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BAS Boyd Auger Scholarship

Laura Minca | 2016

Chapter 3: The Building Project

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Laura Minca | 2016

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Chapter 3: The Building Project


RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship 2013

On the Move An Architectural Model Exploring Transportable and Improved Living Networks for Roma Communities

Laura Minca


The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship 2013 - 2015


Copyright Statement Copyright in text of this dissertation rests with the author. Copies (by any process) either in full, or of extracts, may be made only in accordance with instructions given by the author. Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, but acknowledgment is requested, together with a reference to the document number. This page must form part of any such copies made. Further copies (by any process) made in accordance with such instructions may not be made without the permission (in writing) of the author. A copy of the publication containing the quotation or reprint should be sent to Laura Minca, minca_laura@yahoo.com. All content has been created by the author unless otherwise stated. Author: Laura Minca


The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship 2013 The funding for this project was made possible through the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship awarded in 2013. The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship aims to support applicants in their personal, professional and academic development within the architectural field by providing them with an opportunity to undergo a period of imaginative and original research and travel. The RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarships honours Boyd Auger’s belief that architects always learn while they travel and, as such, it supports young people who wish to undertake imaginative and original research during periods of travel abroad.

Other Funding Additional funding was obtained through the generous contribution of: Rometal Targoviste - eng. Constantin Tache, eng. Constantin Aldea, eng. Nazim Menzat Elamy SRL. - prof. Eugenia Minca RoMetal Product Targoviste - eng. Cornel Toni The Cathedral of Fallen Heroes - archbishop Gherorghe Chivulescu * for further information, please see page 85, ‘Donations and Contributions’ section


Contents [introduction] Purpose

2

Objectives

3

chapter 1 [The Roma - An Overview] I. The Nomad

5

II. Romanticism vs. Reality

9

III. Culture & Customs

12

chapter 2 [The Context] I. Romania - A Social History

19

II. Nomad vs. Sedentary

24

III. Urban Segregation

25

IV. Tracking the Communities

27

V. Case Study - Dambovita County, Romania

30


chapter 3 [The Building Project] I. Identifying the family The Locality

38

The Site

43

The Family

45

II. The Concept

50

III. The Building Process Materiality

55

Phase 0 - Arrival and Preparation

60

Phase 1 - Site A

62

Phase 2 - Site B

70

IV. Breakdown Project Timeline

78

Cost Breakdown

80

V. Final Photographs

84

[conclusion]

90

[appendices] Blog MArch Project

92 107


Introduction The study focuses on Europe’s fastest - growing minority: the Roma. Despite being present in Europe for centuries, Roma and Traveler groups continue to remain on the fringe of both Eastern and Western European societies, surrounded by boundaries that seek to physically force them apart from their neighboring communities. Aiming to address this sensitive and highly debated social and spatial phenomenon, the study proposes the revival of the nomad caravan under the concept of a modular, structural network of pavilions that caters to the basic needs of the traveling community in terms of utilities and collective interaction. The approach is driven by the idea that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just sheltering devices: they are tools that enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves and their collective subconscious.

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Purpose The project aims to examine the relationship that nomadic people develop towards their natural and build environments and how this bond, expressed through portable, domestic architecture, outlines a different understanding and appropriation of space than that developed by nonmigratory groups. With Western architecture predominantly inclined towards addressing the needs of a sedentary life, we need to consider the ecological, social and cultural implications of this static phenomenon and create a space of active dialogue and critical observation. Furthermore, there is an opportunity for the view upon the architectural practice as a finite, hierarchical, static phenomenon to be challenged through the exploration of the notions of ephemerality and movement. The methodology stems from the belief that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just shelter. Not only do structures shape the people who live in them, but they also enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves and their collective subconscious. Moreover, the built form can be a powerful communicator of identity and values, an aesthetic language that one can learn to decipher. Labelle Prussin, in one of the texts published on nomadic architecture, states: “for the nomad, “home” cannot be understood except in terms of journey, just as space is defined by movement”. PRUSSIN, L. (1995). African nomadic architecture: space, place, and gender. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press.

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Objectives The research envisages the rethinking of key concepts at the core of architectural theory and design. The focus on temporary, adaptable, shared spaces challenges the sedentary predisposition specific to Western architecture and its affinity towards grand, enduring structures. Nomadism entails a different way of seeing things, a different attitude towards accommodation, family, work and life. Nomadic architecture is not about “buildings” as we understand them. Aiming to address this sensitive and highly debated social and spatial phenomenon, the study proposes the revival of the nomad caravan under the concept of a modular, structural network of pavilions that caters to the basic needs of the traveling community in terms of utilities and collective interaction. The focus lies on the design of a self-sustaining, adaptive structure that can be disassembled and reassembled on a different location, drafted in accordance with the Roma aesthetic outlines. The main objectives are: •

to better understand the architectural/spatial needs of Roma within their current living situations

to identify and analyze temporary forms of habitation which exist in several Roma camps across Romania

• to encourage the implementation of sustainable and inclusive nomadic housing solutions tailored to Roma people needs, preserving their cultural diversity and creativity •

to encourage inter-cultural dialogue and active inclusion of Roma within the European Social and Urban space

to enable non-Roma to become familiarized with the European character of Roma culture

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Chapter 1 : The Roma - An Overview

With a population estimated at eight to twelve million dispersed across the European territory, the Roma have no “homeland�. They belong everywhere and nowhere at the same time. While the number of Romani groups is much higher in Central and Eastern parts of our continent, with a significant proportion of the population in Bulgaria (around 10%), Slovakia (9%), Romania (8%), Hungary (7%), Greece, the Czech Republic and Spain (all 1.5-2.5%), the issue of inclusion does not differ as much. Although they have been part of Europe for centuries and are integral to its society and economy, they continue to frequently face intolerance, discrimination and exclusion. Although they have been part of Europe for centuries and are integral to its society and economy, they continue to frequently face intolerance, discrimination and exclusion. Regardless of their geographical location Roma groups are characterised by strikingly low education rates, high unemployment and limited access to basic rights such as health care or decent housing. Reports show that two thirds of the Romanian Roma have no access to sewage, gas, water or power supply and they ive in overcrowded peripheral rural areas. Although some progress was made during the last years in this area through European legislation and institution initiatives, the reality shows that the vicious cycle of poverty continues to keep Roma in situation of social exclusion.

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I. The Nomad Iranian Turkic Tribes

Sami Reindeer Herders

Siberian Reindeer Herders

Inuit

Mongolia James Bay Cree

Tibetans

Tuareg Nomads

Cordillera People of the Philippines

Fulbe Tribe

Bedouin Central African Pygmies

Amazon Basin Indigenous Groups

Indigenous Andean Herders

Masaai Kalahari San Bushmen

Australian Aborigines

Pastoral Nomads

Hunter/ Gatherers

Main Nomadic Peoples by Region - Map based on the sketch by Ellwood , W. (1995)

The term of nomadism is used for a group or society that does not permanently live in the same place but organise their movement through time and space cyclically or periodically. An ancient and traditional way of living on the land, nomadism is becoming harder to practice in industrialised countries and with the settlement and land ownership schemes . Following the research carried by UNESCO, The Comission on Nomadic Peoples 1 , three main groups of nomads were identified: pastoralists, hunter-gatherers and travelling workers. Pastoral nomads travel with de-mountable houses, in search of productive pastoral lands for Copyright © Free Vector Maps.com their herds. The populations of hunter-gatherer groups such as Inuit, Kalahari San, Amazonian and Australian indigenous peoples travel to resourceful areas of land, directing their movement patterns according to the seasons and climate - as the seasons changed and resources are scarce, the cycle resumes. The third group, sometimes known generically as travellers, is the Roma, Gypsies are neither hunter-gathers nor pastoralists, but seasonal workers, travelling from one territory to another adn offering their trade. Although research indicates that their point of origin lies in North India with their journey having started more the 1000 years ago 2, elements of their culture are spread globally today. 1 2

ELLWOOD, W. (1995). Nomads, ”NewInternationalist, no.266, pp. 18-19.

HANCOCK, I. F. (2002). We are the Romani people = Ame sam e Rromane dz̆ ene. [Paris, France], Centre de recherches tsiganes.

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The Mistery of Origins Roma (Gypsies) in front of their tents. Romania, 1936-1940. (Bundesarchiv inventory number 146-2001-16-20A.)

It is estimated that the Roma groups reached European territory in around 1400. A significant hindernace their acceptance by sedentary groups was the lack of clarity regarding their origins. According to Bogdal (1883): “While groups such as the Germans, Gauls, Angels and Saxons had developed national myths of foundation and origin in order to corroborate their arrival in and occupation of a particular territory, the first legends about the Roma told of their mysterious and distant origins and failure to settle.” As their name suggests, the Roma (Gypsies) were initially believed to have come from Egypt. Nevertheless, genetic and linguistic research indicates the Gypsies’ true ancestors were a group of people who left India in the tenth or eleventh century AD. This theory is centered on the idea that, after they left India, the Roma migrated west to Iran (Persia) and the Arabian Peninsula, while branching to the north to Central Asia.3 Following their arrival from India in Europe and their stay for several centuries a series of notable migration waves have been recorded, when Gypsies cross the state borders, disperse on new territories and reclaim new social and economical space. Nevertheless, the Roma early history remains a subject of controversy. In his book ‘I met lucky people - the story of the Romani Gypsies’ (2014), professor Yaron Matras states : “they are the only nation in Europe and western Asia that has never declared war on another nation and that has never tried to subjugate others into adopting its ways”. A model of tolerance, flexibility and adaptability to their social, cultural and immediate physical landscapes, it seems we have a lot to learn from them. 3 4

ELLWOOD, W. (1995). Nomads, ”NewInternationalist, no.266, pp. 18-19.

MATRAS, Y. (2014). I met lucky people: the story of the Romani Gypsies.

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Kaale

1512 Tattare

1530

1500 Irish and Scottish Travellers 1430 Sinte

Rom

1720 Romanichals Manouche 1447

1427

1850 Vlach Rom

1420

1530 Siberska Roma

1370

Cale

Luli Kowli 1200

1322

Zott

900 - 1100

Ghagar 1300

Sansis

Sikligars

Halebi Banjara

Diagrammatic map based on the sketch by ACTON, T. A. (1981). Gypsies. Morristown, N.J., Silver Burdett Co. and the chronologal map by HAYWOOD, J. (2008). The great migrations: from the earliest humans to the age of globalization. London, Quercus.

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Finland Norway

Sweden

Russia Latvia

Belarus Poland Germany

Ukraine

France

Romania

Italy

Spain

Turkey

Greece

Over 10.00 %

5.1 to 10.0 %

1.1 to 5.0 %

0.51 to 1.0 %

up to 0.5 %

The Romani Diaspora - Distribution of the Romani people in Europe with an “average estimate� totalling 9.8 million. Source: Council of Europe Roma and Travellers Division, 2007.

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II. Romantic Fascination vs. Reality ‘To many of us the term Gypsy congers a romantic image of spiritual travelers quietly moving from town to town, across lush green countryside in brightly decorated vardo’s. We imagine campfires surrounded by music and dance, and many happy children. We imagine town’s people seeking spiritual guidance from the ‘Gypsy Fortune Tellers’ and natural healing therapies, and we even hold romantic notions of being ‘conned’ by the worldly Gypsies.’ 5 The Roma have occupied unique position from the very beginning. They belonged to those who were not there from the outset, who were not expected and who therefore had to disappear again. They raised endless controversies they “lurked everywhere” and “came and went”, defying any common knowledge of social conduct. Most importantly, they seemed to operate within an invisible set of spatial and temporal boundaries, one known and understood only by them. The spontaneity, unpredictability of their behavior has given rise to a uniform, yet paradoxical moment of perception: fascination and contempt. It is this ambivalence that has fueled an endless panoply of motifs, stereotypes, and legends, one that reached its peak at the end of the 19th century in the works of Victorian intellectuals, keen to understand the Romani language and way of life. 6 What intrigued the people at the time was their indifference to the industrial change and therefore, the innocence and spontaneity in approaching their daily routine, the nostalgia for the unknown. However, the reality of the life of many Roma, is very different this fabricated, romantic image. The vardos have been exchanged for refugee camps fallen into decay, for unthinkable levels of squalor and busy slums crammed at the periphery of cities. Although the twenty first century, and even after centuries of prosecution, Europe’s nomads, the Romani people remain unwelcome and rejected. 5 TSUNYOTA, Köhe’t. ‘One Race Scattered Like Stars In The Eyes Of God.’. Eagle Spirit Ministyr. N.p., 2015. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www. eaglespiritministry.com/works/romani.htm 6

MCKELL, I., SANGER, E., & WILLIAMS, V. (2011). The new gypsies. Munich, Prestel.

BOGDAL, K.M., Eurozine - Europe invents the Gypsies - Klaus-Michael Bogdal The dark side of modernity . 2015[ONLINE] Available at: http://www.eurozine. com/articles/2012-02-24-bogdal-en.html. [Accessed 03 March 2015].

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Fictional Representation in Film Most cinematic representations of the gypsies, one of the most persecuted minorities in Europe, have been made by non-Gypsy film-makers and therefore usually reflect more on the cultures that produce them rather than the ‘authentic’ Gypsy culture 7. Goran Gocis argues in his study of the cinema of Emir Kusturica:

"the Gypsies are Europe's extreme vision of marginality", offering "one of the most persistent pictures of Eastern pagans in Western fiction... Moreover, the Gypsies have remained one of the few mysterious, unspoken currencies of cinema, concentrated around identifiable stereotypes." (2001) 7

LOSHITZKY, Y. (2010). Screening strangers: migration and diaspora in contemporary European cinema. Bloomington, Ind, Indiana University Press. GOCIĆ, G. (2001). Notes from the underground: the cinema of Emir Kusturica. London, Wallflower Press.

Latcho Drom (1993) Director: Tony Gatlif The issue of the return journey, the trip back home, be it a geographical birthplace or the symbolic, imaginary, mythic home that has always been longed for is the subject of two films of Tony Gatlif, the Algerian-born son of Spanish Gypsies and the most prominent Paris-based filmmaker. A tribute to the gypsy culture, Latcho Drom (Romani: ‘Safe Journey’) (1993) is a film about survival through performance, about adaptation and human endurance. Following the traces of the Roma groups starting from India (Rajasthan) and all the way through Egypt, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, France, and Spain, Tony Gatlif manages to capture the shifts of a never-ending journey across a variety of cultural settings. It is the music that makes the journey ‘safe’, acting as an invisible shield against the rest of the world, protecting the soul and threading hope, soothing nostalgias of a suspended/unknown past/ never-lived memories/collective subconscious and igniting the craving/ appetite for the present. What intrigues is its lack of fitting in a pre-defined cinematic category, it is suspended itself: not fiction nor documentary, it freely mixes both modes, leaves the viewer wondering how Gatlif managed to pan his camera across undisturbed / unintrusive scenes and capture with such artistry authentic glimpses in the gypsy life and convey their story, uncluttered by dates or narration. The film’s true power resides in the subtlety of its epic narrative, with music as the spiritual binder that connects the community members across various moments in life, springing from every-day situations, performing for themselves or others, celebrating moments of joy or sorrow. Each time Gatlif’s camera pans across a different country, we witness a different style of music and dance, infused with influences of the surrounding culture: the Romanian section is tapping into local ballads (Maria Tanase), in France it culminates in a style of jazz (Django Reinhartd) while in Spain it debuts with a flamenco. Although its solely relying on lyrics, music and gestures (universal language that, similar to gypsies traverses any physical or temporal boundaries), the amount of information conveyed is overwhelming. Another remarkable aspect is the fluidity of the temporal dimension that Gatlif subtlely nuances as a celebration of the transient nature of the gypsies: the film starts in summer and moves across the span of an entire year, gracefully unfolding within three simultaneous time frames: the past thousand years (following the westward migratory path the Roms took from India), the span of a single year, and 99 minutes--that is, the length of the film itself (Rosenbaum, 1995). introduction |

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Still from Latcho Drom (1993)

"I will burn my horoscope that exiled me so far from those I love. I want to return to my family and run barefoot."

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III. Culture and Customs

Family traditions represent the core of the Roma culture and are still alive nowadays, even when the Roma do no longer live a “traditional” life. These Roma traditions and customs are central to the creation of the romanipen or the Roma identity, with the notion of ‘family’ and ‘family life’ as the main place where all these traditions take their full force. In the case of the Roma communities, the basic “unit” is constituted by the family and the kinship networks that develop over time. Traditions are deeply ingrained in the Roma collective subconscious and and cover every aspect of life, from birth to death, from interrelations as well as conflicts or spatial organization principles. “An significant event in the Roma life is the birth. In many Roma groups, before and after birth, there are a number of bans on the pregnant woman and mother. It is still functioning a very widecycle ritual, which serves to protect life and health of the young mother and baby. [...] The first important step in the life of a newly born is the baptism, when the child is given his name. All members of the family as well as many members of the clan are present on this occasion. Important is the choice of god-father and god-mother, who are generally highly regarded members of the extended family.

Another important event for the Roma is the wedding. Historically, among Roma (as among others), weddings did traditionally occurred at an early age - for boys, between 15 and 17 years old, for girls between 14 and 16, inside the community. However, in most places, Roma marriages are rarely official. . [...] The Roma communities have also specific customs and rituals related with death and funerals. Some of most typical traditions for death and burial are found amongst Kalderaši of Christian belief. When someone dies in the family, his close relatives buy the coffin and lay the dead in his best clothes inside it. . Sometimes, objects dear to the deceased are put with him in the coffin. For three days, the deceased and the coffin remain at home. For three days and three nights, his family sits at his side.. [...] Another important part of the Roma traditions are devoted to rules about ritual cleanness and uncleanness. This concept has its real implications not only in the everyday life of Roma and the way they take care of their houses but also on some very important customs related to childbirths, death and funerals, etc. Finally, it also affects intergenerational relations as well as relations between Roma men and women and the perception of the elderly and children.” 8

ROMANINET (2011). A Multimedia Romani Course for Promoting Linguistic Diversity and Improving Social Dialogue: Report on Roma People. pp. 18-21 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.romaninet.com/ROMANINET_Cultural_report.pdf.

