develop our buildings and the built environment as a model of sustainablity (DirckinckHolmfeld 1994). Many of our colleagues have experimented with the design of urban spaces without losing sight of the other criteria for sustainable architecture. We have many exciting projects in Denmark we can be proud of. As a matter of fact, not only in
Denmark. Sustainable thinking is widespread in the other Nordic countries as well. This is a work in progress – a journey - with solutions aiming to lead toward a sustainable society. I believe there is a genuine interest and will among the decision-makers, developers, 123 consultants and contractors to cooperate toward sustainable solutions. The public authorities and public housing organizations have typically set the standard and at least for the time being, the private sector has followed their lead. We, as architects, in a post-modern period, have the advantage of reviewing in retrospect, the historic interaction between landscape, climate and architecture. An interaction which has sought – successfully or not – to create a living symbiosis between man and the planet. We have a wide range of construction materials at our disposal. How do we choose them? We should base our choice of materials for each project on the context. This might require some research, decoding of the location, previous or traditional use of materials difficulties of transporation and
maintenance. All of these are the foundation of a sustainable response to the choice of materials. Local materials, less transportation, the use of local labor, investment in the local economy and education of the local craftsmen are some of the actions a building can generate through the choice of materials towards sustainability. It is interesting to me to use building materials with long life spans. It does not make sense to use building materials with different life spans, unless it is possible to disassemble and replace the materials during the lifetime of the buildling. In a context of resource scarcity, recycled materials may contribute significantly to sustainability. The choice of materials must also be guided by the local climate and human comfort, and it is crucial to respect the landscape. Modern Architecture has much to learn from traditional architecture, which was more responsive to the local climate and site conditions particularly with regard to the challenges of sun, rain, wind and materials. Computers, can assist in the analysis of the climate, the topography, temperature, moisture and rainfall, wind and ventilation, as well as light and shadow (Albjerg et al. 2008). Computer technology can assist in the design phase to optimize the building geometry, position and orientation. This has to go hand in hand with the selection of building materials. I was pleased, to be invited as a workshop leader to ECOWEEK in Milan, Jerusalem, Rome and Copenhagen. It has given me the opportunity to meet and work with many
talented students and colleagues from abroad. It is important to interact with experts and build professional networks. This is what ECOWEEK is all about. Through interaction we develop new ideas - it is in the relationship that the world is created (Gergen og Gergen 2005). I teach at KEA - Copenhagen School of Design and Technology and at Copenhagen School of Architecture. At the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, we are in the process of a transformation. We are modifying our program such that sustainability will be at the center of the education we offer. The school has established collaborations with the business community and the public authorities in Denmark to resolve different sustainability issues. For example, ECOWEEK CPH â€“ the ECOWEEK organized in Copenhagen by KEA in May 2013 - was organized in close cooperation with the Copenhagen Municipality, which helped run 30 workshops in the northwest district of Copenhagen. The workshop projects were coordinated with the involvement of the local committee and the local community. Upon completion of the workshop design project, the Municipality was presented with 26 proposals for sustainable interventions in northwest district of Copenhagen. Eventually, the Municipality chose 17 of these projects to be implemented. As a teacher, I focus on educational training and problem-based learning (Dibbern Andersen og Larsen 2006). Meaning that students themselves have to be actively involved in the process of creating ideas for
sustainable solutions. Initially, students may get frustrated because they lack the answers to these problems. But frustration is to be turned into something positive. Frustration means that the students are dealing with difficult issues. They develop a critical attitude to the problem and feel responsible for the solutions they propose. Ownership motivates. Motivation is an important driving force in learning. Then interaction comes in the learning process (Illeris 2006). My experience has been that students are very interested in sustainability and want to take responsibility for sound solutions. It is important to me as an architect, and as a teacher, that sustainability is not just something we teach in a particular semester, but it is something we are committed to and involved in from the first day of school.
I believe that as architects, we must also engage in the question of how the end users perceive sustainable Architecture and the related technologies. In the debate on passive or active technologies, we might think that more passive technologies require more sustainable architecture. I believe that the issue is more complex. It very much depends on the end-usersâ€™ understanding of the passive solutions. It also depends on the usersâ€™ access to knowledge and information and their behavioral and consumption patterns. I truly believe that we are lacking new knowledge in this area and this is the reason I have chosen this subject to be the focus of my PhD research and dissertation. The idea behind this multiple case study
is to investigate the relation between man, sustainability and architecture. The focus is on the user behavior and on sustainable housing. A triangle can be set up for the relationship between architecture, sustainability and the end-user. Subsequently the project investigates their interrelations and interactions. How does the user relate to architecture and sustainability, how is everyday life of the end-user related to architecture and at last, how does the user validate sustainability. The PhD research is conducted in cooperation with different social housing associations in Denmark. The cases are selected based on maximum diversity. I have chosen to investigate new and renovated buildings so that users can be interviewed before and after the sustainable renovation.
Further, cases were chosen with maximum user involvement in political decisionmaking, the design process and operation phases. Documents such as building permits, residentsÂ´ background information, operation and maintenance manuals, will be analyzed. The qualitative methods will be individual and group interviews with administrators, facility managers, caretakers and end-users. The stories and conveyed narrative should describe specific and general experiences, which I hope will offer a broader understanding of usersâ€™ ambitions, challenges and competence regarding managing sustainable settlements. This knowledge may help inform architects in the design of future sustainable housing projects, and benefit the users and managers of Social Housing Association in Denmark.
References Albjerg, Nanna, Kunstakademiet, Arkitektskolen, Institut for Teknologi, Kunstakademiet, og Arkitektskolen. 2008. Klima og arkitektur. [Kbh.]: Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole:
distribution: Arkitektens Forlag. Bennets R. og Bordass W. 2007. «Keep It Simple And Do It Well». Sustainability Supplement to Building Magazine, 28 September 2007, Digging Beneath the Greenwash. Dibbern Andersen, Ole, og Verner Larsen. 2006. Problembaseret læring: nye måder at undervise på - bedre måder at lære på. Odense: Erhvervsskolernes Forlag. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Kim. 1994. Økologisk byggeri i Danmark = Danish ecological building. [Denmark]: Arkitektens forlag. Gergen, Kenneth J, og Mary M. Gergen. 2005. Social konstruktion: ind i samtalen. Dansk Psykologisk Forlag; Illeris, Knud. 2006. Læring. Frederiksberg: Roskilde Universitetsforlag. Johansson, Jan. 2013. «Sustainable Housing - The User Focus». I Housing and Urban Sustainability: Towards Horizon 2020. University Rovira i Virgili, Campus Catalunya, Tarragona, Spain.
1. Glocal intergrations: tentative interrelations and cycles forming eco-systems and eco-challenges (Courtesy of Gil Peled) 2. Retrofit scenarios: additions, transformations and conversions of low-rise high-density residential buildings (Courtesy of Gil Peled) 3. Waterproofing and insulating work on an existing building in Jerusalem (Courtesy of Gil Peled) 4. Retrofit implementations at building and neighborhood scale (Courtesy of Gil Peled)
Gil Peled (Israel) Founder of Eco-Challenges Sustainable Design & Consultancy, has pioneered sustainable retrofits of existing residential buildings in Israel.
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Green Retrofit: a Challenge at Global Levels Gil Peled Sustainable development: a shift towards glocal integration
he Rio+20 summitin 2012 revealed the limitations of national governments in implementing sustainable development (SD) and a reduction of CO2 emissions. It also affirmed that tackling these issues may be most effective at city and local levels. Since already half of the worldâ€™s population live in cities which generate most of the global waste, pollution and emissions, this shift to glocal integration makes sense. The summit also formed a global network of stakeholders, including local authorities, academia, NGOs, businesses and media. The network enables all to participate in the ongoing efforts to achieve broad SD goals. In Israel it is becoming clear that SD can be achieved most effectively at a municipal
level. Over the last decade several successful grassroots initiatives led by individuals, communities and NGOs have shown that existing neighborhoods and communities can effectively implement SD. These initiatives include community gardens, composting, urban farming, bicycle routes, restoration 131 of urban nature and green retrofitting of existing buildings. Several municipalities have embraced these initiatives in their environmental policies. New ideas existing buildings, and neighborhoods Worldwide, there are approximately one billion existing buildings in total. This vast global infrastructure is one of the most significant consumers of energy and environmental polluters, pushing ecologies at all scales to their limits. As the vast majority
of buildings which will be used in the next 30 to 50 years already exist, improvements made to the existing stock will significantly reduce environmental impact. The retrofitting may create economic savings and social inclusion. In many countries, renovation and refurbishment have become major economic drivers exceeding the volume and value of new construction. Furthermore, the work supports the local industries allowing for innovative and adaptive reuse, transformation and conversion. Green building standards have already incorporated evaluations for refurbishment of existing buildings of different types. However, managing the existing building stock remains a challenging and complex endeavor as it requires integration and inclusion of several public and private stakeholders. This complexity increases when entire neighborhoods with unusual physical and social characteristics are involved. These challenges create opportunities to renew urban infrastructure, improve public health and environment as well as building aesthetics on a large scale. Several tools have been developed for planning and managing sustainable and affordable retrofits at building and neighborhood levels. The
Retrofit Israel Campaign is an initiative to promote these goals. The Retrofit Israel Campaign - a work in progress The Retrofit Israel Campaign was initiated by the author in 2002. The first step began with creating the Jerusalem Eco-Housing Pilot Project, a project which pioneered green retrofits of existing multi-residential buildings in Israel. The Pilot Project focused on the sustainable and affordable improvement of a typical multi-storey residential building, with the active participation of the tenants in the process. A methodology has been developed to address acute issues, incorporating those outlined in the principles of BREEAM, One Planet Living and Local Agenda 21. These include: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, promotion of alternative means of transportation, the use of sustainable materials and the health and safety ofresidents. The program enabled reduction of waste and emissions (up to 80%), while enhancing the health and well-being of the residents. Consequently, the property value increased significantly. The second phase based on the experience gained from the Pilot Project included procedures and specifications to improve
the environmental management of the existing housing stock. It became clear that a widespread reduction of environmental impacts at local level could bring the desired reductions of the impact at a national level. Various opportunities for intervention have been identified including: retrofit in conjunction with National Plan 38 (strengthening buildings against earthquakes with additional construction and upgrade of existing infrastructure), World Heritage conservation sites, urban regeneration projects which increase urban density and community-led initiatives (community gardens, urban farming etc.) The project was promoted among relevant stakeholders in the country, including the Presidentâ€™s Office, Ministries (Interior, Environmental Protection, Energy and National Infrastructure, and Housing), various Municipalities, businesses developing green technologies, practitioners, NGOs and the broader public. The aim was to create awareness of green retrofit projects and to create a market demand, including publicprivate partnerships for implementation. The Pilot Project was open to visitors and has inspired many around the country and beyond to take action. It has also been presented at various national and international venues
and in the local media. After several years during which central and local government were reluctant to adopt green retrofit in their policies, new standards are being adopted specific to green retrofit. The process is now entering its third stage: 133 proliferated implementation. There are currently over 10 projects at various stages in Israel. The author has also established The Green Retrofit Network to facilitate and encourage knowledge transfer at glocal level. Sustainable development requires all stake holders, private and public to work together and focus their efforts at the local level and in cities. The Israel Retrofit Campaign, still underway, has shown this to be true at a neighborhood and community level. However, the Pilot Project and Campaign have required patience, persistence and perseverance. References: Synthesis of National Reports for Rio+20 Summit, 2012 Peled G.,The Jerusalem Eco-Housing Pilot Project, 2008 Sustainable Buildings:The Challenge of the Existing Stock, 2005
1. Cover of ‘The World’s Greenest Buildings’ (Routledge, 2013) by Ulf Meyer and Jerry Yudelson (Courtesy of Ulf Meyer) 2. Workshop led by Ulf Meyer at ECOWEEK 2012 in the Middle East, hosted at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem (Image ECOWEEK)
Ulf Meyer (Germany) Architect, senior associate at the architecture office of HENN in Germany. Graduated of the Technical University (TU) of Berlin and studied-abroad at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago.
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In Search of the Truly Green Building Ulf Meyer
verybody talks about ‘green’ buildings yet few seem to know exactly what they are. ‘Green’ buildings often do not look “green”, but can be identifies as such only through their performance and other often invisible factors. But how can we evaluate performance? Until now, in our profession, there is no culture of collecting performance data of buildings or a transparent methodology to share this data. This leaves us with too many unsubstantiated claims! After writing, thinking and teaching about “green” architecture for several years, I became increasingly frustrated with this reality. I was therefore very happy when Jerry Yudelson, a prominent ‘green’ building engineer from Tucson/Arizona asked me to write a book about this topic with him. It really happened and the book, “The World’s Greenest Buildings” has now been published. We set out to do something that may seem rather simple: to collect the data of the world’s best performing buildings and compile them in our book to measure their “promise versus performance”. This seemingly simple task turned out to be very, very difficult. It became apparent that there are very few trust-worthy post-occupancy evaluations in the world that could be compared. Nevertheless, we were determined to persevere since worldwide, buildings and their operations, including construction, renovation, supply and maintenance, account for about 40% of global anthropogenic carbon emissions. The has
energy performance of buildings received growing attention from
governments, businesses and NGOs. We found that many people realize that global climate change cannot be seriously addressed without tackling the issue of the energy performance of buildings. Most designers know that the energy performance of buildings can be improved with simple 137 improvements in design, construction and operational standards. There is also growing public appreciation towards the benefits of energy efficient buildings, sustainable design, intelligent location, water conservation, materials and resource conservation and indoor environmental quality. There has been a professional debate about the real performance of ‘green’ buildings, especially in terms of the reductions in energy and water use. Recent research has shown that most LEED-certified projects consume an average of about 30% less energy than those designed according to the baseline ASHRAE Standard 90.1. Yet this debate centers around a small group of projects, perhaps 25% of the total certified ‘green’ buildings, that are showing to be performing worse than conventional buildings, built to standard code requirements. These projects fail to deliver projected savings, and therefore the question is whether a project which does not deliver any savings in energy or carbon emissions should be referred to as a “green” building. In, spite of the fact that is meets the criteria of the appropriate rating system. Recent research has shown that most LEED-
certified projects deliver an average of about 30 percent energy savings, when compared with a baseline determined by the ASHRAE Standard 90.1. So, as actual performance information was missing for ‘green’ building projects, we set out to collect it.. Third-party ‘green’ building rating systems first came into use in the early 2000s. Beginning about 2006, these systems began to take off, as thousands of projects registered. The first system was BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). This was followed by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council, and currently
in use by more than 30,000 non-residential projects in more than 150 countries giving a top rating of Platinum to about 6% of total certified projects. The Australian Green Star system (also used in New Zealand and South Africa) gives a top rating of 6 Star to a handful of certified projects. Similar ‘green’ building systems have been established in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and France. LEED has been adopted (and adapted for local conditions) in Canada and India. Some countries on the Arabian Peninsula have created their own ‘green’ building codes, notably Qatar and the UAE. However, at this time, LEED is the dominant system worldwide. The salient fact in ‘green’ building rating systems is that they are converging around
similar issues, measurements and weightings of relative importance of environmental attributes, with energy use as the largest single factor. With nearly 100 countries having national ‘green’ building councils, the issue of how the ‘greenest’ buildings in the world are actually performing has become a subject of great interest and importance. Because actual performance data was missing for most “green” building projects, we set out to find this information. We needed to select the “world’s greenest buildings” for our book. To qualify a building had to meet all of the following conditions: 1. Have a built area exceeding 4500-square meters. Only non-residential buildings would be 2. considered. 3. Enjoy the highest grade in a rating system. 4. The owners and managers must be willing to share a full year of energy use data. 5. Having begun operations after January 1, 2004. The energy performance should be 6. equivalent to the “best results” based on local climate and the building type. One of our aims was to demonstrate that ‘green’ buildings, low energy use and great architecture are not incompatible. On the contrary: we believe that beautiful architecture is essential for sustainable design. Unattractive buildings will not enjoy the commitment of owners and occupants which is required for the long term maintenance and upkeep necessary for the efficient functioning of a building.
Longevity is critical to compensate for the carbon emissions and embodied energy of the materials used in the construction and support of buildings. We can have great ‘green’ buildings with zero net energy use which inspire the transformation of building 139 design and the construction industry.
1. Rose Lee’s House (Photographer Tim Hursley) 2. Interior of Rose Lee’s House (Photographer Tim Hursley) 3, 4. Constructing Rose Lee’s House (Photographer Tim Hursley) 5. General view of Rose Lee’s House (Photographer Tim Hursley) 6. Detail of courtyard wall and window at Rose Lee’s House (Courtesy of Rural Studio) 7. Detail drawing for Rose Lee’s House (Courtesy of Rural Studio) 8. Work at the old barn for Rose Lee’s House (Courtesy of Rural Studio) 9. Building the trusses for Rose Lee’s House (Courtesy of Rural Studio)
Elena Barthel (USA & Italy) Architect at the Rural Studio. Graduate of the University of Florence in Italy. Recently completed her PHD with the thesis ‘Design & Build at the Rural Studio: the Education of the Citizen Architect’.
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Ingredients Elena Barthel
aking good architecture is like making good food: they both rely on the appropriate choice of good ingredients. For me the process of choosing ingredients is the best part of making architecture (and food). I enjoy every single step: it starts with a good dose of observation and research, a variety of explorations, and then, finally, testing. The range of ingredients can be as broad as your imagination and as appropriate as your sensibility. I would like to suggest that an unconditional trust in your personal instinct, curiosity, the involvement of multidisciplinary knowledge and an open interpretation of precedent ‘recipes’, are the keys to a fruitful process.
There are two important actions in the process of choosing ingredients: 1. The understanding of their provenance: the relationship with the place, the people, the local habits, culture, economy, climate and landscape. Given my Italian roots, I fully appreciate eating a tomato ‘Fiorentino’ and 143 building with terracotta bricks in Tuscany, or to eat capers from Pantelleria and to build with limestone in Sicily. But when you “take away the place” from the ingredients they are not as satisfying. In Sicily, the south, the tomato Florentine ‘Fiorentino’ doesn’t taste as good, and in Florence the southern Pantelleria capers are not as fragrant. Similarly, the Tuscan terracotta brick doesn’t protect the
Sicilian buildings from heat as well as the indigenous reflective white stone; whilst transposed southern Puglia limestone doesn’t keep the heat inside the northern construction as well as the Florentine red clay. Food and architecture when tied to their contexts and in support of the local social and economic fabric, inevitably respect the environment, perform efficiently, age beautifully, and give everybody a great experience! 2. Scavenging for unpredictable ingredients: In the Italian kitchen, ‘yesterday leftovers’, are the best ingredients for surprise pasta dishes. Unique meals almost impossible to replicate! I love to let leftovers inspire my lunch. How should I combine them? What should I add? The answers come through a mutual dialogue between me and what is sitting in the refrigerator. Architecture is the same. Salvaging neglected materials and reinterpreting the traditional is for me the greatest pleasure of the design and making process. Finding the appropriate use for waste materials is a design challenge that forces to dare try out unusual construction methods.
At the same time experimenting with unconventional building types requires the design of very clear structural hierarchies: the building’s primary and secondary structures, the exterior finishing and details. How should they act when the expression of the building demands a rough and irregular recycled material? This is a great challenge to the architect! The results of this type of architecture are usually unique and are as unpredictable as the ingredients in food. To succeed, it needs a lot of passion, patience and rigor and that is what makes the job of the architect interesting! Ultimately, giving priority to local and salvaged ingredients is a good alternative to the devastating contemporary homogenized architecture and to the globalized fast food industry. The fundamental question is: why should we expect to eat the same type of dish and live in the same building type all around the globe? I challenge you to think of a good reason. I first heard about the Rural Studio in 2000 when a friend gave me a book with the profound dedication: “One day we should go
work with them!” The book was titled: ‘Rural Studio, Samuel Mockbee an Architecture of Decency’. One year later I was stacking straw bale and aluminium cans for a Rural Studio exhibition in Barcelona. After the Spanish experience I started visiting the studio once a year and in 2008 I went to Newbern to teach the Second Year Studio as a visiting professor. I am now an assistant professor running the Rural Studio Farm: a multi-phased project, focused on the redesign of the studio’s property as an opportunity to experiment with organic food, renewable energies and sustainable building materials. The Farm is intended as a prototypical self-efficient homestead, and a way of thinking locally with a holistic attitude. The project responds to a critical problem of contemporary rural low-income communities: the disappearance of the fresh locally grown food and its traditional culinary culture. In West Alabama, over the last one hundred years, most local growers have disappeared together with the associated devastation of the population health, social and economic
fabric. In 20 years we expect 80% of the local population to be obese. The small scale food systems have been replaced by largescale farming industries with no concern for the long-term environmental consequences of their cultivation methods and produces. In parallel with the growth of cities and
‘Expandable Courtyard House,’ with the idea of responding to the transient nature of the contemporary family. We wanted to test a low-rise model for the densification of rural villages, as an alternative to the diffused “Subrural” sprawl, able to accommodate the elders and the young together.
the urban sprawl, the quality of the edible produce has decreased. The results are rural settlements progressively transformed from dense villages surrounded by agricultural land, to sub-rural sprawls with fast food strips. I believe that architects should respond to this challenge! Since the beginning of the program (1994) the Rural Studio youngest students have been charged with the design and construction of single-family houses. In 2008, the group under my charge had the opportunity to build Rose Lee Turner and her two sons, in Footwash, a small community south of the Rural Studio headquarters. Hers was a very common west Alabama family, supported by Federal subsidy, with simple living conditions and no running water. She is part of the 26% of the population in Hale County who still live below the poverty line, relying on a small and fragile economy. Rose’s family’s lack of resources informed every step of our design and the building process. We
Learning from the traditional local farmhouse, Rose Lee’s House can expand and grow over time according to the family’s needs and available resources. It can be maintained with a small budget and is built with local and scavenged materials. The 1,200 square foot dwelling has been designed with a core volume known as ‘The Machine’ with a perpendicular ‘Expansion Wing’ on the west side of the site. ‘The Machine’ provides the basic family needs: the main bedroom, a large living-dining room, kitchen and bathroom. The ‘Expansion Wing’ provides two more bedrooms for Rose’s sons. Two very different outdoor spaces help the house environmentally. On the front of the building, we dedicated a horizontal and very typical southern porch to Rose’s social life. Facing south, it shades the building and offers a cool place to sit during the hot West Alabama months. The backyard faces north, brings natural light, ventilation and the landscape into the center of the house offering a winter mild outdoor living room. The “daytime” part of the house is situated between the front porch and the courtyard, both accessible by large sliding doors with a good cross ventilation throughout the day.
To respond to the family’s lack of resources: both the kitchen and bathroom have natural light and a clerestory in the front of the house allows sunlight to heat the main living space in winter. The exterior of Rose Lee’s house is fully wrapped with cedar: a resinous local wood traditionally used in West Alabama buildings because of its water resistant qualities. The wood gives to the house a strong character, long lasting facades and the name ‘Cedar House’, illustrating the students’ intention to support the local log industry. Inside the dwelling, the living room walls and roof trusses are built with 2”X8”s heart pine reclaimed from an old barn nearby. Another ‘zero miles’, locally sourced, ingredient for Rose Lee’s home!
At the Rural Studio the ingredients are important. Beyond the mandate to train young architects, the Studio over the last twenty years took on the responsibility to understand, respect, and support the local community. When choosing materials our students have the moral responsibility to understand the 147 social, economic and environmental impact of their choices. We always encourage them to see every ingredient as an opportunity to both experiment and help their clients to affordably build and maintain their projects. It is a matter of appropriateness, and social responsibility. This is what we call sustainability with a small‘s’: a low tech, low maintenance but highly responsive approach towards architecture and its environmentally valuable ingredients.
1. Hot arid desert: Controlled microclimate with evaporative cooling tower. Administration building, Ben Gurion (BGU) Sede Boqer Campus, Israel. Design by DAUP (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 2. Temperate dry Mediterranean: Traditional housing in Southern Greece (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 3. Tropical: Private house with deep eaves and elevated rooftop for ventilation. Palm Beach, Florida, USA (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 4. Hyper arid desert: Cernacular mud house with cane and reed structure. Atacama, Chile (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 5. Warm humid: Shading envelope around library building at Sunshine Coast University. SE Queensland, Australia. Design by Donovan Hill (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 6. Borderline oceanic: Arcade as semi-private, semipublic transition space. Prague, Czech Republic (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 7. Continental warm: Arcade as semi-private, semipublic transition space. Evora, Portugal (Courtesy of Isaac Meir) 8. Humid continental: Intelligent structural design saves embodied energy. Golden LEED Hearst Tower in New York, USA. Design by Norman Foster. (Courtesy of Isaac Meir)
Isaac Meir (Israel) Desert Architecture expert, graduate of the Technion Institute of Technology and Associate Professor and former Chair of the Desert Architecture & Urban Planning of Ben Gurion University.
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Green Architecture - the Architecture of Survivability Isaac A. Meir “Dwellings are built to serve a variety of functions, but one of the most important is to create living conditions that are acceptable to their occupiers, particularly in relation to the prevailing climates.” Paul Oliver (2003) Dwellings Abstract Is ‘green’ – sustainable - architecture a necessity or a commodity? Is it relevant for rich and developed countries only, or is it also applicable to poor and developing countries? Is it about high-tech solutions, or is it about simple solutions which can be lowtech? The discourse on the benefits of green architecture has been going on for a number of years. First studies have been published in some countries aiming at establishing a cost-benefit model to assess the pros and cons of ‘green’ architecture. Yet this paper will attempt to make the case for the survivability advantages of ‘green’ sustainable design, especially in countries where advanced technologies are but a dream, and where the majority of the population lives, works and studies in substandard buildings which can rarely provide more than literally a roof over their heads. Introduction Traditional vernacular architecture has developed over generations aiming to make the best use of the materials provided by the immediate natural environment. Where the climate was extreme, architectural solutions aimed at providing either an insulating envelope from the extreme cold (e.g., the Inuit igloo) , or for the extreme heat (e.g.,
underground dwellings in Matmata, Tunisia, or the North Western Provinces, PRC). Where climate and weather vary through seasons and daytime they dictated flexible solutions (e.g., intramural migration, as in traditional Iranian dwellings). Where the climate was hot and humid traditional dwellings were 151 mere permeable shading envelopes allowing free ventilation for comfort, while providing protection from sun and rain. Where the climate dictated movement between summer and winter pasture, vernacular solutions produced shelter types easy to dismantle, transport and erect (e.g., the Bedouin
black tent of the Middle East and North Africa – MENA, or the Mongol yurt common throughout Central Asia). Among the pronounced characteristics of the vernacular types are transition spaces – both in and out, or neither entirely in nor entirely out – which allow functional flexibility and modified microclimate. The vast variety of such solutions – and their amazing similarities in essence yet not necessarily in form – have been documented systematically in Paul Oliver’s opus magnum on world vernacular architecture. But one needs not look for the exotic or the remote to realize how local constraints have shaped the physical environment up to about the beginning of the 20th century. Since the industrial revolution new technologies have offered technical solutions to practically all environmental and other constraints: electric lighting, air-conditioning, elevators and escalators. More recently technology has introduced selective glazing coatings, intelligent control systems and in the near future may even introduce interactive facades and whole building systems which learn the user’s daily living patterns and can react accordingly. What seemed to be science fiction a few years ago has already become feasible. But are such solutions necessary for green architecture and even if so, are they relevant for and accessible to everybody? Is there an overhead green architecture must put on the price of a project, or can we do things differently?
‘Green’ Architecture through the cost-benefit looking glass One of the methodological problems in the cost-benefit analysis of ‘green’ buildings is the need for a statistically wide inventory of existing buildings allowing a statistically significant analysis of the costs and evaluation of the benefits. Few countries can provide today a sufficient inventory of ‘green’ buildings necessary for this analysis. Though there is a fundamental discourse on what is indeed a ‘green’ building – and not merely a ‘greenwash’ -, we shall not enter it in this paper due to the limited length, and shall accept what other researchers have defined as ‘green’. Nor shall we try to compare the different assessment tools, e.g., LEED, BREEAM, CASBEE, Green Star, Estidama and others, and will only state that such differences are big and often of fundamental implications, not least in failing to incorporate the user factor. However, if we disregard all such discrepancies and look at the data, we can see that the range of costs of ‘green’ buildings is 0-10% higher than non-‘green’ buildings (of course there are outliers in both categories). This seems to be in agreement with theoretical cost-benefit models built and tested in Israel, for example. What most of the researchers and practitioners agree on is that the earlier in the design process ‘green’ decisions are made and ‘green’ concepts introduced, the lower their added costs, if any at all. This stems from the different nature of decisions
in the design process. The orientation of the project on the site vis-à-vis solar movement and wind directions may have no cost, but great benefits, among them solar protection in the summer and free solar access in winter allowing passive heating, wind protection in the winter and wind exposure to summer night breezes allowing passive cooling. Other items on the ‘green’ architecture solutions inventory may include upgrading thermal insulation above the lower threshold defined by building standards and legislation, where such exist. The upgrade will carry added costs which represent only the material added to that already defined by law. Such added costs are usually negligible relative to the overall costs of a housing unit or office space, yet the resulting benefits in terms of energy conservation may prove significant. Other issues of ‘green’ architecture include the conservation of resources allowed by energy conserving building systems (e.g., lighting, heating ventilation and air-conditioning – HVAC, elevators and escalators); water conserving systems (e.g., dual flushing toilets, harvesting of rainwater and HVAC condensation, grey water and sewage treatment and reuse on site); as well as a much broader life cycle energy assessment (LCEA) of materials and buildings as a whole. Buildings in industrialized countries are responsible for nearly 50% of the energy usage (including embodied energy) thus also responsible for about 50% of carbon emissions. Preference of
materials with low embodied energy has farreaching implications. It promotes less energy use in the production of buildings, which 153 means lower demand for energy generation, and this lowers emissions and thus promotes public health and climate change mitigation. Public health in itself is an issue of direct relevance to ‘green’ architecture, yet so multifaceted and complex that it is mostly ignored
or miscalculated. It falls under the broad and undefined term of externalities – indirect costs, yet the implications are of no external nature to most of us. Materials emitting gases and particles include most of the commonly used finish materials and products. Their emissions affect indoor environment quality (IEQ) which in turn affects the well-being, productivity and health of building users. It is estimated that over 30% of all new and renovated buildings have poor IEQ which is often expressed as the ‘sick building syndrome’ (SBS). The few studies carried out so far estimate the cost of such externalities to millions of dollars per year per country caused by lost productivity, absenteeism and sick leave, and long term health deterioration. Consequently, correcting the problem will have multiple benefits – for the building user, the owner and the public at large. Part of the discourse focuses on who should pay for the added costs. Developers are concerned with lowering construction costs, whereas owners are concerned with lower operational costs. Such different interests foster friction between stakeholders. The only theoretically objective player is the regulator (State), which should have public health and environmental quality as its priority. It should thus be assumed that the State should promote legislation, standards and practices for the benefit of the public, including making mandatory the post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of projects which can ensure proper use and allow adjustments by the architect, consultants, managers and occupants.. This would require public funds in the form of
incentives until ‘green’ practices become the norm. But is the State’s intervention indeed so badly and urgently needed? It is all about survivability and resilience Recent years have brought the realization that climate is changing and climatic instability and unpredictability are becoming the norm. These affect livelihoods and communities, shaking the foundations of long established behavioral and economic patterns. Among communities affected the most are the poorest ones living in fragile environments, e.g., drylands and deserts, small islands and river deltas. We are already experiencing a gradual exodus of communities from their homelands due to climate change. Australia and New Zealand were preparing to absorb communities of climate refugees from the small atoll nations of the Pacific, while the Netherlands and other low countries were preparing to relocate many of their communities to safer grounds once it became uneconomical to keep them below the rising sea levels, yet as of recent most of these plans have been cancelled. Recent research warns that Australia may be forced to abandon many of its desert communities as global warming will make them economically unsustainable. We are already past the point of contemplating potential long term effects. Already in the summer of 2003 Europe experienced an extreme heat wave which in France alone caused over 15,000 deaths in excess of the annual average for the month of August. Since then we have repeatedly experienced such extreme events. Regions on the edge of
deserts are warming and drying up bringing their populations to more extreme conditions, accompanied also by heavy and more frequent dust and sand storms, all of which affect morbidity and mortality. 155
So what has ‘green’ architecture to do with all this? For one, it can provide better, more livable indoor environments for exacerbated climatic conditions without overburdening the power infrastructure. Furthermore, ‘green’ architecture can reduce the buildings’ overall impact on the environment. For developing countries the issue of power infrastructure stress may be critical due to poor infrastructures, making the issue of survivability even more urgent and extreme. This is even more important in countries undergoing rapid urbanization alongside population growth, which unfortunately tend to be poorer and their infrastructure less developed. In a recent longitudinal study on green building standards in MENA some distinctly different trends were identified in the twenty countries surveyed. Whereas smaller and already urbanized countries are taking a ‘green’ path as a strategic option, the larger poorer and rapidly growing countries are for the time being paying lip service to ‘green’ solutions. This is potentially disastrous, since rural populations flooding the already overburdened cities will have to deal with hotter and drier conditions in denser, low quality housing. For these communities, sustainable architecture is not just a matter of choice, but a matter of survivability!
1. Preliminary proposals for Cultivate it! ECOWEEK 2011 workshop in Thessaloniki (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 2. 8 m2 Habitat (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 3. Crack Typography 1 (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 4. Crack Typography 2 (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros). 5. Crack Typography 3 (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 6. Synoikia Pittaki (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 7. 150 colorful lights in Athens (Photographer Nikos Libertas) 8. Cultivate it! Presentation panel of ECOWEEK 2011 workshop in Thessaloniki (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 9. Cultivate it! ECOWEEK 2011 workshop team in Thessaloniki (Courtesy of Vasileios Ntovros) 10, 11. Transformati (Photographer Alice Fiorilli)
Vasileios Ntovros (Greece) Architect graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with graduate studies at IAAC-Barcelona. Founding member of lighting team BEFORE LIGHT.
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Looking for ECO-Logic Vasileios Ntovros
s the word Ecology originates from the Greek words eco-οἶκος (=house), logy -λογία, (=study of), it is easily understood that it refers to our “big house”, Nature itself. Humanity has ignored the environment, exploiting our planet for the sake of economic and social growth. Statistics from all over the world reflect that we are exceeding our planets bio-capacity and simultaneously ignoring the consequences that are starting to appear. We are facing an immense challenge to re-discover the “logic of our house” not only as a society but each one of us individually as well. I’d like to share some professional and personal experiences and use specific examples to illustrate my views. a. Working methods Sustainability should be understood as a compound challenge with applications to society, the economy and the environment. It is true that when working for social change, teaching young students or writing for newspapers may have better results than designing and constructing buildings. However, given the appropriate project, we have the opportunity to work with multidisciplinary teams of environmental engineers, graphic designers, sociologists, economists, archaeologists with indifferent types of organizational structures. Whether working in a loose collaborative, hierarchical partnership or professionally managed team the final result and the efficiency of the process will depend on effective
communication. Using different design tools to continuously test visual techniques and climatic simulations will offer the opportunity for each participant in the professional team to exchange information and contribute to the design decisions. It may sometimes seem that issues of sustainability are stifling our creative freedom. The truth is that by choosing to work in this field, one is obliged to accept a series of constraints. On the other hand, there is no other way to reach the real goal, i.e. design for aharmonic coexistence with nature. I would prefer to think of these limitations as opportunities to understand the relationship between humanity and the natural environment. As a matter of fact, we are part of this natural system which, if left alone, works extremely efficiently.
b. Testing different sustainable strategies
space, materials and energy.
Our work aspires to educate people not only through the final building but through the process and the effort to impose sustainable practices in ordinary life. I would like to suggest six key ideas or strategies which we tested on different occasions.
Encourage Reuse Recognizing that consuming natural resources is often a non-renewable process, means that natural resources might be exhausted if we continue the current levels of consumption. Reuse of resources is necessary for managing consumption and limiting the generation of waste.
Living with less The challenge for every human activity is to understand itsreal needs and then to minimize the human footprint in the use of
Technology changes the rules of production Technology continues to revolutionize. Since the Industrial Revolution and until the Digital Age, technology is changing the hierarchy of centrally controlled productionâ€™. Social networks combined with DIY solutions can replace hierarchical financial and manufacturing structures. Activate social interAction Charles Bukowski said: â€œWe must bring our own light to the darkness. Nobody is going to do it for us.â€? Only community involvement can-repair the real problems and address the needs of the community itself. Integrate sustainable strategies in the design ofbuildings The construction of the building and the necessary maintenance throughout its lifecycle, are processes that use significant amounts of energy and pollute the natural environment. By integrating sustainablestrategies, we are contributing in
reversingthe “negative” impactof buildingson the environment. Teaching sustainability The process of teaching concepts of sustainability, gives one the opportunity not only to educate people to face our socialeconomical-environment problems with respect and creativity, but also to continuously research and challenge our personal assumptions. c. Examples 8m3 Habitat: sustainability of the space. Athens, Greece, 2012 I was commissioned to transform a special space into a guest room. The space was extremely small measuring 1.74 m in length, 2.54 m in width and 1.80 m in height: a total volume of approximately 8m3. The space included a wide range of temporary functions such as a place to sleep, to lounge, storage, a wardrobe, a small library space, flexible lighting, and handicapped access. The design attempted to integrate all these uses and to ensure they were viable, even if they overlapped. This habitation unit embodies modern life with minimal space at the lowest possible cost. We had to ensure that the quality of the space was not proportionate to the area and volume but rather to the investment in and
attention to design. Crack Typography: towards the landscape, 161 bioclimatic elements. Chalkis, Greece, 2010 (with Rodrigo Rubio Cuadrado, Margen-Lab) The study was for the new building for the firm “TYPOTECHNIKI graphics” located in the semi-rural area of Chalkis in Greece. The aim of the architectural proposal was the direct dialogue between human activity and the natural environment. Through the integration of climatic data we developed a combined volume-void proposal. The roof of a seemingly rigid rectangular space is broken into two open double roofs. This break –“the crack” - creates a skylight in the middle of the building for optimal ventilation and a view of the landscape from the office level. At the same time, a series of climatic considerations and ecofriendly materials such as optimal solar orientation, cross ventilation, a planted roof, a vertical garden, the use of recycled wood products - such as OSB, perlite etc. - helped create a proposal with a minimum negative environmental impact. Finally the continuous partly planted sidewalk, gives the necessary rigor and physical protection for the industrial functioning of the building. The entrance to the space ensures a direct relationship with the outside natural environment.
people to gather, observe and participate to the development of the project. Theprocess of repairing, testing and waterproofing the lamps was made possible through engaged volunteers that prepared more than 150 lamps and created a colorful ceiling over the street. A big inaugural street party took place during which all the lighters were turned on. Despite heavy rain people who donated their lights, their friends, the volunteers of the project, the neighborhood residents and people from all over Athens came to see the lights and to enjoy the installation and its effect on the neighborhood.
Synoikia Pittaki: Citizensâ€™ engagement Athens, Greece, 2012 (with Imagine The City, Beforelight ) Pittaki is a small street in Monastiraki area, in the heart of Athens. There are only a few small shops and very few residents. It never drew too much attention until the project â€œSynoikia Pittakiâ€? began. The people of Athens were invited and mobilized to donate their old lighting fixtures for the creation of a participatory lighting installation. Murals where painted along the walls of the street, in order to transform theabandoned streets of central Athens, into a more user-friendly space. An abandoned shop was temporarily transformed into an open workspace for
Cultivate it!: Sustainable strategy. ECOWEEK, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2011 (with Arch. Maria Koutsari, and Arch. Theodoris Theodoridis) The aim of this workshop was to introduce students to the complex idea of sustainability through different aspects: social, economic, and environmental. More specifically, the goal was to Design and Construct a selling point in a street market, reusing abandoned materials from the market. The urban activity of the open-air market involved many significant, and sustainable, stimuli: a. Social: human contact; street reclaimed for pedestrians; human scale. b. Economic: brings producer closer to consumer; functional mobility. c. Environmental: ephemeral nature (sharing of public space); waste management.
The workshop evolved in 3 phases: a. Mapping: collecting and presenting real data on the street market. b. Component: identifying a material to be re-used and developing it into a structural component. c. ‘Battlefield’: Hands-on construction of a pavilion-selling point, in real time during the short time period of a street market. Through these phases, we tested prototypes and reviewed different possible ”products to sell”. We finally constructed a small pavilion which was built out of accumulated – and recycled empty plastic crates. The crates were also filled with soil and seeds and were handed to people, spreading the idea of city farming in a balcony, terrace, or free open space. I trasformati: DIY energy saving structure Ammirato Cultural Center, Lecce, Italy, 2011 (with Arch. Fabiano Spano) The aim of the workshop was to experiment in constructing a photovoltaic cupola in scale 1:1, within the Ammirato Cultural Center, a 16th century building in Lecce, Italy. The guiding ideas were to integrate photovoltaic elements into an architectural form, to experiment with wood as the basic material, and to build it based on Do-ItYourself methods. The working method was based on a continuous experimentation of the structural properties of wood, while the tested results were used as feedback for parametric design. The final design of the photovoltaic roof was constructed and installed by the participants, thus having the opportunity to go through
the entire process of parametric design, tested prototypes, material properties, manufacturing of building elements and management of construction.
1, 2, 3, 4. ZeroHome (Photographer Barak Brinker) 5, 6, 7. The Solar Decathlon Project (Photographer Lior Avitan and Julia Berezina) 8, 9, 10. The Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University (Photographer Shai Epstein)
Joseph Cory (Israel) Architect and founder of GEOTECTURA, an award-winning architectural studio.
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Green Scale Dr. Joseph Cory
hen invited to write about sustainability from my experience as an Israeli architect I asked myself a question one should ask often: Are we sustainable enough in our own practice? Do we make our world a better place with what we accomplish through design and teaching? Does our work balance the social and economic objectives of our buildings with our ecological aspirations and can they therefore be considered sustainable? I will try to answer this question by presenting three projects I have worked on during the last few years, which I consider to be truly sustainable. The three projects are very different in scale, budget and program. However, in my opinion they share the same sustainable values. In retrospect and from my experience in these three projects, I believe that by defining basic principles we can set a moral compass to steer our design towards sustainability, regardless the size or budget of the project.
within an ecological capsule: both the energy needed should be produced and all the waste produced should be processed within the boundaries of the property. The challenge was not only technical but educational as well. The house was designed to be disconnected 167 from the municipal sewage system, national electric, water and gas grids. However, it meets all the clients’ existential needs: water, food, heating and protection from the elements. The house offers adequate space for sleeping, entertaining, work and rest, and recycles all its waste. The client lives comfortably not only without damaging the environment but perhaps being a benefit to the environment as well. The entrance to the house is the silhouette a child may sketch for a ‘house’. Upon entering the house though you may realize that this world has ‘flipped’ and the rear of the house has the same silhouette as the front but upside down. This symbolic act provokes the visitor to think about the changes needed as
Self Sustained House: ZeroHome Project Design: Geotectura Size: 18 sq.m. Budget: 5,000$ This project was born out of a request by a client to build her a small and movable house with a minimal environmental footprint. She wanted to grow her own food and never depend on anyone outside the perimeter of her home. A key aspect of the design of the house was the requirement to educate visitors by showing them that it is possible to live
we strive towards a sustainable lifestyle. The surprising and dynamic interior enables the client to slow the pace and converse with the many hasty visitors. She talks about breathing deeply, eating fresh food, spending time with friends, sharing generously, connecting to the community, returning our “waste” to the earth and much more. All these simple things are somehow perceived as quaint and unattainable in our hyperactive consumer culture. The client wanted the home to guide all her guests to rediscover these values while inside the “eco womb”. The house functions as a vessel containing thoughts and gives the client and her guests a space in time to connect to their most basic of needs by asking: Is the air we’re breathing nurturing us? Is the water we’re drinking clean enough? Is the food we’re eating really healthy? Where do the remains of our food go? Do we love enough? Where did our childhood dreams go? ZeroHome was built with a minimal budget. Almost all of the building materials were
collected from waste. Most of the appliances and materials are reused, recycled and even reinvented in order to exploit what was available and avoid the manufacture of new things. A significant social benefit of this small project was the active participation of the local community in the assembly and disassembly of the house. This allowed the client to move her house from one eco-festival to another, spreading her ideas and exchanging knowledge among many environmentally aware communities. Net Zero House: Team Israel Entry to the China Solar Decathlon Competition Design: Israeli Students under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Cory (Geotectura) and Chen Shalita Size: 70 sq.m. Budget: around 150,000$ (basic version) In 2013 the Solar Decathlon China challenged 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered Net Zero Energy houses that are affordable, energy-efficient, and attractive. The house designed by
our team won 4th place in the 2013 Solar Decathlon China Competition and was among the best performing homes in the history of the competition. The design brought together cost-effectiveness, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The building was tested and proved to produce more energy than it consumes, it was affordable, attractive and maintained comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions. At the conclusion of the measured tests our house performed best and showed that a combination of cutting edge technology, passive solar design with cultural and historical insights can produce excellent results. The Solar Decathlon Competition is based upon a vision of sustainability and education combined. Together with my students we worked on the project for two years. We designed not only a self sufficient house which can meet the rigorous demands of the
Solar Decathlon Competition guidelines, but also educate and prepare the next generation of designers. Much can be learned from such small projects and the hands on experience can empower many future professionals. The principles of sustainable design can be 169 learned and implemented by students in a short span of time. It is important to always consider our work as a form of research and a process of learning. Never assume to know it all but to always seek better ideas. I believe
that maintaining an open source approach we can guarantee that we keep challenging ourselves, pushing the limits and contributing to the education of current and future generations as well.
donor, Dame Shirley Porter, who established the Porter School as the first environmental school in Israel in 2000. She asked for a building which would reflect her vision of sustainability and educate by example.
LEED Building: The Porter School of Environmental Studies Design: Geotectura, Axelrod-Grobman Architects, Chen Architects Size: 3800 sq.m. Budget: around 7,000,000$
As architects and designers we chose not to simply follow basic green principles but to give the building an educational significance and thus enhance the function of the school. The ideas embodied are visible and within reach to the school researchers and to the general public. What you are doing and what you dream to do can be displayed in the eco-wall balconies. The building can adapt to changing technologies. Strolling along the eco-wall the terminology of sustainability is simplified and explained to the broader public. The eco-wall is an iconic changing window display and acts as a constant social-
The Porter School for Environmental Studies was built according to principles of sustainable design (aiming for LEED Platinum). It is Tel Aviv University`s first â€˜greenâ€™ building, and one of the first of its kind in Israel. The project is a living lab of environmental and social values. We followed the vision of the client and
educational interface. The ground floor and the roof present current research in energy, water, soil, vegetation and materials which visitors can see, touch and understand. I truly believe that in the years to come the new Porter building will continue to be relevant and attractive to leading researches from around the world. The meeting room capsule (which may represent earth under human pressure) can display on its outer LED skin the level of pollution in the city of Tel Aviv. The entire building celebrates sustainable technologies, passive solar design and energy independence. The role of a building is to educate the users especially when designing a school. A building should optimize performance and the results measured and monitored should be displayed so that the ideas and solutions integrated can be adopted by other buildings. The Porter School aims to become a model for future designers and teachers who will be able to learn directly about sustainability in the building and the design process.
and continue to educate other professionals and communities. These projects seek the collaboration and balance between academy and industry, between designer and community and between technology and economy. In effect, 171 regardless the scale, budget or program, every project should share the same sustainable values. I do hope that the current and future architects will find their own sustainable compass to guide them towards their own sustainable path.
Conclusion Three very different projects share common goals. Each aims to be energy independent, designed according to basic ecological principles (and green codes) and, most importantly, embrace educational and social values. To further strengthen their educational value, all the knowledge learned in the process of design, construction and maintenance of these buildings will be accessible to the public
1. N.I.N.A. by Pir II solar shading (Photographer Sinde Karlsen) 2. N.I.N.A. by Pir II southwest facade (Photographer Sinde Karlsen) 3. N.I.N.A. by Pir II canteen (Photographer Sinde Karlsen) 4. N.I.N.A. by Pir II typical office interior (Photographer Sinde Karlsen) 5. N.I.N.A. by Pir II meeting room in office interior with photo foilprint on glass walls (Photographer Sinde Karlsen) 6. N.I.N.A. by Pir II interior (Photographer Sinde Karlsen)
Orjan Nyheim (Norway) Architect at Pir II, graduated from NTNU, with a Master thesis exploring building off-grid in Norway,
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The Architect’s Framework for Sustainable Architecture in Norway Orhan Nyheim
rchitecture needs context. For most of Pir II’s work, the context is the Norwegian mainland. As an architecture firm we try to have a holistic approach to environmental friendly buildings. In our work we often focus on reused or natural materials, flexible building systems and energy efficiency.
Norway is an elongated country with several climatic zones. This means that our built environment must deal with temperatures ranging from -500C and up to +350C, with extreme variations throughout the country. The building industry in Norway is to a large extent conservative. We have strict building laws, which focus on detailed requirements and proven quantifiable solutions instead of qualitative objectives.
Building processes and the architect’s role There are some aspects of building that we as architects can control, and a whole lot we cannot. This means that not all of our ideas regarding sustainability can be implemented in our projects. The architect’s role is often limited, and because we rarely have the 175 authority to make decisions, we need to influence other participants the best we can. These interdiciplinary processes are both very complex and important. We need to be very aware of the architect’s limitations for creating architecture, especially with regard to implementing a concept of sustainability. I want to discuss this framework and how it affects the design process and the resulting architecture. I will use one of Pir II’s most recent projects as a case study. The project is
representative of typical private buildings in Norway.
The N.I.N.A. project The headquarter of N.I.N.A. (Norwegian institute for nature research) is located in Trondheim, Norway. The project was completed, and the client moved into their new building, in April 2013. The project started when NINA launched an invited architectural competition in 2008. Pir II’s proposal won the competition, and some of the major criterias for winning were: - A building with a high level of flexibility (which can adapt to NINA’s everchanging needs over time) - Focus on natural materials (supporting NINA’s image as a institute of nature research) - An ”environmentally friendly“ building (with low energy consumption). The program consists primarily of offices and different types of laboratories. There are also secondary functions such as a meeting center, canteen, storage spaces, training facilities and wardrobes. Conceptually the building is split between the laboratories as the base of the building, and the office building above. The base is a concrete structure and expressed as such, inspired by an iceberg. The office building above is a simple wooden box, with a copperclad ground floor (entrance foyer, canteen, library and other common spaces). Flexibility and natural materials The NINA building has a steel frame and
concrete shafts for stairs and the elevator. There are approximately 5000 massive wooden floor slab elements (size 1.2m x 4.8m) from the ground floor up to the roof. Most are exposed underneath, so that the wood acts as an untreated ceiling with the ability to absorb both heat and moisture throughout the day. The slabs have a raised technical installation floor on top, which gives full flexibility for electricity wires, data cables and other technical installations. On top of the raised floor are light partition walls. These can easliy be taken down, moved or supplemented, enabling the office layout to change over time. The outer walls are made primarily of wood, with thick insulation (250450mm). The cladding is of Kebony pine. In Norway we have a history of extensive use of wood in our buildings. Even in modern buildings we use stud walls, joists, massive wood elements and cladding (on floors, walls and roofs). Unfortunately, there is a tendency towards using more and more steel and gypsum on Norwegian building sites. This is often due to strict fire regulations and sometimes cost considerations. Sadly, the architect is rarely the one deciding on theseissues. The client’s construction manager often has a pragmatic attitude towards solving imminent challenges at the building site, and meeting the developer’s wishes, even though it might be lessbeneficial to the the end user. It is getting increasingly more difficult to use wood in Norwegian buildings. We have seen that this negative development can be counteracted when there is a focus on LCA (Life-Cycle Assessment) of the carbon-
emissions in a project. No material can compete with wood when it comes to CO2 emissions: a material locally produced, readily available and with significant ecological benefits. Energy consumption and ventilation systems The ventilation of the NINA building is a conventional balanced system, with heat exchangers and heat recovery. To help reduce the energy used to power fans and cooling appliances, the system is connected to motors on specific windows in the office spaces. In this way the warm office air can be flushed out at night time automatically. This will help to cool down both the air inside and the thermal mass of the building, without the use of energy. Even though we do not have measured data yet, the building is calculated to have a significantly lower energy consumption compared to a conventional Norwegian office building. The Norwegian building law states that new office buildings should not have a demand for more than 150 kWh/m2 of net energy. The NINA building has an estimated demand of 70,7 kWh/m2 (which is less than 50% of a conventional office building). There was a recent development in the Norwegian building law favoring airtight passive houses supported by active ventilation systems. As a result, many researchers expressed scepticism towards the indoor air quality of airtight buildings. Nevertheless, our laws and regulations continue to favor questionable technical solutions of which we have not yet seen the
full impact of. What we do know though, is that our clients do not want to pay extra for experimentation with new, and untested solutions. This means that we have to invest our own time if we are going to experiment with alternative systems, e.g. natural ventilation systems. On 177 the other hand, we have worked with clients who have brought to the project higher
goals concerning the sustainability of the building. Clearly this is a much better point of departure.
Energy consumption and exterior solar shading In the Norwegian climate, like in most climates around the world, conventional office buildings need cooling during the warm
seasons of the year. To avoid excessive solar gain, the standard solution is to install exterior blinds. In Norway the HVAC consultant is responsible for documenting the total energy consumption of a planned building. This is rarely a good arrangement, because they do not have a holistic approach to building design. The result is too often an excessive use of blinds. In spite of the automatic control systems, the blinds tend to go down too early and up too late. This causes noise disturbance and the reduction of the amount of daylight into the working spaces. To avoid this conservative solution at NINA, we developed a concept for an exterior shading. In collaberation with an energy consultant, 3D-modelling and computer simulations, we found the correct physical form to avoid the afternoon sun entering the building during working hours. We reduced the need, and cost, for blinds, and increased natural daylight in the working spaces. The exterior shades have also become a characteristic feature of the building design. This is quite important, because it has attracted attention from entrepreneurs, architects, planning authorities and project developers, hopefully acting as a reference point for similar solutions in other projects in the future.
Built projects as â€?role modelsâ€œ: A framework for future projects I think the NINA project succeeded at several levels, with regard to the feedback that we receive from our client, the NINA organization, with which Pir II has a close working relationship. The client is happy with
their new headquarters, especially with the energy efficiency aspects of the building. The organization staff is also very happy with their new workplace, to the point that they have started to call it the ”NINA-house“, instead of the ”NINA-building“. They say it has to do with the sense of the building being more than a headquarter for the organization, and more of a “home”. They feel a level of comfort and connection to their place of work in a way that they do at home. It also brings us great satisfaction to receivefeedback from fellow architects who use our project as a model and reference when explaining possibilities to their clients.
increase our influence and involvement in the building process. In order to do that successfully, we need to acquire new and accumulated knowledge, we must learn to assume responsibility and leadershipand to apply our professional commitment at any given moment, and at any given opportunity. 179 But for now, it is up to all of us to do as much as we can, the best we can.
I find in the NINA building inspiration and ideas for our future projects. The project has come a long way since it began in 2008, particularly with regards to building materials and energy use, although, some of the conventional building methods could have been improved. We have also come to realize that we will have to work towards incorporating the production of energy in our buildings. One way to counteract the recent developments with a focus on detailed building regulationsand proven solutions, is to increase our knowledge of these solutions. It is the only way for us architects to affect the process during a transition period, until enough built projects will affect the rigid building laws of today. If we want to create both contextual and more sustainable buildings, we need to
1. Second year studio work titled “Living in the City” with tutors Architect Ifat Finkelman and Architect Barak Pelman, at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (Courtesy of Barak Pelman and Ifat Finkelman)
Barak Pelman (Israel) Architect graduate from Tel Aviv University, Helsinki University of Technology and the AA in London. Lecturer at the Architectural Department of Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem.
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Sustainability – An Intrinsic part of architectural design? Barak Pelman
an concepts of sustainability fundamentally change the way architects design? Can they be fully integrated into the architectural core discourse? Or is it just another set of criteria and rules that is better left for experts, and addressed simply by implementing the right technologies? In the past few years, I have been closely observing the contemporary practice of sustainable architecture in Israel and abroad to find answers to these questions. I’ve come to the conclusion that, thus far, the majority of architects have adopted only the more superficial and convenient concepts of sustainability – those which do not fundamentally change the way they practice architecture. In the following pages, I will offer three explanations for this and will suggest an approach to reverse the current trend. We like the way we live and we don’t want to change it In 2011, 64% of families in Israel had at least one car. The average size of the Israeli home has increased steadily since the 1970s. 99.9% of all families in Israel have a refrigerator, 95% have a washing machine, and 93% own a cellular phone. 81% of Israeli homes have an air conditioner, 88% - a television and 78% a PC. This living standard is incomparable to that of fifty years ago. The drive to improve living standards is shared by most economies and it is a major cause of the current environmental crisis. Since housing and infrastructure is strongly related to the standard of living, architecture
plays a key role in this process. Should we strive to lower our living standards for the sake of an improved environment? Admittedly, it is extremely difficult for many of us to even consider such a change. Should we rely on financial forces to encourage the 183 construction of more efficient buildings? Apparently, this seems not much easier. As Garrett Hardin famously suggested in “The Tragedy of the Commons”, the free market financial structure does not offer any incentives to maintain common resources - quite the contrary – the system reinforces their focus on their immediate and individual benefit even at the expense of the common good and long term sustainability of the environment. This market failure might explain the recent growth in regulation activity, aiming to encourage the building industry to produce more efficient buildings. Focusing on energy consumption, for example, the European Union 2010 “Energy Performance of Buildings” directive requires energy consumption in all new buildings to be “nearly-zero” by the end of 2020. However, it is difficult to see how such topdown generic rules will significantly change the way architects design, since these are normally accepted as parameters external to design; constraints to be considered, yet not central in the process. Therefore, sustainability is commonly conceived and practiced by many architects
only as a technical effort to maintain our (unsustainable) standard of living with the lowest resource and pollution cost. The rise of Rating Tools 184
in some communities, it seems that these rating tools do not fundamentally change the architectural practice, and too many buildings that were awarded rating recognition do not reveal any significant difference in architectural design or thinking.
Sustainability, as a concept, evokes much confusion, in particular because there is a lack of agreement on the questions such as, “What should we sustain?” and “To what extent?” This confusion leads to multiple interpretations and approaches to sustainability. Some thinkers, for example, promote the rights of all living-creatures while others focus on the whole ecosystems. Some care about the next generations of citizens while others emphasize environmental justice among people living today. These approaches are divided again with regard to what ought to be considered ‘best practices’ and to the long term strength of their solutions.
One possible reason could be related to the centrality given to technological innovations by most rating tools (possibly due to their development in close collaboration with the industry). The result is that many ‘green’ credits can be gained simply by installing the right technologies. To illustrate this, consider the many cases of fully glazed officebuildings that were awarded recognition as ‘sustainable,’ despite the fact that their facades contributed neither to the quality of the internal environment needed neither for office-work nor to the embodied and operational energy consumption.
In the field of construction, this confusion was the contextual background for the development of ‘green buildings rating tools’, such as the American LEED and the British BREEAM, which started to penetrate into the architectural practice in the mid 1990s.
Examples like this could lead one to think that any building can be green as long as it is equipped with the right technologies, and therefore, architectural design is not required to play a central role in achieving sustainable goals
By providing measurable sets of criteria for different aspects of sustainability, these rating tools cleared some of the confusion and built a consensus of what sustainable architecture might be. As a result, they delivered on a promise to create a strong architectural respond to the notion of sustainability. Nevertheless, in spite of their popularity, and their adoption as mandatory standards
Architects are skeptical about it Attempts to mitigate the effect of buildings on the environment by imposing regulations and developing incentives are normally perceived by architects as constrains on their freedom of expression. The reason might be related to the limited capacity of these general measures to address the individual case as they must
aim at a certain common denominator. In the same manner, developing rating tools in order to incentivize the design of sustainable buildings fails to inspire architects to rethink their practice. This leaves sustainable design with a very limited architectural vocabulary, and as a result, with a small percentage of designed or built examples.
past few years we have witnessed increasing architectural activity taking up this challenge. From the urban scale to the singular building, more and more architectural research and experimentation is looking at ways in which architectural and urban design can address issues of sustainability, without relying solely 185 on technological implements.
There is a general skepticism with regards to the potential of the architectural expression of sustainability. As the environmental thinker and architect Ken Yeang once put it: “if you build in the performance well, you almost have to build the diagram… if you build the diagram then it works but it is also boring…”.
However, since (as argued above,) regulations and incentives like rating tools can offer very little in facing the challenge, experimentation in sustainable design could be based on fundamental level of sustainability thinking; maybe even to the extent of offering new insights on possible ways of living. Academic Institutions, having a certain degree of immunity to the market forces that shape our cities and buildings, should also play a leading role.
Is there any hope? Reflection on the issues discussed above suggests that the solution to the problem of sustainable design should be looked for in the broader cultural context of our time. Kenneth Rexroth analyzed the old cultureversus-nature conflict in his introduction to Community and Privacy (1963) in the following way: “Nature makes man. Man makes culture. Culture makes man. Man destroys nature”. Since architecture, by definition, finds itself within the “culture camp”, architecture will only integrate sustainable concepts to the extent that culture integrates them. Nevertheless, this by no means entails that architects should be passive while sustainability becomes culturally integrated. They should lead the debate on how sustainability should shape our lives and buildings. Indeed, in the
Moreover, if the discipline of architecture fails to properly address the current trends of sustainable thinking, it is likely that new environmental legislation will require specialized engineers to monitor their requirements, further reducing the role of architects in defining the shape of our physical world.
1. Detail of main entrance of the National Observatory of Athens. Design team: Zerefos Tessas Architects, V. Ganiatsas, C. Stavropoulou, G. Pavlopoulos, M. Xatzinikolaou, T. Antonakaki, E. Nikolaides (Photographer Erieta Attali) 2. Front faรงade of the National Observatory of Athens. Design team: Zerefos Tessas Architects, V. Ganiatsas, C. Stavropoulou, G. Pavlopoulos, M. Xatzinikolaou, T. Antonakaki, E. Nikolaides (Photographer Erieta Attali) 3. Refurbished interior decorations of the National Observatory of Athens. Image to the left: View before the interventions. Image to the right: Views after the refurbishment (Photographer George Pavlopoulos) 4, 5. Photorealistic rendering of the refurbishment proposal for the facades and the piazza of the Municipal Theater of Corfu. Design team: Zerefos Tessas Architects, I. Armeni, T. Bristogianni, A. Kokkini, K. Hatzopoulos (Courtesy of Zerefos Tessas Architects) 6. Night view of the main entrance of the Theater from the newly designed piazza between the Theater building and the Prefecture building. Design team: Zerefos Tessas Architects, I. Armeni, T. Bristogianni, A. Kokkini, K. Hatzopoulos (Courtesy of Zerefos Tessas Architects) 7. Section, showing the environmental design proposal for the Municipal Theater of Corfu. Design team: Zerefos Tessas Architects, I.
Armeni, T. Bristogianni, A. Kokkini, K. Hatzopoulos (Courtesy of Zerefos Tessas Architects) 8, 9. Environmental refurbishment and addition of new spaces for the 1st High School and 31st Secondary School of Thessaloniki. Top image: Existing condition. Middle image: refurbishment proposal. Bottom image: Longitudinal section showing the bioclimatic operation of the atrium during the heating season. Within the framework of ECOWEEK 2011 in Thessaloniki design workshop led by Zerefos Tessas Architects. Workshop team: S. Derizioti, S. Karagianni, Y. Kladopoulos, O. Kyritsi, G. Liokas, D. Neroutsou, D. Petrous (Image ECOWEEK) 10. Existing warehouse at the Academy of Plato (Courtesy of Zerefos Tessas Architects) 11. Up.Re.Info Center: Reuse and refurbishment of a neglected warehouse. Within the framework of ECOWEEK 2011 in Athens design workshop led by Zerefos Tessas Architects. Workshop team: D. Frantzi-Gounari, M. Alexandridi, K. Chadio, F. Kounas, E. Malapani, A. Maragoudaki, K. Mountanea, A. Lazou (Image ECOWEEK)
Stelios Zerefos, Chris Tessas (Greece) Zerefos Tessas Architects Engineering Consultants is an award-winning firm founded in 2005.
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Reuse and Refurbishment as an Ecological Approach to Architectural Design Stelios C. Zerefos and Chris A. Tessas
he dilemmas regarding the reuse of old buildings, as opposed to demolition and new construction, are not new or novel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and need to be evaluated on a case by case scenario, based on multiple socio-economic factors. However, the conjunction of climate change and failing economies could constitute a decisive factor when making these choices. Over the last 8 years, our office has developed a design approach centered around the reuse and refurbishment of existing buildings - a practice, which is by definition, ecological. Until recently the evaluation of refurbishments and the reuse of existing buildings was influenced primarily by their aesthetic merit, their historical importance and their economic feasibility. Sustainability, as an evaluation factor, was only added recently, primarily due to the fact that the building sector is trying to save resources by any means possible. The concern regarding our responsibility for long term climate change and the realities of the current economic crisis have favoured refurbishing and reusing, as opposed to the demolition old buildings for new construction. In our practice we believe that the reuse of a space is a responsible and sustainable approach to architectural design. Significant resources can be saved (structural system, materials, partitions, stairwells, etc.) and building waste reduced when compared to new construction. Similar to the recycling of products, the reuse of buildings is a significant way to reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, the recycling of a building
offers an opportunity for passive and active retrofitting that might dramatically reduce its energy consumption. In view of the above, our main concern that influences the way we design is the degree of the interventions that an existing 189 building is susceptible to, as well as the factors that promote its energy optimisation. The relationship of the building to the city, the building program, and its historical or architectural interest are all factors that influence the range of interventions. We classify these factors into three categories and will try to identify the relationship between: Category 1: Buildings of historical interest The preservation of the historic National Observatory of Athens, designed by Theophilus Hansen (1813-1891) and completed in 1846, was to be adapted as the Museum of Geo-astrophysics. The new museum was inaugurated in 2008. The project had distinct challenges since the building had to be restored, along with its furnishings, and no new equipment should be added. The historic value of the monument dominated all other concerns: from redesigning the external spaces, through the repair of structural elements and decorative details. The infrastructure, from the 19th century, significantly restricted the range of possible environmental interventions. Nevertheless, in spite of these limitations and the project budget, we managed to reduce the electric consumption by 35%. We
was the case of the Municipal Theatre of Corfu. It was designed in 1965 pro-bono by the distinguished Greek architect Pericles Sakellarios (1905-1985) and inaugurated in 1974. Since then, the building was unloved by the public in Corfu. In 2010 a national architectural competition was arranged for the renovation of the facades of the Theatre. The competition brief requested changing the building into one “which could be understood and loved by the local community.” 3
achieved this through new energy conscious lighting design, the use of ecological paints on the exterior surfaces. Furthermore, no toxic chemicals were used in the careful maintenance and repair of all historic furniture. Due to the environmental choices in the conservation and adaptation the project was awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Prize for the category of building conservation in 2010. Category 2: Buildings of architectural interest It is not unusual to have a difference between the architectural intentions of an architect and the public perception of the design. Some buildings by the finest architects become unloved by the public and the users. This
The first prize was awarded to our practice. We proposed to preserve the building’s architectural identity by utilising elements of the existing façade that offer visual coherence to the project. The piazza In front of the Theatre entrance was redesigned so that the building ‘opens’ to the city and becomes more inviting. The competition brief required the regeneration of the existing building facades. We saw this as an opportunity to reuse the existing outer shell as a protective enclosure from external climatic conditions. Our proposal created an independent support system for the building envelope that provided insulation and natural ventilation. Moreover, a double skin enveloped the fly tower and provided natural ventilation for the
main Theatre hall through the ‘stack effect’. The building’s new functions are enclosed by new energy efficient glazing, shaded by fixed wooden shutters. These are designed to allow direct sunlight during winter, while preventing
it during the summer. An array of photovoltaic panels is hidden on the roof and produces a substantial percentage of the building daily energy consumption for lighting.