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Pure vs. impure in Roma Practice

KESNER, K. (2008). Roma(Gypsies). photograph, viewed 4 January 2015, <http://kierankesner.com/feature/roma/>

The Roma live by a complex set of rules that determine the daily life moral standards in terms of cleanliness, purity, respect, honor and justice. In terms of spatial organization rules, a clear distinction is being drawn between the inside and the outside of the caravan, as an extended principle originating in the relationship between the inside and the outside of the body itself. A significant amount of attention is being cast on the cleanliness of the home that acts as a space of refuge and most importantly display, mirroring the social status of the family. Women and girls are often engaged in a day-long process of washing and cleaning until the place looks perfectly neat. Gypsy trailers have no chemical toilet since the idea of “having a lavatory in the same place where food is prepared is distasteful and unhealthy”. 9 The community is less concerned with comfort, but with preserving the purity of the protected space. Good quality china is used for everyday eating and drinking and any cracked or chipped item is thrown away, it being thought of as ritually unclean rather than dirty. Other things are considered ritually unclean include: eating or drinking from plates or vessels on the floor; washing together men and women’s clothes; washing together upper body and lower body clothes. Some Romani families still maintain the traditional values such as the dichotomy between clean and defiled, which expresses itself in the separation of water supplies according to usage, a preference for outdoor cooking (so as to be able to display publicly the separation of cooking utensils from those used for other purposes, such as cleaning and washing clothes), avoidance of certain topics of discussion in mixed gender company, avoidance of certain animals and their image (e.g. peacocks and snakes), and more. Polluted or defiled materials are disposed of through burning, and include the possessions of dead family members.10 9,10

Gypsy and Traveller History, Gypsy Culture, 2012. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://gypsytravellerhistory.com/node/13.

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Spatial Organization Principles The main pillar of Roma morality is an abstract and symbolic distinction between what is sometimes termed as “pure” or “impure”or ritually “unclean” (mahrime). Prior to engaging in the design stage of the project, it is essential to achieve a clear understanding of the polarity of these practices and how they directly relate to or determine the Roma spatial organization principles. • For instance. the shelter programme is constantly shifting vertically in accordance to the Roma belief that the act of everyday living and particularly ‘sleeping’ should be performed ‘under the sky‘ 11 • Other spatial norms include the location of the restrooms at a significant distance from the living area since they are considered physical symbols of human impurity. 12 • In contrast to the clean, highly ordered and decorated interiors, activities such as cooking, eating, resting, washing and partying are to be usually performed at the periphery of

IMPURE: non-Roma interactions

PURE: Roma practices

the built space which is rarely formalized. 13 • Many traditional Roma families in western and northern Europe prefer to live in caravans because they allow them to avoid a situation in which a sexually active woman might walk above the heads of men (simply by walking through a DWELLING ‘UNDER THE SKY’

higher level of the same house or building).14

RESTROOMS COOKING

• Since non-Gypsies do not observe any of these rules, they are often considered “shameless” or “dishonorable”, and close contact with them, especially the sharing of food, is

RESTING

Zone of Impure activities

avoided. 15 HOUSE = SACRED

11,12,13

ORTA, L. (2010). Mapping the invisible: Eu-Roma Gypsies. London, Black Dog Publishing

WASHING

14, 15 MATRAS, Y. (2002). Romani a linguistic introduction. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

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The Roma Caste System The first official mention of Roma immigrants in modern day Romanian territory can be traced back to the early 1300s. The presence of Roma people was first recorded as being present in Wallachia, when the emergence of slavery sought to prevent the Romani labor force to leave the principalities. This was mainly due to the greater demand placed on the Romani’s skills, who had developed a comprehensive set of cast systems such as spoon-makers, gold-washers or bear-trainers. 16 According to tradition, the casts keep the trade alive by passing it pass on the skills from generation to generation. Roma communities are usually comprised of between 30 and 40 families who usually specialize in the same trades, such as metal-working, agriculture and the arts. Belonging to a tribe is not strictly connected to blood ties, but to occupation and family connections. According to a survey conducted in 1992 by sociologists Elena and Catalin Zamfir, during the past few decades, fewer Roma identify with particular skilled groups, with at least a third of them considering they do not belong to a tribe. 17 Although some tribes and casts have completely disappeared, many groups have abandoned their nomadic heritage as the communist regime, in power until 1989, restrained the Roma’s ability to travel. Today, only a small percentage of Romania’s Roma are traveling communities. 18 16

HANCOCK, I. F. (2002). We are the Romani people = Ame sam e Rromane dz̆ ene. [Paris, France], Centre de recherches tsiganes.

17 ,18

Different Roma Tribes, Balkan Insight, 2012. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://gypsytravellerhistory.com/node/13.

According to Todaro (2013), the Roma caste system in Romania is divided into five groups:

Traditional Roma

Tent Gypsies Ursari

Former bear trainers

Clopotari

Bell makers

Gabor

Metal workers

Kalderahs

Copper/ Tin smiths

Gabor and Kalderash are traditional metal workers: primarily smiths (forming shapes from hammer blows). The Gabor have continued the trade to the present day by shaping and installing gutters while Kalderash are pot makers including the forging of the valuable copper stills used in the making of the popular Romanian drink “tsuika” (plum brandy). While the traditional trade with the hammer is made a still viable occupation, many have developed their mobility and contacts into businesses of buying and selling.

Spoitori

Pot menders

House Gypsies

Tsigan

Forest Gyspies

Lingurari

Pieptenari

Spoon Carvers

Comb makers

Ciurari

Sieve makers

Pernari

Pillow makers

The valued trade skill of the Tent Gypsies placed them into the category of former state owned slaves. Like the Traditional Roma, they were allowed to travel the countryside working their trade and thus given the space to protect and preserve their Roma lifestyle. The loss of the clan’s identifying trade meant the loss of a strong part of their identity, In addition to the loss of the trade came a loss of income, followed by increased poverty and a raised level of dependency which immediately brought about compromises to the sacred Romanipen traditions.

Lautari

Musicians

Fierari

Blacksmiths

Caramidari

Kokolari

Brick makers

Scavengers

Cosari

Street Cleaners

Basket makers

The settled House Gypsies – the former privately owned slaves or plantation slaves - had lost much of the Romanipen culture due to a settled existence and gradual association to the ways of their neighbors. The loss of endogamy paved the way for intermarriage and further steps towards integration. Like the Tent Gypsies much of their pre-industrialization trades have become obsolete leading towards movements into the modern workforce stimulating further integration - on the way towards assimilation. Others of the group, unable to adapt with

Grave diggers

Hingheri

Dog Catchers

Tsigan can historically be identified as the servant class: those Gypsies without a skill given the dirty jobs. Since 1990 many of these unskilled, wretched Gypsies began settling along dump sites where they scavenged old metals; finding a means of surviving on what modern society disregards or throws away. They came from all parts of Romania and from all levels of Roma society (varying cultures, styles, Romani speakers with various dialects and nonRomani speakers). This accumulation of diverging cultures were subjugated into a single area, a slum, were social

Rudari

Wood workers

Boyash

Basket and broom makers

Khashtalo – dubbed “Forest Gypsies” are the descendants of former monastery slaves or church owned slaves that went through a process of assimilation without integration. Their culture is Romanian. They do not speak any of the Romani languages nor hold any aspects of Roma culture. Many do not even identify themselves as Roma or Gypsy. The exogenous term “Khashtalo” is a Romani word identifying their trade as wood carvers (from the root “Khast” meaning wood). They have the unique social setting as being rejected by Romanian society, labeled “tsigan” (Gypsy) - and forsaken by their Roma brothers, sometimes referring to them as simply “very poor Romanians”, and holding them in close regard to the lowly “gajo” (non-Roma / the enemy) - or sometimes lower.

TODARO, C., (2013). The Caste System of Romanian Roma. Available at: http://tzigania.com/CasteSystem.html.

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The Bender Tent

The Vardo

Bender tents were often used by the nomadic Roma. They were made from easy to find materials, and were quick and simple to construct.

The Romany Gypsies seem to have taken to the waggon or vardo about the middle of the nineteenth century. George Borrow writing in his Romano Lavo-Lil, which he finished in 1873, says that the caravans were not very numerous on the roads at this stage and it is true that many Gypsies continued to live in bender tents right up to the end of the century.

A bender is made using flexible branches or withies, such as those of hazel or willow. These are lodged in the ground, then bent and woven together to form a strong dome-shape. The dome is then covered using any tarpaulin available. The older and younger members of the family would sleep in the wagon and the others in the Bender Tent. These tents can be heated during the winter using a wood burning stove, and they are easily capable of withstanding very strong winds so long as the covers are well weighed down. Most couples had their own pony and cart. These travellers also took pride in their colour schemes, and bright yellows, reds and blues were painted on their wagons, and a belief among them was that black is unlucky for a caravan and normally meant that somebody in the family would die before the next new moon. SILENTOWL, (2011). Bender Tents and Bow Top Wagons.[ONLINE] 18th August Available from - http://amayodruid.blogspot.ro/2011/08/bender-tents-and-bowtop-wagons.html. [Accessed: 19 November 2014].

Bender Tent diagram extracted from WALKER, S. H. (1962). The way to camp. Methuen.

‘One half of it... was carpeted, and so partitioned off at the further end as to accommodate a sleeping-place, constructed after the fashion of a berth on board ship, which was shaded, like the windows, with fair white curtains... The other half served for a kitchen, and was fitted up with a stove whose small chimney passed through the roof. It also held a closet or larder, several chests, a great pitcher of water, and a few cooking-utensils and articles of crockery. These latter necessaries hung upon the walls, which in that portion of the establishment devoted to the lady of the caravan, were ornamented with such gayer and lighter decorations as a triangle and a couple of well-thumbed tambourines.’ (Dickens, Old Curiosity Shop, ch. xxvii) HUTH, F.G. (1940) ‘Gypsy caravans’ in Journal of the GLS (3rd series), 19 (4), pp114-14617 ,18 Different Roma Tribes, Balkan Insight, 2012. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://gypsytravellerhistory.com/node/13.

Vardo sketch extracted from WARD-JACKSON, C. H., & HARVEY, D. E. (1973). The English gypsy caravan: its origins, builders, technology, and conservation. New York, Drake Publishers.

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Still from Latcho Drom (1993)

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Chapter 2: The Context

Ferentari neighbourhood , Bucharest.

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I. Romania - A Social History

The House of People, Bucharest. Stills from the documentary ‘Architecture and Power‘ (1993)

The events of 1989 represented a year that changed the face of Europe. They reshaped the political world and prompted the collapse of the Communist governments alongside the dismantling of the Iron Curtain. The movements that unleashed these political upheavals were mainly motivated by the desire for democracy and better living conditions, although lacking in a clear understanding of how these goals could be achieved. In the same year, Romania overcame its ‘moral frustration and political impotence, and regained a central role in the political sphere’. During the first era of Ceausescu’s rule the focus lied on territorial expansion through the construction of large areas of social housing. Evoking the nationalist communism’s toleration, the old was left untouched and even carefully considered in the design of new urban interventions. However, it was the second dictatorial phase that was going to traumatize the city’s texture irreversibly. As the pre-existing fabric started to be regarded as a hindrance, ‘as a bearer of conflicting ideas, an unwanted an unwanted example of historical values or religious references’ (Ivan, 2006:36), the era of the erasure and displacement had started. According to Achim (2004), ‘the economic and social transformations that took place in Romania during the years of Communism also affected the Gypsies. The nationalization of the economy, the processes of industrialization and urbanization, the transformation of the village as a result of the collectivization of agriculture, the policy of social “homogenization”, the transformations affecting the rural and particularly the urban environment, the occupational changes that took place—all of these naturally could not fail to affect the Gypsies. Citizens of Gypsy origin experienced both the positive and negative effects of these transformations.’ TISMANEANU, V. (2005). Stalinism pentru eternitate: o istorie politică a comunismului românesc. Iaşi, Ed. Polirom. IVAN, M. (2006), Rethinking the Axis: Approaches in the Development of Communist Initiated/uncompleted Architecture in Bucharest After 1989. OhioLink ETD Center. Available at: <http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=ucin1155584865> [Accessed 20 May 2014]. ACHIM, V. (2004). The Roma in Romanian history. Budapest, Central European University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10133539.

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The 42 years under socialist domination represented a complete rupture from all the previously achieved values as Bucharest helplessly witnessed the repudiation of its earlier accomplishments and relations with the Western world in favor of the dogmas of a new governing order that bowed its head in total obedience to the Russian socialist regimes. The megalomaniac urban systematization race the dictator embarked the country on followed a visit in North Korea which nurtured his vision of a model completely built around the control of the masses, while attempting to mimic Kim II Sung’s personality cult to carve out his own. Unsurprisingly, his strategy was doomed to fail as by 1981 food rationing was reinstated and energy was in short supply. As opposed to North Korea which was still receiving cash injection from the Soviet Union to mask its imminent bankruptcy, Ceausescu’s hybrid leadership policy distanced the Soviet Union which was unwilling to play the part of the financial sponsor for a country that refused to join the Soviet line of action. If thirty years ago, the North Korean served as an enviable model which Ceausescu was eager to replicate in Romania, the situation was rapidly deteriorated for both the people and the dictator, reaching its apex in 1989. The characteristics of the communist ideology revolve around a keyword: subordination. Not only does this approach evoke the deviant strategies fueling the high levels of control of the social strata but it also manifested in a radical way regarding the manipulation of the urban and architectural dialectic. The communist doctrine aimed towards the creation of a new, superior society that would transcend its past orders while striving for progress through the abolition of individuality. And what better way to broadcast the socialist utopia if not through the direct alteration of the urban aesthetic? After all, the city embodied the ideal canvas for the implementation of a new doctrine that would appeal to the masses, and architecture represented the ideal tool in promoting these principles, ‘as an art with public visibility’ (Popescu cited in Ivan, 2006:31). Soon, the infamous dictator, similarly to the megalomaniac aspirations of other totalitarian leaders, developed a real obsession for the object of architecture as a reflection of his political power. As Cinà (2010:233) explains in his book, ‘the “conducator” suffered from building fever’.

Ceausescu’s fixation for creating the supreme socialist model reached hyperbolic proportions: not only did he send the Romanian architects to study the North Korean model closely but he also ordered the building of the Union Boulevard one meter wider than the Parisian Champs Elysees, making it the widest avenue in Europe (92 meters in width and 3.5 km in length) for reasons of prestige. Nevertheless, as Ivan (2006:37) remarks, Ceausescu’s schizophrenic aspirations can be contextualized by taking into consideration the global utopias of the time: Chandigarh during the Nehuru regime in India, Braśilia in Brazil, the Tiananmen Square and the Red Square in Moscow, and most importantly, the construction of Abuja, Nigeria, a city for Three Million Inhabitants in the second part of the 20th century. All these interventions inspired the leader’s fantasies about the erection of a memorable building, one that would secure his place in history – The House of People.

‘I am looking for a symbolic representation of the two decades of enlightenment we have lived through; I need something grand, something very grand, which reflects what we have already achieved.’ (Ceausescu cited

in Cavalcanti, 1997)

In 1983 he laid the foundations for the project, along with the adjacent architectural complex including the The Union Boulevard (formerly referred to as The Victory of Socialism Boulevard), a two mile long linear incision piercing the heart of the city. In an attempt to persuade over the choice of location, Ceausescu tuned to historical justifications, exploiting the sacred meaning of the area as the location for the first church to have been built in Bucharest - Mihai Voda Church. The physical data revealing the maniac dimensions of Ceausescu’s reconstruction project are nothing short of bewildering. It almost seems as if the dictator’s distorted perception of scale resided in his aspirations for Bucharest as a world capital rather than focusing on balancing it to the internal urban coordinates

IVAN, M. (2006), Rethinking the Axis: Approaches in the Development of Communist Initiated/uncompleted Architecture in Bucharest After 1989. OhioLink ETD Center. Available at: <http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=ucin1155584865> [Accessed 20 May 2014]. Cinà, G. (2010). Bucharest, from village to metropolis: urban identity and new trends. Bucureşti, Capitel.

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City Zoning: The House of People - Unirii Boulevard Axis spans over three sectors.

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Adaptation - The Post-Decembrist Period In a ‘tabula rasa’ gesture, one sixth of the city’s central area was demolished along with fourteen churches, two monasteries with uniquely indigenous expressions, and numerous modernist and ‘fin de siècle’ masterpieces (Ivan, 2006: 38). The demolition process started in 1978 and to initiate construction, more than 40.000 people were dislocated. In her description of the architectural and urban characteristics that defined the aura of the old city, Barris (2001) summarizes:

‘serpentine streets full of greenery, houses with spacious courts, and varied architectural styles reflecting the dual influences of East and West-Ottoman or Turkishinspired courtyard housing and German-influenced mercantile structures, both united with a French Neoclassical influence in the nineteenth century and assimilated into a form of national romanticism by the end of that century.’ The House of People overlooks form its vantage point the Union Boulevard – 2 miles long and 300 ft wide, a bold baroque plan starting at its western extremity with the House of People, crossing the Union Plaza, and ending in Alba-Iulia Plaza towards its eastern end. The main aim of the grand boulevard was to emphasize the House of People as a focal point and accommodate military manifestations. Moreover, its two flanks of apartment buildings designed to lodge prominent members of the Party are evocative of the urban screening phenomenon that my study is aiming to focus on. In the final chapter this issue will be further explored as emphasis will be laid on the inconsistencies the implementation of this technique generated across the urban fabric: residual intraspaces, unused, denied or bracolated as a warning against the continuation of this attitude today. Analyzing the plan of the new civic centre, its new morphology and disregard to the adjacent old centre’s grid and scale traumatized the urban structure irreversibly. Localities were destroyed, streets were interrupted, acting like a shield between the fallacious appearance of a thriving communist enclave and the reality, concealing high levels of deprivation and squalor following the extensive demolition and relocation schemes.