Category 3: Abandoned buildings with no architectural or historic interest
The last category relates to buildings that have no historic or architectural interest, but may have economic, social or environmental benefits. Our curiosity for such buildings inspired our proposal to refurbish, reuse and environmentally retrofit one such building, as a workshop theme for ECOWEEK in 2011 in Greece. Our team led two such workshops, the first in Thessaloniki and the second in Athens. The first, High School 1 and Secondary School 31 in Thessaloniki were built in 1978. They were constructed of prefabricated elements for temporary use by the schools after a destructive earthquake. However, despite the temporary character and intention, the buildings remained in use until today. Our design proposed the addition of a single lightweight roofing system, which unifies the two existing buildings and connects them through an atrium. The addition transforms the building scale to one more compatible with the neighbouring apartment blocks. The new spaces have direct access from the atrium, which helps to regulate the climate, adjusting the heat and ventilation depending on the external conditions. Strategically placed openings transfer the tempered air from the atrium to the building complex, thereby reducing energy requirements and providing a healthier indoor environment. The proposed green roofs also provide thermal insulation to the existing buildings
while creating outdoor spaces for the kids. The second project is the refurbishment of an abandoned warehouse situated at the Academy of Plato neighbourhood of Athens. We proposed to reuse the building as an information and education center for upcycling, recycling and to tell the history of the adjacent archaeological park. The conservation of the existing building envelope reduces the energy consumption and the building cost. A new metallic structural frame was introduced, which supports the building envelope, as well as two levels of prefabricated elements. Operable vertical wooden elements cover the facades and regulate the solar gain, daylight, natural ventilation and passive cooling of the interior space. The roof of the building is covered with photovoltaic panels mediating direct
sunlight on the building and transforming it into electricity. Finally, the team proposed a traditional yet innovative insulation solution for the existing walls: compressed newspapers offer a low-cost solution which considerably reduces the U-value and creates a lively and unexpected texture to the interior 193 of the building.
1, 2, 3. DEVEBERE, Biennale of Architecture, Venice (Courtesy of Maciej Siuda) 4, 5, 6. Rogozka Exhibition, Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw (Courtesy of Maciej Siuda) 7, 8, 9. School in Jacmel, Haiti (Courtesy of Maciej Siuda)
Maciej Siuda (Poland) Award-winning architect graduate of Wroclaw University of Technology and the University of Technology in Valencia. Co-creator of the international workshop IWAU. Teaches design at the Swietokrzyska University of Technology.
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Redefining Architecture Maciej Siuda
e live in an era of great changes. With modern technologies and global ideas adapting to local needs we are closer than anytime before to realize our dreams and the utopian visions of a sustainable life. As a global society we have available the tools to discover, analyze and understand the current human problems, needs and desires. We only need to find the responsible way to use these tools! As all previous young generations, we believe that we have the opportunity to push the limits of Architecture and establish new models of living. We aspire to understand and redefine the current architectural debate. We need to discover the new forms, proportions, spaces and functions necessary to change radically the way we see and think of Architecture. Fresh, architectural hybrids needs new methods of designing. Improvisation is mixed with organization, local issues with global aspirations, intuition with planning, digital drawings with hand-made models, individual talents with team work and an open exchange
of ideas. The following text presents some of the results of our investigation regarding new methods of design. Each of the 3 projects, with its own time constraints, site specific conditions and architectural program, gave 197 birth to a particular unique design. DEVEBERE: Air, waste, people Awarded the first prize by the French Society of Architects. Exhibited in Paris, Liege and in the Museum of Modern Art in WrocĹ‚aw. Presented for the opening of the Biennale of Architecture in 2012. Context and work methodology: project realized in 10 months; 50% of time through online collaboration; 50% of time in 4 workshops working with materials and waste (in Liege, Paris, WrocĹ‚aw and Venice); open project licensed by CC (Creative Commons). Authors: Rodrigo GarcĂa, Maciej Siuda and workshop participants. From the chaos, from the multitude of matters, from the mess of thoughts, beautiful, transparent and useful ideas can emerge.
The DEVEBERE project may seem to be just another interesting architectonic experiment. But it is about more than just Architecture.
The project illustrates how ideas seem to emerge from nothing; how an idea is born and how it can be developed. DEVEBERE is a story about playing with plastic bottles (with really serious consequences). We were looking for ways to reuse plastic bottles, and looking for beauty in the waste. The structure is made of recycled PET bottles, which are stabilized in the vault form by a vacuum hardened plastic bag. The structure is an abstract fantasy, a semi-transparent form that can be used as a pavilion, a shelter, cheap furniture or any other temporary need. DEVEBERE has no scale and no particular shape. It redefines itself every time it is build. It consists of two opposite parameters: permanence and transience. Should modern design and Architecture be something timeless or temporary, ephemeral or permanent? Last but not least, DEVEBERE is about documenting the creative process which is perhaps more important than the final form. Each time random thoughts are shaped into form, but they still remain light and simple, so that momentarily the form can change.
The story behind ROGÓŻKA. Exhibition in the Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, May-July 2013. Context and work methodology: 1. A temporary one-month office space was established inside the Museum during which one project was developed from the first sketch and conceptual models to the final form; 2. The project exposed on a 24 meter table the time-line. It presented the entire 30 days design process. The exhibition room was redesigned and converted into a white, abstract container becoming the background for the project. Design team: Katarzyna Dąbkowska, Adrian Wyparło, Łukasz Jagoda, Mateusz Sum, Tomasz Bojęć, Marta Zatoka and Maciej Siuda. Currator: Michał Duda Author: Maciej Siuda In January 2013 we were invited by the Museum of Architecture of Wrocław to prepare an exhibition about our work method.
That brought broad national media attention to the village. Finally, the businessman gave up his plans and Rogóżka once again was forgotten.
Instead of making an exhibition about our work we decided to show literally the way we work. We moved the office for one month to the Museum and in collaboration with artists, comics illustrators, architects and visitors to the Museum we designed a totally new project from the first sketch to the last stage of concept design developement. The inspiration was an article that appeared in a Polish newspapers some years ago, which never had a real ending: Once upon a time in Poland there was a small village called Rogóżka. The villagers lived peacefully until the early 1980’s when most of them moved to the big cities looking for a better life. Around 30 years ago the last villager left. With time the houses where demolished and the village became an abandoned meadow in the middle of the forest. Few years ago an article appeared in the press that the local community put Rogóżka for sale. Unexpectedly a Polish businessman expressed interest in buying it.
The exhibition completes the unfinished architecture story of Rogóżka. The project 199 is a metaphor for vanishing Architecture which has recently become a global issue. The migration of village communities to cities, images of empty houses left behind, crumbling communities and deserted districts has become all too familiar from China to Poland. Villages, because of their scale and proximity to nature and dependence on local resources and materials, are a perfect example of ‘green’ architecture yet they have often become economically unsustainable. The project aspires to understand the relation of the fictitious micro-society, looking at issues of dimension, distance, proportion and the shape of buildings. The project treats the house as a web of connections; an organism where moving one element changes the position of the others. It is a reflection on the impact of Architecture on human life in everyday situations.
TWO WORLDS: Redefining the school School in Jacmel Haiti. Implemented: 20132014 First prize, BAZA 2013 award of the Society of Architects of WrocĹ‚aw.
Context and methodology: two groups of designers- a core work group of Polish architects and a group of architects from Africa, Austria and Spain who reviewed the project as experts in architectural projects in
developing countries. External collaborators: Marlene Wagner, Gonzalo del Val, Ruann van der Westhuizen, and Rodrigo GarcĂa. Authors: Kasia DÄ…bkowska, Marta Niedbalec, Ĺ ukasz Piasta, Kamil Rusinek, Jerzy Mazurkiewicz and Maciej Siuda. Can thinking about the future of public buildings lead to an open Architecture? Is it possible instead of designing for one specific non-changing function, to concentrate on the essence of a space and the possibilities of adapting it to different needs? TWO WORLDS creates a connecting passage between two courtyards of completely different character. One is a sports ground with cricket pitches and a running track - noisy, open and sunny. The other is a shaded, quiet green garden conducive to contemplation and open-air relaxation. The interior of the building opens enitrely
to these two spaces. Individual classrooms are based on the simple C-shaped layout arranged irregularly in various configurations. The open spaces between the walls form places for mingling and help to avoid the need for internal corridors. The layout encourages diverse forms of teaching. It is possible to 201 combine classrooms with each other or open them to the exterior and thereby vary the size of the student group. The rooms are well lit with sunlight and natural ventilation. The classrooms have various layouts depending on the character of classes. Elementary classes have standard desk arrangement focused on the teacher. Older students, where interaction between the participants is important, can rearrange the tables in groups. Because of this flexibility the school can serve as an educational facility throughout the day: the morning it will serve as a school, in the afternoon for social meetings and in the evening as a community hall for the local adult population.
C. PROJECTS & EXAMPLES
1. Homeshell concept sketch (Photograph by Andrew Partridge/Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) 2. The core of the DfM house is separated from the rest of the living space to provide efficient and flexible space (Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) 3, 4, 5. Oxley Woods (Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) 6. Construction Sequence - batons are nailed on to the structure, to hold the cladding panels (Photographer Miguel Santa Clara / Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) 7. Homeshell installation at the Royal Academy (Photographer Miguel Santa Clara / Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) 8. The Homeshell in the Annenberg Courtyard (Photographer Anna Au / Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)
Ivan Harbour (UK) Joined the award-winning firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (former Richard Rogers Partnership) in 1985 and was made a Director in 1993.
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Homeshell Ivan Harbour
n 2005, we entered John Prescott’s (then Deputy Prime Minister) Design for Manufacture competition, suggesting a new way of using prefabricated timber panels to build homes, a system that was first employed for the Oxley Woods development in Milton Keynes. Off the back of this successful residential scheme, loved by owners and critics alike, we continued to develop the methods of design and construction under the umbrella term of ‘Homeshell’. Homeshell is, in its essence, a simple, modular approach to house building that can be tailormade to suit the needs of the owner and site, both in regards to internal layout and external appearance. It is constructed using a building system called Insulshell, (developed by Sheffield Insulations Group (SIG) and Cox Bench). It is a low energy, demountable, low cost off-site approach to architecture and
can be retooled for a huge range of different building typologies such as schools, factories, retail developments and health centres, even sports venues. The Velodrome at the London 2012 Olympics, for example, was constructed using this method. There are other massive benefits from adopting this method of construction over traditional building techniques. Homeshell units can be adapted for any location as they require only shallow concrete slab foundations. This makes them perfect for sites in dense, urban areas. This means we can encourage development around existing transport infrastructure which greatly reduces the carbon footprint of those that live in the houses and helps us to protect the green belt. The homes are also erected on site with incredible speed and efficiency. A typical three-storey house can be assembled and made watertight in 24 hours while a six
storey, 24-unit block could be up and running in a month. This means less disruption, mess and noise on site, always good for neighbourly relations. By combining speed of construction with the fact it can be easily dismantled, Homeshell is also eminently
placed to develop temporary sites, on brownfield plots where development is not expected to proceed for a number of years. A Homeshell installation was constructed in the Royal Academyâ€™s Annenberg Courtyard in August 2013, to coincide with the Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out exhibition, but also to provoke debate about how architectural and construction innovation together might help us meet the UKâ€™s housing needs. Homeshell represents an evolution of the system developed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners for Oxley Woods. We are continually working to hone and improve the environmental codes of the houses. We have the ability now to obtain Code Level 6 with this system and weâ€™re working with social housing providers, such as the YMCA, to ensure that energy savings are passed along to those that need to reduce their bills the most. Projects in Newham and Merton will take the Homeshell to new levels as we create bigger apartment buildings. We believe that by using sustainable timber
stocks and ensuring the majority of the manufacturing process remains off-site, Homeshell provides a viable solution for the UKâ€™s housing needs, both in terms of demand and for the safeguard of the environment. It also provides opportunities for local jobs as factories can be set up next to large-scale projects with training provided to produce the panels, which then have the minimum possible journey to site. And why stop there? We can also build good quality schools, community centres and more, all with lots of light, space and air. By saving time and money on the construction process we can concentrate on making sure buildings are designed to the highest possible standard, improving everyoneâ€™s environment.
1. Atelier d’Habitiation Saine (AHS) in Rosemont (Photographer Nikkol Rot HOLCIM) 2. Passive Active diagram for Benny Farm (Courtesy L’OEUF) 3. Change-Over-Time diagram for Benny Farm (Courtesy L’OEUF) 4, 5. Benny Farm (Photographer Nikkol Rot HOLCIM) 6. Atelier d’ Habitiation Saine (AHS) in Rosemond (Photographer Nikkol Rot HOLCIM)
Daniel Pearl (Canada) architect, co-founder of L’OEUF (l’Office de l’Eclectisme Urbain et Fonctionnel), focusing on sustainable architecture, urban housing, residential and commercial renovation.
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‘Benny Farm’: Theory into Practice Daniel Pearl Benny Farm: The history Benny Farm was built as a new housing development for WWII veterans and their families in 1947. It is one in a series of 12 of such postwar projects built across Canada by the Canadian federal government. Incorporating the ideals of the garden city, Benny Farm was a controversially dense project in 1947, and, for other reasons, it has remained controversial to this day. The seven-hectare tract of farmland (the Benny Farm) in the former western part of Montreal, was purchased in 1946. Sixty-four buildings, a total of 380 apartments, were built – three-story walkups with wood stud framing, brick veneer with no elevators or air conditioning. During the 1950s and 1960s a generation of children grew up happily in the tightly knit “village” of Benny Farm. However, by the early 1990s the average age of the residents had risen to 70 years. Most of the buildings had fallen into modest disrepair, many due to a neglect or poor maintenance. Living in the buildings had become increasingly difficult for some of the elderly residents and as a result many of the buildings were vacated or worse, abandoned. 1991-92: The question of redevelopment? The complex was built by the Canadian Department of Veterans Affairs and later managed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is a paramunicipal government agency. In 1990 CMHC announced plans to raze the homes
and redevelop the site. At first this seemed a progressive decision intended to build better residences. The plan was to move the seniors into new mid-rise buildings to be erected on one third of the site. The remaining land would be cleared of the remaining buildings and then sold to finance the project. The 211 proposed master plan showed some 1,200 news residential units in a number of six-story condominium buildings the maintenance of which would be prohibitively expensive for the current residents. This model, redevelopment by privatization, was calculated as being the best use for Benny Farm with the highest return. Indeed such was the conclusion at the time as a responsible precedent to apply to similar public housing properties across the country! The CMHC proposed master plan would mean the end of the Benny Farm community.. It would destroy a social network that had grown over nearly half a century, a community which had been a part of the city’s history and soul. It would also mean a shift of important residential property from public into private hands, representing a loss to less-affluent sectors of society. The plans were hotly debated and the threat of demolition in1991 triggered strong public outcry among residents of the city who envisioned a different future for Benny Farm. This marked the start of a 13 year battle over the future of Benny Farm with two clear choices: either a restored and upgraded public and semi-public housing development or a private development.
Significance of Benny Farm Preserving the buildings at Benny Farm was a fundamental premise because the residential complex is significant in a number of ways: socially, socioeconomically, historically, symbolically, urbanistically and environmentally. Wholesale demolition of the buildings and redevelopment of the site as originally proposed would have permanently erased most of these important urban attributes with no justifiable compensation in return. Benny Farm is a veritable institution in Montreal, a part of the public consciousness.
As a very large sub-community for over 60 years, it is indelibly anchored in the minds of thousands of community members. This once-proud place has been home to multiple generations, a heritage that deserves to be respected and preserved. Places such as Benny Farm are what make cities unique and urbane. They represent the best of Urban Living. The buildings themselves are not architecturally significant but are valuable nonetheless. The ribbons of brick facades define amazing green spaces. As a fragment
of the garden city, the overall complex has always been an urban amenity, a distinctive and special place within the city. It is one of the rare places where public-private and semi-public-semi-private spaces exist, promoting healthy social intercourse in the neighborhood. Parents can watch their children collectively!. These types of outdoor spaces make the garden city a valuable model to nurture: they provide a perfect balance between open green space and residential density. Benny Farm is also an icon of its social mission: affordable housing. This is as urgent and important today as it was in 1947.
Transferring the entire site into private hands would be a regrettable lapse of responsibility and possibly an affront to local pride. Saving the old buildings also have environmental advantages which are modest but significant. Much of the physical fabric and many old building of Benny Farm have been reasonably well maintained. The buildings do not meet modern codes and standards but they are fundamentally sound structures. Renovation and an upgrade would cost much the same as new construction. Discarding usable buildings and replacing them with
new ones is a waste of natural resources and energy and while this was not the driving force behind the project, it was a legitimate and tangible benefit. An alternate, experimental vision In 1997, CMHC sold Benny Farm to the Canada Lands Company (CLC), which manages, redevelops, and/or sells strategic government properties across Canada that are no longer required for their original purposes. Regional manager Jim Lynes saw an opportunity to seek a better solution. He set up a task force and initiated a design ideas competition for redeveloping Benny Farm with an emphasis on social responsibility. By 1998, twenty percent of the buildings had already been demolished and the seniors had been moved to the south-east corner, representing about one quarter of the overall site. In 1994 L’OEUF proposed a master plan for the entire Benny Farm site that included new buildings, renovations, and additions. The plan retained the attributes of the garden city
and featured a marvelous central square, in the Dutch tradition. The community coalition, including local community activists and nonprofit groups, tried to purchase the entire site to lead a community redevelopment plan. When the coalition failed to raise all of the money in time, the dream was shattered for many. Seeing it as the end of Benny Farm, a majority of the activists who had been engaged since 1992 capitulated in 2000. Some new ones joined, replacing those who had contributed so much. The original activists had taught the others social activism and in the process burned themselves out struggling with the unending frustrations of funding, deadlines, and politics. L’OEUF stood in and fought for the project throughout. We too were somewhat burnt out by our own personal investment. Though we were taught in school to not get “too involved” with our projects, seeing just how much these megaredevelopments affect their communities, it became impossible to stay emotionally detached. The new plan would have been impossible
without activism. The ideas competition led to a new master plan that called for renovating 35% percent of the old buildings. The density would be fittingly lower than 1,200 units, and a good social mix could be achieved where 75% of the all units are to be either affordable housing or social housing. With a workable alternative plan in hand, the total demolition of Benny Farm, as planned in 1992, was finally stopped in 2003. An exciting pilot project within the larger redevelopment, called Greening the Infrastructure of Benny Farm was initiated by L’OEUF and various non-profit clients and technical resource groups in 2003. It combined neighborhood improvement, social consolidation, green rehabilitation and new affordable housing. 60 existing housing units were to be renovated and 127 new units constructed on four properties. All units were to be linked to a common energy, water, and waste infrastructure, the ownership and management of which was to be handled by the nonprofit, community run utility company Green Energy Benny Farm
(GEBF). The development was to have a small carbon footprint, significantly lower water consumption, a wastewater management system and waste reduction through retrofitting, reuse, and waste diversion. L’OEUF’s proposal was not adopted as originally designed (see idealized plan). However, it’s intent was significantly respected and triggered debate which strongly influenced the final master plan which was ultimately adopted. A total of 12 housing projects, 4 of which were handled directly by L’OEUF, and 3 of which L’OEUF designed in collaboration with other offices, were built. L’OEUF’s proposals raised the bar, challenged the chosen designs to be as green as possible. The community coalition did manage to build approximately 570 units of affordable housing on the Benny Farm site in new and rehabilitated buildings. These provide opportunities for rental and first time home ownership for low income families unable to afford market prices. These groups include the elderly, people with special needs, single mothers and low- and
moderate-income families. A land trust model was envisioned to keep the units affordable for future generations, but it proved too complex given Quebec’s civil code. 216
(AHS). This project of 155 housing units includes two housing groups: cooperative le Coteau Vert and the non-profit group Un toit pour tous. The results of these test cases have been very positive so far.
Lessons learned from Benny Farm Re-adjusting and Re-tooling towards “Passivhaus” and much needed resilience Planning affordable, collective housing which is as green as possible – is a complex challenge and requires a broad range of stakeholders and consultants with a commitment to shared values and interests. • Benny Farm, the first pilot project where many ideas of sustainability were tested, showed us that the capacity of participants to volunteer their time and effort is by far the most challenging issue. • The knowledge and transparency of the affordable housing construction sector and their ability (or inability) to quickly adapt, is the second critical challenge. • Next is the policy of existing subsidy programs. Almost all programs require immediate or short term energy savings. Programs which ensure long term growth and loose fit (where built-in resilience is prioritized) enabling unpredictable change over time are often simply not eligible for subsidies. Atelier d’Habitiation Saine (AHS) All of these lessons were considered when planning the second pilot project in Rosemont, Montreal, called Atelier d’habitiation saine
The experiment at Rosemont (AHS) prioritized the following 4 themes: • The client representatives were kept at the heart of the decision making process right from the very outset. This was made possible by the Technical Resource Group (Bâtir son quartier), some City of Montreal officials and key professional consultants who worked closely together from day one. See the accompanying graphics which illustrate the process. • We reduced our dependency on specialized sophisticated equipment (compared to Benny Farm) to ensure less complex long term maintenance. The critical scale, at which maintenance becomes cost effective, is around 150 residential units. It is rare to find affordable/social housing projects of this scale. AHS searched for a balance between low-tech passive solutions (cross ventilation and passive solar gains) with high-tech complementary systems (centralized geothermal energy). • We sought ways to be less dependent on an active board administration to handle short, medium and long term decisions. Although the project was less time consuming than Benny Farm, it still required a substantial effort by the housing organizations - too much in the eyes of some. • We focused on the future growth of the community. The planning of the long-term
project infrastructure and holistic thinking helped the design’s resilience by enabling future green strategies to be easily added over time. Our design team was encouraged that the affordable housing construction processhas improved because of what we learned at Benny Farm. Current energy use, after nine months of third party monitoring, has shown the COOP Coteau vert uses less than half the energy of a typical housing project in Quebec (about 100 kWh/m2 vs a provincial average of 230 kWh/m2). Bois Ellen in Laval, Quebec: Ideas we are exploring for our next pilot Project Very few projects have as dedicated a client representative team as AHS. The project also has a committed consultant team. A major step towards a low tech, low maintenance design, bases on the “Passivhaus” is being be explored in L’OEUF’s next pilot project, Bois Ellen. This is an urban housing project of 166 units, mostly for independent seniors. Significant investment is going into both the building envelope and passive design. The project should require substantially less management by the housing cooperatives while they should enjoy excellent thermal comfort, with long term energy savings and reduced building envelope maintenance. The “Towards Passivhaus” approach includes a measure of resilience that we rarely, if ever see, in affordable housing, and this would be very important to monitor and compare with the earlier pilot projects at Rosemont (AHS)
and Benny Farm. Construction started in November 2014, and highly advanced onsite testing will be used to guide the construction process. Future studies at L’OEUF and at University 217 of Montreal Reviving dormant Urban Eco-tones while compacting and rejuvenating existing neighborhoods Current context Existing North American cities have aging physical infrastructure. Furthermore, their ecological footprint far exceeds our planet’s abilities to sustain them. One of the finest opportunities for the extensive renewal of the infrastructure and quality of urban life is by increasing the density of contaminated, abandoned tracts and suburbs. They were mostly built in the 1950’s and 60’s with their neighbouring industrial belts circling the inner city cores. Most of these older suburban communities have not yet been upgraded with massive investments in infrastructure. Ironically, since these upgrades/mistakes have not YET been made we have an opportunity to make a contribution. Hopeful practice: Searching for a Balance Improving the socio-economic and ecological footprint of the suburbs is among the most challenging tasks facing planners in Canada today. Montreal has rich, diverse cultures, an undulating topology and eclectic
neighbourhoods which coexist in close proximity to one another.
Without the wholesale erasure of millions of hectares of low-density residential developments, we will need to urbanize large parts of suburbia while transforming others into green belts, the habitat for restored biodiversity or intense urban agriculture to provide food locally. Underutilized sites, abandoned by industry, are polluted, fragmented enclaves and have great potential because they are inexpensive. These sites often border neighbourhoods or public spaces which are already vibrant. It is easier to revive the physically run-down properties than to repair social dynamics and stigmas. At these “magical thresholds” lie the potential for affordable rebirth, social diversity, much needed resilience and tolerance. These are places to live, work, and play: where the young urban agriculturalists can thrive side by side with artists and families and in walking distance from a renovated green industrial incubator. To take the biological parallel one step further, these urban thresholds, between distinct biological eco-zones have the richest bio-diversity. Where two divergent contexts the overlap they propagate both rare growths and a healthy degree of resilience to withstand the harshest tests. One such site in Montreal, also bordering an abandoned industrial belt, railway lines and low density housing, faces these exact challenges and opportunities. Petite Rivière, is planned with a unique master plan, which can provide
increased density, mixed use programming, renewed infrastructure, and increased public and green spaces. These spaces will nurture biodiversity and natural habitat regeneration. Referring to an intentional model called “Ecological Urbanism” developed by The Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona (UEAB) and its director Salvador Rueda a decade ago, and as governments put forth national and provincial policies to finance efficient public transit, homeowners will be given a truly viable alternative to the car-strapped lifestyle of most suburbs (see images below). The new neighbourhood, projet Petite Rivière is being carefully designed to make a 70% ecological footprint reduction compared the neighbouring existing suburb. The intention is that it will be a practical and convenient neighbourhood with a high quality of life reinforcing the importance of “Urban Livability”. Located on an existing 57 hectare golf course, the goal is simple. This project envisions an urban fabric that strengthens community, provides a healthier quality of life, is economically viable and restores nature. It is being designed according to ONE PLANET COMMUNITY standards, which includes Zero Carbon and Zero Waste by 2020, principles of walkability, mixed use, connectivity, compactness, regeneration and community. More importantly, this project can become a transformative tool to revive the various neighbouring problems beyond the site itself. The project is attempting to bring back an urban train stop, local commerce and businesses, urban parks and urban agriculture plots scattered throughout the
site. The project will require courage and partnership from the public sector, as no private developer can take on the burden itself. Conclusion Our efforts to empower the community through collective housing projects have been fruitful, but at times exhausting. How can we re-frame the revitalization of our aged inner city fragments? Some of the most important lessons we have been able to extract include the following: Encourage clients and stakeholders to intensively evaluate the dormant, inherent potential within and around their existing site/context. This “mining” phase is defined as the pre-design phase, where the multidisciplinary design team is charged with the task of uncovering the synergistic potential and key leverage points of a context before doing any design work. Identify key financial partners and community stakeholders who can enable the project to be realized within a reasonable timeframe, while creating long term partnerships that can ensure economic resilience and social cohesion.
with a transparent governance and enough resilience and redundancy to survive the roadblocks it will inevitably encounter. High quality design and the importance of both the quality and quantity of public spaces must be ensured from the outset; it must be part of the 219 base DNA of the restoration efforts. “Current city-wide infrastructure improvement and individual private market development, are not organized to directly reinforce each other. The making of public spaces such as the magical historical public spaces of Europe, and their resultant social cohesion, is the result of public / private partnership, where the responsibility of ensuring a sustainable equilibrium (on-site stability) is shared between and appropriated by all parties.” (Quote Salvador Rueda) Stretching current practice will heavily depend on transforming how communities partner with their developers, where ethical city building and profitable rehabilitation suitably transect.
So what are we waiting for? Our cities need to show courage, vision and leadership since no private developer can enable such a redevelopment on their own. Sadly the corollary is also true – few cities can redevelop large swaths of urban fabric alone. The process must be holistic, and inclusive
1, 2. Al Khan Al Ahmar Primary School (Courtesy of ARCò) 3, 4. Al Khan Al Ahmar Primary School Section (Courtesy of ARCò) 5. Al Khan Al Ahmar Primary School Floor Plan (Courtesy of ARCò) 6. Al Khan Al Ahmar Primary School Structure (Courtesy of ARCò) 7, 8. Al Khan Al Ahmar Primary School (Courtesy of ARCò)
Alessio Battistella (Italy) Architect, founder of ARCo a group of engineers and architects, based in Milan. ARCo uses low cost materials and sustainable techniques to develop particularly educational projects, in Palestine and Mozambic.
Alessio Battistella 221
Resilient Design. A Possible Approach to Sustainable Design in Emergency Contexts: A School in Al Kahn Al Ahmar, Palestine Alessio Battistella
It is possible to define “resilience” as the capacity of an ecosystem or a social system to continue functioning despite arbitrary changes to the internal equilibrium. Social systems and ecosystems are resilient if they can survive great mutations. Resilience is fundamentally important when applied to the field of sustainable architecture. A new methodology to evaluate design could be based on understanding the resilience of the system. Borrowing the analogy of social and ecological systems, the resilience of a system in sustainable architecture increases when when the dependence on external energy is reduced. The input of large amounts
of energy may increase the stability and minimize the fluctuations of a system, but reduce its resilience. A resilient system must be highly adaptable. This means the capacity of a social–ecological systems to adjust its responses to changing 223 external conditions and internal processes and thereby allow for continued operation along the current trajectory”. Based on the above assumptions, once can summarize that “resilience is the tendency of a social–ecological systems subject to change to remain within a stability range, continually changing and adapting yet remaining within critical thresholds”.
As architects we need to design tools which can guarantee the stability of the system through continuous changes in the physical and social context of our work.
communities in construction and maintenance and make sure the users take responsibility for their building by recognizing their own contribution in the new architecture.
This definition becomes ever more critical when we operate, in a context of social, environmental and economic crisis.
The design approach in the architectural projects of the ARCò group, Architecture and cooperation may best illustrate how we approach these challenges.
Resilient design in this context can only be low tech because we cannot depend on a reliable supply of energy. I believe that low-tech solutions ought to be proposed in response to the challenges of sustainable development in all built environments, not only in crisis situations, or only in the – so called – developing world. Environmental sustainability must be measured not only in terms of the energy performance of a building, but also in terms of the economic and social sustainability. It is important to keep costs low , involve local
The point of departure of each project is always an actual need, which emerges during the first meetings and site visits. ARCò is interested in a sort of “architectural acupuncture”, - inspired by the ‘urban acupuncture’ proposed by Jaime Lerner: generating a succession of actions and reactions triggering a virtuous cycle. Architecture becomes the starting point of a system andcreates the opportunities for possible evolution. The research is both urban and architectural
and aims at a degree of user comfort and a reduced use of environmental and financial resources. The budgets of the projects have always been very low but, these limits have become opportunities for innovation and creativity. The extremely limited financial resources has forced ARCò to experiment with new techniques, adapting and favoring construction methods which directly involve the population and encourage the sense of identity within the communities. ARCò is not a charitable organization. Unlike many international aid groups which disperse aid in third world countries or areas which have suffered environmental disasters, our work is motivated by research which we believe needs to be done on site and within real situations of crisis., It could be seen as applied in-situ research. As part of this approach, appropriate instruction manuals are created for each
project These are necessary instruments of communication in order to facilitate working with people who don’t speak a foreign language and have typical lack of technical knowledge. Each manual is designedof after a trial workshop is completed by ARCò group before reaching the crisis area. The goal is to graphically codify the essential information and transmit it to the members of the local communities, to empower them with the understanding of each phase of the construction process. The idea of a manual is not new. A wellknown excellent example is that produced by Enzo Mari: “Autoprogettazione?”. Mari raises the fundamental question about the management of the construction process as a way to share the design decision process. A good example of this methodology is the school located in Al Khan Al Ahmar in the West Bank. One of the most important aims of the Arcò group intervention was to make
the inhabitants the builders and co-authors of the school. This was made possible through a manual that was coherent and precise, and through the transmission of the project to the local community. It was not a simple challenge, but a high priority for Arcò group. The constraints we had to deal with were rather complex. The Palestinians have great difficultyobtaining building permission from the Israeli Authorities. This was one of the reasons for choosing a non-conventional material so that it could not be defined by the authorities as ‘permanent structure’. Furthermore, speed and simplicity, minimum costs and the use of local non-skilled manpower were critical. Lastly, the building had to address the extreme environmental conditions of the desert. These constraints inspired an innovative project that managed to address all these constraints: a school built with car tires. We chose used tires filled with desert sand for
several reasons: it can not only be constructed rapidly and simply, but it provides high thermal insulation and has compressive strength. Although bibliographic sources are limited for this methodology, yet we found enough inspiring examples to learn from. “Earthships” were maybe the first examples of buildings constructed with this technique. They were built in New Mexico under the guidance of architect Michael Reynolds. Reynold’s “Earthships” are very comfortable buildings, with a passive solar design with south-facing greenhouses, water recycling systemsand integrated renewable energy sources Used tire were available in the West Bank at no cost. Tires are elastic, and resistant to corrosion. Their internal woven iron threads make them durable and an ideal building material. The reuse of a material typically destined for the landfill – or in this case, to be disposed to the open landscape or to be burned unchecked
- is also important. The sand packed tires offered stability and compressive strength and thermal insulation too. Tires are stacked in overlapping layers as bricks, to form load bearing walls. The walls are plastered externally with a lime and clay plasterwhich protects them from solar radiation and therefore prevents decomposition and release of any possible toxic gases to the interior of the building. The sandwich panel roof is laid on a structure of wooden beams protecting the building from extreme external temperatures. Natural cross ventilation cools the roof during in the summer. The thermal mass of the walls
reduces the internal temperatures in the summer and increase the warmth in the winter.The differential between interior and exterior temperatures can reach up to 10Â°C. the Arco group built a building which is resilient for both the building and the community. The building was built within the 227 given political constraints, within budget, using readily available recycled materials and simple technologies. The construction was quick and simple. The building can be maintained by the community and within their technical knowhow and budget. The building stabilizes the interior environment and will hopefully provide the best possible conditions to allow the students to receive a better education.
1. Moabit West based on a cadastral map of the City of Berlin (Courtesy of SUSTAINUM) 2. Moabit West industrial and commercial zone (Photographer Jana Leoni / Courtesy of SUSTAINUM) 3, 4, 5. Students’ proposal ‘Moabit Connected by Water’ combines visible and invisible aspects of sustainable water treatment in urban areas in a system for collection, processing, storage and reuse of rainwater and recycled water. (Courtesy of Helena Kyllingstad, Brooks Patrick, Laura Poskiparta, Daniel Sandström) 6. ‘Rethink Arbeiterstadt 2050’: Students’ long term vision for Moabit West: The strong corporate network creates synergies in all areas from waste heat to effective use of space (Courtesy of Mathias Burke, Mandy Held, Luise Köhler) 7. ‘Rethink Arbeiterstadt 2050’: A vision for a sustainable industrial and residential area has been developed in order to maintain and enhance the environmental, economic and social functionality of the neighborhood (Courtesy of Mathias Burke, Mandy Held, Luise Köhler) 8. The project ‘Infilltrators’ proposes a new tram line as well as the food-producing aquaponics centre that give the area a striking new appearance (Courtesy of Lena Flamm, Elke Geratz, Julien Schwindenhammer, Polymenis Tsironas)
9. Map with the TOP 47 most effective, feasible and comprehensive measures (Courtesy of SUSTAINUM) 10. Workshop discussion with the active participation of local companies enhanced the opportunities for the exchange of information and consultation (Photographer Jana Leoni / Courtesy of SUSTAINUM) 11. Public presentation for local stakeholders (Photographer Jana Leoni / Courtesy of SUSTAINUM) 12. Interactive public event with local stakeholders: “Project Speed-dating” (Photographer Jana Leoni / Courtesy of SUSTAINUM)
Jana Leoni (Germany) Director of EcoCityLab a partnership between the Technische Universitat Berlin and the EcoCityLab, a group of academics and students in landscape design, architecture, urban design and urban planning.
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The “Green Moabit” Urban District Development Concept in Berlin Jana Leoni Based upon a project description by Frieder Rock and Jana Leoni in: ‘The “Green Moabit” Urban District Development Concept. Green Moabit Summer Academy’, release date December 2013. Project Credits Name of project: The “Green Moabit” urban district development concept Location: West Moabit, Berlin, Germany Client/Contractor: City Borough Berlin-Mitte and the Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Project management: SUSTAINUM Institut für zukunftsfähiges Wirtschaften Planning team: • UVE GmbH • (material flow management – circular economy – recycling) • M.UT.Z Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH (energy – energy efficiency – contracting) • Nolde & Partner (innovative water management – contracting) • PROZIV Verkehrs- und Regionalplaner PartG • (mobility – traffic/transport – logistics) • BÜRO BLAU – Beratung und Planung für Stadt und Land-schaft (public space – urban planning) • Reiner Lemoine Institut gGmbH • (innovation transfer – scientific support – evaluation) • SUSTAINUM (project management, facilitating networks, environmental management – education and social affairs – CSR) Project Area: 83 hectares Project dates: 2011-2013 Financing: Programme Urban Redevelopment West Total Project Costs: 230.000 EUR Number of people / beneficiaries / community served by the project: 8,900 residents, 10,000 employees
uring 2012 and 2013 I had the honor to be involved in the conceptual planning of the urban district development “Green Moabit” for Moabit West, Berlin’s largest inner-city commercial and industrial zone. The aim of the project was to analyse ideas for sustainable climate protection, develop policies based on our findings and initiate specific steps to
implement these policies. Our team led the project which involved local stakeholders: businesses, property owners, residents and the local government. This was a pilot project, the first of its kind in Germany specifically dealing with the sustainable upgrade of a whole, existing industrial neighbourhood. The Green Moabit project explored ways
of building networks among the local stakeholders, particularly among the businesses, to generate ecological and economic synergies regarding energy, water, waste, transportation, education and social affairs, as well as the creation and maintenance of public and private spaces. The objective was to brand and market the neighbourhood as a climate-responsive, viable, inner-city commercial and industrial neighbourhood which offered an attractive, sustainable quality of life: â€œGreen Moabitâ€?.
Our team, SUSTAINUM worked together with a team of experts in energy, water, waste, transportation/mobility, green spaces, environmental management, environmental education and social affairs. We have developed a master plan consisting of two different components to be implemented in two phases. Phase one was a feasibility study completed in early 2013. It formed the basis for the overall concept and phase two, an action plan describing measures to be implemented by the public sector and the
local businesses by the end of 2013. In the first stage, we analyzed local conditions and identified potential areas for intervention and improvement. We then designed a series of proposals in all of the aforementioned areas, which were graphically illustrated in a “vision map”. In addition to the work of our planning team and the consultants, we invited participants in the International Summer Academy 2012 – students and young professionals – to suggest innovative ideas
and broaden the vision for the area of Moabit West. From the numerous proposals in the first stage, our team, together with the steering committee (made up of representatives from the Berlin Senate and district governments), selected the most effective, feasible and comprehensive ideas for further study. As was expected, the implementation of many of the selected ideas challenged the team since considerable financing, time and labour were
required. Sadly it soon became apparent that for many of the local businesses a return on investment was a more important goal than sustainability. Thus, the The key to our strategy required instituting a comprehensive communication process to ensure the participation of the local stakeholders. Only when the primary players in Moabit West were successfully persuaded and motivated to participate could the proposals be properly understood and implemented. The results of the analysis and the preferred proposals were intensively discussed with the local players. We held informational events and presentations of
the project and communicated with the local business network. Progress reports were shared at public meetings. The interactive form of the public events such as the “world cafés”, “project speeddating” in the “walkable landscape” of Moabit West significantly enhanced the exchange of information and consultation. Through these events the local stakeholders were introduced to the ideas developed during the planning process and invited to contribute, critique and collaborate. This gave the stakeholders, particularly the local businesses and utility companies the opportunity to understand the project’s goals, express their own interests
and preferences and actively participate in the decision making. Gaining the support of the local business community was clearly the most important step in the process. Thereafter, focus groups were formed to address individual projects with maximum impact.
An initial indication of the success of the project will be the implementation of the first proposals immediately after the second planning phase was completed in 2013. Although I have not been involved in the project since August 2013, the project had a significant impact on my development as an urban planner as it profoundly enriched my professional career. For me, it was a great experience working in an interdisciplinary team committed in the success of a the ground-breaking project â€˜Green Moabitâ€™. I take this opportunity to thank all the professionals involved in the project and in particular the project manager Frieder Rock Ěś for the wonderful cooperation and the fun we had together.
1. Crisis and dismissed buildings (Courtesy of Orizzontale) 2. Public space and urban residues (Courtesy of Orizzontale) 3, 4. Public space and urban residues (Photographer Francesco Federico Natalucci) 5, 6. Crisis and dismissed buildings (Courtesy of Orizzontale) 7, 8, 9. Overcoming limits (Courtesy of OSA Architettura e Paesaggio)
Orizzontale (Italy) An architeture collective based in Rome whose primary interests are reactivation processes and urban actions that help to redefine the heterogeneous fields that compound the public areas of the city.
Challenging the Hidden Potential of the City Juan Lopez Cano and Nasrin Mohiti Asli
he space of the contemporary city is affected and shaped by shortening transformation cycles. The length of time that activities remain in a specific area is decreasing. The functions of buildings change rapidly as city dwellers change their habits and their needs. The city and its architecture are not stable and permanent, but transient and dynamic. This tendency, which primarily affects the built environment, must affect the vacant or un-built spaces of the city as well. In a fluid urban scenario, public spaces continue to be the only place where common needs converge. Even if social interactions become more and more superficial, an infrastructure for chance encounters or organized mass protests is still required. Instant architectural devices, designed to be dismantled and moved, are an opportunity to meet changing needs. Like a shooting star, they stay few but they are able to leave visible traces. Since working in public spaces is our way to confront the city, we defined certain objectives when we formed our architectural practice. Orizzontale1 is an architecture collective based in Rome. Our primary interests are the reactivation of urban scrap. We have developed a method for urban intervention with places, ideas and things rejected in the conventional productive cycle. With this as our raw material, we try to generate collaborative “public acts” in the form of semi-permanent architecture or installations, in which material and immaterial waste mutually restore each other’s meaning.
Since 2010 we have promoted projects helping people develop their relationship with public space by giving form to both dismissed and unseen spaces of the city. These projects have become a new form of interaction between city dwellers and the urban commons and an opportunity to push the boundaries of 239 architectural experimentation. Public Space and Urban Residues One intervention with transient fields was S.O.S.2 - Space Open Source. This is a semipermanent site-specific installation that we built with the participation of Madrid collective TXP3 and the students of architecture of Università “Sapienza” of Rome. The site was located in a public garden in Centocelle (Roma), formed by a courtyard surrounded by a historic curved earth berm. The real challenge is the urban location since the site lies between a residential neighborhood and “Forte Prenestino” - a former military fort abandoned for decades. Over the past 25 years the fort has been reclaimed and restored by local residents. While the internal spaces of the fort are completely revived with intense cultural and social activities, the threshold spaces of the outer berm have been neglected and forgotten. Without a particular identity, the berm became an unsafe “no man’s land” and now divides the city from the cultural center rather than connecting it. The guiding principle of S.O.S was the idea that every obstacle creates opportunity. The exact same characteristic that made the curved berm an obscure place, could be exploited
to transform the site into an “all man’s land” - a place for encounters and the community. After a brief confrontation with squatters who dwell in Forte Prenestino and people from the neighborhood, the project took off. We filled the space with new structures and images. We built four similar but different objects: four bleachers (3x6 meters each) were built on the facing sides of the circular berm. Individually the bleachers are “relational machines” facilitating meetings between passersby. The four bleachers also interact with the overall perceptive and symbolic qualities of the space, unifying it by suggesting the existence of a virtual amphitheater. Indeed, during special events the four elements actually
work as seating facing a small stage*. At night a special lighting system, made of recycled spherical plastic beer kegs, keeps the space safe and wraps the installation in a dream-like ambiance. Our aim at the time was to activate a synergy between different levels of waste which the city produces: from construction material, to the place itself (waste land) and to the discontinued idea of a common (wastedideas). Furthermore, we needed to limit the amount of physical interventions to the minimum, so as to preserve the place’s historical architectural qualities. We chose to use a simple technology and asked the
dwellers to help build the space themselves. We are convinced that the act of building and taking care of a space is a fundamental step towards building the community which will inhabit the space. Crisis and Dismissed Buildings Public spaces have not been our only subject matter. Buildings are abandoned and offer the potential to be rediscovered, exploited and enriched. During September 2013, we worked in Biella, once the most important center of the wool industry in Italy. The industry has been in an economic crisis forcing factories to abandon many productive spaces. The purpose of the Premio Maggia competition was to propose strategies for the social and economic renewal of Lanificio Sella (4). Habitat thinks about disused industrial structures as big “hosts” able to contain many smaller architectural organisms. These organisms can be characterized by a shorter life cycle and with less complexity. Borrowing from biology the term ‘mutualism’ – which describes a specific symbiotic relationship between two species generally different in terms of dimension, life cycle duration and complexity – we proposed a solution for the former factory. Since large functional conversion can’t solve the problems of our disused industrial heritage, we proposed experimentation with temporary and flexible functions. Using vacant spaces productively may help keep the cost of startup businesses to the minimum and contribute to their
success. The vision we proposed is an invasion of small and dynamic startups that develop within the unused industrial complex a “mutualistic relationship” full of reciprocal benefits. With a favorable environment these small structures 241 may rapidly increase, link up, subdivide, create new networks and eventually help the host company overcome the crisis. Overcoming Limits Working in contemporary cities implies, in
many cases, overcoming the limits that urban life impose on us. Walls and barriers are built to protect public spaces yet often deny the citizens their right to free and open access of these spaces. As architects we are entrusted to identify this affront and restore public access. This was the core concept of our installation for ECOWEEK Rome5. The site of the intervention was in the Valle Aurelia neighborhood in Rome, and more specifically, the village and the garden Giardino del Maresciallo along the via di Valle Aurelia. The place has an unusual history. Established at the beginning of the twentieth century, the town became a center for the production of building bricks because of several massive kilns in the area. In the mid 1970’s the village (Borghetto) was almost completely demolished and the inhabitants were moved to nearby social housing towers, built within the “local plan” of social policy Valle Aurelia. The demolition of most of the old buildings left an urban void, a green area which today lies abandoned and semi-privately owned. The upheaval weakened the social cohesion of the community and erased their identity. Among the project’s goals was also to stimulate and promote the exchange between the locals inhabitants and the workshop participants. After discussing the obstacle (material and immaterial) which inhibit this relationship, we decided to create a new temporary entrance to Giardino del Maresciallo. We called it UP. UP is a staircase made entirely of recycled materials, mostly panels (wood and MDF) salvaged by the group from different cultural
industries of the city of Rome. At a certain point the sidewalk, bordered by a high brick wall, is interrupted by the staircase. Usually, a fracture is perceived as a discontinuity. But in our case, UP resolved the difference in height of about three meters and invited the passersby to go up and to look over the wall to the garden. The garden, transformed by our team, was enriched with new installations for seating and games. In addition, new signage painted on the sidewalks, leads to the park and together with a temporary photographic exhibition; the space was renewed and was made available and accessible temporarily to the community. Playing with Sustainability These projects illustrate how our work addresses the issue of sustainability. Though occasionally we need to use new resources to transform the urban environment, we prefer to work with the existing and forgotten infrastructure. By adapting scraps we build architectural projects, albeit temporary, and try to meet an immediate need of all citydwellers: a need that traditional design cannot achieve with great agility. We have chosen to work with the transient because it implies reversibility and it leaves the possibility of restoring a site to its original state. This is an attempt to reduce land consumption, just another critical issue of contemporary urban sustainability. Ultimately, working with temporary architecture expose the infinite opportunities of intervention and how many efforts to
preserve urban structures are contrived and meaningless. The city is a vastly complex entity that reminds us of the past but projects us to the future. In the perspective of the continuous development of our cities, small temporary urban interventions help understand the issues and involve the citizens before many major projects are built, and maybe ‘un-built’.
in Valle Aurelia.
Notes 1 Orizzontale collective: The designers of the projects and the authors of the texts included in this article are: Jacopo Ammendola, Juan Lòpez Cano, Giuseppe Grant, Margherita Manfra, Nasrin Mohiti Asli, Stefano Ragazzo, Roberto Pantaleoni. 2 All the material, excluding the lighting modules, came from the installation “Officina Roma” by raumlaborberlin, realized in the fall 2011 within the exhibition “Re-Cycle” at MAXXI Museum, Roma. The construction and dismantling, carried out by Orizzontale, saved more than 25 cubic meters of wood. The project, in spite of its size and the transformation it has produced, was built at almost no cost and almost zero ecological impact. 3 TXP, which was involved in the construction of the stage and bike parking station was represented in Rome by Diego Peris and Massimiliano Casu. 4 More information about Premio Maggia Competition in the website: www. premiofedericomaggia.it 5 ECOWEEK Rome project took place in September 24-30, 2012 and was a collaboration with OSA architettura e paesaggio (Massimo Acito, Marco Burrascano, Luca Catalano, Annalisa Metta, Luca Reale and Caterina Rogai - Mario Leonori, Lorenzo Senni and Marta Spadaro) and LUS Living Urban Scape (a program for young researchers funded by Italian Ministry of School, University and Research) in a broader intervention involving different spaces
1. Valle Aurelia in Progress flyer for the party at the end of the ECOWEEK workshop (Courtesy of Maria Livia Olivetti) 2, 3, 4, 5. Saturday afternoon party in Valle Aurelia (Courtesy of Maria Livia Olivetti)
Maria Livia Olivetti (Italy) Architect heads the national research project â€œLiving Urban Scapeâ€? (LUS) funded by the Italian Ministry of Education at the University of Roma Tre.
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Valle Aurelia in Progress - A ‘Planning for Real’ Experiment Maria Livia Olivetti
t was about four years ago when my friend and colleague Annalisa Metta involved me in the ECOWEEK experience. At that time I already was (and still am) the coordinator of a research program named Living urban Scape (LUS) the main focus of which is to find new solutions for the renovation of public residential housing blocks, starting from the open spaces. For this reason, I was very enthusiastic when Annalisa proposed me to test some of the theories we had developed in LUS on a real scale, in Valle Aurelia in Rome. The suburb of Valle Aurelia was built in 1975, on the site of a small ancient village. It is located at the edge of the Pineto regional park and consists primarily of large residential buildings occupied by factory laborers. The buildings are surrounded by expanses of green open space covered largely by wild vegetation. The disconnect between the built and open environment was partly the fault
of the inhabitants who became indifferent to the surrounding landscape and don’t use it for their daily outdoor activities. They pass through it without acknowledging its presence or realizing its potential. Our challenge was to re-connect the open 247 space to the built environment of the residential blocks and thereby create an open space accessible and useful to the local population for their daily outdoor activity. No doubt that the challenge was too ambitious considering the means at our disposal. Nevertheless, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity offered by ECOWEEK, to test our theories in practice and learn from the social physical reaction to our intervention. We began on our work on a cloudy day, the last week of September 2012. We had 6 days and a diverse team of 20 architecture and planning
students from different parts of the world. We also had a modest budget of 1000 euros to purchase materials for the implementation of the project. Initially there was hesitation but we soon became wholeheartedly immersed in the task. By the end of the week, a first small park at the the entrance of the Pineto Park was transformed. With wooden furniture and signage, an exhibition with photographs of the historic neighborhood prior to its demolition, a staircase which gave access to the park from the street and signage leading to the park â€“ the project took on a life of its own. Along the 500m path connecting the apartment blocks to the park entrance we made stencil drawings on the asphalt sidewalks indicating the distance to the park. The signage provoked the residents to follow the path. At the end of the week we organized a public party and a photography exhibition within the park showing the site we had transformed. We advertised with posters in the neighborhood and soon the park was full of people! People of different ages and nationalities (the neighborhood apartment blocks are home to immigrants, primarily from Libya). We were astonished to see the broad response to our invitation by the local community, coming together on a September afternoon for the first time, to reclaim the public open space we revealed to them.
It was the first step in our goal to make the local community aware of its natural surroundings and to start a process of reclaiming these natural public spaces. We needed to show them the possibility of using, preserving and maintaining them for the wellbeing of the community. The Valle Aurelia in Progress experiment (in short VAP) has changed the spatial configuration of the site through minimal interventions of gardening and light, temporary structures. Reflecting on the results of the project, it was highly engaging and challenging for our group of students and young architects for many reasons: social and educational. VAP was an outstanding experience for all stakeholders: the students, the local residents and the LUS research program: - The students and young architects were exposed to and participated in an alternate methodology for learning. They had the opportunity to experience the components that form the landscape, to understand the relationships and to develop a design strategy for a real site. The students learned how to work as a team and to overcome language and cultural barriers. - The local residents were involved for the first time in a process with a group of professionals and young professionals where were sincerely interested in hearing
and addressing the daily problems of their neighborhood. The local residents opened their homes and gave the students access to work in their outdoors spaces, helped them with materials, tools and power throughout the entire week. VAP made the local residents witness the power of community in urban renovation and the maintenance of the local open spaces. The LUS research program, motivated by the assumption that urban action constitutes
the most viable path for the renovation of the public residential suburbs, reached a positive conclusion. We realized that real action is the primary instrument to fulfill our research assumption. Having learned from the VAP experience, we are now extending our attention to a variety of realities that constitute 249 the public space within the urban context. We are seeking opportunities to address these challenges with innovative solutions and experimentation towards a renaissance of the public open space.
1. Vulkan area: The cut (Photographer Øistein Haukeland) 2. Vulkan area: Existing conditions (Courtesy of LPO) 3. Vulkan area: The cut in progress (Courtesy of LPO) 4. Vulkan area: Urban connection (Photographer Torbjørn Tandberg) 5. Vulkan area: Mathallen exterior (Photographer Aspelin Ramm) 6. Vulkan area: Mathallen façade reflections (Courtesy of LPO) 7. Vulkan area: Mathallen interior (Photographer Aspelin Ramm)
Hilde Sponheim (Norway) Partner at LPO Architects is a graduate of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, working mainly on urbanism and urban development, sustainability and environmental issues.
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Vulkan Area | Reused | Restructured | Revitalized Hilde Sponheim Task: Transformation of inner city brownfield in Oslo, Norway Year: 2004-2013 Client: Aspelin Ramm Architect: LPO Architects
n the subject of sustainability my opinion is that urban planning becomes essential; setting the agenda for our physical surroundings. Urban structures form our common stage and create long lasting traces. Buildings, volumes, density, mobility, programme and materials are all important themes, but physical connections and public spaces are in a unique position. Functional and well-formed connections become important to link different areas together, to overcome physical barriers, creating flow, safety, wellbeing and urban vitality. Successfully made urban space gives the city a human scale, common places to meet and a sense of public identity.
and the introduction of new programme provide new urban opportunities. An example of a successful transformation of an inner city brownfield is the Vulkan area in Oslo. It is located near the river Akerselva, which used to be the site for several industrial plants. The river has been an important energy source, 253 and has been both a cultural and a physical barrier for the city between east and west. Over time the site accommodated numerous industrial functions. Long before the industrial revolution a wood mill operated here. In 1873, an iron foundry was built here and remained in use until the end of the 1950s.
Urbanization is one of the biggest challenge in the world today. How we create future cities will have an enormous impact on the lives of most people living on the planet, since the vast majority of us will live in cities. Oslo may be a small northern European city facing fewer challenges than most other cities. However, it is worth sharing some of these challenges and how they may turn into opportunities. Reused To avoid sprawl by redeveloping areas already utilized is an important subject. Densification
From the 1960s onwards, the buildings were used for several different industries and as office space. Because of the site topography, the heavy industrial use of the site, the whole area was sealed off from the city and largely closed and unknown to the public.
sectioning cut, and the Vulkan area got its central pivot point.
Restructured After new owners Aspelin Ramm held a design competition, Oslo based LPO architects designed the plan for a mixed use redevelopment, preserving and adapting some of the buildings in the location. The municipality approved the plan in 2009. The site is now transformed into a new, urban neighbourhood. Central to the redevelopment scheme are the historical buildings, which now accommodate a dance center and a food court, Mathallen.
Revitalized Mathallen is designed following examples of southern European food halls. The space includes different bars, cafĂŠs and restaurants and several shops for local food and food specialty stores. The opening of the hall made the area accessible to the public and completed the transformation of this site. The reuse of the industrial building connects the new functions to the history of the area, giving it a specific identity different from the surrounding neighbourhoods. It is an example of heritage adaptation where public and private interests are fully represented, conserving cultural value and enhancing economic value.
The main concept of the masterplan was to open the area to its surroundings. The central proposal was to create a new eastwest connection by making a cut in the 215 meter long faĂ§ade towards the Akerselva river. The cut was made possible thanks to a flexible approach to building conservation in collaboration with the authorities. By tearing down a smaller part of one of the historical buildings a new connection between urban areas was established, the river became an integrated part of the urban space and the beautiful structure in the old building was highlighted in the section made visible in the
The Bellona house is the new headquarters of the Bellona group. Being a non-governmental organization addressing environmental issues, they had great ambitions for the project. The house is containing mainly offices, with shops and restaurants at ground level. The building is situated on the building site where the cut was made, making the house part of the new public space and in direct interaction with the historical building, its structure and its new facade. The geometry of the plan of the Bellona house is a result of the conditions on the site: the plan is reusing former built foundations. The office
plans are compact and flexible. The faรงade is constructed of wood as the main material and is optimized for sun collection and views from the interior. But even though eco-friendly, the architecture of the faรงade is as much an answer to the specific context. As a response to the old brick building it seeks a formal dialog with the triangular shapes of the old building, and with the glass reflecting the two different faรงades it adds great value to the new urban space between them.
high-density area in inner city Oslo with an intimate urban space. It makes an interesting model project in terms of both processes 255 engaging different authorities and a dialog between different professionals, and also that it is made possible within a commercial framework. In terms of eco-friendly architecture you can easily find projects more ambitious and specialized, but what I believe is even more important is the power of the well-connected, functional and interesting urban environment to live and reside in.
The redefined Vulkan is now an attractive
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8. Project Plans and Diagrams (Courtesy of Tom Rankin. Project Team: Architect Thomas Greene Rankin. Design Team: Jonathon Spada, Dominic Alvins, Alex Stoicheff, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta. Consultants: Gabriele Bacolini, Floreana Tramonti, Hanna Persson) 5, 9. Via Portuense (Courtesy of Tom Rankin)
Tom Rankin (Italy & USA) Founder and director of Studio Rome, a design firm devoted to research and practice of environmentally sustainable architecture and urbanism.
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A Place for Re-Use in Rome’s Via Portuense Tom Rankin
hen you think of green cities you probably don’t think of Rome. The European cities that come to mind tend to be those where progressive civic projects in recent years have promoted clean energy, efficient transportation and effective recycling systems. Malmo (Sweden), Freiburg (Germany), even London with its congestion charge and smart Olympics projects. Not Rome, which repeatedly ranks in the bottom third of Italian cities in terms of overall sustainability in Legambiente’s urban ecosystem ratings. But despite its relatively poor recent track record, and the presence of Europe’s largest
and most poorly run landfill, Rome is built on material reuse and is well-positioned to rise to the challenge of eliminating from our cities not just waste but the very concept of waste. Zerowaste has become a catch phrase but in few places is achieving this goal more urgent than Rome, whose overtaxed waste management 259 system is seething with corruption, its main “processing” facility, Malagrotta, saturated and all new dumpsites proposed stopped by understandable “nimby” opposition. In the over twenty years I have lived in Rome I have always drawn inspiration from the city’s ability to adapt its physical heritage to new uses. If, as Carl Elefante once said, “the
greenest building is the one already built,” then Rome has been recycling its green heritage for two millennia. Example such as the Pantheon and the Theatre of Marcellus are the most emblematic. The Pantheon, Emperor Hadrian’s temple to all gods, was converted in 609 AD into a Christian church and continues to perform as such today, while
the ancient Roman theatre has seen more chaotic transformations into its current state as a labyrinthine palazzo housing luxurious offices and posh apartments. Examples date to all eras; some recent cases of adaptive reuse are the Montemartini Museum (an abandoned power plant now a spectacular museum of ancient sculpture), Xplora, the children’s museum which occupies a former tram deposit and the former slaughterhouse in Testaccio which now hosts a variety of cultural and educational functions. Even the Casa dell’Architettura, Rome’s architectural association center, has its home in Rome’s former Aquarium. With a stable population and a stock of buildings that has been growing, on and off, for millennia, Rome has many needs, but new architecture is not foremost among them. To paraphrase Professor Francesco Scoppola, the challenge today is not growth but restraint, not building more but using better that which we have, not reinventing the city but rethinking how we live the city. In teaching design and history to architects for years I’ve tried to encourage rethinking not just how we build but what we do with the already built, how we live in the cities we have inherited. The same ecological reasoning which privileges diverse and creative reuse of buildings can be applied to things, and again Rome has countless examples. Sometimes, building materials are salvaged and used intact and in situ, such as the few standing columns in Piazza di Pietra which form the
portico of what is now the “events center” for Rome’s Chamber of Commerce (In this building, appropriately, the results of our “Re-Use Workshops” were displayed in 2010). Sometimes they are dismantled and reassembled elsewhere -witness the famous stone face, the “Bocca della Veritá”, outside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin or, more interestingly, the elaborate cosmatesque stone work in the floors inside. But sadly they were most often destroyed to generate new material. Much of the “pietra” (stone) missing from Piazza di Pietra, and countless fine marble statues, were burned in lime kilns by the calcari to produce quick-lime in a process Bill McDonough would call down-cycling. In the post-war years Italy’s stagnant economy and imbalance of wealth slowed temporarily Rome’s entry into the world of mass consumption, but it is now fully participant in the throwaway economy and produces at least as much waste as any other European city. Clear evidence that residents of Rome discarding items of value is the constant presence of Rom “gypsies” rummaging through dumpsters, despite protests, mining the city’s trash for resources. According to the research group Occhio del Riciclone who monitored the phenomenon between 2005 and 2009, 33 million individual objects were salvaged from city dumpsters by one Rom group. While elsewhere in the developed world “reduce, re-use, recycle” has become a mantra of the green movement, in Rome the innovative re-use of materials is still marginalized and stigmatized, seen as itself a problem rather than a solution.
Lester Brown’s “Plan B” for the planet significantly calls for a new economy “that reuses and recycles everything.” Along with green technological developments in energy, water, and mobility, the boom in creative reuse is one of the most exciting phenomena of the emerging 21st century economy, 261 rapidly supplanting the old petroleum-based one. Happily the ethics of environmental awareness has found its match in a green aesthetics. Culture and sustainability, often
poised in opposition, have found common ground in “old stuff.” Rather than sending our old stuff to the smoky, urban hinterlands or some other hypothetical “away”, why not return it to the public realm? Why not safeguard our resources in the heart of our communities. Recently, I have posed these questions as the focus of a series of workshops focusing on the site of the former Papal Arsenal at Porta Portese along Rome’s Tiber River. Subsequently, emerged as the impetus for an urban design proposal presented to city officials in the context of a local revitalization plan. The beginning of Via Portuense presents one of Rome’s most undervalued and challenging urban sites, strategically placed along the banks of the Tiber, but currently marred by blight. Bounded by the river, the walls, and other architectural barriers, the site has an eery, edge-of-town feeling despite its central location. It is no coincidence that it hosts the kind of activities usually consigned to the edge of town: building supplies, bike and motor parts and accessories, and used “junk”. Our proposal envisions the re-design of the area to transform it into a well-connected, ecologically-sound node for productive activities. The proposed program of the buildings seeks to enrich the diversity of uses typical of vibrant 21st century cities. Rather than separating commercial from residential, or production and sales from disposal, the project promotes radical adjacencies. At the ground floor street frontage is dedicated
to people: retail, workshops where artisans repair and create and sell their products, a cafe and a small supermarket. The central building, the Palazzo del Riuso, contains a community center and library dedicated to architectural and mechanical salvage, a place where the tradition of bricolage and artisan culture can be preserved and promoted. An auditorium seating 50 people will be used for community and educational meetings. This building also contains a gallery where exhibits related to reuse, bricolage and spoils will be held. Rather than attempt to adapt an existing building, we opted to create ex-novo a simple, rational frame structure to be finished (over time, perhaps) with salvaged materials. Alongside the iconic central building, existing bicycle workshops and storage areas are expanded, and new buildings are dedicated to the stockpiling, repair, dis-assemblage, reuse and recycling of used technology, from bicycles to computers. Products which today become broken or obsolete, and discarded, would here be repaired, reused, regenerated or as a last resort see their component materials recycled. It is a place where people can bring things to fix or hack, where someone can drop off a broken washing machine knowing it will be treated as resource, not waste. In the upper floors are proposed workshops, creative professional offices and live/work studios for individuals who design, fix, produce and sell objects, but have been forced to moved out of the city center or to close shop by injustices in the
urban economy. Interestingly, the research in the workshops started with a strongly digital framework, a database of parts and system for cataloging and sorting, observing that often the problem is not “not having” the part but not finding it or recognizing its potential. Sophisticated storage systems emerged, resembling libraries or archives more than yard sales. The role of creative arts was held foremost with studio spaces for visual artists and designers who use found materials in innovative ways. The project also proposes a new park along the Tiber from the walls to the Via Ettore Rolli, terraced and organized into plots for community gardening and orchards. New bike baths traverse the park at various levels and boat docks are created to promote river navigation. The permanent elimination of motor vehicles along the Via Portuense (today
pedestrian-only on Sundays) is compensated by new transit infrastructure in the form of bus/tram hub, river shuttles and bike-sharing facilities. The project was speculative and intentionally provocative, a “spontaneous intervention” 263 encouraging creative thinking and discussion about the site in order to arrive at a solution that benefits as many stakeholders as possible, including future generations. By grounding social encounters in material objects, but rejecting the obsessive and ecologically dysfunctional “discarding of the old to make way for the new” it is hoped that more complex relationships will be nurtured. Activated by processes surrounding material re-use, public space can return to playing a productive and innovative civic role, stimulating green economic growth while impacting positively the urban ecosystem.