As the influence of Western capitalist democracy takes hold of the Romanian post communist landscape, the city’s fragments are subdued to a new set of spatial tactics. Moreover, the real problem of the current development is the lack of a framework that would provide the basis for a controlled growth. Nevertheless, the Bucharest of today does not seem to have changed its practice. Selfmutilation is ingrained in its mnemonic strata and instead of taking the post-Decembrist period as an opportunity for reflection and reassessment of its socialist coma, it embarked upon a frantic rally to catch up with the Westernized world. This anxiety resulted in the addition to a new urban and architectural layer as the country is forced to re-design its evolution without the presence of strong cultural models. The current evolution of the city is chaotic, undirected, characterized by uncertainty and formal disjunction. Many of the buildings have been exploring different identities, attempting to re-adapt to the new programmes introduced by the Westernized invasion. The apartment blocks along the Union Boulevard were transformed into luxury residences and commercial or office spaces, while the House of People accommodates the Parliament Chambers and the Museum of Modern Art. As Ivan (2006) remarks, the struggle between the people and the oppressive symbols continues as they attempt to control and reinterpret the vestiges of the painful socialist memory. With the fall of communism, the problem of building ‘unity in diversity’ (Cinà, 2010:23), an approach that had been frozen during the communist era, revived the set of dilemmas attempted to be resolved prior to the regime instauration. Romania has always been subjected to the European influence and the current liberation from the Socialist regime sets the country against a new set of responsibilities. Bucharest particularly faces new challenges in terms of carving its own urban identity as opposed to being absorbed in the social and economic periphery of Europe that tends to exterminate locality and difference within a globalized context. IVAN, M. (2006), Rethinking the Axis: Approaches in the Development of Communist Initiated/uncompleted Architecture in Bucharest After 1989. OhioLink ETD Center. Available at: <http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=ucin1155584865> [Accessed 20 May 2014]. Cinà, G. (2010). Bucharest, from village to metropolis: urban identity and new trends. Bucureşti, Capitel. Barris, R. (2001). The Rape of Bucharest. ArtMarginsOnline, [online] 20 December. Available at: < http://www.artmargins.com/index.php/2-articles/361-the-rape-ofbucharest>

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Diagram of the ‘urban screening‘ phenomenon implemented across the city’s central area.

Diagram indicting the typical socialist neighborhood arrangement in East Bucharest.

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II. Nomad vs. Sedentary One of the direct implications of the political transformations described in the sections above, was the sedentarisation of the groups that still practiced a form of nomadism. During the first phase of implementation of the communist regime in the 1960s, the authorities relocated the Roma families in fixed settlements. The transition was not a particular an easy one. Forced to abandon their nomadic lifestyle, the Gypsies continued to live ‘in a tent pitched in the yard, with the house used as a stable for the horses’ 19, while preserving their itinerant practices during the warm months of the year. Following the 1977 census, the number of nomadic and semi-nomadic Gypsies had reached 65,000 persons. As the sedentarisation process continued towards the beginning of the 1980s, most Roma communities of them were settled in fixed settlements and houses. Some groups were distributed across counties with a higher population of nomads, resulting in areas with a Roma concentration above the national average. The abrupt changes in the social and economic climate have lead to an extinction of the Gypsy caravans travelling from village to village from the landcape of the country. As Achim(2004) concludes: ‘It can be stated that today the nomadic way of life has virtually ceased to exist.’ 20 19,20

ACHIM, V. (2004). The Roma in Romanian history. Budapest, Central European University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10133539.

CZEGLEDI, Z. (2012). Satellite Dish. photograph, viewed 13 June 2015, < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/9900333/Life-for-gypsy-families-in-hutsand-Communist-era-apartment-blocks-in-Romania.html >

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III. Urban Segregation

Following the implementation of the systematization programme during the second phase of the communist regime, the Gypsy community was affected to the same extent as the rest of the country’s inhabitants. Motivated by the communist doctrine centered on the creation of a new, superior society, the squalid neighborhoods polarized at the periphery of towns such as Bucharest were completely erased and communities were lost and disjointed. Achim(2007) offers an in depth overview upon the implications of this process: “The people whose houses and shacks were demolished were, as a rule, provided with better living conditions than those they had previously owned. In the case of the Gypsies, the systematization of the towns certainly had positive consequences with regard their living conditions. Many Gypsies were housed in blocks of flats with a level of comfort higher than that of their former dwellings. However, it must be observed that the demolition of the Gypsy neighborhoods meant the end for the respective Gypsy communities. Together with the construction of a modern neighbourhood with its large population on the site of the old Gypsy neighbourhood and the moving of the Gypsies into blocks of flats, the local Gypsy community, which in some places had been there for several centuries although in most cases it had been created in the inter-war period, to all

As a rule, the Gypsies became a minority in their new environments, living dispersed among the other inhabitants. It would appear, however, that on the level of their community life, the Gypsies have suffered acutely as a result of the disappearance of their traditional neighbourhoods. Consequently, today a significant Gypsy population lives in the centre of many large towns. This situation is the consequence of events in the 1970s and 1980s, when in the conditions of their demographic explosion, the Gypsies became a problem for municipal authorities. They were provided with dwellings in nationalised houses in urban areas that had become poor and which were possibly earmarked for demolition. It can be stated that with regard to housing, urban Gypsies benefited fully from the social benefits offered by the Communist regime. Almost everywhere in the country, the Gypsies, who as a rule had previously been housed at the edge of the locality, began to penetrate the centre of the villages. More affluent Gypsies either purchased or built houses there so that to a certain extent the old topographical marginalisation of the Gypsy population disappeared.”

ACHIM, V. (2004). The Roma in Romanian history. Budapest, Central European University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10133539.

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Social Classes Distribution - Bucharest.

Upper Class

Middle Class

Lower-Middle and Lower Class

Minorities - Roma neighbourhoods

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IV. Tracking the Communities The data with regards to the exact number of Roma remains unclear. While the official representatives of many countries want to “reduce” the number of Roma living in their land - for example, in 1997, there were officially no Roma living in Moldavia - while on the other hand many Roma activists tend to cite way higher numbers. It is thus only possible to give a range of numbers, from low estimates to high estimates for any given country.With a population in Europe estimated at 8 to 12 million, they can be found everywhere from Finland to Greece and from Ireland to Russia, but they have no “homeland.” The greatest number live in Central Eastern Europe: Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and former Yugoslavia.21 In Romania, the Roma constitute one of the major minorities. According to the 2002 census, they numbered 535,140 people (2.5% of the total population), being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians.22

8,78 % 8% 6% 5% 4% 2-3 % 1.06 %

The density of the Roma population across Romanian territory based on the 2011 census information.

21

Rroma Poulation, Rroma.Org. [ONLINE]. Available at: http://rroma.org/the-rroma/rroma-population/.

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ROMANINET (2011). A Multimedia Romani Course for Promoting Linguistic Diversity and Improving Social Dialogue: Report on Roma People. pp. 18-21 [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.romaninet.com/ROMANINET_Cultural_report.pdf.

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Pangarati, Piatra Neamt - Nomad Roma family AVRAMOVICI, G. (2009). Familie de nomazi la Pangarati. photograph, viewed 16 May 2014, <http://www.panoramio.com/photo/24949667>

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Sibiu, Sibiu County - trip to the National Roma Fair at Astra Museum.

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V. A Case Study - Dambovita County Although the implementation of the project will be mainly focused on the Gypsy community in the county seat of Targoviste, the research has expanded across other areas high in Romapopulation such as Voinesti, Balteni and I.L Caragiale. While some photographic material was collected, most communities were reluctant to participating in the study. Relatively closed and isolated, with rather strict codes regulating family, and limiting contacts with non-Gypsies (gadje), they continue to maintain Dragomiresti

strong barriers with the ‘hostile world of outsiders’.

I.L. Caragiale

Targoviste

Manesti

Darmanesti

23

According to the census conducted in 2011 in Dambovita, a total of 24,728 people from the ethnic Gypsy groups (self-identified Gypsy) were reported. In the same county, a total of about 80, 000 people from ethnic Gypsy groups were also reported. 24

Gura Sutii Bilciuresti

Matasaru Gura

Costesti Ciocanesti

The Roma population in the county of Dambovita is mainly comprised of craftsmen, with a specific focus on the manufacturing of bricks, wooden spoons , baskets and also metal, with a focus in the craft of tin gutters and peddlers. Most of these traditional crafts seem to have gradually disappeared from the scene of the local traditional markets, and an active interest has been directed towards the collection of scrap metal items.

Potlogi Corbii Mari

23

MARGALIT, Gilad ; MATRAS, Yaron. Gypsies in Germany—German Gypsies? Identity and Politics of Sinti and Roma in Germany In: The Roma: a Minority in Europe: Historical, Political and Social Perspectives [online]. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2007.

Map indicating the distribution of the Roma community of Dambovita, Romania, where the implementation of the project will take place. The hatched areas highlight the areas where the Roma concentration is above the national average of 2.6%.

24

TOMA, D & BARDAC, I.D. 2013. Research Methodology Regarding the Health of the Gypsy Population in Dambovita County, ACTA MEDICA TRANSILVANICA. 8(3), pp. 239240.

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Maturarul - Lingurarulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, one of the last broom and spoon-makers in the county, roaming the streets of Targoviste on a daily basis.

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Zooming in - Targoviste, Dambovita County Commerical/ Industrial Park Valea Voivozilor (Village)

Residential Industrial Park

Micro 1

Micro 2

Chindia Park

Micro 4 Romlux Neghbourhood

Micro 3

The Old Centre City Centre Micro 7

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Micro 6 Priseaca (Village)

Micro 9 CFR

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Industrial Park

Micro 12 Industrial Park

Matei Voievod Neghbourhood Petru Cercel (Sarbi) Neghbourhood

Industrial Park

Agricultural Land

Mechel Targoviste

Dumbrava (Village)

Roma Neiughborhood

Residential

Industrial/ Commercial

Map indicating the urban sub-divisions in the town of Targoviste based on programme and the local vehicular infrastructure. The yellow hatch highlights the concentration of Roma groups at the periphery of the locality, along the main ringroad.

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Visiting the Romlux slum - located within the immediate vicinity of the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial parks and separated by the main ringroad, the Roma settlement acts as an ethnic enclaves isolated from the local community. With the sewerage and indoor water supply virtually non-existent, the 500 residents are subsisting in squalor.

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Visiting the Prepeleac neighbourhood - located in the SouthEastern area of Targoviste, the settlement unfolds a stark contrast between improvised huts and large, three-storey houses featuring ornate and extravagant designs.

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I. Identifying the Family

Identifying the family to work and engage with for the duration of the project has represented the most challenging stage. With legislative, social and even political hurdles springing every step of the way, all endeavors to approach the local Roma community seemed to crumble before having the chance to outline the grounds for the investigative research stage. While local authorities such as the Roma Party and Dambovita Local Council have initially offered their support, the internal conflicts within the local Roma settlements delayed the selection process significantly. As we approached various Roma camps polarized across the urban fringe of the city and thoroughly explained the objective of the study, we were constantly faced with a wave of skepticism and rejection. Following two months of unsuccessful attempts in identifying a suitable beneficiary, we decided to visit the local parish. Accompanied by the head priest of the local Orthodox Parish, we were able to identify a family of twelve (two parents and ten children) willing to take part in the implementation of the project. Isolated at the outskirts of the town, the family is settled at the crossroads between two country-side roads, on a piece of land belonging to the local water company, adjacent to the vegetable crops of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sarbiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; neighbourhood.

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Targoviste, Catedrala Eroilor - Priest Chivulescu during the baptism ceremony.

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The Locality

Matei Voievod Neighborhood (Sarbi)

The ‘Sarbi’ neighbourhood located at the outskirts of Targoviste has witnessed and participated in the most significant historical events in the evolution of the town, ever since its Wallachian capital days. Reports state this is the only area across the town’s extended territory that has continued to be inhabited by the same population and therefore, we could imply that it is here where the most ‘ancient’ local anthropological roots can be traced to. 25

25 Staretul STEFAN, 2009. Targoviste - Historical Moments, [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.targoviste.light-soft.ro/momenteistorice.html.

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Views across the Matei Voievod neighourhood, located within the immediate vicinity of the site.

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The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sarbiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; neighbourghood acts as an autonomous, self-sustaining organism within the local government scheme, with its own parish, agricultural crops and spoken language - the neighbourhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population represents one the most significant linguistic enclaves in the area, employing one of the oldest Bulgarian dialects recorded to date. Nevertheless, most of the inhabitants are bilingual and seem to hold no psychological or cultural attachment a particular ethnic identity. Whether referred to as Romanian or Bulgarian, they take pride in their past and present history, having achieved a full level of integration within the local community.

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Located in the South-Eastern area of Targoviste, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sarbiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; have fully integrated in the community life of the town, becoming the main suppliers of fruit and vegetables for the local markets. For almost a century they used to represent the poorest population in the area.

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The Site - At a Crossroads The site is located at the crossroads between two country roads leading to the town’s ring-road to the East and connecting the local agricultural land plots to the West, an accessible, unpaved route as the main link to the ‘Sarbi’ neighbourhood, and a water canal branching off the Ialomita river. The unpaved roads are hardly accessible by car and when it rains, even by foot. It is a ‘suspended’ place, closely located to the town and the surrounding localities, and yet isolated outside the urban and rural grain, belonging to no fixed legal, cultural or social coordinates. Cal Towar ea Ialo ds mit ei

l Cana

The Site

Calea Ploiesti

Paved Road - Vehicular Access

Dirt Road toward the vegetable crops

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The family has settled on small, remote site, tucked down a long, meandering dirt road branching off â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gradinariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Street. introduction |

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The Family

The project focuses on the Nicolae family, comprised of the two parents, - Aurelia and Mihai and their ten children, with ages between 10 months and 12 years old. Rejected by each of their extended families for choosing to marry following previously failed relationships, the two partners have been living in isolation and poverty ever since. More than 15 years ago, the Water Company Targoviste has allowed the family to settle on this piece of land located next one of the main canals supplying the local sewage pump, providing no major disruption is to be caused to the existing system and its immediate surroundings. All five children of age are attending the local school, and food is being delivered on a regular basis by Targoviste Social Services. In terms of the spatial organisation of the site and specific to Roma communities, the exterior space is as important as the interior space. The exterior area is not formalized and it is here where most domestic activities take place, from cooking to eating, washing, playing, and studying. It is an ever-changing space, populated by old furniture, improvised eating and resting spaces and propped up clothes-lines.

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Vijai (10 months old)

Cristina (2 years old)

Simona (4 years old)

Florentina (5 years old)

Cristi (6 years old)

Georgiana (7 years old)

Nicoleta (8 years old)

Roberta (9 years old)

Laurentiu (10 years old)

Alina (12 years old)

Aurelia (34 years old)

Mihai (51years old)

Argentina

Max

Sasha

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The poorly improvised home is structurally unstable and lacks decoration, maintaining a purely functional, yet temporary style. Made of pieces of wood, covered with cardboard, linolem and other recycled materials, the shack reveals the lack of most elementary building knowledge and tools. There is no source of electricity and no toilet.

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The sites where the Roma have been allowed to build by the local authorities are usually depleted of resources, brownfield land contaminated with hazardous waste or pollution, or exposed to various natural hazards such as flood or landslide risk. View across the Northern edge of the site - the living area is bordered by a canal which is used for washing clothes, the local sewage plant and agicultural land. The only source of drinkable water is a pump, located one kilometer away from the site that the family members travel to three to five times a day.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153; It is difficult to examine the living conditions of the Roma circumscribed just by poverty and precariousness without taking into account the permanent lack of basic utilities, the impermanence of tenure and consequently the continuous adaptation to an ever-changing tomorrow. Harsh poverty reduces all communities, no matter the place and ethnicity, to the same bleak appearance of desolated shantytowns. However, it often determines a very creative, efficient and ingenious use of available resources.â&#x20AC;? BANCESCU, I., Roma Exosphere. in ORTA, L. (2010). Mapping the invisible: Eu-Roma Gypsies. London, Black Dog Pub.

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II. The Concept - Travelling Elements

+

+

Since the primary message of the project revolves around the idea of portable, domestic architecture, we have put a significant amount of thought into designing each component and type of connector joints that would allow for the dis-assembly and the re-building of the structure on a different location. This type of design process is driven by three important factors: the selection and use of materials, the design of components and the design, selection and use of fastners. Each component is designed for dis-assembly so that the it can be taken to pieces, packed into the container and shipped to a different location where conventional construction would be difficult. Container architecture is one of the most exciting areas of development in architecture today. Easy to transport, environmentally friendly, reusable and recyclable, container buildings are far better on the environment Their strength and durability is insured in their structural integrity, and there is an abundance of containers worldwide. 26 The challenge is to design a livable home out of standard industrial shipping containers. These intermodal freight containers have a standard size of 20 by 8 feet each, and are commonly 8 feet. They are typically made of corrugated weathering steel, and have simple corner fixings for easy stacking, locking, and craning. These containers are ideal for construction because they can be transported to a site in a variety of ways. 26

KOTNIK, J. (2013). New container architecture: design guide + 30 case studies. Barcelona, LinksBooks.

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Sketches

Sketches exploring the design opportunities when working with one or multiple container units. The final design aims to inegrate key Roma aesthetic principles (the wheel, the vardo) with the informal , adaptive nature of the structure.

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Developing the Design

Creating an opportunity to extend the indoor space across the first level of the structure through the integration of the metal frame and external staircase access.

Study of the decking area as a modular, transportable system.

The porch and the balcony as mediators between the inside and outside space.

Exploration of the roof structure grid.

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Refining the Concept

South Elevation

West Elevation

North Elevation

East Elevation

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The built elements, although minimal in terms of design, will provide a robust structural framework and will be drafted in accordance with the Roma aesthetic outlines, allowing for further decoration and spatial extensions to be added when desired. (Below) Design study for a two container module.

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The Building Process - Material Procurement 1

Local Construction material shop - OSB

2

Sourcing of window frames and door

3

Carpenter - timber for the construction of the staircase

4

Sourcing and cutting of glazed window panels

5

Hiring of the excavator for ground leveling

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Sourcing of the donated furniture items

7

Local textile market - interior decoration and curtain railings Sourcing of polycarbone sheets for roof Procurement of the foundation kerbs

8 9 10

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Phase 1 Construction

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4 5 7

Sourcing of wood pallets units for interior floor and decking construction Hiring of the crane truck

Phase 2 Construction + Implementation

8

9

Map indicating the main sites of material procurement and manufacture. All materials have been sourced locally, increasing the efficiency of the construction process and tapping into the existing skilled workforce. With the identification of a suitable Roma family delayed more than one month into the implementation stage of the design, the first phase of the construction process has been conducted in the construction yard of a local company specialized in the production of industrial metal pieces, namely overflows, valves and welding equipment. This has proven particularly useful during the design and manufacturing stage of the metal frame and roof structure, having received constant advice from the managing engineers and local metal workers.

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View across the metal workshop where the metal structure, the wheel and metal fastners were manufactured.

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Snapshot of the decking planks being sectioned and sanded in the timber workshop.