1, 2, 3, 4. Kfar Saba Green School (Photographer Lior Avitan / Courtesy of Knafo Klimor Architects)
David Knafo (Israel) Architect partner in Knafo Klimor Architects committed in developing sustainable and humanistic architecture in its regional context.
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Building a Green School David Knafo
n a sunny day at the end of February, I was invited to a school to participate in the Tu-Bishvat ceremony, the Israeli spring festive, a celebration of planting and for the blessing of nature. Pupils from all classes were gathered in the courtyard, each one with a plant in his/her hand, ready for planting. The excitement among the children was tangible. The teachers spoke about the spirit of this special holiday, about the meaning of nature in human life and about the importance of protecting the environment for their future and for the sake of future generations. Sustainability was perfectly introduced to the children though the ritual of planting a new forest in the school area. At that moment, once again, I understood the role of architects in promoting sustainability by designing “green” buildings. Architecture is not only about aesthetic values or about introducing new technologies in buildings,
but more important, it deals with the ability to integrate harmoniously human aspirations and nature preservation into the process of design. As architects we are responsible for the well functioning of buildings as well as for their impact on the environment, long after 267 our primary role is officially completed. Two years ago, we were commissioned to design a “green” school in a new neighborhood designated for young families in Kfar Saba, a town north of Tel Aviv. We met the city’s mayor, the education staff and members of the community involved in this initiative. They all repeatedly explained to us the necessity of building a “green” school and spoke about the benefit of thebuilding to the community in this new neighborhood. The building had to meet the USGBC Gold LEED standard, and of course had to meet the programmatic and pedagogic requirements determined by the education staff and the community.
The dialogue with the clients included a study of the functional needs and sustainable vision of the people behind the project. We developed an understanding of the community commitment to school life through the level of involvement of the families in their children’s education. It was clear that the school would function as a community center, and as such it would host community activities in the afternoons and evenings. The families would have access to the school’s facilities, the sports grounds and stadium and would enjoy spending time with their children in outdoor activities including the cultivation of the communal agriculture field. We studied the site conditions such as: topography, orientation, soil, landscape and climatic data. We gathered the data available over the years including: wind, precipitations, sun radiation, temperatures and humidity. The knowledge that the planned building would destroy the habitat of many species living on site was indeed disturbing. We called for a comprehensive study on the existing biodiversity on the site, in order to restore it after the completion of construction. The program included a small parcel of land for agriculture as part of the Ecology Studies program. Pupils would grow vegetables and fruits at school and learn to take responsibility
over the food production and well-being. The education staff believed strongly that pupils should stay outdoors as much as possible. The school buildings are therefore organized around a large courtyard at the center of the site. This allows direct access from the classrooms to the courtyard where the pupils play, socialize, work in teams. Here they are introduced to natural surroundings and experience outdoor activities becoming aware of the close connection between ecology, nature and human needs. The classrooms are oriented to the north where large windows allow natural daylight to penetrate into the classrooms and minimize the need of artificial lighting during the day. The buildings’ insulation has been designed well above the normal standard and the roofs are covered with vegetation for additional greenery and better insulation. The water system is designed for the reuse of all grey water and rain harvesting for irrigation of the gardens.. The building’s heating and cooling system is based on a geothermal system installed on the site. The building’s energy performance saves about 50% of energy consumption compared to a standard facility of a similar size. The building has been granted the USGBC LEED
Gold Standard for â€œgreenâ€? schools. The educational program exposes the children to the various issues of sustainability such as: climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, recycling and consumption mitigation. The children graduating from this school will, no doubt be better prepared for a more sustainable lifestyle leading to behavioral changes so urgently needed today.. In one of my visits to the school in the winter, my eye caught the pupils enthusiastically working in the field adjacent to the courtyard. They were collecting rain samples in the metrology station and were staring with enthusiasm at the new born tadpoles in the courtyard pond.
(environmental and social consultants) community members and the end users of the building are critical to guarantee a genuine commitment to a sustainable environment. Sustainable architecture, as we perceive it, is above all a social discipline and embodies 269 a constant dilemma: How to build to meet growing human needs and at the same time, preserve our fragile natural resources? How can we maintain the delicate equilibrium between social activities on one hand and the vitality of planet earth on the other? In my view, Sustainable architecture is a viable way to reach a balance while minimizing the impact of construction on the planet.
Practicing green architecture requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders in the design process. Besides professionals
1, 2, 3, 4. Interior and exterior views (Photographer Georgis Gerolympos)
Alexandros Kouloukouris (Greece) Architect and co-founder of KARD architects with more than 35 years of architectural and planning experience in private and public development.
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Business Building ‘Ben 10’ Alexandros Kouloukouris
he following project was designed on an unusual site in the neighborhood of Panorama, Thessaloniki in 2008, just at the start of the economic crisis in Greece. The developer was competent, intelligent and informed and desired a higher standard of design than is typically expected in Greece. His broad education and profound interest in the building environment, led to a fascinating dialog preceding all design decisions. We developed a critical and constructive approach to environmental issues which are of particular concern to us, as the architects of the project.
Our dialog started with the design of the ‘base’ of the building and its relationship to the overall structure, the economic viability of the project, the functional flexibility in consideration of future uses, the respect for the immediate neighbors and the building’s 273 environmental footprint. Respecting the economic limitations of the developer and the market conditions, we planned a small building for business with a unique identity and respectful of the environment. The neighborhood is mostly residential but the particular site is a local mixed use business hotspot. The 650 sq.m site (approximately 35 meters by 17 meters)
the ground floor to the basement level to accommodate varying functions. The first and second floors also have open plans for maximum flexibility. 274
faces northeast towards Venizelou street. Adjacent is a two-storey shopping arcade and to the south are detached houses from the 60’s. Venizelou street is a two way street with a bus route. We positioned the building on the edge of the site and in contact with the existing two-storey shopping center. It is set back 9 meters from the building line, respecting the neighbors, the front garden line and providing the required parking spaces. We tried to hide the very unattractive 9 meter by 18 meter white wall of the existing shopping center. Further, our proposal recommended a green wall near the entrance of the building and at the border of the nearby property, but these solutions proved uneconomical – at least for the time being. The building has an open plan connecting
The geometry of the building derives from the juxtaposition of two volumes on each storey of the building. The ‘pull’ and ‘push’ of the rectangular volumes creates a ‘void’ and a ‘projection’ on each level. We decided to expose the details of the cast concrete structure. All the required thermal insulation is installed on the internal face of the envelope. This allowed the elaborate formwork to define the language of the building. High pressure compact laminate (HPL) cladding on the second floor resonates the timber formwork of the concrete. All the formal projections from the building, the balconies and roof were designed for a green roof system planting native plants. The selection was made according to the location, climate and budget. These spaces will be partially accessible only for maintenance. The client required electromechanical systems to provide for maximum flexibility for future users. We decided to have a central shaft for all the services - plumbing, heating, cooling, electric mains etc. - with access to the systems at all levels. Originally the concept for heating and cooling was based on an external heat exchange unit that would be located on the roof. The solution was calculated to be cost-effective and environmental-friendly only if the whole building had common working hours. However, this was not the case, due to different users, so an alternative
solution of gas boilers and air-conditioning units was selected. The building has insulated aluminum window frames with low-e glazing, qualifying as a class B building for energy efficiency. 275
The building was completed in June 2012. In the short time that the building has been in use, there have been substantial interior modifications by the tenants. The design has proven a model of responsible design in collaboration with an enlightened developer. The building design is versatile not only to adapt to different user requirements but to weather a particularly challenging financial crisis without compromising on environmental standards as well.
1. Soil Center Copenhagen (Photographer Adam Mørk / Courtesy of Christensen & Co. Architects) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. DTU Compute (Photographer Adam Mørk / Courtesy of Christensen & Co. Architects) 7, 8, 9, 10. Soil Center Copenhagen (Photographer Adam Mørk / Courtesy of Christensen & Co. Architects)
Michael Christensen (Denmark) Principle of CHRISTENSEN & Co Architects, which completed in 2010 the Green Lighthouse, Denmark’s first carbon neutral public building.
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Two Projects: DTU Compute & Soil Center Copenhagen Michael Christensen
DTU Compute Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science Copenhagen, Denmark Project Credits Client: DTU – Technical University of Denmark Area: 4,600 sq.m. Architect: Christensen & Co Architects Landscape architect: Kragh & Berglund Structural Engineer: Anders Christensen Engineers Mechanical Engineer: Henrik Larsen Engineers Interiors: Christensen & Co Architects
here are no dark corridors at DTU Compute. Instead, the interior of the building is dominated by a continuous inner oasis with tall trees that form a living, communal space weaving through the entire building, connecting students, staff and visitors. The multiple functions of the building are situated in eight separate towers with glass walls behind the building’s outer glass facade and the large skylights on the roof. The towers house the building functions: seminar rooms and student lounges on the ground floor, offices and open communal spaces for researchers on the upper levels. The towers are connected by footbridges that enable circulation throughout the upper levels of the building. Walking between the treetops, visitors can view the student lounges below. The trees contribute to the building’s interior environmental sustainability. Not only by improving the air quality of the building
interiors; as in most cultures throughout history, trees hold universal symbolic meaning of life, learning, wisdom and experience. They also provide places where people can gather. Twenty two trees were placed in small groups, creating informal meeting places
for the students and a natural shade for the study areas, filtering the abundant daylight throughout the building. The DTU Computer building facade is primarily covered in glass of different types: transparent glass, sandblasted, white and
translucent glass as well as aluminum panels. The facade creates varying degrees of transparency, depth and reflectivity, so that from afar one can discern the contours of the interior trees, and of people moving around inside the building.
From the inside, the open views to the courtyards with large oak trees, organically connect the building interior with the landscape. The trees inside the building act as the visual foreground to the oak trees outside. Soil Center Copenhagen Copenhagen, Denmark Project Credits Client: Soil Center Copenhagen Area: 1,800 sq.m. Architect: Christensen & Co Engineer: Grontmij General contractor: CPH City & Port Development Between the sky and the ocean on the edge of Oresund, where the sky meets the ocean behind the Freeport and the Container Terminal, lies Copenhagen Municipalityâ€™s new soil treatment center, the Soil Center Copenhagen. This new urban area â€“ Nordhavn - was created by millions of cubic meters of dug up soil from construction projects and metro building sites around Copenhagen. The center analyses and handles contaminated soil, so that it is used in an environmentally safe manner. The Nordhavn landscape is flat with an everchanging scenery of piles of soil and deep excavations.
To the Northwest of Soil Center Copenhagen the landscape is contrastingly lush with low green hills, shrubbery and little ponds and lakes fringed with rushes. A wild nature site filled with sounds of birds, swans and mewing seagulls. Here the protected European Green Toad, has found a new home leading to the preservation of the area. Soil Center Copenhagen grows out of this context with its characteristic silhouete and rusty red facades. becoming at the same time, both an integral part of the landscape and a distinct man-made object. Soil Center Copenhagen Diverse spaces in one sculptural form The sculptural building makes for a protecting
boundary between heavy traffic areas and the protected nature site, and with its zigzagging shape the building creates spaces that face either towards the soil arrival area or the open nature. The center houses a variety of diverse spaces and functions. The form of the building responded to the particular needs for height and space. The building contains offices, laboratories, dressing rooms, two large workshops, garages and storage spaces. The office section is a peaceful oasis with views to the surrounding nature through carefully placed windows, each offering carefully framed views of the landscape and the waters of Ă˜resund. At the same time, the placement of windows optimises the use of natural light, so that the character and quality
of interior daylight becomes integral to the architectural narrative. The facades are clad in stretch metal protected by a red layer of rust. It offers, besides a beautiful red color, a resilient surface that can withstand dust and dirt in this harsh environment. The roof landscape will grow with tall grass, bushes and trees. This way the building makes up for the piece of landscape it has occupied, and will contribute in preserving natural biodiversity in the area... A green daylight interior In contrast to the hard exterior surfaces, the interiors offer calm and soft and natural surfaces, views to the surrounding nature outside and inside: Two large indoor trees, along with the lush plant wall, create a green and delightful internal contrast to the dusty and rough exterior environment. The numerous roof windows shower the building with natural daylight in the office area, minimizing the use of lighting. The floor
plan encourages interdisciplinary synergy between the centerâ€™s different departments ranging from engineers to excavator drivers. The materials in the interior are dominated by the raw concrete of the outer walls, walls and fixtures made of plywood, and floors made of 283 bedding mortar. Soil Center Copenhagen is the first DGNB certified building in Denmark built after the test phase and the very first certified building in Nordhavn. It is a zero energy building, which combines passive and active energy efficiency measures based on an overall strategy, which encompasses energy efficiency, building materials and social aspects. The design of the building results in extremely low energy consumption. The building is heated and cooled and powered by geothermal energy through many kilometers long pipes underneath the black asphalt in front of the building and through solar panels and solar cells integrated into the slanting roof surfaces.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Courtesy of G. Minke 8, 9, 10. CREATERRA (Photographer B. Kiefulf) 11. Courtesy of S. Minke 12. Courtesy of G. Minke
Gernot Minke (Germany) Trained architect with doctoral degree and a retired professor from the University of Kassel, Germany, where he directed the Building Research Institute for 38 years. Author of Building with Earth.
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Load-Bearing Vaults and Domes from Straw Bales Gernot Minke
traw compressed into bales is a fascinating building material. It has a high thermal insulation value (λ = 0.052 or 0.08 W/m.K) and as 1 kg of straw contains 420 gr of carbonate, 1 ton of straw reduces the CO2-content of our atmosphere by 1.5 tons of CO2, (as long as it is not burned.) There are still inhabited houses with load bearing straw bale walls in Nebraska, USA which are more than 100 years old (Minke, Mahlke: Building with Straw, 2005). Loadbearing walls mean that only the straw transfers the load from the roof to the foundation. As I have designed and built many vaults and domes from adobe and unburned bricks in my professional career, I was keen to test the possibility to use straw bales instead of bricks, without using mortar and without any other structural support. At my research laboratory at the University of Kassel, Germany we found out that a cut surface of a bale is much stronger than an uncut one, and so we developed a special saw to cut the bales to a defined angle, so as to build an arch of conically cut bales without using mortar. Load-bearing vaults and domes from straw bales were new technologies. This meant that there were no codes to calculate and permit such structures. Further, in Germany it would have been very difficult - or impossible - to get official permission to build them. In 2007 I had the opportunity to build three load bearing vaults at the rural community
‘Tamera’ in Portugal. The vaults were built during a three week workshop with the help of 24 people from 10 nations. The three units, which function as student accommodation, were later covered with a green roof. After finishing the vaults on a temporary formwork they were tensioned by strips. When the 287 formwork was taken down, no settling of the vaults was observed. The vaults were covered from inside and outside with three layers of earth plaster. The façade was closed with earth filled hoses around the round window (more about this system in: Minke. 2012. Building with Earth, chapter 10 and 14b).
After this positive experience my dream was to build a load-bearing straw bale dome surrounded by 8 load-bearing straw bale vaults covered by a green roof. In Slovakia I found friends (Zuzana and BjĂśrn Kierulf), who helped me to realize this idea at Hruby Sur near Senec. Over a foundation of 50 cm of expanded glass gravel, which also acts as thermal insulation, prefabricated wooden elements were positioned and over these 8 vaults from conical bales were erected. The dome rests on an octagonal wooden ring beam, which rests on 8 tree trunks of 30 cm diameter. The bales of the dome were fixed by wooden sticks. The straw surface was plastered in 3 to 4 layers up to a thickness of 6 cm from inside and outside. An EPDM
membrane (ethylene propylene diene monomer â€“ an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane) provides the water proofing. On this a green roof was installed mounting earth filled bags and throwing some seeds over the surface. The floor was made of rammed earth, the interior covered with earth plasters of different colors. The building is used to house an architectural office and an NGO. In 2012 Tobias Weyhe and I were very happy to build the first load-bearing straw bale vaults with official permission in Wangelin, Germany. The 5 vaults are used for the accommodation of seminar participants of an NGO. We wanted to create an example of sustainable
low-cost architecture, built of natural building materials and by unskilled labor. During erection the building was sheltered by a large tent structure. The vaults, the earth plaster, the rammed earth floor and some furniture were all built in the course of two-weeks-long international workshops. The above examples give a glimpse of my architectural research, design and teaching that combine many fields in individual projects. Hands-on workshops and learning by doing is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting and effective ways for students and professionals to learn the architectural profession.
References Minke, G.; Mahlke, F. 2005. Building with Straw, Birkhäuser Publishers, Basel, Berlin Minke, G.; Krick, B. 2009. Handbuch Strohballenbau, ökobuch Verlag, Staufen, Germany Minke, G. 2013 (3rd ed.). Building with Earth, Birkhäuser Publishers, Basel, Berlin Minke, G. 2011. Cúpulas y Bóvedas para vivir y trabajar, para hacer música y meditar, merlinid, Cali, Colombia
1. W Hotel Amsterdam: Transformation of the inner courts (Courtesy of office_winhov) 2. W Hotel Amsterdam: Monument and new additions (Courtesy of office_winhov) 3. W Hotel Amsterdam: Corner of the monument with the new roof extension (Courtesy of office_ winhov) 4. RvGT in 1928 (Courtesy of office_winhov) 5. RvGT in 2010 (Courtesy of office_winhov) 6. W Hotel Amsterdam (Courtesy of office_ winhov)
Uri Gilad (Switzerland) Architect, partner at office_winhov in Amsterdam. Teaches the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, and an assistant professor, at the Amsterdam School of Arts on the research project Tectonics in contemporary Brick Architecture. Â
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Second Life for a City Monument: Transformation of a Monument into W Hotel Amsterdam, The Netherlands Uri Gilad
he invitation to write this article was an opportunity to address the way we approach sustainability in our work and our attitude towards ‘sustainable architecture’. As architects we are opposed to the contemporary trend of specialisation in ‘sustainable architecture’. A good building should stand for a very long time. This simple notion challenges us to approach our work with great interest in the connection between tradition, materials and construction. We mostly start from this point of departure. We believe that a building has to be useful - not only today but also tomorrow. As buildings move beyond the circumstances of their creation, they are absorbed by the larger story of the city and its inhabitants. They become a part of a community, part of a cultural history. For us, this is what defines sustainability. The design for the former ‘Rijkskantoorgebouw voor Geld- en Telefoonbedrijf’ (the Dutch State Funds and Telephone company) transforms a currently empty historic building by giving it a second lease of life. Designed by Joseph Crouwel in 1925, the building is located in the heart of Amsterdam, next to the Royal Palace. The original design was strongly influenced by the architecture of the Amsterdam School. However, because of the worldwide financial crisis at the time, the original design had to be altered in several significant ways. Instead of the highly expressive and decorative detailing of the Amsterdam School, the building is more restrained and monumental. Clearly the design was influenced by Frank
Lloyd Wright’s Larkin building (1906). The transformation during the construction included the addition of a central structure which was meant to have a glazed roof. This was never built. The building with its massive concrete construction and monumental brick facades was declared a protected monument 293 by the city monument. The primary function of the building was to provide a telephone service for the inhabitants of Amsterdam. With the automation of telephony completed in 1964, this service became obsolete. The building lost its public function and faced several transformations that compromised the original architectural intent. The large machinery was removed and windows were added in the building’s top floor. Importantly, these changes were made mostly to meet programmatic functional needs but neglecting the strong character of the building. The ground floor of the building was transformed and is presently used as a supermarket. The upper levels of the building are empty and have been abandoned for more than 15 years. Needless to say, these changes have not enhanced the building’s architectural expression and its unique presence in the city. Our task was to transform the building into a five star hotel. We felt it important to go beyond the programmatic demands and to give the building a second life as a prominent public building in the city centre. The challenge was ‘to give the building back to the people’ as a recognizable icon in the heart of Amsterdam. We resolved to restore
the building’s former architectural character and add a panoramic public floor on top. Our design restores the original façade and replaces the dysfunctional inner façade with glass construction that extends to the panoramic roof top structure. The additions work as a singular contrasting intervention into the existing building. The hotel public facilities (reception, bars and restaurant) are located on the top level, offering a view over the city while underlining the building’s public character. Transforming an aging historic building into a sustainable building is generally a difficult technical task. One would like to maintain the historical building as much as possible, keeping its façades, windows and any part of the building that grants it a special quality, intact. Mostly, all these elements do not comply with the modern energy requirements. However, replacing them all or creating a new skin to the building will result in a loss of the building’s original character. We divided our task into two parts: the first was to restore the building’s relevant historical elements while exploring opportunities to find sustainable improvements for the
infrastructure. The second was to add technical solutions within the new and renovated parts of the building to meet the environmental standards expected for a sustainable development. These solutions include technical installations such as geothermal heat pump, thermal insulation and thermal controls. The combination of these strategies supported by the environmental ambitions of W Hotel, allowed us to apply for the BREEAM gold certificate. In transforming a monument in the heart of the city, we are very keen on the relation that the newly transformed building will have with its immediate environment and most importantly with its users and the inhabitants. In this, we take a stand in the sustainability debate. For a large part, this debate is concerning technique and installations. However important and interesting these aspects are, we feel that they take a disproportionally large part in the
whole of the sustainability-debate. Lesser interest is taken in issues concerning social sustainability that in our view plays a crucial role in the success and longevity of buildings. We design the physical to support the social. Together with the interior architects and the client, we have developed a building that has a unique public character that invites social interaction and engages with the dynamic creative population of Amsterdam. Project Credits Project: W Hotel Amsterdam Address: Spuistraat 175 Amsterdam Gross floor area: 13.650 m2 Client: Stag Europe (Grafenau) B.V., Amsterdam Operator: W Hotels Original design: Rijksgebouw voor Geld- en telefoonbedrijf, J.F Crouwel 1928 Architecture and Design: Office Winhov with BK Architecture Structural engineer: van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Amsterdam Building physics, fire & safety: Cauberg Huygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs, Amsterdam Installations: TBT IJsselstein and Spark Intelligent Design Amsterdam
1. Solar path and shading (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 2. East elevation (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 3. Taking into consideration the electromagnetic (Hartmann) lines (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 4. Shading model (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 5, 6, 7. During construction (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 8. On site monitor (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 9. The team at the construction site (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras) 10. Project rendering with planted roofs (Courtesy of Costas Tsipiras)
Kostas Tsipiras (Greece) Architect, graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Ecole du Batiment (Paris), with doctorate from the University of Grenoble. Author and co-author of 14 books, among others on ecological Architecture.
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Macedonian Sun: Bioclimatic Passive House in Thessaloniki The First Holistic Philosophy Residence in Greece Costas Stef. Tsipiras
he architecture of this house was inspired by the beautiful site, the view of the horizon, the sunlight and the symbolism of the Macedonian phalanx, an historic formation of Macedonian battle seen as an idealized representation of organization and unity. The architectural design emerged out of two formal ideas: a. The volume of the building is nonorthogonal. The east and west walls are not parallel to one other and their geometry converges to a point exactly 60 meters north of the site. The north and south walls are curved and forms an amphitheater opening towards the view. b. The axis of symmetry of the building is an elongated vertical core. Sloping beyond the building’s boundaries a strip of land on the north-south axis mimics the dynamic movement of the sarissa, the Macedonian phalanx. The “shield” of the imaginary phalanx points north and protects the house from the “enemy”: the powerful Vardaris wind!
The entrance is located on the first floor and the unusual structure of the house becomes clear immediately upon entry. Through large windows there is a view of the horizon, which orients the visitor and reinforces the connection between the landscape and the interior. Four south facing bedrooms are 299 located on the second floor. At the center of the buildings a double height atrium rises from the swimming pool and, overlooked by the living room, functions as a greenhouse. The pool appears to penetrate the building creating a volumetric recess. The roof is divided into zones covered alternately by photovoltaic and solar thermal panels as well as a green roof for insulation. Thessaloniki is within the C climate zone of Greece requiring substantial heating in the winter. With optimal building orientation and correctly positioned openings on each elevation, we have maximized the direct solar gain and protected the building from the cold northerly wind. The east and west openings are shaded by motorized wooden blinds that
ensure adequate protection during summer. The atrium traps solar radiation during winter and distributes the heat to the surrounding rooms. A solar chimney penetrates the roof slab of each bedroom increasing the natural light and improving the ventilation. During summer the atrium functions as a cooling tower, helped by the three north-facing openings and the pressure differential caused by the prevailing wind. During the summer the pergolas protect the south elevation and prevent the indoor temperature from rising excessive. The Macedonian Sun meets the highest standards for residential buildings in Greece. The building is insulated with 10cm Knauf ecological insulation on the inner surface of the exterior walls and an additional 5cm within the walls to remove all thermal bridges while allowing the building to “breathe” and achieve a U-value, of less than 0.3W/m2K. The solar and PV modules on the roof, together with the water heating fireplace supply a substantial percentage of the house’ energy requirements.
The load bearing structure is made out of C-25 reinforced concrete with no radioactive fly ash or S500 iron. The outer walls are made out of hollow clay brick clad in either plaster or limestone. Inner partitions are made out of 10cm clay brick. The wood window frames, certified by the “PassivHaus” standard, have thermal and noise insulated glazing with inert gas between the panes and a U-value less than 1.8W/m2K. Motorized wooden louvers operate on the exterior part of the frames. The building blends into the beautiful site landscaped with deciduous trees along the eastern and western elevations to provide shade during summer. The green roof provides added thermal mass to protect the second floor. Evaporative cooling from the swimming pool improves the cooling during summer and the water stores the thermal energy during the winter to improve the microclimate at night. Air infiltration is less than 0.6 air changes per m3. Ductwork discharges air to a heat recovery system and ensures a continuous
supply of fresh air reducing waste energy. As a result the annual heating requirements are less than 15 kWh/m2 and the annual cooling requirements less than 15 kWh/m2. The total annual energy consumption is less than 120 kWh/m2. The heat exchanger, the centerpiece of the entire system, is located partially in the basement and partially the attic. During winter, outside air is introduced to the heat exchanger and is preheated to 18Â°C by the exhaust air stream (see figure below). During summer the heat exchanger is reversed: it pre-cools the incoming air with the help of the cool used air being discharged. The Macedonian Sun integrate four renewable energy (RES) technologies, which seamlessly work together:
a. 30 m2 Solar-thermal collectors heat the space and domestic hot water and include a central boiler for hot water storage. b. 45 m2 photovoltaic panels produce electricity and excess electricity is fed into the national grid. c. 35 kW geothermal heat pump provides hot 301 water to the central water tank when the solar thermal energy is not sufficient. d. A fireplace is as additional source of hot water. These technologies adequately provide for the buildingâ€™s energy needs during winter and the solar thermal system provides hot water during the summer. At the core of the heating system is an advanced technology solarthermal unit, which receives domestic hot
water from the solar panels and auxiliary heat sources (water heating fireplace, geothermal heat pump). A 1,000 liters heat storage tank is integrated with the solar modules and counterbalances the unit. During the summer, the geothermal heat pump provides chilled water for cooling. The Macedonian Sun completely avoids the use of grid-sourced energy for heating and cooling. It is one of the first residential buildings to be certified by the German â€œPassivHausâ€?, a standard for energy efficient design. The PassivHaus currently meet the most advanced international standards for low energy consumption for buildings. Combination of bioclimatic and passive design This combination allows users to comfortably alternate between bioclimatic to passive modes. The passive mode is expected to function most of the year when the external climatic conditions are within the range of thermal comfort. The bioclimatic mode will be selected only during extreme weather. All ventilation will be through the heat exchanger
so as to minimize the requirement of heating or cooling the incoming air. When changing modes the systems automatically adjust the solar chimneys and openings on the roof. The Macedonian Sun is equipped with an advanced system for Optimal Automatic Control of the four RES and the passive systems. The target is to achieve thermal comfort inside the residence and maximize the use of solar energy. The geothermal heat pump will only complement the other two energy sources and will be used only when needed. Preset temperatures trigger the system to maximize the efficiency of the solar gain. Since the higher the temperature of the stored water, the less efficient the PV modules, the temperature of the domestic hot water needs to be constantly optimized. During extremely cold winters the solarheating is prioritized between the house and the swimming pool to minimize the energy consumption of the geothermal heat pump. The system continuously provides recommendations regarding the appropriate mode: bioclimatic or passive and will alert the
occupants to the need for maintenance or functional problems. The system is connected to instruments throughout the building which monitor air temperature, relative humidity, air velocity in ducts, the temperature of the photovoltaic panels and the functioning of the thermal and geothermal pump. In additin, the total energy consumption meters allow
monthly and annual balancing. The building has been designed so that the balance of supply and demand for energy will be zero and we hope monitoring the performance will prove us correct.
1. Possible development phases (Courtesy of Urban Vitamin) 2. DJI Havenstraat (Courtesy RGD Nederlands) 3. DJI Bijlmerbajes (Courtesy Abram de Boer) 4. Energiecentrale Hoogte Kadijk 400 (Courtesy Abram de Boer) 5. Octrooigebouw (Courtesy of Urban Vitamin) 6. Urban Study (Courtesy Urban Vitamin) 7. Rendering of possible future development (Courtesy of Urban Vitamin) 8. Example of vacant church: Sint joseph kerk Bos en Lommer in Amsterdam (Courtesy Abram de Boer) 9. Flexible system allows for future adaptation (Courtesy of Urban Vitamin)
Abram de Boer (Holland) Architect, engineer, entrepreneur at Studio NOA Architecten, founder of the foundation Urban Vitamin and PHD researcher at the University of Applied Science Amsterdam and the Technical University of Delft.
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Reconstructing Architecture: The Octrooigebouw Abram de Boer
o deal with the enormous number of vacant buildings and to recognize their cultural, functional and future value we need a creative approach and a commitment to sustainability!â€? The huge quantity of vacant buildings, from offices to schools, within the metropolitan area of Amsterdam reflects the changing reality concerning the social-cultural and economic systems of spatial supply and demand within the cities in Europe. The only reason for the vacancy is a mismatch between supply and demand. For example there is currently a vacancy of 1.5 million square meters of office space in Amsterdam. This means that due to changing working conditions there is no need for additional office space. Office space could be demolished or converted to other functions. This does not only concern office space. In the Netherlands a church becomes vacant every two daysâ€Ś. Vacancy is very problematic, not only for the investors of the buildings, but also for the community in terms of the loss of the symbolic, cultural and social significance of the building in the district or neighborhood. The central government owns a large number of buildings which have or will become vacant. The budget cuts imply that many of these buildings will be neglected. Furthermore, government budget policy requires the sale of unused government-owned buildings, which are currently predominantly office facilities. This is a political issue of concern to the central government which is responsible
for adapting these neglected buildings to new use. For example, two government owned jails in Amsterdam are being sold in the coming years. These jails are difficult to convert to other functions. In spite of their huge potential 307 because of their location in the middle of the city, they will be difficult to adapt due to their function-specific construction. Vacant schools, train stations and old power stations have very different characteristics: they contribute in different ways to their immediate environment; they are built with different materials and comply with different energy codes.
The local governments, such as the municipality of Amsterdam, do not have a vision of how to deal with derelict buildings. They typically do not see the future value. Only the current costs. 308
Every building that is reused means that a new building does not have to be build. Even a new building which meets the highest environmental codes (for example LEED platinum) will be less sustainable than the adaptive reuse of an existing structure â€“ due to the embedded energy of the existing building. Adaptive re-use reduces the financial and environmental costs of production and transportation, reduces the volume and environmental impact of building waste and landfills: it reduces not only the energy costs but the environmental waste as well, by 30% and 20% respectively. This is a significant contribution to sustainability. Adaptive reuse also makes the city more sustainable. There is a social-political responsibility to re-use abandoned buildings, especially, those considered integral to the urban fabric and collective memory of the citizens. It is unacceptable to expand utility facilities
into the un-built landscape while between 7 - 12% of the utility facilities are vacant. An inventory and categorization of vacant utility facilities in Amsterdam is the first step to planning the future. Adaptive reuse could make a significant contribution to the economic, environmental and cultural conditions of our cities. We need to rethink, rediscover and redefine the value of reusing buildings. In evaluating the existing building and the effects of their adaptive reuse three elements are important: - the cultural value of the building (historic and architectural value) - the functional value respecting the demands of the market, and - the future value of the vacant building (adaptive re-use potential). Cultural Value The cultural value reflects criteria such as the role of the building in the history of the city, its architectural character and significance. Functional Value We need to consider if the existing building and/or space meet the requirements of current users. Is the building, its infrastructure and its surroundings adequate for current use? Future Value Is the adaptive reuse of the building, its infrastructure and surroundings possible without destroying other values?
These values represent the 2000 year old Vitruvian adagio of Utilitas (functionality) Firmitas (firmness) and Venustas (esthetics). While Vitruvius defined these values to describe the idea of construction, we need to rethink architecture and rediscover how we can adapt buildings to meet the changing needs of the market while respecting cultural and historic values. This is sustainable architecture. In adaptive reuse we need to take into account the existing building structure, the condition of the infrastructure, the new functions, the technical demands such as energy use, fire safety, natural light and ventilation, the high costs of renovation relative to new building and aesthetic values. New buildings may have a life expectancy of approximately 75 years but their function changes approximately every 15 years. This means that we need to think more about flexibility and future changes than we might have in the past. Urban Vitamin undertook a feasibility study for the reuse of Octrooigebouw (former Patent Office building) office building now empty, in The Hague. The Octrooigebouw and a significant portion of other vacant buildings, such as the Willem-Witsenplein, was sold by the national government under pressure from budget cuts. The question we asked was ‘how could we re-use ‘Het Octrooigebouw’? Cultural Value The stone sills and brick bands demonstrate a particular craft applied by architect J.G. Empire Robbers (1881 - 1943) in the construction
of ‘Het Octrooigebouw’ in 1933. While the adjacent New Nirwaneflat building belongs to the Haagsche School, ‘Het Octrooigebouw’ was built in the traditional dark brick. It could be considered a pre-‘Haagsche School’ example, based on the articulate brickwork, as in the Amsterdam School of Berlage. The Het building is primarily a column and beam structure yet the facade is load bearing. This means that the facade and the basement can not be configured as desired. Because of the large number of elevator shafts, we can only speak of a building composed of wings and components. The central wing, which is a later addition and built in lower quality than the other wings, is predominant and casts a shadow on the other wings. Functional Value Our strategy was not to consider the building as a solitary object, but as belonging to its urban context. We wanted to take into account the social and economic conditions in the district of Benoordenhout where the Het building is located. The demographic trends such as aging and immigration have
adding value to the neighborhood strategic development. What strategy would attract developers, inhabitants and private investors to ‘Het Octrooigebouw’? Supply and demand do not match in today’s demand-driven market and a new use has to be found.
Future Value To make the building adaptable in the future a phased strategy was adopted. The property was divided into four blocks according to fire requirements. Each block has an independent technical infrastructure, while all blocks share vertical circulation. The different blocks could be sold to developers, investors and private clients. Each floor in each of the blocks can be classified by the function as of private, corporate, or collective ownership. Because the system is flexible it can be adapted to changing market demands in the future.
Summary The objective is to develop a body of knowledge regarding the effective adaptation and re-use of existing vacant utility buildings. Understanding the possibilities to motivate, inspire and attract users might be the key. Architecture and engineering are the tools to unleash the hidden value within the process. Evaluating and measuring the cultural, functional and future value of the adaptive re-use of these buildings may become one of the new roles of the designer. As existing vacant utility buildings are part of the urban fabric of historic cities, innovative building technologies and architectural design are necessary for exploring creative ideas and solutions and for making sound decisions about this cultural heritage. The way we reconstruct architecture and the way we design for flexibility, define one significant aspect of the essence of sustainability.
Project Credits Name of project: Exploratory Design Research Octrooigebouw Address: Willem Witsenplein, The Hague, The Netherlands Area: 12000 sq.m. Client: Rijksgebouwendienst Funding by: Ministry of Internal Affairs, The Netherlands Designer: Urban Vitamin; Abram de Boer, Christiaan van Hegelsom, and Marc Prosman Consultant: Rekenruimte Design Year: 2012 â€“ 2013
1. International Antarctica Expedition (Courtesy of Robert Swan) 2. E-Base Antarctica (Courtesy of Robert Swan) 3. E-Base (Courtesy of Robert Swan) 4. E-Base Pench Tiger Reserve (Courtesy of Robert Swan)
Robert Swan, OBE (UK & USA) Explorer, Leadership Expert and a living legend who has earned his place in history as the first person to walk to both the North and South poles.
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Preserving Antarctica Robert Swan
y name is Robert Swan and I am on a 50 year mission, with 28 years to go.
When I was 11 years old, I watched a film that changed my life. A film on exploration of the Antarctic and I said to myself, one day I will walk to the South Pole. That’s when my dream began. It took 7 million dollars over a period of 126 days in temperatures from -5° Celsius to -68° Celsius to become the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles. But something happened to me. Without knowing it then, I had walked under the Ozone Hole. My eyes changed colour and the skin on my face blistered because of the reflection of the ultra violet rays off the ice. The journey was an awakening that charged me into action. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest place on Earth. It is currently protected by the Antarctic Treaty System that sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, prohibits mining, drilling and bans military activity. Yet, despite these safeguards, our activities have managed to breach through this icy continent. Every year I visit Antarctica with selected individuals from around the world to show them just how fast the glaciers are melting. It seems that the rate at which this phenomenon is occurring is greatly induced by unsustainable use of non renewable energy sources. My aim is to make sure that everybody knows that decisions made today will impact the planet’s ecosystem and the future of life on Earth.
I founded the organization 2041 to promote renewable energy and sustainability throughout the world. The 2041 team creates environmental champions who represent their countries and are inspired, informed and engaged to take responsibility and action in policy development, sustainable businesses 315 and clean technologies. This connection between young leaders and renewable energy will help preserve Antarctica. The greatest threat to the planet is the belief that somebody else will save it. For the last 30 years, my life experiences have taught me that it takes a team of committed people, working together and sharing positive outcomes to facilitate change. I urge the rising leaders of tomorrow to advocate sustainability; promote environmental initiatives such as using clean energy, conserving water and recycling in their communities and really make an effort to encourage more people to do the same. We are in this together and that is our biggest strength. In fact, my most meaningful project has been successful because it involved young passionate people who are really stubborn in challenging the status quo and highly determined to change the game. Young people today are the nexus of our mission. The first project was to set up an Education Base (E-Base) running entirely on renewable energy in Bellingshausen, Antarctica. The E-Base serves as a symbolic model for educational, environmental and energy issues throughout the world. Its purpose is to inspire
a global audience to tackle the issue of climate change, by showing that when we achieve the seemingly impossible in Antarctica, we can all take small, achievable steps in our own backyards. 316
2041 has supported setting up E-Bases in various countries. We have one in the center of India in the Pench Tiger Reserve. In 2013 we set up 3 E-Bases: at the base of the Himalayan range, the Arctic and a mobile E-base in the United States of America. Our E-Bases are positive solutions that can be replicated anywhere. They specifically address local issues but support work towards preserving a safe and natural environment globally. In 2015 the 2041 team attempted the Return
Journey from the South Pole to edge of the Antarctic, the place where it began 30 years back. The most challenging element is the fact that we did this using renewable energy only. From melting ice to get water to heating our tents, solar and wind power has been our only accomplices and that was truly inspiring. I have lived an adventurous life. I have no permanent residence. I spend more time travelling than I do sleeping. It is safe to say that I have seen environmental changes everywhere and it is deeply disappointing that we are still debating and discussing this issue. The time for that was 20 years ago... the time now is to ACT. Let us make a few changes and help reverse the effect of global warming, that way, 28 years from now we will have preserved Antarctica and protected our future forever.
1, 2: Construction of Gando Secondary School, Burkina Faso (Courtesy of Kéré Architecture) 3, 4, 5, 6: Gando Secondary School, Burkina Faso (Courtesy of Kéré Architecture)
Diebedo Francis Kere (Germany & Burkina Faso) is a distinguished leading architect in sustainable and community projects.
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School in Gando, Burkina Faso Diebedo Francis Kéré
urkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, is amongst the poorest nations in the world. Located some two hundred kilometers from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou is Gando a village of approximately 3000 inhabitants. The settlement is formed from a group of round adobe and thatch farmsteads set loosely across the savanna and surrounded by agricultural land. Like many villages in West Africa, Gando suffers from inequality, made worse by the negative aspects of globalization. Those born in the town have little chance to receiving a modern education. The children work in the fields to ensure the survival of their community and are unable to attend school. With an illiteracy rate of over 80%, the majority of people have no alternative occupation but to farm their land. Born in 1965 and, as the son of the village headman, I was the first child from Gando to go to school. Since none existed in the village, I had to leave my family when I was seven to live with my uncle in the city. At the age of thirteen, I began to apprentice as a carpenter and at twenty received a scholarship to extend my training in Germany. In Berlin I ultimately graduated with a degree in Architecture. In 1998, whilst still at university, I established together with a group of friends the organization Schulbausteine für Gando (Bricks for Gando’s School). Our intention was to build a new school in my home town. After securing financing in Berlin through the association, we started a dialogue with the villagers from Gando, demanding their input and assistance to construct the project. Using the knowledge gained in Germany,
my intention was to achieve sustainability by emphasizing the use of local materials, adapting new technologies in simple ways and harnessing the inherent potential of the local community. We began to build the first school in October 321 2000 with the hands of the men, women and children of Gando. The primary school consists of three separate rectangular classrooms positioned in a row and raised from the ground like traditional granaries. The covered spaces between the classrooms evoke the traditional meeting places of Burkina Faso and can be used for breaks or outdoor instruction. We decided to support each building’s corrugated metal roof on a light structure of distinctive beams, rather than placing it directly on the supporting walls. Below the girders we placed a thin ceiling of clay tiles as an insulating and acoustic barrier beneath the metal roof. The overhanging roof shades the facades, keeps the rain and the sun away from the earth walls and allows cool air to flow freely between the roof and the ceiling. The east-west orientation of the structure further limits the extreme heating of the side walls by the sun. Together, these passive cooling systems help to maintain a pleasant internal temperature even on the hottest days. Building the school was a true community effort. The villagers supplied most of the labor. The roof of the school was fashioned on site and bent into its curved shape directly on the supporting truss. Traditionally, people shape bricks for their houses by hand, in
wooden frames. To make these clay bricks more stable, we introduced a simple machine, powered by two people, who formed the bricks in a mold and pressed them. In the classrooms, the floors are made of rammed earth stabilized by cement. The doors and shutters are made of steel, using a technology familiar to local craftsmen. Through these simple techniques that exploit local materials and skills, the school raised awareness about the advantages of combining traditional and modern building practices. The process has had other rewards too. Many of the workers who have been trained on site have since found employment as skilled laborers on construction sites outside Gando. Interest in education rose quickly after the school’s completion in 2001. Soon, too many parents had enrolled their children. This motivated us, together with the villagers, to expand the project. A school extension was built in 2007, along with appropriate accommodation for teachers. After the completion of these buildings, a women’s center, a secondary school and a library were initiated using similar principles, enriched by experience gained through earlier construction. While the previous buildings are strictly rectangular, the library has an elliptical shape behind a straight facade of eucalyptus wood. This new element allows a buffer zone between inside and outside space, where the visitors can read in the shade. The library´s building materials are mainly compressed
earth blocks, but the ceiling construction and geometry is unique amongst the school’s buildings: it contains traditional clay pots embedded into its concrete structure to evenly distribute natural light and ventilation across the interior. The most recent initiative in the Gando project is the new secondary school, which will provide an extended level of education to the community. In March 2012, the secondary school and its passive ventilation concept were awarded the Global Holcim Award Gold, rewarding our team and the people of Gando for their dedication to sustainable architecture in the field of development aid. More importantly than this acknowledgement, these projects have provided the children of Gando with a platform to learn basic skills from which they and their families can benefit. The community’s commitment and self-organization has set an example not only for neighboring villages but has also provoked the local authorities to recognize the importance of projects of this nature. The significance of these projects extends much further than passive environmental design. The success of the school has united the inhabitants of Gando by actively involving all the villagers, empowering the participants with new skills, confidence and solidarity and helped the community confront the challenges and responsibility of building its own future.
Q: The school in Gando is your first individual architectural project. What is the basic design concept for this project? We developed an innovative air-cooling system only using natural ventilation: earth pipes are placed underneath the buildings and transport air, cooled by water, from outside directly into the rooms through holes in the floor. The warmed air escapes the classrooms through small openings in the clay ceilings. This natural ventilation is enhanced by planting on the roof and the use of double-skin façades which all together combined achieve a 5°C thermal reduction. The improved indoor climate and comfort are highly conducive to education. hat issues of “sustainable architecture” Q: W did you address in this school project? We combined what we learned in Germany regarding modern construction techniques with traditional Burkinabé building methods; this led to a sustainable approach since the technologies wereadjusted to local requirements. The project emphasized the use of local materials, the adaptation of simple new technology and maximized the potential of the local community. The use of local potential (both materials and labor) required a long-term commitment to the project. The villagers��� participation and the transfer of knowledge between trained workers and the community was essential. The project motivated the inhabitants of Gando to support the sustainable development of their future without external aid. The traditional techniques were enhanced by the input of modern construction methods and materials.
Q: How did the climate and culture influence the design of the school? The main local challenges -financing excludedconsist of the extreme climatic conditions and the abundant unconventional materials (earth, 323 clay). There are heavy rains in the season and a burning sun most of the year. Such temperatures strongly influence the quality of learning and teaching since there is no air-conditioning. The outer structure has to absorb the heat maintaining a cool interior and needs to resist erosion by the rain. The cultural influence is reflected through the school structure which is inspired by the rural traditional homesteads of Burkina Faso: the classrooms are disposed in a circle and create a protected courtyard, giving repose from the hot sun and dust filled Eastern wind. The structure is opened to the west and the cool breeze. Q: W hat led you to the choice of building materials and systems for the walls and roof? The choice of the material was determined by the availability and the cost: to insure sustainability, we needed to use local, cheap and abundant materials. The metal structures were adapted on site by local craftsmen. Traditionally, clay bricks are formed by hand in wooden frames. To make the clay bricks for the school more stable, we introduced a simple machine, powered by no more than two people, forming the bricks in a mold and pressing them. In the classrooms, the floors are made of rammed earth stabilized by cement. The doors and shutters were made of steel, using a technology familiar to local craftsmen.
1. Improving crossings at Chongqing, China: after (Courtesy Gehl Architects) 2. Improving crossings at Chongqing, China: before (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 3. Improving crossings at Chongqing, China: afterâ€Ś after (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 4. Creating unique sites at Chongqing, China (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 5. By upgrading and extending the existing pedestrian network in the Chongqing to the new built metro, we improved mobility and quality of life (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 6. Inviting people to use the city in a sustainable way is about making sustainable choices like walking and biking an attractive alternative and a daily quality (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 7. Improving crossings at Chongqing, China: after (Courtesy of Gehl Architects) 8. Providing design solution like good sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes and an efficient public transport system is only part of the answer (Courtesy of Gehl Architects)
Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen (Denmark & China) Architect, partner at Gehl Architects, responsible for Gehl Architects operations in China.
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Invite in 1:1 Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen Q: What is sustainability for you and how do your clients respond to the issues of sustainability? When we look around the world today, there is hardly an architectural brief, a city, a mayor, a developer or even a citizen who does not want a sustainable and livable city. This is really good news, but the great challenge still remains: How do we realize this vision beyond words? I think we need to do at least three things. First, we need to understand people. Second, we need to invite through design so we create cities where it is easy to save resources. Third, we need to rethink how are organize and regulate our city planning to support our vision. For me understanding people is really the key. Sustainability is about our lifestyle choices. It is about how we live our daily lives and, as human, how we base our decisions on our surrounding environment. We make our decisions on a 1:1 scale and we chose a lifestyle that is convenient and inviting. Very few of us are idealist who always do the right thing, so we need cities that makes it easy to do good. One way of doing this is to observe how different urban solutions influence people’s daily lives. We found that design solutions such as inviting public spaces, convenient sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes and efficient public transportation systems are part of the answer. However, the answer is also about; scale, microclimate, safety, how buildings connect to the street and how different urban functions connect to one another, simply all
aspects of the physical environment in our cities. It is about understanding how the quality of these aspects, how they influence our desire to contribute to a sustainable city culture. With this knowledge, we can start to invite people to live a sustainable life through the 327 designed environments, so we do not end up wasting resources rather than saving them. Globally, we still excel in building cities divided into vast mono-functional areas connected by large infrastructure. This leads to unsustainable co-dependent clusters rather than self-sustainable independent neighborhoods or cities. The challenge is then addressed by adding wind turbines and solar panels to buildings, hoping to pass as ‘sustainable’ (and the buildings/
cities are often labeled as such). However, these superficial attempts waste resources to save other resources. It goes without saying that we should add all the green technology we can, but green technology does not create a sustainable urban fabric in itself; we need mixed-use neighborhoods, with welldesigned public spaces, short commutes and green mobility choices. We can save resources by planning our cities more intelligently. Despite the fact that the cityâ€™s functions are co-dependent, the majority of planning is still based on 20th century planning ideals, where each function was dealt with individually and given its own department in the cityâ€™s organization and its own set of regulations (e.g. Traffic Departments and Park Departments (single aspects) and city and national standards for FAR and Green rations etc that neglect dealing with context). We need to rethink how city planning can be organized and regulated such that all city functions can be thought of as part of a complex system where parts influence each other and individually contribute to a sustainable city lifestyle. We can try to regulate how we use the city and we can make buildings more efficient. But if people donâ€™t feel invited, safe and welcome in the city or building, our efforts are rather meaningless. If we on the other hand accept 4
and understand this, we have a good chance of creating cities that are both sustainable and livable. Yet even though there is an almost global agreement concerning the vision, the challenge is how to span between the vision and the design decisions? Design can and will make a difference to our daily lives. We can only succeed if we actually understand and prioritize people in the design process of planning our cities. As we will never be able to master plan every detail of a city we need to start by describing the qualities we want in our cities. Based on these qualities we can then create a set of guiding principles that can be adapted to the local context and culture and guide the cities towards a livable and sustainable future. Q: If you were asked to choose one or two of your favorite projects, which ones would you choose and why? How do these projects reflect your exploration of ideas such as environmental, urban / contextual, community, sustainability? One of my favorite projects we designed is a small street in Chongqing, China. In China we collaborate with the Energy Foundation on their Sustainable Cities Program, our focus is on how urban 5
development, public space and public transport link to environmental, economic, and social sustainability. With the fast Chinese urbanization, we are of course dealing with a variety of challenges, but from an urban perspective one stands out, the fact that the fine grain street network of the cities has been replaced by roads in all new towns. In China streets, which have always beenÂ the core of the Chinese city and the hubÂ of life, have been replaced with wide roads. Streets have been the key public space in China and the social, economic and environmental backbone of the city. Social because this is where the every aspect of society meets, despite economical and cultural differences, economic because this is where local economy is based and environmental because this is where people walk and bike to connect to public transportation. Changing the streets into wide roads has had a devastating effect. In a country where 90% of the population does not yet own a car, the new towns are being entirely designed around the private car. The Chongqing project presented an alternative to this recent development and illustrated the qualities of the existing structure. The main goals were to extend and improve the existing micro-network of interconnected streets and connect it to the 6
newly implemented macro network of metros in Chongqing. We hoped to revitalize street life, improve the quality of urban public spaces and preserve a sense of choice inherent in sustainable mobility. The project also illustrate how the success of a massive investment, like a metro, is depended on a 329 relative minor investment in the surrounding network for people. First, we surveyed the existing city structure. Then we created a framework of guideline which described the qualities and explained how these could be implemented. Based on these principals our local collaborators developed a design solution which expressed our vision. The result was embraced by the local community, and despite its small scale, was recognized by MoHURD (Ministry of Housing Urban and Rural Development) for its contribution to sustainability and the human environment in China. The project in Chongqing illustrated how holistic thinking saves resources, focuses on peopleâ€™s lives and can contribute to a sustainable and livable future. I think it is important to stress that if cities do not succeed in being livable, they will not be sustainable, simply because our personal environmental footprint depends on our day-to-day lifestyle choices. We need to enjoy living in a city to so that we can make these lifestyle choices. 7
1. The residentsâ€™ rooftop allotments at One Brighton (Courtesy of Bioregional) 2. The community of BedZED in the village square surrounded by pedestrian streets, with car parking at the exterior of the development (Courtesy of BioRegional) 3. The Green Caretaker at One Brighton checking that the residents are using their rooftop allotments (Courtesy of BioRegional) 4. Bioregional staff taking a break for lunch connection with people and noticing the fine weather! (Courtesy of BioRegional) 5. The location of Hollerich Village, adjacent to the city center on an ex-industrial site and bordering schools, bus station and local train station (Courtesy of BioRegional) 6. Public consultation event for Grow Community (Courtesy of BioRegional) 7. BedZED development (Courtesy of BioRegional)
Benjamin Gill (UK & Greece) One Planet Communities International Technical Manager at BioRegional, Ben is a Chartered Environmentalist with IEMA.
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From Eco to Happy Communities Benjamin Gill
n the 9 years I have been working at BioRegional I have noticed a distinct change in the emphasis in our work. BioRegional grew out of environmental sustainability movement but over time the focus of our sustainable communities work has shifted from environmental to social issues. A combination of factors including the global crises in the economy and obesity mean that environmental issues have slipped down the agenda, but that the leverage of social issues has grown significantly.
As an Englishman living in Greece I have found it interesting to compare the contrasting living styles and desires of these two countries. In Greece, or Athens at least, (which accounts for more than 1/3rd of the population) the lack of central planning and fragmented land ownership has led to families building isolated fenced compounds and frequently a noisy dog to bark at passers-by. In the UK where most development is planned from a high level people increasingly feel lost in their anonymous neighbourhoods far from their family. Here people yearn for the village – that mythical place we used to live in where we knew our neighbours, children played in the streets and there was probably a pig out back to eat our leftovers. I think these contrasting aspirations are actually born out of the same desire, to live somewhere that has a genuine sense of community. In the UK the extended family is no longer the centre of our community and so people are looking elsewhere for
community. There are places where you can find strong community groups – resident groups, friends of the park groups and school centred activities all helping to create this local ‘village’ sense of community. In Greece the family is still the core of people’s social circle (and welfare network) and I think these 333 compounds are the result of a zealous desire to defend that. BedZED – The Pioneer So how do we create communities where people can lead happy and healthy lives? My first involvement with this came at BedZED, where I worked out of the BioRegional office for five years. This iconic development was designed as a pioneering eco-development including: • Huge levels of insulation (300mm of rockwool). • Integrated PV panels. • Both intensive and extensive green roofs. • Black-water recycling. • Extensive use of reclaimed and recycled materials. • A state of the art wood-fired cogeneration system (CHP) for heat and electricity. While hugely successful in many ways there have been a range of ‘opportunities to learn’! The building fabric has worked well (with some overheating issues) but the technology has been less successful with the CHP having to be mothballed and the black-water recycling shut down. Although the black water system worked well it used significantly more energy than the local public water treatment plant. However, the other areas of significant
success have been ‘sustainability services’ and the social and community spirit. Facilities like cycle parking, lockers and the first car club in London mean that car ownership and average vehicle mileage is significantly lower than the local average for comparable demographic groups. Likewise the recycling rates, the volume of waste produced, the food production and the quantity of organic food purchased, show significant improvement over national averages. It is important to be clear that BedZED was not designed as a commune or cohousing development. It is a mixed development: one third social housing, one third affordable and one third private sale. Nevertheless, the sense of community is better than a ‘normal development’; the average number of people that the residents know by name at BedZED is 20 compared to a local (and national) average of about 8. This research is reinforced by my personal experience of working there; every day that I left work, children were running around and playing in the car free streets with their parents standing by and chatting, a stark
contrast to my house on a noisy, busyroad where I do not know my neighbours… One Brighton – The Evolution Following BedZED, BioRegional was directly involved in the development of One Brighton. Building on our BedZED experience we aiming to improve performance where possible. Noticeable innovations in this 170 apartment development are: • Zero car parking (except for car clubs and disabled parking). • Zero carbon infrastructure through communal on-site wood heating, PV and an Energy Service Company supplying renewable energy. • On site food composting facility. • Innovative community management, including a ‘green caretaker’ as part of facilities management. • Rooftop allotments and higher quality communal space. A lifecycle analysis of the project has been undertaken but cutting through the successes and challenges again we can draw out a range of key findings. Firstly, while BedZED came in over-budget One Brighton, which sold out at the height of the financial crisis, made a return on investment for the commercial developer, and out-performed comparable local developments. This is worth repeating One Brighton, one of the most sustainable developments in the UK, was a commercially profitable project. Currently market analysis shows that per m2 rental values are 25% higher and overall rental yield 10% higher than locally comparable developments.
Secondly, you can build and sell car-free developments commercially. While some people were positively attracted by the sustainability features, for the majority it was the link to a ‘21st century healthy lifestyle’ that attracted people. Marketing is key to this – the message was ‘come and live at One Brighton, it is so conveniently located and managed you don’t even have the hassle or cost of owning a car’. Increasingly we see in that owning goods, even goods like a car, is becoming an out-dated concept and the shift to leasing, co-ownership or ‘collaborative consumption’ is really shaking up the economy. Finally, health sells! The role of town-planning in creating our obesity crisis is now widely acknowledged and people are increasingly looking for ways to integrate healthy living into their daily life. One Brighton with its city centre location and emphasis on walking and cycling gives this opportunity. One extreme example highlights this point – one couple moved into One Brighton and sold both their cars, started cycling and between them
they lost 35kgs in 18 months, positive proof that your choice of house can improve your health! A Science of Happiness? So the physical health benefits of sustainable communities are clear but what about the 335 psychological benefits and do they actually make people happier? The concept of happiness is shifting from a vague statement to a more rigorous one(often called Positive Psychology). A definition of happiness is clearly challenging but being a scientist I love the way that some key proponents of the field have reduced it to an equation! Happiness = Set point + Conditions + Variables Set Point is our basic level of happiness due to our genes and childhood experiences – some people are miserable and others are happygo-lucky and that just can’t be changed! The Conditions (of your life) are generally factors that are outside of our control. Classic examples of these conditions have a direct link to design and planning: • Noise – this can have a huge negative impact on people’s lives. • Commuting – driving to work in heavy traffic generally causes stress! • Lack of control – involving residents in design and on-going management. The condition that trumps all others is interpersonal relationships, something that should be borne in mind when designing a development.
Variables can be described as the activities that an individual can undertake that are likely to make them feel happy. I find the New Economics Foundation’s 5 steps a clear way of thinking about these: • Connect with people – phone a friend. • Be active. • Take notice – be aware of the light changing, the seasons, etc. • Keep learning. • Give – buying something for others gives us more pleasure than buying for ourselves, try it out! This has 2 clear messages for how designers can create happy communities: • Get the key conditions right. • Create a community that enables and encourages people to engage in activities that will increase their happiness.
supporting developers create the next generation of communities based on BioRegional’s ten principles of One Planet Living. The ten One Planet Principles used as a framework for designing communities. One of these is Hollerich Village in the centre of Luxembourg, the country with the highest per capita ecological footprint in the world! Wealth (or more precisely inequalities in wealth) can be a barrier to sustainability in many ways, through increased consumption and a fear of crime leading people to seal themselves off from society. So what type of appetite for a lower consumption more communal lifestyle will there be there? The approach that the Schuler Group, the developer, is taking is to put the building blocks of sustainable living in place from the start. They are setting up the first car-club in Luxembourg, establishing a One Planet EcoInnovation Centre on the site, and plugging into the local Transition Network. While the designs have not been started in earnest, a One Planet Action Plan for the project has
3rd Generation One Planet Communities With the completion and on-going learning from BedZED and One Brighton I am
local residents will be allowed to volunteer at the Centre. This reinforces the notion that if you involve people in the management of their community they will want to play an active role.
been developed outlining the key principles. Thes will include communal spaces for food growing, car free streets and restoration of the landscape. The public response is showing that even in societies with the highest consumption the desire for a more community based lifestyle is growing. A final example is the Grow Community in Seattle where the response to the project has been so overwhelming that the first phase sold out immediately (at a rate 300% higher than other local developments), having been exclusively marketed through social media, and second phase bought forward. The details show just how much progress we have made Grow has been attracting people from outside of the State and the US and also a lot of older people who want to live in a more accessible community based environment. The developer, Asani, has been involving future residents in the planning and management of the site. On the request of future tenants, Asani has the contract for the operator of the children’s Day Care Centre that
337 Summary In my work with design teams I’m often reminded of something that Jan Gehl says his wife asked him once, ‘why do architects hate people?’! A great deal of my work is about trying to stop professionals thinking like professionals and to think like individuals, residents, tenants, simply the people who will use the building. This approach helps to create communities that set the right conditions for health and well-being, and then it is up to individuals to find their own path to happiness – not even the best architect can force people to be happy…
1. Okeanos Building, Athens (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 2, 3, 4. New Acropolis Museum, Athens (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 5,6. Venus Marble Company, Koropi (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 7. Vorres Museum, Paiania (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 8. Gaia Environmental Research Center, Kifissia (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 9. Aspra Spitia, Boeotia (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis) 10. General Hospital, Trikala (Courtesy of Michael Photiadis)
Michael Photiadis (Greece) Graduate of MIT he has designed some of the most prominent buildings in Greece, including the New Museum of Acropolis, as the partner architect with architect Bernard Tschumi.
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The New Acropolis Museum in Athens Michael Photiadis Q: In your capacity as an architect which is for you the most meaningful aspect, and why? As an architect I have always enjoyed experimenting with different scales in my projects, both in planning and occasionally in teaching. The scope of an architect’s work is wide spanning. Etymologically the word ‘architect’ comes from the Greek archi = start and tekton = builder (or leader of a construction team) Since early childhood I could made myself understood through drawings. Soon ideas and narrative were expressed three dimensionally. Whether it was twig bridges spanning over a body of water for insect passages, or leaves spanning over earth canals reinforced with mud, to protect secret shelters. For an Athenian child growing up in early post-WW II years, there was never a shortage of essentials to create handmade worlds. Q: If you were asked to choose two of your
favorite projects, which ones would you choose and why. How do these projects reflect your exploration of ideas such as environmental, urban, contextual? The first building I would choose is the New Acropolis Museum in Athens on Aeropagitou 341 & Makrygianni streets, below and facing the Acropolis rock. The building successfully culminates a long process of fruitless competitions:after more than 30 years and three unresolved architectural competitions, a fourth – and final - international competition was directed by the Ministry of Culture and the Archeological Service. In September 2001, the first prize awarded was to the architecture team of Bernard Tschumi, NY and Paris, with Michael Photiadis, Athens. The purpose of the museum was to preserve and display the sculpture of the Acropolis, under the appropriate climatic conditions protected from the urban smog, within a museological and aesthetic display.
The Museum site exposes the excavations of the Athenian neighborhoods from Hellenistic (2nd c. BC) to early Byzantine (7th c. AD) periods. Visitors are guided among existing retaining walls. Part of the Museum is supported on pilotis above the archaeological excavations. The columns were located strategically in collaboration with structural
engineers and archaeologists covering only 1.7% of the excavated area. The visitors tread on a low glass ramp rising between two main structural cores. Each contains six elevators, four escalators, eight fire-escape stairs, installation passages and rest rooms. The ramp leads to the eight meterhigh display hall. The second level presents the Archaic period and the Parthenon above. The all glass Parthenon gallery crowns the building to our energy-splurging awarded proposition, with the Jury’s recommendation. This level’s axis was shifted by 23 degrees to give the frieze and metopes the same orientation as in their original location on the temple. The ultimate aim is to unite the divided frieze sculptures: the 160 meter-long Panathenian procession, divided between Athens (45%) and the British Museum’s collected ‘Elgin Marbles’ (55%). The two level northern descent follows the Hellenistic and Roman statues after the Parthenon gallery’s visit. The visitors’ museum stroll follows the Acropolis history with a view to the excavations below, visible through the glass floor.
Auxiliary spaces include the Café-Restaurant mezzanine (named in 2014 one of the best international museum restaurants), the tiered 250 seat Amphitheater and the Temporary Exhibitions gallery. The Museum’s chosen site and design were heavily criticized. But the proposed design presented solutions referring to the location, architecture, urban setting, energy conservation and technical seismic design. Through the new Museum, the Greek and international public reevaluates the power of Classical Greek Art. From 2009 to 2013 its success counted five and a half million visitors within its 23.000 sq.m. mixed area. The building cost was €160,000,000 covered mainly from E.E. funds. The Museum operating costs are covered entirely by the visitors: tickets, revenues from gift shops and the cafe – restaurant. The Museum does not receive any state or private support. The AIA (American Institute of Architects) awarded the Museum the Best Design of 2011. The Museum was also within the six finalists for the international ‘Mies Van de Rohe’ Architectural Award of 2010. In May 2013, among 50 international Museums, the ‘London Times’ voted the Acropolis Museum the third most important one, after the Smithsonian in Washington DC and the British Museum in London. Project Credits Architectural Design: Bernard Tschumi Architects with associate Michael Photiadis Architect Architectural Team: J. Rutten, project architect A. Dayem, A. Dimitrakopoulos,
J. Kim, E. Sopeoglou, K. Starr, A. Save de Beaurecueil, J. Chace, R. Holton, K. Linker, V. Bontjes van Beek, L. Kim, K. J. Min, D. Holguin, K. Siderakis, C. Lee, L. Supp, N. Chatzimina, M. Metcalfe, J. Moore J. Aviles, G. Papadavid, A. Chee, T. Goowill, V. Descharrieres, C. Devizzi, G. Kriparakos, N. Bakalbassis, P. Photiadis, S. Photiadis, J. Peel, N. Plevri, M. Sarafidou, M. Grivas, H. Voutsina, M. Oikonomou Structural: ADK, M. Aronis, N. Petrovits with collaborators Ove Arup NY Installations: MMB R. Maris, P. Gourdouparis with lighting Ove Arup London Seismic: M. Constantinou Fire Protection: H. Schatterman Total Area: 23.000 sq.m. Study: 2001-2005 Construction: Themeliodomi 2003, ALTE 2005, AKTOR 2008 Photos: OANMA group, N. Danielidis, E. Attali, Militos group, M. Photiadis, and others. The second building I would choose is the Venus Marble Company Headquarters in Koropi, Attica – outside Athens. The new administration and show rooms, was located within the 16,000 m2 industrial site where three production buildings are also located.. The building’s image is inspired by the traditional Mediterranean marble quarries of Penteli and Dionyssos in Greece and of Carrara in Italy. The company has adopted contemporary high technological methods of production, serving both archaeological restorations in Greece - such as the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Theaters of Herodus Atticus
and Epidaurus just as contemporary buildings abroad: casino hotels in Las Vegas and public or private buildings in California, China and the Far East. The company has production facilities and distribution centers in Greece, Bulgaria, China, Brazil and California in the U.S. The new headquarters building is clad in beige marble tilted five degrees from vertical, on block shaped zones. The deep elongated glass strips refer to the quarries’ vertical splices, protecting inner spaces from direct Mediterranean light. The ground floor entrance leads to a fourstorey void (including the first basement) with the first and second levels receding within. The windbreaker over the entry bridge directs to the Show-rooms that expand to the first basement. A smooth water from the upper slab reaches the basement recycling water cistern, underlining the yielding power of water on marble. The first floor contains offices, accounting and archives, and the second floor meeting rooms and administration. Personnel dining, kitchen and services are located on the rooflevel. The total building surface is approximately 3,000 sq.m. The building cost was approximately €3.000.000. At the WAF 10 (the International Barcelona Architectural Fair of 2010), the building was shortlisted as one of the Fair’s 10 Best Buildings.