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Material Range

18 mm OSB boards for interior lining

10 mm Polycarbonate sheets for roof construction

Hardwood Pallets for facade and decking

Dried pinewood beams and posts for balcony structure

Metal profiles for first floor level frame and roof structure

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The Project Team Nicolae

Constantin

Engineer/ Site Supervisor

Engineer/ Advisor

Nicolae

Site Supervisor

Aurel

Mihai

Senior General Construction

Marin

General Construction

Laura

Architect/ Project Manager

General Construction

Andrei

Senior Carpenter

Andrei

General Construction

Eugenia

Local Advisor

Lucian

Junior Carpenter

Caisa

General Construction

Tudorica

Local Advisor

Mihai

Senior General Construction

Ion

General Construction

Cristian

General Construction

Dumitru

General Construction

Tavi

General Construction

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PHASE 0 - Arrival + Preparation

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PHASE 0 - The Cut

When cutting a shipping container or removing any of the paneling, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structural integrity can be compromised. It is therefore essential to give careful consideration to the exact dimensions and coordinates of the openings also taking into account the internal comparmentalisation of the space. Taking into account the internal spatial constraints of the container structure, four openings are punched through the containerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side wall panels. Since the three windows and the door frame have been delivered on site prior to the beginning of the cutting process, the dimensions are marked on the external corrugated walls and centered in relation to each other, keeping in mind not to weaken the containerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structural skin.

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PHASE I - Site A

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A. Container Treatment

The facade is comprised of overlapping shingle pieces, obtained by reclaiming the wood in the collected shipping pallets. The pallet structure is built strong to hold tremendous weight on top and yet light to facilitate the transport of that weight, resulting in a time-consuming dismembering process. The obtained planks are cut to size (30x15x2.5 cm)and distributed on six levels across the exterior of the container with a 10 cm overlapping area. The shingles give a rough texture to the containerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exterior walls, while providing a reliable and watertight skin. The dried pine wood is expected to gradually fade in time from a warm, golden beige to a soft grey, telling their time naturally and following within the narrative of the design concept as they get gradually replaced.

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Two coats of linseed oil are applied to the ‘shingle’ facade and external structural frame which is absorbed by the wood. Linseed oil acts as a natural preservative with high water resistance, increasing the structure’s resistance to weathering and retarding the cracking and shrinking of the wood.

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B. Interior Refurbishment

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B. Interior Refurbishment

Taking into account the containerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s internal spatial constraints, our plan envisages a subtle compartmentalisation of the existing room into a small kitchen, living and sleeping area. A layer of wool glass insulation, fixed behind a horizontal timber slats grid is lining the wall and the ceiling surfaces. The 18 mm thick OSB panels are initially cut to size to fit the precise dimensions of the interior surfaces and then secured using shank nails every 15 to 30 cm, leaving a 3mm gap in-between adjoining panels. OSB has been chosen as a primary interior lining strategy for its cost effectiveness, thermal resistance but most importantly for its durability. By covering the existing floor boards with a rigid layer of extruded polystyrene, the risk of moisture and water vapor ingress has been significantly reduced. While the 50 mm boards are relatively safe and easy to space across the floor area, it is essential to install the insulation layer correctly, thus providing a reliable long term thermal performance across the houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lifetime.

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C. Additions

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1

3

2

4

C. Additions

5

One of the first pieces the team develops is the timber decking connector system comprising of a metal plate welded to the primary structure of the container and a nail-type fastener (1,2). With the timber decking designed as three separate modules for dis-assemblage and transport ease, we aim to build as lightly, as movably as possible in order to increase the structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adaptability to the on-site conditions.

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Additional connector pieces (3,4) allow for the balconyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fixing to the existing container structure, while a redesigned anchorage system (5) is welded to the existing corner fitting to facilitate future transportations.

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PHASE II - Site B

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D. Site Preparation

The delivery and relocation of the container home will involve the leveling of the existing site gradient to the West of the existing construction. The excavation perimeter highlighted in the diagram below, and spreading across an area of 53 square meters generated excess soil that has been redistributed to the banks of the canal lining the Northern boundary of the site.

Existing House Existing dog houses relocated

Excavation Area

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The excavator makes its way along the unpaved dirtroad and across the fragile water drainage bridge, uncovering a fresh layer of soil for the container home to be located on.

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E. Assemblage

The modularity of the design will allow for efficient dismantling, transport and reassembling, functioning as a standardized kit of parts meant to improve and reflect the Roma lifestyle in terms of layout and construction techniques. As the family members relocate, setting up their home and taking it apart and setting it up again, they will maintain a direct and continual engagement with the physical and social environments they are aiming to adapt to. Additionally, the pavilion design will also allow for an eventual â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;settlementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the itinerant group.

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The design is aimed to allow the family to expand the living space across a new level, with the additional load to be distributed along the structural frame of the existing container. Steel connector pieces allow for the decking, staircase, balcony and handrail elements to be easily dismantled and reassembled, in line with the construction flexibility standards outlined during the concept development phase.

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F. Roof Structure

Eight meter channels spanning across the first floor grid and radically braced to the wheel element support the four 350 x 200 cm polycarbonate sheets. The 1 cm thickness allows enough flexibility for the material to be bent and fixed to the curvature of the metal frame.

Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects within the overall design strategy, the five meter wheel acts as an anchorage point for the first level structure and roof, while making a direct reference to the Roma aesthetic leitmotifs.

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The wheel-shaped, sixteen-spoked chakra, was adopted as the international Romani symbol at the first Romani conference in 1971 held in London 26, celebrating a link back to the Roma’s Indian ancestry 27. Reminiscent of the wheels of the Vardo, or Wagon, which has served as the home for wandering Romany families, the sixteen-spoked chakra stands for movement and creation, resilience to ever-changing surroundings and spiritual liberation. 26

Grthmlondon.org.uk,. ‘Romani Nationalism, The Roma Flag And Roma National Anthem | Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month’. n.p., 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

27

Gypsy Press,. ‘Gypsy History And Folklore – Gypsy Press’. n.p., 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.

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Project Timeline

Manchester -UK

Stage 1 - Preliminary Research Stage

Manchester -UK

Stage 2 - Interviewing Research Stage and Volunteering Scheme Stage 3 - Extended Research Stage

Manchester -UK Targoviste, RO Manchester -UK + Targoviste, RO Targoviste, RO London -UK Targoviste, RO

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

2015 August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2014 December

Novermber

September

2013 October

Stage

Location

Stage 4 - Contact Phase Stage 5 - Research Analysis and Design Initiatives Stage 6 - Implementation Stage Stage 8 - Report Writing and Submission Stage 7 - Revisiting the Site

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July 2014

Site A

Phase 0 - Arrival and Preparation - Site and Beneficiary Identification - Foundation Procurement and Delivery - Container Procurement and Arrival - The Cut - Initial Alterations - Design Work Stage 1 - Container Treatment - External Cladding Procurement and Application - Windows and Door Reconditioning and Fixing - Interior Works - Insulation and Lining - Cladding Waterproofing Measures Stage 3 - Additions and Modularity - Ground Level Decking - Metal Fastners - Interior Works - Floor - Staircase and First Level Balcony - First Level Metal Frame

August 2014

Phase 0 Phase 1

Site A

Phase 2

Site A

Site B

Stage 4 - The Journey - Site Visit and Analysis - Site Preparation - Container Transportation

Site B

Stage 5 - Assemblage - On-site Assemblage - Staircase and Balcony Handrail - Roof Structure - Polycarbonate Cover Stage 6 - The Handover - Interior Finishes - Beneficiary Handover

Site B

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Phase

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Location

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Cost Breakdown Administrative Costs - International Transport - Local Transport - Administration - Meetings - On-Site

- Plane - Taxi, Car fuel - Printing, stationery - Refreschments - Refreschments, celebratory meal

Cost (RON)

Cost (GBP)

1302.56 300 100 217 320

204.84 47.18 15.73 49.10 50.32

Cost (RON)

House Purchases - Labour - Material Purchases - Container Transport

Construction Team * see House Cost Breakdown - Truck and Crane for container delivery to Site A

- Material Transport - Rental

- Van and car journeys - Excavator for site preparation

Total (RON)

2239.56

10460 11706.5 925

1644.94 1743.17 145.47

200 450

31.45 70.77

Item

- General Site

- Site A intermediate location and ad-hoc labour

- Materials

- Concrete kerbs as foundations - Window frames and door - Furniture

- Labour

- Various

- Transport

- Container Relocation to Site B - Car fuel

367.17

Total (RON)

Project Total Cost

Donations and Contributions

Total (GBP)

Total (GBP)

23741.5

3635.8

24960.74

4020.97

Details

Contributor

2 weeks / rear construction yard

RoMetal S.R.L

8pcs

Municipal Construct

3 windows, 1 door

Community

1 wardrobe, 1 sofa, 1 table adn 1 carpet

Community

Mihai and Aurelia

House Beneficiary

Crane and truck

Gopo S.R.L

Journey to Bucharest, various trips across Dambovita county - research stage

Local Advisors

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House Cost Breakdown General Site - Electrical generator - Rain Protection - Waterproofing

Total (RON)

Total (GBP)

32 L 5mx3m - 2pcs 4.25 L 4 pcs 7L

160 40 180 50 80

25.16 6.29 28.31 7.86 12.58

Sandpaper Tape Measure

Shingle polishing 18m

35 30

5.50 4.72

575

90.42

Cost (RON)

Cost (GBP)

Total (RON)

Total (GBP)

2452.5

385.69

1250

196.57

Metal fastners 18 pcs design for disassembly

250

39.31

Screws and nails

3 kg

52

8.18

4004.5

629.75

Wood - dried pinewood

purchased per linear meter

700

110.08

Metal fastners

16pcs

180

28.31

Screws and nails

2 kg

35

5.50

915

143.89

Wood - dried pinewood

80 pcs pallets (100x80 cm)

400

63.23

Wood - decorative wrap

purchased per linear meter

600

94.36

Screws and nails

4 kg

70

11.00

1070

168.59

- Modular structure

Container (20ft)

1pcs

- Wooden deck and upper level terrace

Wood - dried pinewood

purchased per linear meter

- Shingle Facade

Cost (GBP)

Diesel Plastic Foil Linseed Oil Paint Brushes Paint - windows reconditioning

Construction

- Staircase and ballustrade

Cost (RON)

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Construction - Metal Roof Structure

- The Wheel

- The Interior

Cost (RON)

Cost (GBP)

Total (RON)

Total (GBP)

2840

346.61

1100

174.88

Metal profiles

purchased per linear meter

1165

183.07

Metal fastners

various

250

39.31

Protective coating agains corrosion

4L

40

6.29

Polycarbonate sheets

350x200 cm (4pcs)

750

117.94

Metal profiles

purchased per linear meter

880

138.71

Base foundation plate

1 pcs

150

23.59

Protective coating agains corrosion

5L

50

7.86

Cement

12 kg

20

4.72

OSB boards

250x125

600

94.36

Glass fibre insulation

purchased per linear meter

230

36.17

Floor - dried pinewood

purchased per linear meter

320

50.32

Screws and nails

3 kg

52

8.18

1202

189.03

Total Cost

11706.5

1743.17

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Opportunities - Renewable Energies Heating - Terracota stove with tin chimney flue

Solar panels for electricity generation

Rainwater collection system - tin gutters and barrel

Site adaptation according to available environmental resources (e.g. water, sun, shade, wind) and the incorporation of a renewable energy strategy would increase the independence of the container home and significantly improve the dwellerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s living conditions.

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FInal Photographs

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Conclusion

The very notion of characterizing mobile structures calls attention to the grace and skill with which nomadic people design and build homes. The building process they employ and all of the daily activities that it includes, encourages a view of architecture as a creative process, not just a product. Architects, planners, politicians and developers should feel obligated to do more than provide people with shelter. They must listen to communities and try to understand how specific design decisions can support and enrich lives. As so many well intentioned, but disastrous settlement plans have shown â&#x20AC;&#x201C; what constitutes a healthy and well-designed space for one community can be paralyzing and terrifying for another. Nomadism entails a different way of seeing things, a different attitude towards accommodation, family, work and life. Nomadic architecture is not about â&#x20AC;&#x153;buildingsâ&#x20AC;? as we understand them. The emphasis on temporary, communal, flexible, inventive spaces challenges the sedentary predisposition in western architecture and its tendency to privilege monumental, permanent, stagnant structures.

The return - site visit, April 2015


Blog Highlights 2013 RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship July 26, 2013 I am glad to be back with excellent news! I have been recently awarded the RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship for my proposal entitled: ‘On the Move: An Architectural Model Exploring Transportable and Improved Living Networks for Nomadic Communities’. My project aims to examine the relationship that nomadic people develop towards their natural and build environments and how this bond, expressed through portable, domestic architecture, outlines a different understanding and appropriation of space than that developed by sedentary groups. My methodology stems from the belief that architecture functions as an ideology in built form, that homes are more than just fixed dwellings, more than just shelter. Not only do structures shape the people who live in them, but they also enable the communities that use architecture to carve their identities and redefine visions of themselves and their collective subconscious. Moreover, the built form can be a powerful communicator of identity and values, an aesthetic language that one can learn to decipher. Labelle Prussin, in one of the texts published on nomadic architecture, states:

I cannot think of a venture more deserving of my time than the further study and actual implementation of these concepts that could lead towards new approaches in the manner an open and problematic subject such as the Roma ‘space problem’ could be addressed. I believe being awarded the Boyd Auger scholarship will offer me the opportunity to challenge myself and become a more complex, forward-thinking architect, one that will promote architecture as the practice of creating environments and making space through relationships, ideas and actions.

“for the nomad, “home” cannot be understood except in terms of journey, just as space is defined by movement” These words have stayed with me ever since I first read them and I intend to dedicate this study to achieving a deeper understanding of this statement. The project proposes the revival of the nomad caravan under the concept of a modular, structural network of pavilions that cater to the basic needs of the travelling community in terms of utilities and social interaction. The built elements, although minimal in terms of design, will provide a robust structural framework and will be drafted in accordance with the Roma aesthetic outlines, allowing for further decoration and spatial extensions to be added when desired. As the group relocates and rearranges, a new visual dialectic will emerge across various backgrounds, responding to the inner nomadic need for an everchanging scenography. The modularity of the design will allow for efficient dismantling, transport and reassembling, functioning as a standardized kit of parts meant to improve the community’s life and respecting its nomadic ethos in terms of layout and construction techniques.

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Stage 1 - The Beginnings July 09, 2013 After a thorough process of scouting for the right shipping containers in terms of dimensions, distance from the site location as well as cost, we have finally found them! Our journey carried us towards a depot at the outskirts of Bucharest, where after a lengthy selection process we have identified and agreed upon containers 1145 and 757 as best in terms of material and structural quality. Since the seller cannot provide any type of dispatching means, we will have to research and arrange for the most effective transport strategy to the construction site in Targoviste. I cannot help but feel a crucial step has been taken today in bringing the Roma Housing Prototype one step closer to reality!

The Case of the Mobile Dwelling July 20, 2013 The past week has been particularly insightful in terms of understanding the relationship between the owner of a dwelling and the legal parameters that dictate the financial and lawful unfolding of a building process. According to the Romanian ‘Dwelling Law’ : ‘x. Other Living Spaces Spaces and/or development projects designed to sustain dwelling activities, intended for the transitional or temporary accommodation of people, such as halls, shelters, hotels, guesthouses, camping sites, container homes, mobile living units such as trailers or caravans, temporary construction units for displaced staff or economic operators for the supervision of site works. All the above mentioned items are not taken into consideration as dwellings under Romanian law.’ (as translated from the “Dwelling Law’ or ‘Legea Locuintei’, Ministerul Dezvoltarii Regionale si Administratiei Publice, 2014 [pdf]. Available at: http://www.mdrl.ro/_documente/transparenta/ consultari_publice/consultare41/legea_locuintei.pdf )

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The Search July 11, 2013 Identifying the family to work and engage with for the duration of the project has represented the most challenging stage within the project. With legislative, social and even political hurdles springing every step of the way, all of my endeavors to approach the local Roma community seemed to crumble before I even had the chance to outline the grounds for the investigative research stage. While local authorities have initially offered their support, the internal conflicts within the local Roma settlement delayed the selection process significantly. As a result, the list of factors drafted to help choose the family to benefit from the scholarship and research scheme had to be adapted to existing legal, physical and social circumstances: – the ownership status of the land the family is settled on and by extension, the legal constraints the erection of a new structure would imply; – the size of the site – a minimum area of 85 sqm is required to accommodate the construction of the proposed project; – the site’s location in relation to main vehicular routes; – the proximity to a power supply point as an essential resource during the initial construction stages of the project; – the social context – numerous debates were held by the local Roma Party council with regards to identifying the families within the community eligible to host the project; As we discussed each bullet-point on the neatly structured list, I started asking myself whether this was the right strategy to approach such a socially sensitive issue – how does one choose who ‘deserves’ to be helped within a poverty-blighted neighborhood, where lack of sanitation, sickness and food scarcity are the norm? Moreover, how does one approach such lawless, violent places? Is an outstretched hand holding a neatly sketched outline of the project enough to squeeze through the cracks in the thickening wall of skepticism surrounding their world?

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The Arrival July 14, 2013 They are here! The two shipping containers arrive from Bucharest during one of Romania’s hottest days of the year with temperatures mounting up to 42°C. Fixed onto flat-bed systems and towed by the Hiab truck’s main body, the 20ft long containers enter the construction yard. As the transport trailer drives towards the unloading area, trees, low overhead power lines and adjacent fences are just some of the things to consider. Using the lorry’s mounted crane, the each container is offloaded from the truck by lifting the ends and lowering it into position aligned to the concrete kerbs supporting each corner of the unit. To estimate the room required to unload with a swinglift there must be twice the width of the container available to allow for the truck and container. After a two hours process, the containers are finally in place and everybody breathes a sigh of relief – it feels the true journey is only about to begin.

The First Cut July 20, 2013

As we start tracing the first outlines for the window and door openings, it feels almost surreal. Watching the heavy metal structure getting punched with beams of light marks the beginning of its transformation into a home. Taking into account the internal spatial constraints, our plan envisages a subtle compartmentalisation of the container room into a small kitchen, living and sleeping area. It’s funny to see how such a simple gesture with a circular saw can perform such a dramatic shift in the perception and engagement with the bulky volume. We are strutting through the front door, poking our heads through the windows and taking in the views. And so it begins…

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The Wooden Wrap July 26, 2013 They are here! The two shipping containers arrive from Bucharest during one of Romania’s hottest days of the year with temperatures mounting up to 42°C. Fixed onto flat-bed systems and towed by the Hiab truck’s main body, the 20ft long containers enter the construction yard. As the transport trailer drives towards the unloading area, trees, low overhead power lines and adjacent fences are just some of the things to consider. Using the lorry’s mounted crane, the each container is offloaded from the truck by lifting the ends and lowering it into position aligned to the concrete kerbs supporting each corner of the unit. To estimate the room required to unload with a swinglift there must be twice the width of the container available to allow for the truck and container. After a two hours process, the containers are finally in place and everybody breathes a sigh of relief – it feels the true journey is only about to begin.

The 'Shingle' Effect August 1, 2013

Most of our work today revolved around testing a variety of pattern densities and corner joints that would create the facade’s shingle effect. The overlapping wooden pieces, each 25 mm thick, give a rough texture to the container’s exterior walls, while providing a reliable and watertight skin. The pinewood shingles are expected to gradually fade in time from a warm, golden beige to a soft grey, telling their time naturally and following within the narrative of the design concept as they get gradually replaced. This technique, referencing traditional residential and agricultural building typologies, was edited and simplified to allow for the speed, clarity and low maintenance of the construction

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Design for Disassembly August 4, 2013 Since the primary message of the project revolves around the idea of portable, domestic architecture, we have put a significant amount of thought into designing each component and type of connector joints that would allow for the disassembly and the re-building of the structure on a different location. This type of design process is driven by three important factors: the selection and use of materials, the design of components and the design, selection and use of fastners. Each component is designed for dis-assembly so that the it can be taken to pieces, packed into the container and shipped to a different location where conventional construction would be difficult. One of the first pieces we develop is the timber decking connector system comprising of a metal plate welded to the primary structure of the container and a nail-type fastner. With the timber decking designed as three separate modules for dis-assemblage and transport ease, we aim to build as lightly, as movably as possible in order to increase the structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adaptability to the on-site conditions.

The Interior August 7, 2013

Works on the interior of the container have finally started. A layer of glass insulation wool fixed behind a horizontal timber slats grid is lining the wall and the ceiling surfaces. We agree to use OSB panels for the internal finishing of these areas as a durable, cost effective, thermal resistant material that would endure the transportation process successfully. With the door and window pieces all in, we find ourselves daydreaming about random, domestic scenarios that could unfold in the daily life of the Roma family. Little by little, we are getting there.

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The Storm August 9, 2013 Although exceptionally hot, this was an unusually wet and stormy summer. It’s 4 a.m. and a deafening thunder noise shakes me out of my sleep. I can hear the rain lashing everything outside my room and I cannot stop thinking about how the Roma house is surviving the night. Pressing my hand and forehead against the window of my room I try to decipher a familiar shape outside. For a few seconds, everything is pitch black and soundless until an electric charge flashes the blocks of flats across the street alight. Since my arrival here, this has been the most violent storm yet and although I feel exhausted, falling back to sleep is a challenge. My thoughts are racing with the wind outside, wondering about how everything will fall into place by the end of this experience. There’s nothing to do but wait… As we rush to the site the following morning, there was an unusual stillness in the air. Mihai and his team are already there, eager to start working on the balcony decking. For a few seconds, it felt as if last night’s ordeal had only happened in my head, with only a few scattered tools and timber pieces betraying the storm’s passing. Although the timber cladding is soaking wet and we will have to wait a few more days for it to dry before applying the weatherproof coating, I breathe a sigh of relief. Our little container house is there, proudly glimmering in the sunshine and having passed the biggest endurance test yet. We quietly resume our work, finalizing the timber structure of the balcony as well as the connector pieces that will allow for it to be disassembled at a later stage.

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The Facade Treatment August 13, 2013 With a few days of sunshine on board, the timber is now fully dry and ready for sanding. Once this stage is complete and the facade surfaces are clean, we begin the linseed application process. Linseed oil acts as a natural preservative with high water resistance, increasing the structure’s resistance to weathering and retarding the cracking and shrinking of the wood. We apply two coats to the ‘shingle’ facade and external structural frame and once the oil is absorbed by the wood, it then dries to seal, waterproof and protect.

Stage 2 - Interior Lining and Roof Structure August 16, 2013

This week, not only did we manage to finalize the wall and ceiling OSB lining of the interior, but we also completed the works on the floor of the container room. By covering the existing floor boards with a rigid layer of extruded polystyrene, the risk of moisture and water vapor ingress has been significantly reduced. While the 50 mm boards are relatively safe and easy to space across the floor area, it is essential for us to take our time during this process – installing the insulation layer correctly will provide a reliable long term thermal performance over the lifetime of the building. Next, we begin staggering the linseed-treated wooden layer across the width of the container (and perpendicular to the direction of the existing wooden deck plane), in order to increase the load bearing capacity of the floor.

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Roma Faces August 18, 2013

‘The importance of the present moment enables the Gypsy to forget, to avoid anticipating, and to leave behind difficulties created by others by distancing himself from them. This attitude between time and space has enabled Gypsies and Travelers to survive, immersed and scattered among hostile populations, developing elements of a culture all their own.’ (Liegeois J.-P., & Acton, T. A. (1994). Roma, gypsies, travellers. Strasbourg, Council of Europe)

Interestingly enough, the poverty and squalor surrounding the Roma do not seem to dampen their spirits or their “cheerfully irresponsible” attitude to life, born out of a carefree upbringing and a staggering youthful age demographic. The families within the Gypsy community are big, with an average of twelve members, including the parents. The large groups of children use the dusty streets as both school and playground, bringing a profoundly youthful dynamic to the society. Whether through rainy or torrid weather, stamping through mud or dashing across the cracked, heated ground, the Roma children run barefoot, filling the yard with joyous laughter. The faces below are, without a doubt, those of the happiest children I have ever met…

Site Preparation August 19, 2013 The week started on a high with the ground preparation works beginning on site. As the excavator makes its way across the fragile platform of the bridge and clenches its sharp teeth into the dry crust of the topsoil, a fresh, clean layer of earth is uncovered. We all watch the process in silence, transfixed by the slow movements of the machinery ploughing back and forth across the surface. Large drops of warm rain sprinkle our faces, and I cannot help but feel this is nature’s way of taking part in the site’s cleansing process.

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As the heavy buckets of dirt are carefully unloaded to strengthen the river bank across the rear end of the site, I realize what a privilege it is to work alongside someone as George who knows the land so intimately, giving us the opportunity see it in a new light scoop by scoop… Half an hour into the process I realize the the background murmur of children’s laughter is missing – instead, their tiny feet are glued to the ground, absorbing the movements of the ‘yellow monster’ with a puzzled gaze. For the first time, they feel change is starting to happen…

The Big Move August 21, 2013 With the third week drawing to a close, the day we have been all waiting for is finally here. It’s 6.58 am and the team starts slowly gathering in the construction yard to begin the dismantling process. We start twisting and turning, pulling and hoisting, and soon the wooden deck components are perfectly packed and tightly belted. One hour later, we push the staircase inside the container home and I finish packing the shiny piles of connector pieces neatly organized on the tarmac floor. I jump in the lorry next to Valentin, our driver for the day, and so the

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The Talk August 23, 2013 As steady progress is made on site – mainly consisting in the re-assembling of the wooden decking, external stair and first-level balcony – we decide to revise and agree on the technical design, construction and on-site fitting of ‘the wheel’. Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects within the overall design strategy, ‘the wheel’ acts as an anchorage point for the first level structure and roof, while making a direct reference to the Roma aesthetic leitmotifs. Cornel grabs his pen and quickly starts sketching over the pack of drawings I spread across his desk. After a few attempts at finding the right balance between span ratios, section types and cost, the silence is broken : ‘It will be painstaking, but not impossible!’.

The Assemblage August 25, 2013 As the additional construction elements are delivered on site, the team embarks on the assemblage process for the first floor frame, roof support and staircase access. The design is aimed to allow the family to expand the living space across a new level, with the additional load to be distributed along the structural frame of the existing container. Steel connector pieces allow for the decking, staircase, balcony and handrail elements to be easily dismantled and reassembled, in line with the construction flexibility standards we aimed towards during the concept development phase. As the day comes to an end, the shipyard beauty is almost unrecognizable, its hardedged frame softened by the newly added textures and volumes. Stamping across the wooden deck and staircase steps, carefully scouting every corner of the structure with their tireless, glimmering eyes, the children roll onto the floor, bursting into a peal of laughter. For some reason, I fell we passed the most important test yet…

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Seasonal Migration August 27, 2013 The final days of summer are here and the flocks of birds are roaming across the cloudless sky. As she quietly observes the seemingly random patterns of flight, I can read a muted sort of longing in Aurelia’s eyes; somehow, I cannot shake the feeling she understands something I clearly don’t. ‘I chirikleski kul chi perel duvar pe yek than’, she murmurs. ‘…the droppings of the flying bird never fall twice on the same spot’ she continues, noticing my puzzled look. We both burst into laughter, although the message of hope for a better tomorrow is clearly sieving through. For the rest of the day we continue the work on the roof structure, fixing the curved braces that will later support the polycarbonate sheets.

The Wheel August 28, 2013 The wheel has been finally mounted and fixed onto the base plate manufactured in Mihai’s atelier. As we hoist it into position, it seems to pull together the whole aesthetic concept of the design, framing the views towards the vegetable and grain crops stretching across the horizon. As the evening approaches, the moon graces the late summer sky with its wisps of white light. The celestial wheel seems brighter than ever and we all gaze into the black fill, fascinated by its unusual scale. The crisp air folds around our tired bodies and for the first time in almost a month we hear sharp drops of rain hitting the dusty soil. Although the on site works have evolved within the timeline we have initially aimed for, we cannot help but wonder how the change in seasons and climate might influence our progress during the upcoming days.

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Almost There! August 29, 2013 With the roof structure nearly complete, we shift our focus on addressing the interior of the container. During the past few weeks, the project has gained unexpected notoriety within the area and locals have offered to donate unwanted pieces of furniture. Following a quick trip to the town nearby, we triumphantly return on site with a wardrobe, a bed, one nightstand and a dining table. As we unload each item, Aurelia and Mihai take over the assemblage process and spend the rest of the day shifting, lifting and organizing the new acquisitions within the 15 sqm of area.

The Cover August 30, 2013 Although we initially took into consideration other materials for the roofing strategy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including corrugated sheet metal and bituminous sheeting, we quickly agreed on polycarbonate due to its great strength, rigidity and lightweight properties. Following a visit to a local depot, we decide to place the order for four 3500 x 2000 mm clear polycarbonate panels. The 10 mm thickness allows enough flexibility for the material to be bent and fixed to the curvature of the metal frame, while incurring low maintenance and installation costs.

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Finishing Touches August 30, 2013 Noses spalyed against the glass, pads of fingers pressing on each side, the children have been temporarily exiled from the interior of the container and are now spying on me and Laurentiu putting the finishing touches â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the floors are swept, the curtains are up and we are ready to welcome his brothers and sisters inside their new home. Ten pairs of beaming eyes are bouncing against every surface and fabric, taking it all in. A childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes. That day, I rocked on the edge of them.

Thank You! August 31, 2013 This has been an incredible journey, an exercise of building resilience and learning how to compromise, an opportunity to make a change in the life of a small community while allowing it to shape us and our vision. I would firstly like to thank the RIBA Boyd Auger committee for believing in the nature of my proposal and in the sensitive subject it has aimed to tackle. It was your patience and flexibility that allowed me to challenge this topic beyond the initial boundaries it was supposed to live within and refocus my entire research direction. As a final year Architecture student, this unexpected opportunity has played a significant role in building my confidence not only as a future professional, but most importantly as an individual striving to make a difference within the current social and architectural climate. I would also like to thank the construction team and all volunteers involved, for sharing their expertise and advice, for the immense amount of invested hard work, dedication and energy that brought the design to its final stage. Finally, I would like to thank my friends and family for the many gestures of kindness and words of encouragement, for believing in my decisions and offering me their unconditional support.

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MArch Project

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[the context]

[identification]

[the concept]

[construction]

[breakdown]

appendices | [MArch]


IN LIMBO. An Exploration of the Stagnant Urban Condition in Relation to Future Nomadic Drifting Trends

Bibliography

[Intimate Cities] Laura Minca


Foreword During this academic year I will investigate the relationship that nomadic people develop towards their natural and build environments and how this bond has been challenged across the centuries and up until the present day. With a population estimated at eight to twelve million dispersed across the European territory, the Roma communities have no fixed “homeland” and continue to frequently face intolerance, discrimination and exclusion. In order to develop architectural responses that will address the Roma community in its social entirety and understand its inner cultural complexities, the project will provide spatial initiatives that will evolve across both British and Romanian territory. The research and output developed as part of the [Intimate Cities] Atelier will be focused on the current condition of the Roma groups that have targeted the United Kingdom ever since Romania’s entrance in the European Union in 2007. Although their ‘nomadic’ condition is debatable and its deriving taxonomy should be reassessed, the Roma groups provide a fascinating case study in terms of a traveling community’s continuous struggle to adapt within fluctuating social, political and economic climates.

109


Stage 1 Manchester, UK September 2013 - May 2014

Stage 2 Bucharest - Romania June 2014 - August 2014


The Roma Question The temporal context of the project is set starting with January 2014 when, the transitional controls on free movement adopted by the UK and when Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007, will end. Following the lift of the travel restrictions and free access to the UK labor market, a high influx of Romani groups are expected to arrive and settle within British and implicitly, Mancunian territory. As the problem of spatial scarcity arises and the needs of the Roma community intensify, the city needs to develop an architectural method/ language that will provide the platform for their social and urban distribution. Diagrams indicating the current strategic location of the Roma Camp in Marble Arch - next to the hectic commercial area of Oxford Street - and the potential squatting destination in Manchester, - Piccadilly Gardens, in the immediate vicinity of Market Street. The British tabloids, reflecting a fear of another wave of immigration from eastern Europe, have used images of the community in Marble Arch as the first sign of the influx to come, where more than 60 Roma Gypsies have currently settled.

SITE

Piccadilly Gardens

Marble Arch

112

main commercial route

main vehicular route

tube entrance/ exit points

public toilets

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rough sleepingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; areas


Roma gypsies ‘rough sleeping’ in the area of Hyde Park, London.

113


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How eerily beautiful are those fake cities with tree-lined cascading boulevards and perfectly designed flows of traffic when they become forgotten and subjected to a rotten fate.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1

Selfcombust, December 22, 2011. Decay [online] Available at:<http://selfcombust.

wordpress.com/2011/12/22/decay/> [Accessed 2 October 2013].

114


The Presence of Absence IN LIMBO aims to initially investigate the city of Manchester under a temporal lens, and subsequently reveal the spaces ‘in-between‘ worlds, in-between stages of development that resulted following the economic downturn. They are spaces that speak of paralyzed aspirations and unfulfilled dreams of urban evolution, gradually transforming the volume their coordinates define into a visual, social and economical void. They are the crippled newborns of the city that the urban womb heralded to the world prematurely. They are unfinished, incomplete, abandoned, hiding behind faded slogans of glamour and projected fantasies. They are landmarks of human failure, trapped in a dimension of their own. They are relics of the future. Future. They are spaces of immense potential that ca be adopted by the city and turned into monuments of hope, of survival. They can become the surrogates of new programmes and aesthetics, they can be infused with a new purpose and become a part of the whole they were promised. According to Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, it is the absence that gives greater presence to the architectural form and creates a new type of spatial and aesthetic freedom 1. The interplay between these two terms is essential in developing a critical understanding of the condition a stalled piece of construction is defined by. For although the site does function as an epicenter of imploded ambitions, its dual nature as both present in form and absent in purpose, can tap into the collective subconscious and create moments of introspection and revelation. I believe one should not rush to ‘fix‘, to cosmeticize these sites but take a step back and firstly understand what they represent, what stories their cold, barren frames are evoking and how thy can be transformed into powerful tools of expression that can expose the urban condition.

1

115

Derrida, J., Eisenman, P., Kipnis, J., & Leeser, T. (1997). Chora L works: Jacques Derrida and Peter Eisenman. New York, Monacelli Press.


Paralyzed Aspirations Bridges, floating railroads, proof fences, simulated indoor biospheres, artificial seas and islands, catholic monoliths for Muslim societies and ghost cities: all these are proofs of humanity’s greatest dreams, appraisals of a society’s collective accomplishments and at the same time the standing evidence of man’s most catastrophic failures. Nevertheless, they also reveal stories of zeal, vanity and passion, essentially challenging the concept of uselessness. For although one might me quick to dismiss most of the presented ‘relics’ as dead utopias, some of them seem to have adapted, to have found a new meaning. We learn that simply because this new-found condition is completely diverted from its original purpose, it does not mean it should be unanimously rejected. In time, a large number of these developments have developed adjacent functions, becoming sites of procreation: • The Bridge to Nowhere, Zrenjanin, Serbia - social meeting point for the town’s youth at night time, • California City, US: network of abandoned roads used for simulated bombing runs for training pilots. • Biosphere 2, Tucson, Arizona: Landscape Evolution Observatory, no longer sealed from the outdoor environment. The bare structures seem to have become gradually reintegrated, adopted by those who see beyond their apparent futility and are able to instinctually rediscover their uncanny, strangely beautiful potential.

(Above) California City - the unfinished nervous system of the city that never was.


A Global Overview Stalled site offers an invaluable platform for criticism of the urban condition and the mutations it produces in our daily lives. The stalled landscapes are far from being monoliths of doom, but on the contrary: they give us the opportunity to assess our current economic, urban and social condition and challenge it through interventions that can be designed to cleanse the Junkspaces 2 that exhaust the city and take us back to the real, to the original. They can become spaces of self-purification, of catharsis that have risen on the spots where the cracks in our society are most visible,

France

17. The Bertin Aerotrain

Biosphere 2 Arizona, US

2.

Reason for Interruption: Despite being built in the vicinity of Dongguan and Guangzhou the mall never managed to secure lease agreements with many vendors due to its inaccessible location.

1.

Aspiration: The largest commercial complex in the world with a total surface of 892.000 sqm and 2.350 planned shop, the New South China Mall reproduces the look and feel of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great cities and tourist destination. It was built with a 1.3-mile indoor canal featuring gondola rides, it has a large Egyptian sphinx, and it contains an 1800-foot indoor roller coaster.

Salton Sea Coloroado River, US

10. The New South China Mall

Present Condition: Although open to the public in 2005, 99% of its rentable area remains unoccupied. The case-study brings to the fore the notion of HYPERREALITY as a direct consequence of the capitalist code that nowadays society is dominated by.