Project Credits Architectural study: Michael Photiadis Associate Architects Architectural Team: Michael Photiadis, S. Silitzoglou Structural: S. Liakris Installations: C. Tsekouras Bioclimatic: Prof. M. Santamouris Study: 2006 Construction: 2009 Photos: D. Kalapodas Q: When did you first get involved with issues of sustainability and what was the catalyst? As an undergraduate at Oklahoma State University I was greatly influenced by the organic aura of Frank Lloyd Wright and his Prairie Architecture. Later on, as a graduate Architecture student at MIT my housing & urban courses professors – among them Koch, Aalvar Aalto, and Kevin Lynch - all put a special emphasis on sustainability. As a practicing architect, I tried to apply the principles I had learned at my first project: the Vorres Museum of Folk & Contemporary Greek Art situated under mount Hymettus in Attica. For the Vorres family, gardens and nurseries were important to the display of Art. In my design, the Museum interweaves green areas and atria, with the museum exhibition halls, hosting a remarkable collection that had been expanding for the past forty years. Another project with an explicit environmental
agenda was the â€˜Gaiaâ€™ Environmental Research Center of the Goulandris Natural History Museum in Kifissia, a historic suburb north of Athens, which opened in 2000. This project gave me the chance to experiment with solar and biomass energy production, and with natural ventilation through 7 meter-tall stacks. It is an internationally acknowledged project, awarded best bioclimatic design of 2012. There are other projects than I can list where our office takes a strong approach towards passive solar design, addressing issues of sustainability, whether in renewable energy production, or through design that attempts to address and solve social issues. Has your practice changed/developed Q: because of your commitment to sustainability? (Different clients, different types of projects, collaboration with other professionals.) An architect, like an orchestra conductor, deals with a variety of building aspects. Each new element that enters the total formula implementation makes the design better, more fine-tuned and finally shifting the emphasis to the new dominating element. The new knowledge and solutions available to architects certainly shift our focus and make us more committed towards sustainability. Q: Which are the materials you use most (or recommend most) and how do you see this choice of materials in your reading of
sustainability? (local materials, transport costs, embodied energy, sustainable growth, potential for recycling, thermal 345 mass, energy reduction, insulation, etc.). I chose to work primarily with traditional materials, both for reasons of aesthetics, and also for reasons of cost and transportation â€“ with their environmental repercussions. As architects we keep an eye on new materials, primarily their insulating values, opening new opportunities for more efficiency and energy reduction.
1. ECOWEEK 2012 lecture at the University of Arkansas Rome Center (Courtesy of ECOWEEK / photographer Vincezo Mazza) 2. ECOWEEK 2012 participants at the bicycle sharing station prototype built by group W1 led by Elena Barthel, Dan Price, and Paolo Cascone, at Piazza Sta. Anastasia in Rome (Courtesy of ECOWEEK / photographer Vincezo Mazza)
Francesco Bedeschi (Italy) Architect and professor of integrated architectural design and historic preservation with the Italian Program of the University of Arkansas Rome Center, and member of the board of GBC Italia.
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Educating (Young) Architects in Italy Francesco Bedeschi
have been teaching architectural design in Rome for more than ten years at the University of Arkansas Rome Center. Our center is one of the many study abroad programs that American Universities have in Italy. The early years of my professional practice and teaching were characterized by a traditional approach towards Architecture in which the theme of sustainability was not emphasized as it today. Certainly the respect for the environment and the attention to energy consumption have always been part of my cultural background, but in 2007, thanks to the opportunity of teaching at the Mississippi State University in Jackson, Mississippi, something radical changed. I began to see Architecture differently and, as a result, the way I teach changed. Mississippi is one of the most rural States in the United States and unfortunately one of the least progressive in terms of environmental problems. Since the end of WWII, America has become the world’s largest economy, responsible for ever-increasing fossil fuel consumption with a dramatic environmental impact. Discovering a strong and well structured “green” movement in the U.S. in a social and cultural context so different from the models I was expecting, inspired me to revise my beliefs in the way we do Architecture in the twenty-first century. Most stimulating was an analysis of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and LEED, its rating tool for energy and environmental performance. I discovered - or rather re-discovered - between the lines of books advocating advances in design and construction techniques, many of the good
practices that are rooted in the wisdom of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. As a young Roman architect, raised and educated in the context and culture which has contributed so much to the history of Western civilization, I realized that this wisdom had simply been overlooked in the name of progress. It 349 was thanks to this personal and professional epiphany that I started to implement ideas of sustainability in the design and restoration classes I taught at the University of Arkansas (UofA) Rome Center, There is no better place than Rome to learn the foundations of sustainable design. Consider the very timely thought of Vitruvius who, more than two thousand years ago, in his famous treatise “The Ten Books of Architecture”, clearly enunciated methodologies and principles of integrated design in harmony with the environmental characteristics of the site. These are principles intimately integrated into traditional building techniques and found in much of the Mediterranean basin. Even more important is the application of “new” methodologies to adapt existing buildings, often of historical value. Upgrading the existing building stock to meet contemporary energy and environmental standards is one of the most important challenges for European architects today. It is clear that it is not enough to mitigate the impact of big cities on the environment. It is not enough to simply build next generation buildings. It is not enough even to produce energy in excess of that consumed. These are important yet small achievements when compared to the millions of existing square meters built when environ-
mental considerations were not an issue. The real challenge is to address these buildings, and it becomes even more challenging when these buildings have a historic significance. Designers have to deal with complex problems at different levels. It is on these premises that I have recently proposed a specific course within the curriculum of the UofA Rome Center, designed to address the challenges of the restoration of “modern” historic buildings and the issues of environmental and energy regeneration. I am convinced that this is a great opportunity for American students to take advantage of a study program in Italy to address complex current issues. The act of restoring and preserving a building, of historical and cultural importance, is itself an act of sustainability. Optimizing the use of the existing building sock, limiting the development of new land and reducing the consumption of energy and water, will benefit the community. Finally, from an educational point of view, this is a terrific opportunity to learn directly from the lessons of the past. Modern buildings with historical value have been designed by outstanding architects, the masters of that time, who tested wisdom too often ignored in recent times. Although for these masters, the environmental concerns were not an emergency, they were well aware of the importance of design respectful of the site, the climate, local materials, the cultural and social context. The context was the 5 weeks Sustainability Summer Program hosted by the UofA Rome Center. The participants to the program were
12 students from the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture in the United States. The design exercise we selected was the “ExGIL” building designed by Luigi Moretti in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome. It is one of the masterpieces of the Roman architect, an undisputed protagonist of the Italian Rationalism Movement. The building, designed in the 1920s, and defined by Moretti himself as “experimental” is a modern building. It is a very important building from an architectural, social and cultural point of view. One of the students, Nick Jabs, reported about the program, on the “Ex-GIL” project and the overall experience. “Spending time in Italy is a great experience for anyone not from the country. It is however, a particularly powerful experience to be a student from the rural Midwest of the United States to spend five weeks studying Architecture, sustainability and preservation. These paradigms are embedded in the Italian culture. During my time in Italy I visited the Trulli of Aberbello in Southern Italy. A whole community, still intact, built hundreds of years ago with local materials that can, and was intended to be, taken down in a short period of time and returned to land; cradle-to-cradle at a scale hardly imaginable in the American landscape. In northern Italy, companies are creating new products that both clean the environment and provide a beautiful variation to concrete, a material profoundly important to architectural and Italian history. During a visit to the GBC Ita-
lia headquarters and the Progetto Manifattura initiative, my colleagues and I were exposed to groups of young and energetic minds who have been brought together and are creating opportunities for themselves, and their region, in the new green economy. Traveling in Italy provided one unique way to consume knowledge, but getting to also conduct a design exercise in Rome allowed me to apply the acquired insight of sustainable products and practices through a real case study dealing with issues of history and memory, urbanism, sustainability and preservation. The site of the Ex-GIL, an early modern architectural masterpiece designed by Luigi Moretti (during Mussolini’s fascist rule), is littered with issues that are multi-faceted and layered, literally, with Italian history. Compared to the short life of the United States, Rome has so much history that is constantly presenting itself, and this site is no different. For some Romans the building
stands as a memory of the country’s darkest time; for an architectural historian it is a shining example of the Italian contribution to the early modern revolution; for some it is their community center, and for others, a derelict neglected building out of context in its neighborhood. My colleagues and I got to experi- 351 ence all of these layers and propose our own; a symbolic and generative green community center in the heart of multiple Roman neighborhoods. The problem presented us with issues at every scale. From the role of street in the neighborhood, to the way a new material connects to old and its spatial implications. Ultimately, like Italian history, my experience was deep and rich. I will never be fully aware of its impact on me as a young American designer, but I am certain that I will be benefiting from the impressions and relationships I formed while in the ”bel Paese” in my future as a designer.
D. (YOUNG) VOICES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
1. ECOWEEK 2012 workshop W1 participants building a bicycle sharing station prototype at Piazza Sta. Anastasia in Rome (Courtesy of ECOWEEK / photographer Vincezo Mazza)
Annalisa Metta .(Italy) Landscape Architect at OSA Architetture e Paesaggio set up in 2007 in Rome.
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Tips to Young Professionals Annalisa Metta 1. Be aware of your social role as designer: to imagine and build a better habitat is an ethical commission you can’t disregard. 2. Be proud of being a designer: meanwhile, be aware that to design means to provide a service. 3. Be passionate: your project will never be so good, if you are not deeply and hopelessly involved in it. 4. Think about your project as a place for people to live: but at the same time be courageous not to make popular decisions. 5. Work hard to be competent: you have to be authoritative, but never authoritarian. 6. Work hard to preserve and develop your talent, because it’s not just yours: your talent is a gift and an opportunity for everyone. 7. Look always around you: your project should always be synchronized with culture, art, society, economy, and contemporary technologies. 8. Look always around you: good ideas are sometimes where you could never think of looking for them. 9. Feel free to be wrong: risk, allow yourself to be uncertain; these are great moments of creativity. 10. Share, share, share: your ideas, your tools, your desires, your ambitions, your knowledge, your skills; so that they increase and make prodigy.
1, 2: Center for Contemporary Music facades (Courtesy of Magdalena Malska & Dorota Wilczyńska) 3. View of Pavilion (Courtesy of Magdalena Malska & WAM Architecten) 4. Silesia Concept (Courtesy of Magdalena Malska / Photographer Izabella Bujak) 5. ECOWEEK 2012 in Krakow Press Conference (Courtesy of ECOWEEK )
Magdalena Malska (Poland & Germany) is an entrepreneur and an architect currently working at m3 architektur + design in Germany.
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Journey Through Architecture Magdalena Malska
agdalena Malska is a young practicing architect, an inexhaustible and energetic entrepreneur, organizer of ECOWEEK events in London and Krakow, and an inquisitive traveller of the world. This interview was conducted especially for this book.
Q: Can you tell us about your academic experience? I studied five semesters of Architecture and Urbanism at Krakow University of Technology. I experienced a feeling of imprisonment in a fixed academic structure and needed fresh ideas for architecture, different design techniques and processes to stimulate my professional development. So, I decided to study a semester in Italy, at the Politecnico di Milano. I loved the city of Milan! Being in an unfamiliar context, my curiosity was provoked. I found people in Italy to be warm, passionate and relaxed. They adore eating and treat talking as a form of art. While in Milan, I became aware and curious of what one sees and learns while traveling â€“ impressions, feelings, smells, shapes, stories and small surprises â€“ inspiring me to dream of amazing forms of Architecture! Being exposed to the richness of Italian history and culture I realized that this was just the first of many journeys to come. I get inspired by journeys. I sometimes visualize the world like a big research platform, on which we can experiment with new ideas.
Journeys often allow one to work through ideas, understand them and reflect on how the world works... Traveling helps me to fully experience and understand Architecture. Because, for me photographers are like magicians: they can present a building in a very different way from how we experience 359 it in reality. That is why it is important to visit a building and experience it in real life. See how the building interacts with its surroundings and feel its materials, textures and colors. Directly, not through the lens of the photographer. What the experience in Milan has taught me is that you can be inspired by anything.
Q: Can you describe a project that you did at the Politecnico di Milano? At the Politecnico I attended a course in architectural design by Professor Vincenza Lima. I felt I was free to design what I really wanted for the first time! The process was different from that which I knew from Poland: we worked in groups with a strong emphasis on research and analysis, and we spent a lot of time working with the teaching assistants. One of my favourite academic projects was the design for a Center for Contemporary Music in front of Lancetti Station in Milan. I worked on the project with my classmate Dorota WilczyĹ„ska, then continued working on the same concept upon returning from Milan developing the ideas further for my Bachelor thesis at the University in Krakow. Milan was the perfect city for this kind of
project. It is a city with a rich artistic culture and a strong tradition in design and fashion. It is also the home of the iconic La Scala Opera house. The idea of designing a Center for Contemporary Music in Milan with an adjacent interactive piazza near the Lancetti Station, aimed to provoke new activities in the area and draw attention to diverse forms and types of music. Conceptually, the building was created as a container of music tubes. Each tube represented a continent. Within each tube one could listen to a certain type of music associated with a continent, while the space around the tube was dedicated to the culture and history of that continent. The space within the tubes housed specific activities â€“ games, movies and music libraries. The staircase guided the visitor among the different tubes/continents. The Center had a variety of functions, such as a dance school, a vocal training school, a school of music and a music shop. These spaces were joined by spaces for jam sessions, a mini-spa for music therapy
and others. The idea was that the center for contemporary music was not just a concert hall anymore. Instead, it was a place that recognizes different kinds of music which mix, conflict, support, challenge and penetrate each other in space.
an you tell us a little bit about your Q: C professional experience? After Milan, I kept looking for experience and new ideas through travelling. So, I found myself in the Netherlands, in WAM Architecten in Delft. It was quite an unusual experience. Imagine this: My boss was Wilfried van Winden; a total designer. He is tall, broad-shouldered, with a big nose and grey hair of medium length. He always keeps a funny little smile in the corner of his lips. He wears fancy suits and spitz type shoes covered by different patterns. His glasses are in fluorescent colours (pink and yellow). He has no computer drafting skills but he is a master in free-hand drawing!
Tijmen Huetink was Wilfried’s right hand assistant. He has black short hair, dark anxious eyes; he is very kind, friendly and an enthusiastic gadget-freak. He has no freehand drawing skills, but he is a master in computer drafting.
a variety of tasks was truly motivating. At WAM Architecten I developed a proposal for an interior design that was exhibited at ‘Storefront for Art & Architecture’ in New York as a part of the exhibition‚’Competitive Hypothesis’’.
The office was a space of 400 square meters – just for a small staff of three people! So you can imagine how impressive the place was! It had spider-like black lamps above the work space, a conference / meeting/ dining room with walls in medium blue and a dark long oval table, and funny shaped lamps like Turkish eye beads. On the walls, drawings of two chickens and an alien looking at you were hanging. At Delft I learned that unless you fit in, it is OK to skip the pattern!
My favourite project though was one that I developed together with Wilfried van Winden. It was the extension of an existing restaurant situated next to the Wolphaertsbocht road in Rotterdam. The idea was to create a new bar and pancake restaurant linked to an older building. The new structure not only opened towards the adjacent park, but it in fact extended the park as well. The building material was wood, in an organic form. The roof, for example, brings to mind a wild hut and the windows are cut-out like fairy-tale hollows or burrows where animals make their home.
an you describe a project that you Q: C worked on in WAM Architecten? I learned a lot at WAM. The creative atmosphere was stimulating and doing
The structure is very conceptual, quite unusual, and a bit unreal.
Q: Can you describe a project where you explored aspects of sustainability? It is quite remarkable how Architecture, regardless of scale, can form and influence people’s lifestyles. If we place gym facilities in a park, people will use them. Once they make it a habit to use them, they will be more fit and healthy and they may end up spending more time outdoors and becoming more social. The same way that the design of a landscape, and the colors, materials and textures in a building interior, can affect people’s mood. Recently I developed an interest in lifestyle and places for relaxation, such as touristic resorts, and spas. The trigger was a private investor who was interested in building a new Spa facility next to an existing hotel. I took the challenge as my Master Project on Krakow University of Technology, and later, after graduating,
I was invited by the investor to work on the same project as a real assignment! The objective was to create a new tourist site in Silesia, in south western Poland. The area has great potential; it has good infrastructure, a new highway, great location near the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and breathtaking landscapes of wild undisturbed nature. The idea we developed was to attract tourism by creating an extension to the natural settings, renovating the existing hotel and providing new services. Nature in this area of Poland is overwhelming. This was perhaps my most profound experience with sustainability: the challenge to combine an intervention with the natural surroundings without disturbing the continuity and balance. I visited the site several times. What struck me each time I visited, was the bird singing – most probably giving the name to the mountain “Hawks Mountain”. This unusual combination of a Spa with bird life was probably the most unique aspect of the hotel and spa. Beyond Architecture, I learned about Sustainability in my role as entrepreneur and organizer of ECOWEEK conference and workshops in Krakow and London. Discovering and developing my entrepreneurial skills allowed me to be active and involved in my community and in the architectural scene of my city.
Through organizing ECOWEEK, I felt I became actively involved in leading change in Krakow, address environmental issues,
provoke discussion, and search for alternative solutions. It gave me the opportunity to address issues close to my heart and to promote solutions by inviting talented architects to Poland to inspire professionals and students through their work, knowledge and expertise. Sustainability is also about reusing old buildings. In my country, it is considered controversial to damage or change an old building. But I believe, that unconventional, creative ideas of renovation may provoke the community and produce an unexpected, unusual and
interesting result. As a student, one of my favourite concepts was to convert existing tenement buildings into a temporary exhibition space used by local artists. I have designed one in Krakow, but I truly believe that the idea can be applied anywhere. I want to work with a community to create a building that is constantly changing, giving the opportunity to local artists to be creative and expressive by not only using the building got their art work, but as a canvas by painting it both inside and outside. I like to image it, because anything you can imagine can become real!
1. Market in Istanbul (Courtesy ECOWEEK) 2. ECOWEEK 2012 workshop W1 in Rome (Courtesy ECOWEEK) 3. Gezi Park, Istanbul (Courtesy ECOWEEK)
Mehtap Leyla Turanalp (Turkey & USA) is a City and Urban Planner graduate of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul currently working as a Research Assistant for Prof. Rafi Segal at MIT in Boston.Â
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Balance; it is in (our) Nature; Reflections of a Young Planner Mehtap Leyla Turanalp
was born and raised in Turkey. Turkey is a nation of rich cultural heritage and vast ethnic diversity. Anatolia, the Asian part of Turkey, is populated by Georgians and Lazs in the north; Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds in the east; Yuruks and Balkan immigrants in the south; Albanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians and Greek immigrants in the west and mostly Turks in central Anatolia. As a child, I grew up in southeastern Turkey. The 1990s were difficult years with a declared state of emergency and much violence. I remember that we were not permitted to play outside. Everyone was afraid. At the time I also experienced discrimination. In my hometown of Suruc we were confined within a very small area that included our homes and the library. Books became my refuge from which I could learn about what was going on in the outside world. Primarily, I was interested in people and nature. Nature fascinated me. I was drawn into reading books as if doing some kind of research about nature, animals and plants, recycling and the environment. During family picnics, while my friends and family played, I collected trash in bags and chased butterflies â€“ catching them, observing them and then releasing them. As the civil violence subsided, my family moved to a quieter region near Istanbul. They wanted me to be well educated; an impossible task in my hometown. Going through the upheaval and violent of the 1990s, I could finally breath the air of freedom, and could â€˜officiallyâ€™ register as a student. I was free to pursue learning
and research and to explore my passion for nature. I decided to study design and planning. Planning connected the manmade urban city with nature. Here I could not only seek balance, but develop balance. My search for connections also helped me 367 develop my own identities and find a balance among them. I am an ecologist observing the relationships between plants, animals and their environments. I am an urban designer connecting people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. I am a planner drawing together the many strands of place-making, environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability into the creation of places with beauty and identity and a vision for the community. I also regard myself as a writer, sharing my observations and opinions in the printed press and the web. Recently, I also discovered my passion for entrepreneurship and started organizing people and ideas. Joining the ECOWEEK workshops was instrumental in forming my identity and enriching my learning. I learned about balance and teamwork, and found many likeminded students and professionals to share my experience with environment, ecology, planning and design in a professional context. I participated in ECOWEEK for the first time in March 2011. It was held in Thessaloniki, Greece, a short flight from Istanbul. I was attracted by the opportunity to meeting professionals, thinkers and students from all over the world. The diverse perspectives in
the workshop group excited me, focused into turning them into design solutions to real-life problems and real sites throughout the city of Thessaloniki. The experience was empowering. A student rarely has the opportunity to work on real full scale projects and have the design solutions implemented in real life! For me, this was the ultimate practical learning experience as a student, and gave me a lot of satisfaction and self-confidence. The experience was so powerful that upon returning to Turkey, I needed to share it with my peers at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. I knew that the majority of my peers, mainly for financial reasons, would be unable to attend ECOWEEK abroad. The only solution was to bring ECOWEEK to Istanbul! I decided to turn from an ECOWEEK participant to an ECOWEEK organizer. First, I had to convince the ECOWEEK board. Then we needed the support of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. Once both approvals were in place, we started the planning process which involved coordination of faculty and students. We also needed to organize a workshop team in Istanbul as one of the international
satellite workshops for the ECOWEEK 2012 in Krakow. The other two teams were Ukraine and Poland. The experience was very positive and the entire group was motivated. This led to the organization of a full scale, one-week ECOWEEK international conference and workshops in Istanbul, in November 2013. The event was hosted and coordinated by a team of faculty members at the Faculty of Architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, headed by Dean Prof. Guzin Konuk and Vice Dean Prof. Sema Ergonul. At the university we learn that people, who influence the shape of the land are planners, architects, designers and engineers. They are forming our cities. Often, political decisions blur the work of these professionals, leaving it to people to voice out their vision to improve â€“ or defend - public space, nature in the city and the fine balance between the natural and manmade. If the balance is affected in a negative way, a day will eventually come when people will find it unbearable and will react. They will try to reverse the destruction of the balance in order to maintain their health and well-being in the urban context. ECOWEEK was scheduled to take place in June 2013. But then something happened. On
May 27, 2013, there was a protest in Istanbul by people who demanded to protect a green space in the city. Gezi Park is an area inside Taksim Square filled with sycamore trees. It is one of the few green spaces left in central Istanbul. According to the redevelopment plans, approved by the government, the intention was to pedestrianize and ease the traffic around Taksim Square, which in effect meant that much of Gezi Park would be replaced by concrete and traffic. Taksim has a very dense urban fabric. It is fluid, irregular, open and unpredictable. It reflects the area’s historic identity as the heart of modern, multicultural Turkey. Taksim is the area where poor European immigrants settled in the city in the 19th century. In the 1930s an Armenian cemetery was demolished and the gravestones were used to construct the stairs at Gezi Park, a republican-era project by the French planner Henry Prost. In the 1980s it became a honky-tonk quarter, a haven for gays and lesbians, full of nightclubs, foreign movie theaters and French-style covered arcades. Today, Taksim is a jumble of high-rise hotels, traffic circles and the now-shuttered opera house, named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. For many people, especially the youth, Taksim is a symbol of modernity in an otherwise historic city.
The protests in May turned violent. By June 2013 the city looked like a battlefield – at least in the media - involving people of all ages, students, workers and professionals alike. ECOWEEK had to be postponed until the situation settled and it took place in November 2013. The demolition of Gezi Park was canceled by a court decision in May 2014. Since the protest more people use Gezi Park. It seems as if people realized they have a right to the public space, and also a responsibility to keep it open and public. There are reading sessions and public activities throughout the day. The park has also become a touristic attraction! Gezi Park combines all the ingredients we as town planners and environmental entrepreneurs need to nurture and maintain balance: • Public participation in the planning process; • The protection of nature in the city; • A greater public awareness of the importance of public spaces and nature in the city; • Connections between different layers of the city – the history, the urban fabric, manmade and nature - and finally, • The responsibility to act when all other strategies have failed.
1, 2, 3. Sketches for ECOWEEK Greenhouse project at Amymoni, Thessaloniki, Greece (Courtesy of Dimitrios Farmakis) 4, 5, 6. Renderings of second floor garden at Amymoni, Thessaloniki, Greece (Courtesy of Dimitrios Farmakis) 7. Floor Plan of first floor garden at Amymoni, Thessaloniki, Greece (Courtesy of Dimitrios Farmakis) 8. Floor Plan of second floor garden at Amymoni, Thessaloniki, Greece (Courtesy of Dimitrios Farmakis) 9. Rendering of second floor garden at Amymoni, Thessaloniki, Greece (Courtesy of Dimitrios Farmakis)
Dimitrios Farmakis (Greece) is a BIM Consultant at Solvia Studio, and BIM Engineer at ALICE Technologies, member of ASHRAE and the Design Build Institute of America.
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Meaningful Synergies Dimitrios Farmakis Meaningful Roles… Design stage: I view it as the most important stage of a building’s life, because it has the largest impact on the outcome. It encompasses multifaceted work and effort: from architecture & planning to the engineering and socioeconomics. When we design an object – or a building – it must fulfill certain needs and criteria. However, if we want our design to be complete, a meaningful collaboration from the early stages of design is essential, encompassing many minds and stakeholders. In this collaboration, all voices are equally meaningful, as it is the “synergy” that makes the difference. • Unusual Processes… I do consulting work in Greece. My primary goal is to inject technical rigor and added value early in the design stage through BIM (Building Information Modeling) and the Integrative Design process. The BIM tools available today are very sophisticated, and a challenge to learn as they propose a redically different approach to building design and management. But to get Greek professionals to use them, is the real challenge. Adding the aspect of the economic crisis, and the task instantly becomes more troublesome. The explanation may lie on the fact that most Greek professionals are not used to working within an ninterdisciplinary collaboration” where sharing information is essential. It is as if they have developed a red he ec destabilizing their working routines, and relying on their experience rather than a need to constantly update their technical expertise. So, although the technological platforms facilitating
integration (i.e. Autodesk Revit) have made their appearance in the world market for more than a decade, most Greek professionals are unwilling to adapt to the new tools and rather stick to the ones they feel familiar with. From my own observation of how fast the tools for the design professions develop, it seems 373 obvious that Greek professionals will either have to change their mindset and attitude, or they might find themselves professionally outdated and… maybe out of work. Society + Economy + Design + Sustainability = Integration I first experienced the integration of disciplines
at Stanford University. As a graduate student I participated in an interdisciplinary class on Sustainable Development. The class, taught by Glenn Katz – Autodesk AEC education Specialist and Stanford University Lecturer – offered a holistic view of crisis relief projects in Haiti. It covered diverse aspects of architectural design, structural engineering, construction, sustainability as well as economic and social outreach. Integrating all these different disciplines was really challenging. Not only for our professor but also for us as students. We came to the class with very rigid expectations stemming from our experience in other classes within our disciplines, not knowing how people would respond and how they would affect the group. The initial rigidity soon gave its place to an attitude of cooperation and sharing, to the point where the outcome was beyond expectation. Students not only responded extremely well to the interdisciplinary environment, but they found the exposure to the debate outside their discipline, particularly refreshing and interesting as well. The group engaged every student, regardless of their background or discipline, at every stage of the process, involving the entire group from design and engineering to
socioeconomics and environment. Everyone in the group had the opportunity to be engaged hands-on and experience the value of each phase of the project throughout its lifecycle. • Professional Integration… Integration and multidisciplinary cooperation work well not only in the academic environment, but in the professional practice as well. This is what I try to explain to my clients and key stakeholders, in each and every project r the “hands-off”oconventional design approach is inefficient. It is prone to error and will involve a lot of re-doing things. Bringing all the team participants together as early as the conceptual design stage, will give them a better perspective on the overall design scope and in particular the building envelope. Once the team works together, meetings occur at every design stage (schematic design, design development) aiming to gain more insight and avoid incompatibility. Through this multidisciplinary process, the building is understood as a “living form”irather than an accumulation of independent systems. As a result each consulting professional (i.e. structural engineers, mechanical engineers, construction people etc) design and model the materials and systems needed based on an overall understanding of the building. In
contrast, following the conventional design process, where each professional is isolated in their own discipline without an integrated understanding of the building and the other disciplines, incompatible or clashing building elements are discovered late in the process, leading to changes, resulting in added costs, and delays. In spite of this, it is still difficult to convince engineers and investors in Greece of the value of early stage collaboration, made possible through BIM tools. Tools may help visualize and collaborate. But in order to bring them into the process to increase communication among the different disciplines and professionals, time and effort is needed to alter the existing, deeply rooted, professional culture in Greece. • Materials… Greek professionals may be slow in adopting new tools. But Greek tradition, over the course of centruries, has developed brilliant bioclimatic solutions, the result of generations of development of ideas and work with local materials. When energy was not readily available like today, less energy was used to transform raw materials into usable building products. Furthermore, as most materials were local, less transportation was involved.
These local materials can still be used today. New designs can borrow from the richness and wisdom of traditional bioclimatic design, construction techniques and local materials. For instance, the “yposkafa”, or in-cave/ rockhewn (in Greek: υπόσκαφα) houses in Santorini offer an outstanding example of such design principles. Hewn vertically into the volcanic soil into the cliffs above the sea, these houses have vaulted ceilings, narrow face and no foundations. They are made of stone (red or black) and Terra Theraic (Theraic earth) which, along with lime, form a very strong plaster. The Theraic earth has insulating qualities, keeping rock-hewn houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Those houses get light and air from the main entrance and the two windows framing it. Usually, they are split into two parts with a masonry wall. Built areas are roofed by domes, or groin vaults. Moreover, this construction method allows for the creation of diverse, yet harmonious forms. Green Misconceptions… I often hear clients tell me that a green building is costly. No doubt that most people tend to overestimate the cost of a green building. Published reports show that most people perceive the costs of green buildings as high as 300% than that conventional buildings. At the same time the environmental
impact estimatean they really greenhouse gas emissions produced by conventional buildings underestimated. Despite misconceptions by both investors and professionals, published research estimates that upfront costs for a green building are no more than 5-8% on average. An integrated design process assisted by BIM tools, enables a more efficient and holistic approach, which in turn further reduces initial costs considerably. After the upfront costs, a green building has considerable savings and
a short period return on investment during the operation of the building throughout its lifecycle. As the level of savings depends on the operating standards of the owner/ occupants, it is our responsibility as architects and designers, to guide and educate our clients. Help them understand the importance of their role, as by nearly 50%, regardless the level of technology and automation, energy consumption of a building depends on maintenance, management and occupant use patterns. In that regard, BIM design and simulation tools can play a role as they can
provide powerful visualizations and energy monitoring and facilitate energy management during the operation & maintenance stage. Personal Reflection â€“ Adviceâ€Ś I am committed to sustainability. This is perhaps the reason I try to be detached from market trends and buzzwords. Because, I believe that, sustainability is a culture and a mentality. It is not a fashion, or a means of attaining social status, and certainly not a way of making money. Sustainability requires patience. Patience with clients, some of whom
are well informed and ask complex questions demanding responsible replies. Because, there are several barriers to the adoption of sustainable design principles. And ignorance. This is why our task is also to clearly convey the benefits and costs of sustainable practices and explore ways to achieve those goals. And to integrate tools that enable a multidisciplinary dialogue that bring knowledge across the table, to the design process, and ultimately, to the building site.
1. Natural light at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain (Courtesy of ECOIST) 2. Renault Twizy: 100% electric car (Courtesy of ECOIST) 3. ECOWEEK 2012 in Belgrade at workshop team W4 (from left to right): Landscape architect Raffaella Colombo, Jelena Lucic (ECOIST), architect Ivan Mengov, and Hans Buster (Vitaverde) (Courtesy of ECOWEEK) 4, 5. ECOWEEK 2012 in Belgrade workshop scheme W1 led by Andreas Nassos (Vitaverde) at the court of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (Courtesy of ECOWEEK) 6. ECOWEEK 2012 in Belgrade workshop scheme W2 led by Ana Nikezic Nassos (Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade University) titled ‘Garden To Go” (Courtesy of ECOWEEK)
Jelena Lucic (Serbia & China) is the founder of NGO ECOIST based in Belgrade, Serbia, with the mission to improve urban sustainability. Jelena is currently developing new marketing strategies for a company in China.