3. 6. Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix Cote dâ&#x20AC;?ivoire

California City California US

117

Isla de la Juventud Cuba

4.

A re-creation of the Champs Elysees with a full-size reproduction of the Arc de Triomphe at its centre.

5.

The Bridge to Nowhere California, US

PARIS

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

VENICE

A giant Imax theater complex partially encircles this area of the mall which has a reproduction of the Hollywood sign.

Gondola rides on a canal under bridges with a new Shangri-La Hotel on one bank.


Public WC

Cafe

Ryugyong Hotel North Korea

Airports of the USS Russia

Information Point

News Stand

Gift Shop

(Left) Possible transformations of the concrete domes

16. Albania’s Concrete Mushrooms Aspiration: Following Enver Hoxha’s communist dictatorship (1945-1985) Albania enjoyed notable improvements: the industry and agricultural systems thrived, illiteracy was stamped out and electricity was brought to every rural district. Hoxa’s paranoia with Albania becoming self-sufficient culminated with the construction of 750.000 prefabricated bunkers, scattered across the nation’s entire territory.

12.

13.

14.

The World Islands Dubai

The Russian Woodpecker Russia

15.

16.

The Concrete Mushrooms Albania

B&B

Reason for Interruption: In 1991, the student revolts and the regime’s fall led to a mass exodus, with more than 30 % of the country abandoned and a large amount of the structures left unfinished. Present Condition: The bunkers, sinking into the ground as a result of the structural heaviness, are mapping a network of painful reminders the remaining population is still trying to erase. Nevertheless, they have adopted alternate uses among which chicken coops, lovers’ hide-outs or in extreme cases - homes. The most notable research on addressing the problematic of the ever-present, indestructible structures has been developed by a group of urbanists and architects at Politecnico di Milano in 2009.

Frame Modularity: The standard kit of parts defining each unit provides a template of rapid implementation and space neutrality. Most frequently, this is one of the most notable qualities an ‘unfinished’ structure reveals - an infinite sea of programmatic possibilities within a space untainted by material boundaries or unnecessary design gestures.

11.

10..

9.

A blank canvas, ‘expecting your presence.‘

No.1 Rabbit Proof Fence, Australia

Sinai Hotels Jordan

New South China Mal China

8.

The Dry Bridge Serbia

The Trans-Polar Railroad Russia

7.

(Basdevant, 2011, p. 16)

Concrete Door Wall thickness: 1m Structure Height: 5m Plan Diameter: 8m

Elements joined on site using cranes and attached with concrete

118

Pre-fabricated elements. Weight: 8-9 tons/ element


Manchester - Suspended Spaces Suspended spaces are an inevitable component of the cityscape: paradoxically, as pockets of inactivity they are a result of a dynamic, changing urban environment. But in this turmoil of the urban environment inactive, suspended spaces are abundant. Manchester city centre is scattered with a network of them – stalled construction sites, abandoned buildings and empty plots – and many can be found within walking distance of Piccadilly, scattered in the proximity of the city ring road or along central water infrastructural networks. The map below collates the initial responses to the definition of the ‘stalled site’ following the exploration stage carried by each of the four groups. Stalled transitions between the past and the future, suspended spaces demonstrate what can happen when plans meet a hostile reality, Following the site exploration stage, a number of six stalled sites have been identified as viable for further analysis and conceptual developments. An overview of the urban grain unveils a common denominator - the Rochdale Canal - along which five of the six sites are polarized. This is largely due to the canal’s importance during the Industrial Revolution when it functioned as a powerful infrastructural tool for huge amounts of heavy produce to be moved 1. As a variety of manufacturing programmes emerged (predominantly related to the textile industry), a process of unplanned urbanization was redefining Manchester’s economic core.

119

stalled sites after the economic downturn

undeveloped sites

stalled sites prior to the economic downturn (2008)


Suspended spaces are an inevitable component of the cityscape: paradoxically, as pockets of inactivity they are a byproduct of a dynamic, changing urban environment. Stalled transitions between the past and the future, suspended spaces demonstrate what can happen when plans meet a hostile reality, but also how we can, at least on occasion, find innovative interim uses for the resulting land. Some suspended spaces are gems; others are eyesores, but they are a fascinating and important part of our cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story.

1

CANNIFFE, E., & JEFFERIES, T. (1998). Manchester architecture guide. Manchester, Faculty of Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University.

92

Potato Wharf Site

90

AXIS Tower, Albion St.

87

Rochdale

Canal

River Street Tower

120

ORIGIN, Princess St.


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;[...]some things have to let themselves go to ruin before they fulfill their original goal.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Geoff Manaugh (2011), Biosphere 2, Utilitas Interrupta: An Infrastructural Index of Unfulfilled Ambitions


The Site - Origin [ Princess St., Whitworth St.,Venice St. & Rochdale Canal ]

The site occupies a strategic location at the heart of the City Centre, sitting at the northern end of the Oxford Road Corridor, and within walking distance of all of the services and facilities offered by Manchester City Centre. The site is at the heart of a vibrant community which contains a rich mix of residential, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, workshops and offices. Specifically, the site is bordered to the east and to the south predominantly by Victorian Warehouse buildings converted to residential apartments, and comprising one of the most established residential communities within the city centre. To the north, the site is bordered by Canal Street, which contains a number of bars and night clubs that are known collectively as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Gay Villageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and form an important and distinctive quarter in the city. To the west, the site is bordered by Victorian and Edwardian warehouse buildings converted to commercial uses. The site is located within easy walking distance of Manchester Piccadilly Train Station that provides national and international connection opportunities, and Oxford Road, the second busiest station in the city centre.

Conservation Area Inner City Ring Road Approximate Walking Distance Stalled Sites Network

al

le

da ch Ro

Piccadilly Gardens

Prin

cess Stre et

15 min. 10 min. 5 min.

122

Whitwor

th Street

n Ca


The Origin scheme was designed as a high-end project occupying one of the last prime real estate locations in Manchester. It proposed 60,000 square feet of office space, 185 ‘state-of-the-art’ apartments and 17,000 square feet of retail, including a luxury spa and a W Hotel. Aiming to attract the ‘upper crust’ professional, the scheme is programmatically designed as a self-sustaining enclave, outlining superficial connections to the immediate social and historical context. ‘The architectural philosophy is to create three buildings of exceptional design quality, offices, hotels and residential apartments with an active retail frontage to the streets, Canal side and public realm. The public realm at the heart of the proposals creates an attractive new amenity for residents and visitors.’ 1 At the other end of the spectrum lies the voice of the Canal Street community, that established a long-term campaign (‘Save our Village’) against the futuristic design and aspirational values the scheme promotes. ‘They build these apartments, attracted by the funky area, and then get upset when they find out the area is full of gay people. What we really need is more footfall during the day. We don’t need more bars. The gay community now feels outnumbered. Until such time as gay people are genuinely accepted, we still need an area where we can be free. This will kill the Village off, no doubt.’ 2 The currently abandoned development is a highly visible sign of economic problems that affect the quality of life in Manchester. Nevertheless, the developer’s aspirations still glimmer alongside images of attractive young people plastered on the tall hoardings surrounding the site area: Work. Live. Relax.

Developer

high-quality, modern technologies and materials

complementing the area’s heritage and culture

‘comercially sensitive’ approach, aiming to attract independent businesses

decrease of the high crime levels in the area

the setting up of a ‘partnership’ with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation

1

ORIGIN

The Village

high-rise buildings will shade Canal St., affect its atmospheric qualities

the devlopers are imposing a a trendy, hip, corporate image of the LGBT

a place for activism and radicalism

traffic levels will increase significantly

strong commercializationof the area will abolish the Village’s spirit

the area has other needs: ‘drug service or service for trans people’

Design & Access Statement, Appendix 6.1, 2006, Driver Jonas, Planning Portal, viewed 5 October 2013, < http://pa.manchester.gov.uk/online-applications/>.

2

End of an Era?, 2008, Gay Times, 8 Jun, viewed 21 October 2013, < http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/magazine/inthisissue-articleid-3929-sectionid-665.html>.

3

Ibid.

123


Lambert Smith Hampton (office agents)

On - site actors BLDA Consultancy (sunlight & daylight analysis)

Key Actors Autorities & State Bodies

Chris Burnett Associates (visual impact assesment)

TRI Colliers Robert Barry (hotel advisors)

Human Actors Consulting/ Auxilliary Actors

Mark Vaughan Gillingham (retail agents)

Drivers Jonas (planning advisers)

Faber Mansell/AECOM (traffic, ecology & environmental assesment) Chris Burnett Associates (visual impact assesment)

Greater Manchester Police (crime impact statement)

Local Planning Authority Ken Dobson (city centre councillor)

Local Community

City Council

Byland Engineers Ltd (geotechnical design engineers)

Companies House Register

‘W’ Hotel West Properties (developer)

Stage 1: Consulting & Approval Stage 2: Design Developments & Analysis

Starwood Group (hotel & resorts developer)

Dunne (structural engineers)

Ian Simpson (architecture practice)

NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) MIMAS Properties Ltd. (client)

DACL (concrete, rebar, formwork and falsework, craneage & pumps supplier) Ellis Design (foundation & excavation)

English Heritage

Sir Howard Bernstein (council chief executive)

Morgan Stanley (current owner)

Heritage Architecture (heritagel analysis)

Francis Hilton (managing director)

CABE (Comission for Architecture & Built Environment)

WSP Environmental Ltd (environmental, fire, structural & geotechnical analysis)

ARUP (radio & television interference) Chris Speck (’Save Our Village’ campaign)

Donal Mulryan (sole shareholder)

Stage 3: On - site evolution Stage 4: Post-recession Impact, new actors & role reversals

Diagram mapping the actors (including consultant, legal and activist bodies) involved in the project’s evolution. Although the change of ownership in 2012 was expected to inject momentum into the development, the site remains currently intact, scattered with relics of past construction processes. I believe the network above has the opportunity of being expanded through an active collaboration between the current owner and the council; this could envisage the launch of a series of temporary interventions that could support the rebounding local economy, help finance the future development and mitigate negative consequences (high criminality levels, vandalism and decay).

124


Initial scheduled opening year. Following the bank funding squeeze, several board members resign.

February The ground floor heat pump is installed.

The cranage equipment is still in place Chris Speck launches the ‘Save our Village’ campaign agains the disruptive construction process, criticizing the impact the finished building would have on Canal Street’s culture.

14th November The Planning Application is lodged.

Morgan Stanley purchases a portfolio of loans, including Origin.

In September, a petition is launched by Ken Dobson (city centre councillor) against the unattractive stalled site. Hoardings are moved back for better access to pavements and parking.

2006

2007

C

Concept

D

Design Deveopment

2008

2009

J

Developers fail to submit accounts information and to respond to notices in the month of January.

2010

2011

2012

2013

27th March The project is receives planning approval.

E

Technical Design

A

Appraisal

F

Production Information

B

Design Brief

G

Tender Documentation

H

Tender Action

K

Mobilisation

Construction to Practical Completion

The companies House Register suspends the project .

Project is ‘back on track’ aiming for a 2011 opening.

West Properties (Donal Mulryan and Francis Hilton) meet council chief executive (Sir Howard Bernstein).

The entire scheme is re-evaluated with the residential component reconsidered.

Post Practical Completion

L

Placed on the market.

The Origin scheme was designed as a high-end project occupying one of the last prime real estate locations in Manchester. It proposed 60,000 square feet of office space, 185 ‘state-of-the-art’ apartments and 17,000 square feet of retail, including a luxury spa and a W Hotel. Aiming to attract the ‘upper crust’ professional, the scheme was programmatically designed as a self-sustaining enclave, outlining superficial connections to the immediate social and historical context. The currently abandoned development is a highly visible sign of economic problems that affect the quality of life in Manchester. Nevertheless, the developer’s aspirations still glimmer alongside images of attractive young people plastered on the tall hoardings surrounding the site area: Work. Live. Relax. What does the future of this sites hold for the people who pass it by every day? 125


A Programmatic Vaccuum Manchester’s city centre can be described as a series of distinctive zones, each characterised by its morphology and predominant use. The land use plan reveals the variety of programmes within the vicinity of the site area, with a predomince towards leisure, office and civic uses that are central to everyday life. Nevertheless, the constant densification and diversification of the social stratum is proportional to a series of new neccessities that should be identified and interpreted through temporary uses that would challenge Origin’s current programmatic anonimity. The site sits at the heart of the Village, one of Europe’s most lively gay areas. The area has become popular with both heterosexual and gay visitors and has one of the most vibrant nightlife scenes in the city. Also, it is important to note Origin’s proximity to Chinatown, an ethnic enclave located at the heart of the city centre that emerged following a Chinese immigration wave that commenced during the 1950s. Manchester’s ability to absorb and urbanize incoming minorities will prompt a series of case studies that will support the social focus of the project. residential leisure office mixed residential green areas civic institution car park abandoned transport centre educational

127


Urban Palimpsest - Destruction vs. Renewal Manchester’s Hidden Footprint: Diagram obtained through the superimposition of the urban grain based on a series maps dating between 1807 and 2006. In total, eight layers of plan information have been intersected, revealing and invisible network of spaces with a particularly strong temporal endurance and mnemonic value. The diagram places Origin at the centre of the visual study and interprets the site as particularly dynamic spatially, but lacking in a self-tailored, resilient identity. Nevertheless, I believe the site’s ‘unrooted’ condition reveals the long-term, ‘temporary‘ nature of its prior uses as well as its spatial versatility through time. According to Harvey (1990:66)1, postmodernism nurtures ‘a conception of the urban fabric as necessarily fragmented, a ‘palimpsest’ of past forms superimposed upon each other, and a ‘collage’ of current uses, many of which may be ephemeral.’ The city itself is the expression of what the written dialectic would refer to as a palimpsest: ‘a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing’ (Oxford Online Dictionary). This definition is key in understanding the city’s evolution through time as a canvas for continuous experimentation through the negotiation with the past, through the manipulation or abolition of its previous layers and superimposition of new urban formulas. 128


The Village

Sackville Street Building

Palace Theatre

Lancaster House

Palace Hotel

Figure A

PATH

EDGE

LANDMARK

NODE

over 75% frequency

50% - 75% frequency

25% - 50% frequency

Issues of Permeability The analysis of the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connectivity to the immediate urban context will be developed based on the Lynchian principles of path, node, edge, landmark and districts 1 as elements that organize the urban elements into a coherent pattern. A special focus will be attributed to the notion of paths as they regulate and distribute urban mobility. It is a stalled site such as Origin, located in an area with a particularly dense urban grain that will become itself an large-scale obstacle, a hindrance in the path of everyday life, a mobility void that absorbs the potential of unregulated interactions. 129


Boundary Condition

Border Condition

I N E R T

L I M I N A L

‘[...] borders are the zones in a habitat where organisms become more inter-active, due to the meeting of different species or physical conditions. The boundary is a limit; a territory beyond a particular species does stray.’

2

Boundary vs. Border Discussing the notion urban identity, Sennett (2006) brings to the fore the notions of boundary and border as physical or conceptual conditions that create potentials for interaction or divisions in city life.2 While the notion of border represents the an active zone of exchange where territories meet and cross, the idea of boundary refers to the hermetic edge-conditions of these territories, rejecting interaction and revealing them as fragments. This implies that the issue of border/boundary - line is not only a spatial issue but also a social one. Marcuse (1997) states that: ‘all borderlines suggest divisions between individuals and activities, within society, between societies or between individuals or groups.’ 3 In an attempt to create a visual translation of these two concepts within and in the immediate vicinity of the site area, I have chosen to structure them in terms of physical porosity or resistance, visual permeability levels and social/ symbolic qualities. SYMBOLIC & SOCIAL BOUNDARIES According to Lamont (1992), symbolic boundaries are ‘conceptual distinctions made by social actors [...] that generate feelings of similarity and group membership.’ Conversely, ‘social boundaries are objectified forms of social difference manifested in unequal access to an unequal distribution of resources...and social opportunities.’ This study will be particularly relevant at a further stage in the project when the issues on ethnic/racial inequality (the Roma group) and gender/sex discrimination will be debated. 130


An exploration of the underground Origin: to watch the full video, please visit : https://vimeo.com/78689895


Information based on the Zoopla Greater Manchester Land Value Map available at: http://blog.zoopla.co.uk/2011/07/29/zoopla-launch-heatmaps-of-uk-property-values/

1.6 m (King St.)

+

Mapping Spatial Value 1.3 m (Portland St. & Oxford St.)

+

760 k (Spinningfields)

+

56 k (Chinatown)

+ +

110 k (Origin)

Although located at the heart of the city centre area, boasting the highest real-estate fugues in Greater Manchester, the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monetary worth occupies a surprisingly low strand within the existing land-value market. This could be partially due to the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s central yet peripheral condition within the district map of the city, located at the convergence of a series of neighborhoods with long-established, powerful identities. The problem could be therefore its lack of belonging to a defined urban network and its overpowering by a series of adjacent territories (the Village, the Oxford Corridor or Piccadilly) each stimulating local, self-regulating economies. The current economic inactivity lead to the closure of various businesses within the area during the 2012-13 period (The Eastern Buffet, The Mongolian Grill). It is my belief that the aspirations of the mixed use scheme envisaged the creation of an identity space, a landmark, an axis mundi type of enclave that would function as a local economic catalyst for the surrounding markets.

132


Main criminal activity over a 12 months period:

+ 245 +175

+143

+ 127 +82

+48

+18

+54

+14

+29

Anti-social behavior: 341 Burglary: 42 Criminal damage and arson: 53 Drugs: 39 Other theft: 290 Public Disorder: 40 Robbery: 30 Theft from person: 121 Vehicle crime: 42 Violence and sexual offences: 163 Other crime: 9

+98 +34

+14

On site criminal activity over a 12 months period: Anti-social behavior: 9 Criminal damage and arson: 4 Violent crime: 1 Robbery: 2

Crime Data The government’s crime level street maps show that Manchester’s Gay Village delineates the most dense perimeter for violent crime in the city centre, with offences including binge-drinking, drunken disorder and violence. Extending to the South area of the Canal, Origin’s stalled condition poses public safety concerns, reclaiming its infamous status as a hot spot for male and female prostitution, drug abuse, crime and homophobic assaults soon after the construction process was brought to a halt. While the signs of transgressive behavior is a defining characteristic of the ’stalled site’ and can be identified by archiving signs of illegal human appropriation, Origin’s abandoned underground levels provide ideal levels of seclusion and intimacy, heavily sought-after by vandals and offenders. By night, the timid boundaries set by the glamorized hoardings seem to drop and the site becomes a hotbed for illegal practice, a pit of darkness and sin. Information extracted from the Greater Manchester Police official webiste available at: http://www.gmp.police.uk

133


human sound sources

responsive space allowing sonic involvement

points of on-site recording

temporary sound source

permanent sound source (drone)

sonic setting difficult to differentiate from one another

A Sonic Exploration When discussing the importance of decoding the city’s urban rhythms, Augoyard (2006:4) urges us to employ all our sensorial capacities, including the acoustic dimension: ‘Listen to our cities. Is it not the very nature of the urban environment to make us hear, whether we like it or not, this mixing of sounds? Dull murmurs, machine noise, the shifting and acoustic racket created by people - every urban moment has a sound signature, usually composed of many sounds together.’ 1

AUGOYARD, J. F., MCCARTNEY, A., TORGUE, H., & PAQUETTE, D. (2006). Sonic experience a guide to everyday sounds. Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press.