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Interview Jelena Lucic
erbia, as a country in transition, is trying to keep up with the western and more developed countries. Certain assignments are easier than others but some appear more confusing than they should. Sustainability is one such issue. However, on a closer look, is it a priority? If we observe the past and our neighborâ€™s experience, could it be that our government is just interested in current trends rather than addressing the challenges of the society itself? Nevertheless, there are individuals and organizations that understand the importance
of sustainability in its pure meaning and are willing to contribute to change. They are â€˜the pioneersâ€™, dynamic, vibrant people focusing their energy and knowledge on solutions for a better tomorrow. The characteristic of these creative minds is their willingness to believe in their ideas and the importance of the 381 task. One such active participant is the nongovernmental organization named ECOIST based in Belgrade and its founder Jelena Lucic. Jelena told us the story of ECOIST, about their activities and events, all organized with the same goal in mind: to educate, inform and contribute to achieving urban sustainability.
Q: ECOIST was established in 2010 as a NGO focused on issues of urban sustainability in Serbia, building the connection between governmental, academic, civil and corporate sectors. How would you describe the connection that you established during the last three years with all segments of modern Serbian industry and society and what is the response to your activities? You know the expression “The idea is king’’? Indeed it is, but vision is a much more powerful. When you present your vision to anyone - from a small kid in primary school, to an executive in a corporation - they will recognize the spirit, energy and potential change of one’s vision. The connections, partnerships and bridges ECOIST has built over the years are based on these visions and common goals. The synergy between sectors actually comes down to the recognition by a couple of principle decision makers. If they share your vision, understand the challenges and believe that indifference and the status quo is the worst alternative, we can achieve our goals. Q: What inspired you to create this type of organization? The desire to make things better. I was brought up to act in sustainable manner and perhaps I was lucky to have this nurtured by my family. I realized that sometimes this culture is lacking in schools, universities, public organizations and companies. This is true in many countries, not only in Serbia. After my work as an executive in an international consulting and trading business for about 10 years, I had an urge to do something more, to do something
meaningful. I know this is cliché, but this is really what happened. Q: O ne of the projects that ECOIST organized in the last few years was a project for the design of Green schools. What can you tell us about this project and its implementation? The Green Schools project happened spontaneously, after we organized a very intense 3-day Master Class workshop with around 40 students from different universities. The coordinator, Hans Buster, was fantastic. Some students asked us to continue working on the project. We could not pass up this opportunity and their enthusiasm, so we established the ECOIST Creative Network, which now acts as an almost autonomous organization. The Green Schools project was the first of the ECOIST Creative Network. The pilot project was the primary school of Drinka Pavlovic in Belgrade, Serbia. The goal is to provide sustainable solutions for spaces in schools adapt them to modern and empirical learning, and to enhance creativity and sustainable behavior by school children. We want to not only provide a healthier and
more bio-diverse environment but to publicly advocate for innovative green building solutions like vertical gardens and green roofs as well. Q: ECOIST is specializing in training, organizing workshops and delivering practical green solutions with a wide network of NGOs, R&D institutions, Universities and private companies. What particularly attracts your attention when deciding on a new project? It’s very simple. We have our eyes and ears open for all opportunities and then we go for whatever captures our imagination. If you are going to spend a third of your life doing something that you cannot relate to and don’t enjoy doing, then you are wasting your life. We often choose projects that have the largest impact and that make a difference for our target group. An example was our collaboration with ECOWEEK. It is about giving young people a chance to prove themselves and utilize their creative potential. Q: This is the first time that the international ECOWEEK event has been organized
in Serbia and Belgrade. What was your impression of the lectures and the workshops after they were completed? ECOWEEK turned out to be fantastic, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the participants. The feedback was very positive and people were inspired. We just put it all 383 together but the participants were the real stars of ECOWEEK. It is an honour to organize an international event like ECOWEEK. We will definitely do it in the future again! • • Q: You visited the workshops, observed the process of the design and finally saw the presentation of the projects. What was your impression of the atmosphere, the work process and the final results? We visited all nine workshops during ECOWEEK with Hans Buster as our workshop coordinator and Elias Messinas, the Chairman of ECOWEEK as we were helping teams reach better results. It is important to have an objective critic who is not coming from within the group. We had one person from the ECOIST Creative Network responsible for each workshop helping out when necessary. I think it is very common that people forget that the longest, and possibly the most difficult parts of teamwork are synchronization and planning. After you have a coherent group and a group that agrees on objectives, the process flows almost by itself. Once teams realized this, they became productive and efficient, producing fantastic and innovative solutions.
Q: What do you find most important for the workshops participants: collaboration with other members of the team or the experience of working on real locations with real problems? The feedback we received from the questionnaires showed that participants had different motives. Some were interested in a different design experience, others to work with international teams; others were seeking a chance to do something meaningful, and others a chance to do a real life project. Some were simply looking for an opportunity to upgrade their CV. We really enjoyed mentoring young and creative teams, especially to give them experience they can use in the future when applying for work. We know how hard it is for someone without any experience to find employment. We have been there as well. Q: What is the most significant contribution of ECOWEEK to Serbia and Belgrade? The projects that were designed during the workshops, the lectures or the opportunity for young people to cooperate with their international colleagues and get valuable work experience? It’s definitely a mixture of all these. Of course, it is important to get projects implemented in primary school Drinka Pavlovic, or the Center for protection of children and youth
‘Zvecanska’ or at the USCE Shopping Center. All this is fantastic and will certainly have some effect on sustainable development in Belgrade, although these projects are not about major changes. Their value is in bringing positive change within local communities, before they lead to international recognition. However, I think that the most valuable contribution is generating enthusiasm among young people. This is what will create the domino effect in the future and I know that some people will take the initiative and start networking with others to create great stuff - not only in Serbia, but who knows, perhaps worldwide! Q: H ow would you imagine the implementation of sustainable development and the green design principles for the future in Serbia? As a goal. I think Serbia has a unique opportunity to leap frog into a more sustainable future. We don’t have to take the step by step approach that other countries took early on. I think knowledge transfer should be nurtured and I believe that people are smart enough to accept it. Development should be seen as a long-term endeavor. Short slighted policies should be eliminated from all levels and sectors of our society. or a short period of time the ECOIST Q: F organization successfully organized several major events in the region such as the first International Green Build Conference in 2011 and the first Belgrade ECOWEEK in 2012. Could you tell us about your future plans?
First of all, thank you for this compliment. Although we raised some issues for the first time in Serbia, there are lots of organizations that are dealing with these and other â€˜hotâ€™ subjects. However, we try (and mostly succeed) to wake people out of their indifference. There are many events where we hear the standard presentation, where the audience has five minutes for questions, after which everyone goes home and forgets all about it. This to me is a waste of resources - time, money and above all intellect. We address this problem by using modern technology, innovation in presentations and although our speakers are fantastic, we limit their presentation time. After each short lecture, we leave a lot of time to interact with the participants, since they are the reason we organize the events. This is not
only important for participants, it is important for our development as well. We need to see how people think, what they are curious about and what are their concerns. Our current plans are focused on following up on the ECOWEEK workshop, such as setting up a permanent implementation platform 385 called the ECOWEEK GREENHOUSE. We have many people interested, so we expect to see some wonderful work in the future. Our next big planned event is the Sustainable Cities Forum in September 2013. We will have representatives of the leading sustainable cities in the world and our audience will be from South Eastern Europe. We anticipate this to be a very important and interesting initiative.
David W. Orr (USA) The Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College and Executive Director of the Oberlin Project, he is the recipient of seven Honorary degrees and other awards including The Millennium Leadership Award from Global Green, the Bioneers Award, the National Wildlife Federation Leadership Award, and a Lyndhurst Prize acknowledging “persons of exceptional moral character, vision, and energy.” He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Europe. His career as a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. He is presently the Executive Director of the Oberlin Project which is focused on making the City of Oberlin a model of full-spectrum sustainability and replicating that effort through a National Sustainable Communities Coalition. David Orr was among the world experts featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary “The 11th Hour” on Climate Change. Elias Messinas is an architect, educator, and environmental consultant, graduate of Yale School of Architecture, Bezalel Academy, with a doctorate degree from the National Technical University of Athens. He is a consultant for ‘green’ buildings and teaches sustainable design studio and workshops. Elias is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Elias is the founding chairman of ECOWEEK and editor and senior writer of ECOWEEK printed and digital content. Elias is the author of numerous articles on architecture, sustainability, and historic architecture, author of two books on the synagogues of Greece (Bloch Publishing Company, New York, 2013, and
Gavrielides Editions, Athens, 1997), and editor of the ECOWEEK digital and printed materials. Dan Price is an architect graduate of the Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa and the Porter School for Environmental Studies at the Tel Aviv University. As the partner of architect Ada KarmiMelamede, he worked on numerous projects of various scale, from private houses to public buildings and university campuses. Dan teaches at the Azrieli School of Architecture at Tel Aviv University and is the co-author-with Ada KarmiMelamede of ‘Architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate, 1917-1948’ - Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2011 (Hebrew) Israel Museum, 2014 (English). He is a principal of Price, Piltzer, Yawitz Architects practicing in Tel Aviv. In addition to his academic activity, Dan is pursuing a PhD focusing on the social housing projects built in Israel 1948-1967’s as a model for sustainable housing. Julie Bargmann (USA) Internationally recognized as an innovative designer in building regenerative landscapes and with interdisciplinary design education. Leads projects at the D.I.R.T. studio (Dump It Right There) that explore past and present industrial operations and urban processes in relationship to ecological systems, cultural constructs and emerging technologies. Holds a degree in sculpture from Carnegie-Mellon University, Masters in landscape architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design followed by a Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. Awarded the 2001 National Design Award by Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. TIME, CNN and Newsweek, along with national and international design publications have recognized her as leading the next generation in making a difference for design and the environment. Bjarke Ingels (Denmark & USA) Started Bjarke
Ingels Group (BIG) in 2005 after co-founding PLOT Architects in 2001 and working at OMA in Rotterdam. Through a series of award-winning design projects and buildings, Bjarke Ingels has created an international reputation as a member of a new generation of architects that combine shrewd analysis, playful experimentation, social responsibility and humour. He has received numerous awards. Bjarke has been active as a Visiting Professor at Rice University’s School of Architecture and most recently at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Bjarke currently holds a guest lecturer position at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Françoise-Hélène Jourda (France) Awardwinning architect Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. She has been teaching Architecture since 1979, at the École d’Architecture de Lyon, France, École d’Architecture de Saint-Étienne, France, the School of Architecture in Oslo, Norway, University of Minessota, USA, the Polytechnic of Central London, UK, the Technical University of Kassel, Germany, and since 1999 at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. Michael Sorkin (USA) Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York, Michael Sorkin is principal of the Michael Sorkin Studio, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice in New York. From 1993 to 2000 he was Professor of Urbanism and Director of the Institute of Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In addition to writing innumerable articles on architecture and the built environment, he has authored Variations on a Theme Park (1992) and Indefensible Space: The Architecture of the National Insecurity State (2007). Sorkin is the
founder and president of the non-profit Terreform and chairs the board of directors of the Institute for Urban Design. Marta Pozo Gil (Holland) Architect and licensed BREEAM assessor. She has been working with MVRDV since 2007 where, in addition to her role as a 387 Project Leader, Marta leads MVRDV’s Sustainability Department. By forming environmental strategies and energy-efficiency guidelines for each design process, Marta ensures a high standard is maintained for all of MVRDV’s projects. Marta has been involved in the conceptualizing and execution of projects of various scales, among them the design team for Montecorvo Eco City in Logrono, Spain, and a dense urban masterplan in Bordeaux, France - an ambitious “eco-quartier” where all energy consumed by the masterplan will be produced on-site. Marta has received degrees from Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain (2001) and TU Berlin, Germany (2004). She lectures regularly and has won several awards. Kengo Kuma (Japan) Architect graduate of the University of Tokyo and Columbia University. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates 1990. He taught at Keio University from 2001 to 2008, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, and in 2009, he was installed as Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Tokyo. He was awarded the International Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award in 2002 (Finland), International Architecture Awards for the Best New Global Design for “Chokkura Plaza and Shelter” in 2007, and Energy Performance + Architectutre Award in 2008 (France). He is an International Fellow of RIBA, UK, and Honorary Fellow of AIA. Kengo Kuma is also a prolific writer / critic and his books have been translated into English, Chinese and other languages.
Annalisa Metta (Italy) Landscape Architect at OSA Architetture e Paesaggio set up in 2007 in Rome. OSA integrates buildings and urban planning, indoor and outdoor spaces and people behaviors through architecture and urban design. 388
Braha Kunda (Israel) Architecture and Environmental Design Senior Lecturer and former Head of Interior Design Department at the Design Faculty HIT - Israel. She received her B. Design from Bezalel Academy and M. Arch from Rice University, Houston USA. Braha has professional and academic experience in total architectural and environmental design of housing, commercial and public projects in a wide range of scales. Major interest in contextual design related to social and cultural aspects. Ivan Redi (UK & Austria) Principal of ORTLOS Space Engineering based in London and Graz, founded in 2000 as a network of interdisciplinary partners. Within the trans-disciplinary framework of ORTLOS projects, which constantly expand the boundaries of classical architectural fields by using cutting-edge technologies, there is a strong emphasis on advanced environments, energy efficiency and regenerative architecture. Their work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Mr. Redi is currently teaching at Graz University of Technology, Bartlett University College London and lectures around the world. Richard Ingersoll (Italy & USA) Born in California in 1949, Richard earned a doctorate in architectural history at UC Berkeley, taught at Rice University from 1986-97 and currently teaches at Syracuse University in Florence (Italy). He is an advocate for Agricivismo, the social application of urban agriculture. From 1983-98 he was the editor of Design Book Review. His recent publications include: Architectures of the World. A Cross-
Cultural History of the Built Environment, 2012; Sprawltown, Looking for the City on its Edge, 2006; Global Architecture, 1900-2000. A Critical Mosaic, Volume I: North America, USA and Canada, 2000. He writes criticism for Arquitectura Viva, Lotus, and Bauwelt. Thomas Doxiadis (Greece) Architect and Landscape Architect, ASLA. Graduate in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from Harvard University (1998), and BA Harvard University (1992). Taught as Associate Professor at the University of Patras and University of Thessaly, and as Assistant Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Position of Manager, Organizing Committee of Olympic Games Athens 2004 (1999-2003 and Agency Director of Planning and Environmental Protection of Athens (19992001). Head of consulting firm doxiadis+. Galia Hanoch-Roe (Israel) Graduate of the Landscape Achitecture program of Rutgers University, and Masters and Doctorate of Musical Arts from Yale University and CUNY graduate school is the Director of the Tel-Aviv–Jaffa Metropolitan Area Chapter of Society for Protection of Nature, Israel. Practiced landscape architecture at Looney Ricks Kiss, Princeton, NJ and “Tichnun Nof” Israel. Galia has studied Permaculture and Sustainable Design in Mexico, US and Israel, and participated in the “Ministers Project” - a joint project of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environmental Protection, leading the process with 12 agricultural educational farms in Tel Aviv and Center Israel, to design and build educational areas in the farms and establish programs on sustainability for students. Galia has taught at the University of Haifa. MariaLuisa Palumbo (Italy) Architect and senior fellow of the McLuhan Program in Culture and
Technology of Toronto University, author of New Wombs, Electronic bodies and architectural disorder (Birkhauser, 2000) and Architettura Produttiva. Principi di progettazione ecologica (Maggioli 2012). Since 2003, she directs the Master di Architettura Digitale at the Italian National Institute of Architecture (IN/ARCH) in Rome. In 2004 she founded Romalab, Laboratorio di Architettura Relazionale, a research laboratory focused on the issue of public space and the search of new strategies for the development of the contemporary city. Her essays have been published in several collective books. Since 2010 she collaborates with Domusweb. Jan Johansson (Denmark) Architect from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He graduated in 1993 and has participated in master classes then in Barcelona. He then had his own office and also worked at other studios. Also worked with a housing association, a municipality and project developer at two companies in Copenhagen. Since 2007 he has been a lecturer in architecture and sustainability of the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA). Jan has been visiting professor at Politecnico di Milan Bovisa in 2010. Gil Peled (Israel) Founder of Eco-Challenges Sustainable Design & Consultancy, has pioneered sustainable retrofits of existing residential buildings in Israel. Gil graduated from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Architectural Studies on Sustainable and Affordable Housing and with an MSc. with distinction, on transformations of Sacred Buildings and Spaces. Gil is a member of international bodies perusing sustainable development and has lectured at international venues in the UK, the Netherlands, Japan and South Africa.
Ulf Meyer (Germany) Architect, senior associate at the architecture office of HENN in Germany, and former partner in the architecture office of Ingenhoven Architects. Graduated from the Technical University (TU) of Berlin as Master of Architecture, and studied-abroad at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, Ill. with 389 the international IIT Fellowship and the Academic Scholarship of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is Distinguished Hyde Chair of Excellence for sustainable urban design at the University of Nebraska/Lincoln. Ulf is a member of the FuturArc Forum for Green Building in Southeast-Asia and Australia, correspondent for Central Europe for “World Architecture” magazine, London, UK, and Editor at “archplus” architectural magazine in Berlin. Ulf has lectured at universities all over Europe, the USA and Canada as well as Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. He has taught at the Bauhaus Graduate School of Design in Dessau/Germany and at summer schools with the Middle Eastern Technical University of Ankara/Turkey, the Georgia Institute of Technology of Atlanta/Georgia, the Rice Design Alliance of Houston/Texas and the University of Kansas Lawrence/Kansas (USA). Elena Barthel (USA & Italy) Came to the Rural Studio from the School of Architecture of the University of Florence in Italy, where she graduated in 1999, and recently accomplished her PHD with the thesis ‘Design & Build at the Rural Studio: the education of the Citizen Architect’. While she run her private practice in the historical centre of Florence Santo Spirito, a well-known craft district, she taught at the Department of Urban Design of the University of Florence, at the Architectural Association in London and lead Auburn University Study Abroad in Florence for the academic year 2010. In 2008-2009 she taught the Second Year Studio at the Rural Studio as Visiting Assistant
Isaac Meir (Israel) Desert Architecture expert born in Thessaloniki, graduate of the Technion Institute of Technology and Associate Professor and former Chair of the Desert Architecture & Urban Planning, and Dept. of Man in the Desert of the Ben Gurion University. He has published widely in several languages and has been Visiting Lecturer at Environment & Energy Studies, AASA, London, and Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University. Vasileios Ntovros (Greece) Architect graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with graduate studies at IAAC-Barcelona. Founding member of lighting team BEFORELIGHT. He has participated in F451arquitectura-Barcelona, and the 6th Biennale of young Greek architects with the passive solar design Crack-Printing Press. He practices sustainable design and the use of digital tools in construction of energy autonomous buildings. Joseph Cory (Israel) GEOTECTURA Studio is an award-winning design practice that offers comprehensive services including architecture, interiors and environmental simulations. Established by architect Dr. Joseph Cory, Geotectura integrates sustainable design principles within each project. Geotectura projects are based on multi-disciplinary research using an open source design approach and BIM to optimize results for each challenge. Geotectura designs buildings that aim to reduce the impact of natural resource consumption and greenhouse emissions, reduce operating costs, optimize life-cycle economic performance and enhance occupant comfort and health. The research and experimental approach are well integrated within each design challenge taking into consideration how the design will improve comfort, usability and productivity.
Geotectura academic projects sophistication and economics have established a new benchmark for academic buildings in Israel. Orjan Nyheim (Norway) Holder of a master degree in architecture from NTNU, with a master thesis on studying the possibilities of building offgrid in Norway, architect at the architectural firm Pir II, which uses a holistic approach to environmental friendly buildings. Pir II has received several awards. Barak Pelman (Israel) Graduate in Architecture from Tel Aviv University, Helsinki University of Technology and completed the MSc programme in Sustainable Environmental Design at the Architectural Association Graduate School in London. Worked as an architect at the architectural firm of the Israeli Prize laureate Dr. Ada Karmi Melamede and at Prewett Bizley Architects in London. He taught at the Architectural Association Graduate School and today he is a lecturer at the Architectural Department of Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Barak won several design awards and has exhibited works at the Helsinki Museum of Architecture and the International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism in Bat-Yam. Stelios Zerefos, Chris Tessas (Greece) Zerefos Tessas Architects Engineering Consultants is an award winning firm founded in 2005. Its innovative projects promote contemporary architectural debate while respecting the environment. Projects range from private residences and office buildings to research institutes and museums that integrate micro-climatic and energy considerations early in the design process. The firm has been widely published. Maciej Siuda (Poland) Graduated with honors from the Faculty of Architecture at Wroclaw
University of Technology in 2008. His diploma, XYZ Structure, was awarded in a number of international and national competitions. From 2005 to 2007 he studied at the Faculty of Architecture at University of Technology in Valencia and made an internship at the SQArquitectos office (Valencia), and later in other offices in Madrid, Tokyo and Alicante. Since 2011 he has been developing his independent work, collaborating with various architects and designers form Spain, Poland and Japan. Co-creator of the international workshop of architecture and urbanism IWAU. Since 2011. He teaches design at the Swietokrzyska University of Technology and developing videogames graphic design for the Foundation of Neurorehabilitation in Valencia. Ivan Harbour (UK) Joined the award-winning firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (former Richard Rogers Partnership) in 1985 and was made a Director in 1993. Ivan is currently Design Director of a number of prestigious architecture and master planning projects around the world. He has taught in Europe, and Australia. Winner of the 2006 Stirling Prize. Daniel Pearl (Canada) is an architect, associate professor at the School of Architecture at La faculté de l’Aménagement of Montreal University (UdeM) since 2001. His teaching focuses on green building construction, tectonics, ecosystemic thinking and the introduction of the integrated design process into architectural and urban design studies. Daniel is a founding board member of the Canada Green Building Counciil and founding chair of its Academic Education Committee. Daniel established – with Mark Poddubiuk - L’OEUF (l’Office de l’Eclectisme Urbain et Fonctionnel) in 1992, focusing on sustainable architecture, urban housing, residential and commercial renovation, as well as research, critic and theory. L’OEUF
developed its reputation particularly in sustainable and environmental architecture, known for the architectural quality, technical and professional skills as well as active involvement in the academic, professional and community context. This expertise is founded on a search for balance between the appropriate techniques, the economic feasibility, 391 the architectural expression et environmental impact of the project. L’OEUF members, as architects, support the fact that they are stewards of a built environment that is dignified, human, pleasant, functional, sustainable and sensitive to the environment. Alessio Battistella (Italy) Founder of ARCo a young group of engineers and architects, founded in Milan in 2009. ARCo uses low cost materials and sustainable techniques to develop projects of Architecture through international cooperation, particularly educational projects, in Palestine and Mozambic. The work of ARCo was featured at FMG (Spazio per l’architettura) in Milan and has won awards, among them the second prize ex aequo at “Premio Fondazione Renzo Piano for a young talent 2011”, and the Silver Award of the Holcim Foundation 2011 - Africa and Middle East. Jana Leoni (Germany) Director of EcoCityLab a partnership between the Technische Universitat Berlin and the EcoCityLab, a networked group of academics and students in the fields of landscape design, architecture, urban design and urban planning focused on the design of ecocities starting at the scale of the sustainable urban block and theoretically probing the notion of a new green urban aesthetic. Holder of a Dipl.Ing and M.Urb.Des. is a practicing urban designer based in Berlin. Orizzontale (Italy) An architecture collective based in Rome whose primary interests are reactivation
processes involving urban scrap. Intercepting places, ideas and things rejected from metropolitan (re)productive cycles, Orizzontale activates collaborative “public acts” in the form of semipermanent architecture or installations, in which material and immaterial wastes mutually restore each other’s meaning. Since 2010 Orizzontale has been promoting do-it-yourself projects of common relational spaces, giving form to both dismissed and unseen images of the city. These projects represent the ground for experimenting new kinds of interactions between city dwellers and urban commons as well as occasions to test the boundaries of architectural creation process. Maria Livia Olivetti (Italy) Architect and PhD holder, heads the national research project “Living Urban Scape” funded by the Italian Ministry of Education at the University of Roma Tre. Her research focus on strategies and tactics for the urban landscape design and renovation. She published a volume and several articles on the relation between architecture and natural systems and, along the research activity, has always worked as architect. In 2010 won the “Young Italian Quality” prize within the project for a cultural center in the Olivadi municipality (together with C. Garofalo). In 2013 founded “PICS_Public Identity and Common Space”, a research /action platform in which development she is actually engaged. Hilde Sponheim (Norway) Partner at LPO Architects holds a master’s degree in Architecture from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology she is working mainly with urbanism and urban development issues and has experience from challenging tasks dealing with sustainability and environmental issues. LPO is an Oslo-based architectural firm working in a wide range of architecture-related tasks, from large urban development projects and complex buildings, to
advisory services and exhibition design. Through public organizations as Future Built and clients with high environmental ambitions, LPO have done projects as Papirbredden and Lierstranda in Drammen, and the Bellona house in Oslo. Tom Rankin (Italy & USA) Founder and director of Studio Rome, a design firm devoted to research and practice of environmentally sustainable architecture and urbanism. He practices architecture and teaches at Universita di Roma “La Sapienza” (School of Engineering) and coordinates the University of Minnesota Rome architecture program for Accent. He received his Master’s in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a BA in Architecture at Princeton, and a “Laurea” in Architecture at Universita di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. He is the founder of the non-profit cultural travel association Scala Reale. From 2002 until 2008 he was President of the American Institute for Roman Culture, a non-profit organization he co-founded. He has written articles and presented frequently at conferences. His blog on the Still Sustainable City is a reference point for sustainable urbanism in Rome. David Knafo (Israel) Architect partner in Knafo Klimor Architects committed in developing sustainable and humanistic architecture in its regional context. Dimitris Raidis (Greece) Architect and cofounder of KARD architects a brand created from a merged process of two dominated practices in Thessaloniki, Greece, Kouloukouris & associates and Sempsis+Raidis architects. Both offices have more than 35 years of architectural and planning experience in almost all sectors of private and public development. Michael Christensen (Denmark) Principle of
CHRISTENSEN & Co Architects. Architect and graduate of the Aarchus School of Architecture, lectures at the Copenhagen School of Architecture and is a juror in architectural competitions in Denmark and internationally. The firm completed in 2010 the Green Lighthouse, Denmark’s first carbon neutral public building. Gernot Minke (Germany) Trained architect with doctoral degree and a retired professor from the University of Kassel, Germany, where he directed the Building Research Institute for 38 years. In this timespan he conducted over 50 research and development projects in the field of building with earth, straw bales, bamboo, green roofs, earthquake resistant houses built of earth and lowcost and energy-saving housing. He was invited to give presentations at more than 60 international conferences and is author of more than 300 articles and 10 books. His book Building with Earth was published in 8 languages. Of late he has been mainly conducting practical workshops and lectures in the Americas and Europe. Uri Gilad (Switzerland) Studied at HIT, Israel and the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam where he graduated with honors under the personal guidance of Prof. Herman Hertzberger. He gained his professional experience while working for Herman Hertzberger and Wingender Hovenier Architecten. During this time he was involved in designing residential and public projects and leading international competitions. In 2010 he joined Wingender Hovenier Architecten as an associate architect. Since 2013 Uri is a partner at office_winhov, Amsterdam. Uri teaches at the Academy of Architecture Amsterdam. Since January 2010 he has been an assistant professor, at the Amsterdam School of Arts on the research project Tectonics in contemporary Brick Architecture. Uri divides his time between Amsterdam and Zurich
where he is involved in several projects. Kostas Tsipiras (Greece) With 30 years in the profession and with more than 200 passive solar and ecological houses in Greece and abroad, he is a graduate of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Ecole du Batiment (Paris), and doctorate from 393 the University of Grenoble. He has authored and co-authored 14 books, among them several books on ecological Architecture. Abram de Boer (Holland) Architect, engineer, entrepeneur at Studio NOA Architecten, founder of the foundation Urban Vitamin and PHDresearcher at the University of Applied Science Amsterdam and the Technical University of Delft. Abram is a graduate of TU Delft. Robert Swan, OBE (UK & USA) Explorer, Leadership Expert and a living legend who has earned his place in history alongside the great explorers and adventurers who have tested their physical and mental strength to the limit in the planet’s most hostile environments. By the age of 33, he had become the first person to walk to both the North and South poles. His 900-mile journey ‘In the Footsteps of Scott,’ across the treacherous Antarctic ice cap to the South Pole stands as the longest unassisted walk ever made. The successful completion of his North and South Pole expeditions marked the beginning of a new phase in his life, shaping a lifetime goal for him to work for the preservation of the Antarctic as the last great wilderness on earth. Diebedo Francis Kéré (Germany & Africa) Awarded with the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2009 and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his community projects in Burkina Faso in Africa, Francis Kéré is a distinguished leading architect in sustainable and community projects.
Kristian Skovbakke Villadsen (Denmark & China) Architect, partner at Gehl Architects. Holder of a Master of Architecture and Urban Design degree from Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. Kristian has been with Gehl Architects since 2005 and has been an associate since 2008. His focus area is on capacity building, competition briefs, regeneration strategies for deprived areas, strategic planning frameworks and sustainable cities. He is responsible for Gehl Architects operations in China. He is an external lecturer at DIS (Danish International Study Abroad) and KUA (Copenhagen University). Benjamin Gill (UK & Greece) One Planet Communities International Technical Manager at BioRegional (UK). Ben is a Chartered Environmentalist with IEMA, graduated in Earth Science from Cambridge University and completed an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College. He draws on experience from working in a broad range of environmental fields such as energy efficient building design, running environmental education programs and managing the Appropriate Technology department in an environmental education center in Spain. Based in Greece, Ben currently manages BioRegional’s involvement in One Planet Communities in France, Luxembourg, Tanzania and Portugal. He provides technical support to the partners in first developing and then implementing the ambitious sustainability strategies. Ben has also planted and manages a small woodland, grows his own food and keeps bees. Michael Photiadis (Greece) Graduate of MIT he has designed some of the most prominent buildings in Greece, among them: ‘’GAIA’’ research center of the Natural History Museum in Kifissia, the Vorres Art Museum in Peania, the headquarters offices for BP Hellas, Fiat Hellas, and was the partner architect
for the New Museum of Acropolis with architect Bernard Tschumi. He teaches in Europe and the US. Francesco Bedeschi (Italy) Architect and professor of integrated architectural design and historic preservation with the Italian Program of the University of Arkansas Rome Center. He is also the site coordinator of the program of study in Italy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, State of New York. An international member of the American Institute of Architects and member of the board of the GBC Italia. Magdalena Malska (Poland & Germany) is an entrepreneur and an architect graduate of Krakow University of Technology, and a scholarship student of the Erasmus Program at the Politecnico di Milano. She practiced in architecture firms in Poland (Graf), in the Netherlands (WAM Architecten) and is currently working in Germany (m3 architektur + design). She writes for architectural magazines and is involved in the organization of International events such as ECOWEEK. Magdalena is an ECOWEEK Associate, and coordinates ECOWEEK in Poland and the UK. Mehtap Leyla Turanalp (Turkey & USA) is a City and Urban Planner graduate of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul and of the Izmir Institute of Technology. Leyla has been involved in Design symposia, among them, ‘Taksim Square Renewal Project’, and MSFAU. Leyla is currently working as a Research Assistant for Prof. Rafi Segal at MIT in Boston. Leyla is also an Associate of ECOWEEK. Dimitrios Farmakis (Greece) is a BIM Consultant at Solvia Studio, and BIM Engineer at ALICE Technologies. Dimitrios studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, focusing on virtual design and construction, energy efficient building design and construction management. Through his various roles, ranging
from BIM instructor at Stanford to BIM engineer for the world’s first automated construction scheduling software, Dimitrios has gained broad exposure to various BIM tools and the Integrated Design process. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA). Jelena Lucic (Serbia & China) holds a Master of Environmental Studies and BA of International
Business. Jelena is the founder of NGO ECOIST based in Belgrade, Serbia, with the mission to improve urban sustainability. ECOIST organised ECOWEEK in Belgrade, the first International GreenBuild Conference, and a number of innovative programs. Jelena was the Business Development Manager for a Cyprus-based 395 international company, and is currently developing new marketing strategies for a company in China. Jelena is a speaker, lecturer, editor and a guest author for a number of blogs and magazines.
Fifty architects, landscape architects, designers and environmental leaders join their voices and vision regarding sustainable design, urbanism and Architecture. Many environmentally aware architects and designers work alone. It is time their contributions were recorded and published so that the message of social, economic and environmental sustainability which their work embodies is better heard. The purpose of this publication is to amplify the individual voices of architects, designers, landscape architects, environmental leaders and educators from around the world. The contributors to this publication are all part of the extended ECOWEEK ‘family.’ They have lectured or led ECOWEEK workshops in cities around the world and are all committed and professionally active. Among them Kengo Kuma, Bjarke Ingels, Francoise-Helene Jourda, Diebedo Francis Kere, Michael Sorkin, Gernot Minke, Prof. David Orr, and Robert Swan, OBE. ECOWEEK is a non-profit organization with the mission to raise environmental awareness. Through sustainable design workshops, it promotes the principle of sustainability around the world. ECOWEEK is a platform. The workshops bring these professionals and students together to share their knowledge, experience and their personal dedication to make the message of sustainability tangible and inspiring. This book marks the 10th anniversary of ECOWEEK and we hope that it will inspire others to search, find and push the limits of sustainable design and practice. Copyright © ECOWEEK 2016 All rights reserved