134


intensity (dB)

Soundscapes uen

The Methodology:

s)

e(

tim

freq

cy (

hZ)

The exploration of the on-site sonic experience was developed through the recording of the urban sound across four different locations along the site boundaries: • Venice Street • Whitworh Street • Princess Street • Canal Street. An ‘urban soundtrack‘ was compiled for each location that was consequently translated through Processing (Fig. A), a sound visualization software that involved the writing of a computational code based on variations in frequency (hZ), time (s) and intensity (dB). Each visual is paralleled by a 2D analysis of each sound-generating activity (whether human, mechanical or natural) that reveals the rhythms of daily life activating the site-adjacent urban grain. 135


Sound Wave A - Brazil St/Venice St

Sound Wave

-

Soundscape A: Venice St. and Brazil St. Monday, 17:04 - 17:21

anal St

Soundscape A: Whitworth St. Monday, 17:35 - 17:44

Diagrams identifying each type of activity corresponding to a particular recorded sound. A series of rhythms emerge, providing clues into various intersecting human and vehicular movement patterns specific to each area of analysis.

136


X 150 +

+

+

+

To watch the full video, please visit: https://vimeo.com/77874558

Intervention: Challenging the Boundary The intervention aimed to challenge the hoardingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s condition as a inactive, strong boundary between the public and the site, and turn it into a canvas of dialogue for those passing it by on a daily basis. By covering of the glamorized developer slogans with the matrix of real aspirations projected upon the site, a set of critical information emerged that allowed me to achieve an overall understanding of the social typologies interacting within the immediate urban area. The implementation stage lasted one day and envisaged the use of printed stickers that were applied to four critical points across the hoarding, that we considered would get most public exposure. The result were impressive: in the space of ten days, 144 stickers were used to express hidden desires. As answers were crossed or modified in support or disagreement, an indirect dialogue emerged between the members of the public that continues to the present day. 137


A

36%

references to green areas

8%

sea or beach related programmes

10 %

strong language

11 %

emotional responses

6%

sex and party related programmes

9%

references to drugs

10 %

various resposes

10 %

indecipherable responses

Park

gang bang

Built!

a party

Not in the universe

Park

?

?

Park

Green Space :)

5th Avenues ruins.

Park

SKATE

PARK

A Crack Pipe !!

A park full of love, live and laughter:)

LANDFILL

something!

Belgium

Madrid

A GAY BAR !

A place for people to relax and chill

a disco ♥

the queen soaking fanny!!

A Park !

NBD

George Henry

PARK

PARK

A Park

a brothel

A Park :)

Shark Tank !

a park

James Lake

NBD

usefull

open air pool

A Public Space (urban park)

skate-park a kiddie shop

Park

Brothel

full of penis

?

M+S

better

Housing for the poor

WEED !

ethnic

the crescent

B

NOT HERE/ (please)

my fanneh!

A THEME PARK! Open as a park!

ar with a la gound and benches and birds ♥

Park

cock ♥ ever where

A Garden to chill

Just GRASS :)

car park - ed

Park

a brothel

D

A big booty hoe! a car

Park

Park

Pond

Heated Gay Beach

x

Tes o e definitel need more of those.

Enclosed park

green area

Chocolate Factory ♥

FINISHED!

ar with lots o

C

a second hand

park

A Beach for Village NOT a HIGH BUILD

a

GARDENS !

Pretty!

a party

A GARDEN

AREA

SHOPPING

MALL

SWIMMING

dogging

x

x

ree bea h with old beers...under the sun ☼

another gay bar :)

fishing

x

x

x

x

x

A Kids Activity Centre

A strip club.

x

x

x

GREEN AREA

a park

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Theatre NOT Manchester x

a park

a mosque

ate ar

a rape den !!

?

fuck

la e with ben hes

? An erection section

Park Tuli garden that will a e baby smile ♥ K + H

x

filled with lions

full of MDMA crack

Horse Riding School

Brucie’s nipples

Tn

Tw

Ruiz Palace mate.

Following the recording of the received answers, we were able to compile a visual translation of the intervention and a set of statistics that revealed a predominant need for an open space or green areas. I believe this result can support a critique of the adjacent public spaces, particularly Sackville Gardens which is located within the immediate vicinity of the site. The following questions arise: Why does this space fail to fulfill its purpose and what are the elements that make a public space successful? There seems to be an overall tendency for an ‘urban oasis’, a space that would break the density of the urban grid and would provide a release point, a refuge from the bustling overground. I believe Origin’s underground distribution can trigger a set of design initiatives that could provide the community with the revitalizing space it is longing for. 138


Archiving the Interrupted ‘ [...] it is the ‘duty of the ‘social observer‘ to visit the shadowy realms, and the emphasis he places on the underground world of the sewers, or cemeteries, and desolate suburbs, allegorizes the persistence of the human soul in the city’s filth.’ 1 I believe Beaumont urges us not to be repulsed by the decay, by the decomposing layers of the city for it is at this ‘rotting point‘ between life and death, between the sacred and the profane, between the pure and the impure where the true potential of exploring the architectural form arises. As Tschumi (1994:65) states:

‘putrefying buildings were seen as unacceptable but white, dry ruins afforded decency and respectability’ 2 Origin’s overground archive is aiming to map the physical remains that outline the story behind an interrupted construction process. Most importantly, each abandoned element holds a temporary or permanent role within the extended timeline of the structure’s evolution. The lingering network of scattered evidence form the overall scenography of a moment frozen in time, of an abandoned set devoided of any human agency. As it is the case for most stalled developments, it is only the nature that continues to play its part and grind its way through the concrete props, reminding us that although not visbly active, the site is not still. BEAUMONT, M., & DART, G. (2010). Restless cities. London, Verso Books

1

TSCHUMI, B. (1994). Architecture and disjunction. Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press. 2

139

Scattered vs. Clustered Movable vs. Fixed


Underground Cable Protection QT. : Approx. 56 m mounted on the Eastern and Western hoardings Material: Grey Plastic Dimensions: ø 50 mm

Handcart QT. : 3 Material: Metal, Plastic Carrying Capacity: Approx. 110 kg

Safety Barrier (Type 1) QT. : 6 scattered across the exit points Material: Metal, red coating Dimensions: 1200 (L) x 800 (H) mm

Safety Barrier (Type 2) QT. : Approx. 35, two large piles by the Whitworth St. entrance Material: Plastic, red or white Dimensions: 1400 (L) x 900 (H) mm

Traffic Cone QT. : 4, by the Eastern and Western entrance, by slab level changes Material: Plastic, red, white, yellow Dimensions: 200 (L) x 500(H) mm

Archiving the Interrupted - the overground physical remains trace the story behind a temporarily ceased construction process. This has informed the use of scaffolding as a primary infrastructural strategy in the design of a flexible, modular self-made Roma environment.

S

MALL components, usually part of the public/ staff protection scheme. auxilliary elements

Planks QT. : ?, scattered pieces of wooden planks, most likely concrete formwork Material: Wood

Supporting Elements QT. : 6, supportinng the loose mesh shaft barriers Material: Concrete Dimensions: 350 (L) x 150

Concrete Elements

Modular Bars

Tubes

QT. : 16 concrete slabs and 10 structural elements

QT. : Approx. 15 Material: Aluminium Dimensions: ø 25 mm

QT. : 3 Material: Plastic Dimensions: ø 300 mm

M

EDIUM components, as remanants of the temporary, improvised or ‘left-over’ materials/ tools emerging during the construction process... construction fragments abandoned marketing

Protective Grill (Type 1) QT. : 19, protecting shaft areas Material: Aluminium, a loose mesh Dimensions: 1400 (L) x 800 (H) mm

Gate QT. : 4, two on Whitworth St., one on Princess St., one on Venice St. Dimensions: 7200 (L) x 2550 (H) mm

Fence QT. : 1, protecting the ramp area Material: Aluminium tubes Dimensions: 18 m (L) x 600 (H) mm

Protective Grill (Type 2) QT. : 19, protecting shaft areas Material: Aluminium, a loose mesh Dimensions: 1400 (L) x 800 (H) mm

Hoarding QT. : Approx. 98 units Material: Wooden frame and wooden frame + laminated poster along Whitworth and Princess St.

... these include lighting, protection fences, and anticipatory marketing intitiatives. public and provate outdoor

internal boundaries

Skip

Container (Type 1)

Container (Type 2)

Fuel Barrels

Box (Type1)

QT. : 1 Material: Metal Capacity: 3 cubic meters

QT. : 2 Material: Plastic Dimensions: 650 (H), ø 300

QT. : 2, filled with scrap wood and safety barrier elements Material: Plastic Dimensions: 700 (H), ø 300 mm

QT. : 3, grouped near the Princess St. entrance Material:Metal Capacity: 250 (L)

QT. : 1, filled with safety barrier elements Material:Wood Dimensions: 700 (H), 600 (W) mm

... waste disposal containers or storage boxes. waste containers

L Temporary Electrics Structure QT. : 1, adjacent to the Canal St. hoarding Material: Metal Dimensions: 3800(L) x 2700 (W) 2300 (H) mm

Temporary WC QT. : 1, adjacent to the Whitworth St. hoarding Material: Wood Dimensions: 1700(L) x 2300 (W) 2300 (H) mm

Phonebooth QT. : 2, adjacent to the Whitworth St. hoarding Material: Wood Dimensions: 1000(L) x 1000 (W) 2700(H) mm

Electrical Box QT. : 2, adjacent to the Whitworth St. hoarding Material: Wood Dimensions: 900(L) x 400 (W) 1000(H) mm

Vegetation QT. : covering 4% of the entire site area (184 sqm)

temporary storage

ARGE components, include those volumes that can accomodate human dimensions ... ... but they also include the surface area of the site that is considered chaotic, difficult to quantify. internal and external temporary structures


Isolating Uncleanliness ‘[D]irt is essentially disorder. There is no such thing as absolute dirt: it exists in the eye of the beholder. [...] For I believe that ideas about separating, purifying, demarcating and punishing transgressions have as their main function to impose system on an inherently untidy experience.’ 1 (p.4) Modern culture is defined by a strong way to standardise values in a community and it is impossible for one not to adhere to this influence. Furthermore, its is the public character of these values that makes them so powerful. I believe the stance Douglas(1966) brings to the fore is particularly relevant to the context of the site when discussing aspects of physical pollution (litter) and what is deemed as social impurity (the rooted presence of the gay community or the practices of the Roma groups). She continues to propose two ways these situations can be addressed in social practice: on one hand one can ignore or condemn them and on the other, one can ‘confront the anomaly and try to create a new pattern of reality in which it has a place.” 2 (p.38) 1, 2

DOUGLAS, M. (1966). Purity and danger; an analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo. New York, Praeger.

TABOO

RITUAL

Image overlooking the Rochdale Canal, bordering the site to the North.

IMPURE


Origin - Stalled Site Definiton The Origin site is geographically located within a highly dense urban grain area in Manchester city centre. Its strategic position makes it extremely connected to the wider transport network, with main city routes such as Princess St. or Whitworth St. framing its Western and Southern boundaries. Since the vehicular routes only permit movement linearly, the interaction with the stalled site is reduced. Following the palimpsestic evolution of the city, we note the site is located at the convergence point of various districts with high identity levels (The Village, the Civic Centre, the University Campus, Piccadilly). Additionally, the site sits within the highly - regulated Whitworth Conservation Area, evoking strong historical connections to the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s previous uses and urban grid evolution. Originâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location along Rochdale canal, forming its Northern border, is the reason behind the dynamic character of the site through time and its adaptability to various economic contexts. At the moment, the connection with Canal Street is limited and although crossing points attempt to form connections between the two banks, the hoarding blocks any further tactical explorations. An in depth study of the canal - hoarding strip revealed unique border/boundary conditions between the two. At a first glance, the magnitude of the incomplete structure comprising of four cast concrete underground levels is unpreceptible to the eye. With the floors further supported by a grid of columns, it is the shafts that provide the connection with the overground and that act as references, as guiding spotlights within the darkness of the structure. For Origin, the contrast between aspiration and reality is singificant, with the proposed/ existing structure studies revealing and almost rethough structural layout and distribution. Additionally, this incongruity between the existing and the intended has been reinforced through an intervention study that revealed the publics projected desires upon the site. Archival studies of the overground artifacts reveal that each side of the site boundary is appropriated differently, evoking the transient nature of uses. Additionally, the collection of overground construction elements gives an overview into the stage of construction at which the site was abandoned, revealing a network of interrupted activities and unfinished processes, functioning as signifiers of the underground footprint. Within the immediate vicinity of the Village, one of Manchesterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most frequented night-time destinations, the site has evolved into a hot-spot for criminal activity. This is mostly due to its underground nature that provides high levels of concealment and intimacy. To conclude, the stalled site is particularly defined by its central location and underground structural condition. Although resisting any form of connection to the immediate context, a series of tactical, temporary interventions could enable the community to reclaim the site and reintegrate it within the wider social, economic and cultural landscapes of Manchester.

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Spatial Tactics SPATIAL AGENCY

DEFINITION

TEMPORARY : space or uses aimed to be impermanent, that derive their qualities from the notion of temporality; the intervention is implemented on site and subsequently it withdraws, returning the site to its initial condition for further development;

TEMPORARY : lasting, existing, serving, or effective for a time only; not permanent; ‘a temporary need’

TRANSITIONAL: approach concerned with generating a ‘metamorphic’ process within the urban setting that challenges the existing condition (most often through means of spatio-temporal transgression), gradually difusing prior uses and infiltrating new meanings and modes of appropriations;

TRANSITIONAL:

movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; ‘a transitional government’

TRANSITORY:

TRANSITORY (TRANSIENT) a spatially dynamic approach aiming to bringing architecture closer to the world of process by emphasizing the value of the intermittent state; the concept of spatial instability, of nomadism is highly valued and considered an enriching factor in developing a colonized tactical urban network; space - time: dynamic cyclical

not lasting, enduring, permanent, or eternal; lasting only a short time; brief; short-lived; temporary; ‘the transitory nature of life’

PERMANENT:

existing perpetually; intended to exist or function for a long, indefinite period without regard to unforeseeable conditions

PERMANENT the modus operandi of this approach involves a refined, tactical reclamation that changes its temporary, placeholder condition to a long-lasting, legitimate one; urban network; space - time: static - linear

( OED Online. November 2013. Oxford University Press <http:// dictionary.oed.com/> )

1. New York Icebergs

2. Arrested Development

TEMPORARY

144

3. Berlin Free-Zone 3-2

4. The Kitchen Monument

TRANSITIONAL

5. OpTrek

6. Torre David

TRANSITORY

7. Concrete Mushrooms

8. Wild Buildings

PERMANENT


Origin - A Tactical Model The tactical model below has been devised in mind with the social stratum the project is aiming to address - the nomadic community. Thus, each of the four stages discusses the possible methods of sequential appropriation of the stalled structure, from rejection, to persistance, negotiation and finally integration. The follwing questions arise: • How can we protect and learn from existing nomadic cultures?

Rejection

Persistance

Feral Urbanism

DIY Urbanism

• Breaking and Entering: Illegal, parasitic appropriation of the underground stalled structure for sheltering purposes; • Squatting - exploiting loopholes in the planning process / legal framework; • tapping into the existing resources ; • challenges the boundary between public and private, raising awareness over the issue of spatial scarcity; • The authorities would be alerted and would have to develop a framework that would address the problem rather than punishing the transgressive behaviour;

• a non-professional, non-technocratic approach • rather than simply seeking public input, the residents are empowered to create their own positive interventions; • ad-hoc use of the existing site resources in aid of the construction process; • a creative, sustainable approach that would significantly reduce the building costs; • such initiatives have often sparked further investment from the authorities and businesses;

Negotiation

Integration

Temporary Urbanism

IncrementalUrbanism

• an Informal agreement with the developer; • the interim use of the site can secure funds (through a renting scheme) that can be eventually used in the completion of the initial project; • avoids a wholesale demolition of pre-existing urban and social patterns through adaptability and transformative placemaking; • could resuscitate the local economy by encouraging the interaction between members of the community; • in time, successful temporary spaces can become permanent;

145

• legitimate use of site after the transgressive stage of implementation; • a formal agreement with the developer is outlined; • construction completed to a certain stage whereby the residents can finish the project; • a bottom-up approach that would focus on place-making, of addressing the needs of the community as opposed to the desires of the investor; • encourages much smaller projects, but if implemented over time in a consistent way, contributes to the area in terms of creating a more livable, vibrant place;

Legal | Permanent

Illegal | Temporary Use

• How can we build new societies of dignified transience?


A Strip ofInteraction

][

][

][

][ ][

][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][

][ ][

Romani women selling trinkets and plastic roses

The Gay Village Area

INTERACTION ZONE between the two minority groups: Canal Street (pedestrianised), the Centre of Manchester’s Gay Village

Canal Street represents a key platform for the introduction of the social context that will inform the programmatic and conceptual evolution of the project. It is here where the interaction between two key minority groups occurs, where social boundaries become borders, where the pure/ impure dichotomy reaches its highest levels of complexity. What I find particularly intriguing is the manner in which each of these typologies creates a boundary towards those deemed as ‘outsiders’ - heterosexual or non-Roma - and yet they manage to develop a perfectly symbiotic relationship with each other. A further analysis on the unwritten rules each of these groups is internally governed by will provide a better understanding on the exceptional status of their encounter. 146


The Gay Community

Pollution and Purification in Social Practice The gay community represents a dominant social presence within the area adjacent to the site. The Village, an almost enclave-like urban pocket, is regulated by powerful rules of inclusion or exclusion, based on aspects of sexual practice. Nevertheless, I believe it is important to discuss the purity/impurity dichotomy in the context of the gay Village, bordering the site area to the North. In Purity and Danger (2002), Douglas claimed that the classifications of purity and impurity are activated by an innate ordering mechanism in the human mind. These categories help to preserve the social order of society as a whole, by marking that which is ‘anomalous’ to this order as impure. Douglas emphasises the importance of boundary markers and the use of pollution beliefs in total meaning systems. Often as metaphor, such beliefs and rituals played a key role in the way political and economic resources are deployed. Douglas’s ‘first rule’ of impurity is: ‘the impure is that which does not respect boundaries’. 1 What are these boundaries in the gay community and can they be subjected to a pure/impure classification process? The tendency to think that our culture’s institutions and practices are the only normal ones is very widespread. In particular, the question of gay practice seems to raise interesting ideas about ‘naturalness’ and implicitly about issues of segregation and social exclusion.

147


According to Kristeva (1982), it is ‘not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection but what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite.’2 This assumption could be extended to the notion of the ‘stalled site’ that, although is generally perceived as a place of impurity, of decay and abandonment, it represents a place of purity for the Roma groups since it has not been contaminated by non-Roma permanent practices. 1 DOUGLAS, M. (1966). Purity and danger; an analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo. New York, Praeger. 2 KRISTEVA, J., & ROUDIEZ, L. S. (1982). Powers of horror: an essay on abjection. New York, Columbia University Press.

Experiment 23 | 11 | 13 I find particularly interesting the community’s defensive strategies to protect the well-established identity of Canal Street. While heterosexual members are accepted in theory, their presence is not always welcomed. In general terms, areas such as the Gay Village represent a social oasis in an otherwise hostile city, or may simply have a high concentration of gay residents and/or businesses. Much as other urbanized groups, some LGBTQ people have managed to utilize their spaces as a way to reflect their cultural value and serve the special needs of individuals in relation to society at large. denied access

granted access The Village

Wanting to achieve a deeper understanding of the invisible borders that determine the segregation the heterosexual visitors, I decide to carry a brief experiment, that attempted to map the venues where I was allowed or prohibited access. A set of unwritten rules seems to strictly regulate the entrance to gayspecific bars or clubs, as the crowd is filtered through the Cerberic figure of the doorman. A total of 9 clubs or bars granted my access and another 6 refused to allow me inside the premises of the venue, based on the grounds that I could not prove my sexuality, nor did I not hold a membership card (a scheme that I later found out does not exist). The Village - while heterosexuals are generally accepted, many of the venues regulate their access through a set of unwritten rules. 148


YARON MATRAS

DELJANA IOSSIFOVA

Professor Of Romani Linguistics

Professor Of Romani Linguistics

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester

• ‘Why should a Roma spend 20 seconds talking to you?’

• ‘How will you connect the Origin with the actual location of the Romanian Roma neighbourhood?’

• ‘What do they get out of this?’ • The Romani are a particularly fragile community and an intrusive, ‘external’ approach would not be effective; • The purely conceptual basis of the 6th year project would not be a strong enough incentive for the community to be willing to interact with me; • A tactful, bottom up approach is required, one that will focus on a trust-based relationship that will gradually introduce me to Roma community environment; • Becoming a volunteer in the ‘Multilingual Manchester‘ Society will allow me to build the first interactions with over 18 year-old Romani girls while teaching them the basics in the English language, CV writing and basic graphic design skills; • The Romani are a hermetic community, with deeply rooted customs and beliefs that prompts them to reject any form of recording of their environment (video or photographic) that would make them feel used, exploited; • A ‘community centre’ conceptual strategy would be particularly useful as it would become a platform to approach the City Council during the 2014-2015 period; ; programmes such as teaching, performance and workshop spaces were suggested;

149

• The project could pre-empt the social needs of the community following the large influx of Romani that will target the UK starting with January 2014; • The central location of the site could be addressed/ justified from an ‘immediate future’ point of view: what would Manchester look like in five or ten years following the release of the work borders and the wave of immigrants flooding the city? • How would the urban distribution and ‘right to city‘ issues be addressed in the context of spatial scarcity and what would be the economical and legislative implications? • Translating the Romani belief system and lifestyle into architectural language could lead to unexpected, unregulated programmatic encounters and arrangements; • The programme could incorporate elements of the permanent, transient, temporary and transitional under one concept; • How would the connection with the gay community be addressed considering the current level of interaction on Canal St.? • A non-aggressive, diligent approach is essential when building the relationship with the community;


The Roma Community

multilingual m

ch s

Volunteering Scheme, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures The University of Manchester

A key role in achieving a deeper understanding of the relationship between notions of migration, sedentarism and social integration was played by a series of interviews that challenged my strategy in terms of approaching and liaising with the community. Specifically, the Romani are a hermetic social group, with deeply rooted customs and beliefs that prompts them to reject any form of external interaction, and particularly any form of recording of their environment (video or photographic). Becoming a volunteer in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Multilingual Manchesterâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; Society allowed me to build the first interactions with over 18 year-old Romani women while teaching them the basics in the English language, CV writing and graphic design skills. Thus, I was able to develop a tactical approach, one that focused on a trust-based relationship and that gradually introduced me to Roma community environment in Gordon South, Manchester. By extension, it is this experience that allowed me to formulate a diligent, non-aggressive approach that facilitated my interaction with the Roma family I collaborated with for the implementation of the RIBA project in Romania. 150


• distinct and separated individuals, perhaps with common reason to be together though with less of a sense of unity and connection. • relatively homogeneous in their abilities, work and activity and can easily interchange roles. This makes them less dependent on one another. The Gay Community

Grid - Group Theory

TYPES OF CULTURES & THE FOUR RATIONALITIES

1, 2

GRID strong

HIERARCHY

FATALISM

Based on the cultural theories developed by Douglas (2007), I have decided to interpret the position of the Roma and Gay minorities within the post-modern social context, by introducing the concept of grid-group theory. The group dimension describes how strongly people are bonded together. At one end there are distinct and separated individuals, perhaps with common reason to be together though with less of a sense of unity and connection. The grid dimension describes how different people are in the group and how they take on different roles.

sense of chaos and futility; apathy, powerlesness and social exclusion

emphasis on strong regulation; rule-bound institutions; stability and structure

‘B’

‘A’

Self at centre, competitive individualism, market-exchange relationships, materialist symbols of status

order/balance of hierarchical society, sense of belonging + stable relationships with others

GROUP

GROUP

strong

weak

I find particularly interesting and applicable to the site context, Douglas’s account on the concept of ‘enclave‘, that defines the Roma social practice : “I believe the violence against the enclave group only sets off the positive feedback process, which escalates the anger and violence on both sides.” DOUGLAS, M. 2007. “Seeing Everything in Black and White: the Origins of Sectarian Violence and the Problems of Small Groups”, University College London, 12 April 2007. 1

SCHWARZ, M., THOMPSON, M. 1990. ‘Divided We Stand: Redefining Politics, Technology and Social Choice. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

2

INDIVIDUALISM

EGALITARIANISM

spontaneous action; transparent, voluntary; unregulated environment;

partnership and group solidarity; peer pressure, mutualism and cooperation

‘C’

‘D’

Isolated individuals, no structures, supports or fixed roles, transitory relations, secularist horizon

‘sect’ - style collectivity, authoritarian regime, fundamentalism, strict separation of insiders/outsiders

GRID weak

The Roma Community • a connected sense of identity, relating more deeply and personally to one another. They spend more time together and have stable relationships.

151

• distinct roles and positions within the group with specialization and different accountability.


An artifact of the night: a scan of the rose bought from the Roma trinket seller.


A Face in the Croud Encounters with Roma community members Saturday, 16th of November 2013, Canal Street

The wet, desolate streets of the city rested in silence as the sound of my heels send distant echoes. The water in the portholes shimmering by the glow of the bright, yellow street lamps spills into the murmur of Rochdale Canal. Perfect silence: above a faded zebra crossing, a traffic light frantically changes colours, giving a glimpse into the Village’s spectacle of disco lights that will burst around the corner. Thumping music can be heard from the nightclubs where young people have just begun their night out. As I take the turn down Canal Street, a bright wave of scattered lights, pungent alcohol smell and deafening music assault my tired senses. Suddenly, sooner than I ever expected, I see her: she is sitting down on the kerb, her face in the ground and clutching a bouquet of plastic roses that somehow manage to look withered. I look at her compassionately, until a man rushing out one of the clubs sits down next to her. They talk for minutes on end, with an uncanny air of familiarity. To my surprise, two other Roma women appear and continue their journey through the bustling crowd. As I delve through the sea of people in an attempt to reach them, three ghostly awkward-looking figurines climbed on pedestals are waving at the passers-by and throwing them candy. In a split second I realise the grandeur of the whole operation - the family is at work. The men (in this case the father and two brothers) are hiding behind the white face-paint and floor-length robes, while the women (the grandmother, mother and daughter) were concerned with the more ‘direct’ approach of the customer. I take a deep breath and I approach Marinela who seemed more than glad to ‘have a chat’ in Romanian. We start talking about life back home, about the hardships in breaking through the UK labour market and about her family who she left Romania with seven years ago. She now lives in Longsight and has two young children, both born in Manchester. ‘England has become a shitty place’, she explains. ‘I sold four roses in the last four hours and I have been doing this ever since I came here.’ We both know that’s not true, but then again, hiding or distorting the truth is a masterful skill the Roma have perfected along centuries to defend their community. The trick is not to take it personally. As the minutes go by and we continue talking, Marinela’s daughter, Alexandra, approaches us. I explain I am interested in making use of my skills and help the community in whatever way I can and so I invite her for one of the young Roma volunteering sessions. We eagerly exchange phone numbers, with the promise she will contact me the following Monday. As we say goodbye, I cannot help wondering if she will call me, if I will get a chance to understand the world behind her shimmering eyes. The streets of the city now rested again in lifeless silence except the gentle pattering of the raindrops.

153


Extending the Site Boundaries Mapping encounters with other Roma typologies across Manchester The Performer • Playing the part of a frozen live statue, the ‘performers’ usually operate in groups of three. • The white-coated man stands still for minutes on end, with only his eyes scanning the crowd at regular intervals. • If he does not attract an audience, he throws candy at the passers-by, in an attempt raise awareness of his presence; • Members of the same family, ‘the statues’ spend weekdays along Market St. and weekends (from 20.00 to midnight) on Canal St. • He is the ‘Trinket Seller’s’ husband or son.

The Newspaper Seller • Selling the notorious ‘Big Issue’ newspaper (aimed to help the underprivileged). • They are usually located next to main travelling nodes (train, bus or tram-stations) during the early hours of the morning or late afternoons. • Usually joined by other family members who sell it in the nearby areas. • Traveling on a daily basis from Longsight; • She is the musician’s wife. The Trinket Seller

• Drifting along Canal St. during the weekends (from 20.00 to midnight) • the group of three or four women sell plastic roses and other party-related merchandise. Require a permit for the selling activity. • Have developed a close relationship with the local gay community; • Travels to the city centre with the performers in a van that drops them off nearby the area they operate. The Musician • Band of 6 to 8 musicians, performing at various location along Market St. • The Manchester band includes one lead singer, two trumpet players, one accordion player, one organ player and one bassist. • Performing famous British covers, jazz and at times, traditional Romanian music. • He is the newspaper seller’s husband. • A charity box is placed in the middle of the pavement for donations;

154


Programmatic Principles The site will aim to accommodate the incoming Roma community by paralleling their initial behavior when in an unknown, ‘impure’ environment. As the group adapts to the site conditions and appropriates the stalled structure, a series of defensive spatial gestures emerge, aimed to protect the community from any possible overground dangers. As the project evolves along the timeline, a series of small, tactical gestures are initiated by the community towards the surrounding urban environment. Gradually, the group goes through a process of transformation, turning their boundaries into borders and forging connections with the social context.

Stage 6: ‘Urban Infiltration’ over 10 years Stage 5: ‘A Bridge of Trust’ 5 - 10 years Stage 4: ‘Tactical Connections’ 2 - 3 years Stage 3: ‘Surfacing events’ 1 - 2 years

10y

Stage 2: ‘Programmatic Rooting’ 6 months - 1 year

P

5y

A RM FO R E

Stage 1: ‘Parasitical Injection’ 0 - 6 months

3y

N CE

• Stages 1 and 2 (Shelter and Rooting) will envisage an appropriation of the existing stalled structure on an overground and underground direction. (VERTICAL) • Stages 3 and 4 (Adapting and Trade) will focus on the inner-boundary appropriation of the site and the initial horizontal explorations of the immediate context. (HORIZONTAL) • Stages 5 and 6 (Performance and Exploration) will address the tapping into the wider urban network through the exploration of the spatial and programmatic responds developed during the previous stages. (VERTICAL + HORIZONTAL)

2y 1y 6mSHE

TE

L

G IN RO O T

N ORATIO EXPL

R

0

Distrust

Trust

Diagram illustrating the temporal evolution of the programmatic stages on a timeline extending over a tenyear period. Six defining programmes have been selected as the main activity catalysts for each phase: shelter, rooting adapting, trade, performance and exploration.

155


INWARD Transgression

Defense

Distrust Boundary

Rooting

Defining the Programmatic Timeline

OUTWARD Direct Link

The journey from hermetic to open is defined by the gradual level of interaction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Thus, during the initial phases, the community will be concerned to develop basic programmatic functions that will sustain their social survival - an INWARD development phase (shelter). Since the Roma are not self-sustaining economicaly, a developing a set of connections with the ‘non-Roma’ is essential. This rationale will define the second phase of OUTWARD programmatic implementation that will essentially turn the boundaries the community initially forged, into borders. The emerging spatial porosities will introduce a new set of programmatic complexities and human typologies (the black market).

156

Border Trust

Approach

Direct Link


Rewriting the Project Narrative The study aims to initially investigate the urban, economic and social circumstances that define the condition of the stalled site as well as the interpretations that can emerge by analysing the implications of this phenomenon on a wider urban scale. During site analysis carried for the Origin site, two main themes have sieved through and will provide the spatial connections required to introduce the targeted social theme: the study of boundaries and litter. These will become critical analysis tools that will allow me to move towards the conceptual sphere and introduce notions such as spatial justice and the pure/impure dichotomy. The former will discuss Canal Street’s condition as an interaction strip between two main existing minorities: - the gay and the Roma community - as well as Rochdale Canal’s potential function as a purification tool. The latter will build a platform for understanding the unwritten philosophy the traditional Roma culture is based upon and will inform a set of spatial guestures that will play on the duality of this concept. In order to inspire and support the development of programmatic tactics, the idea of ritual as emerging from the study of the everyday within the context of Origin on the one hand, and ritual as a driver, as the governing force behind every Roma’s lifestyle, on the other will be introduced. The investigation of these concepts in relation to the Roma as the central object for social study and Origin’s stalled condition will enable me to introduce a set of programmatic gestures based on notions of transient, temporary and permanent drifting patterns of the Roma groups. This will provide the framework for a spatial evolution and programmatic methodology that will follow the journey from scepticism to trust, from hermetic, defensive to open, outreaching the Village area and eventually, the wider urban network. As the structure evolves vertically and horizontally, it will explore a set of spatial possibilities that play on the notions of exclusivity - Roma specific, and designed contamination - the interaction, the melange with the wider social network. Following the lift of the travel restrictions and free access to the UK labour market starting with January 2014, a high influx of Romani groups are expected to arrive and settle within British and implicitly, Mancunian territory. As the community polarizes along and beyond the city ringroad and its social and spatial needs intensify, providing a tangible base-point within the boundaries of the central area of the city that will tackle the issue of inclusion is essential. The extended timeline of the scheme will address the problem of spatial scarcity that arises follwing the intensification of the drifting trends and nomadic tendencies manifested by Manchester’s diversifying social stratum as a whole. The city will become a node of interactions, a space of transcience that will need to provide a platform for the urban distribution of these social flows. Consequently, this context provides an opportunity for the wider network of stalled infrastructures to be tackled through set of regulated and unregulated interventions. 157


LITTER

SPATIAL JUSTICE

BOUNDARIES

PURE/ IMPURE

PERMANENCE/ TRANSIENCE (NOMADIC)

STALLED

MINORITY/ MAJORITY

INCREMENTAL PARASITICAL

ROMA GYPSIES

ROMA CAMP

FAIRGROUND

PRIMARY

INTERMEDIATE

GAY

(the village)

VILLAGE EXTENSION

SECONDARY

CONCEPUTAL DIRECTIONS - VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT NARRATIVE: Diagram illustrating the connection between the notion of a stalled space, the dynamic nature of programmatic possibilities and the social groups that could drive the choice and type of spatial intervention.

158


Constant Nieuwenhuys, Campo Nomadi, model for a ‘gypsy camp’ (1956–1958) Inspired by a Roma community in Alba, Northern Italy, Constant designed a mobile setting for the nomadic people, for a community always ‘drifting through’. Under one roof, with the aid of movable elements, a shared residence is built, a temporary, constantly remodeled living area, made up of changeable and transportable structural elements. Experimenting with an open system of mobile walls, spiraling wires, and semicircular forms, and blurring the border between “inside” and “out”, the project echoes in plan the symbolism of the wheel, of continuous movement. It is at this point when Constant interest for the ‘nomadic urbanities’ was sparked, leading to New Babylon, ‘the global gypsy camp’.

A symbolic interpretation of the Roma Camp, introducing the concept of spatial labyrinth and diferentiation between the residential area and ground floor activities. A central staircase leads towards the upper levels of the structure, a secret access point is provided on Brazil St. along with internal shortcuts known only by the Roma community.


PHILIP BROWN

DANIELE VIKTOR LEGGIO

Deputy Director of the Salford and Housing and Urban Studies Unit, Main Author of ‘The Migrant Roma in the United Kingdom’ Report

Coordinator, The Romani Project Manchester Linguistics Department

The University of Salford

The University of Manchester

• ‘I believe they don’t even know how they want to live. We should be helping them understand their own needs.’

• ‘Members of the community have a positive view to their current living conditions and future prospects in Manchester and they intend to stay.’

• There is no exact data with regards to the numbers of the Roma community members that are going to come to the UK following the lifting of the labour restrictions for Bulgaria and Romania. • Identity Crisis - the dictatorial regime in Romania enforced a series of policies for the sedentarisation of the itinerant Roma by placing them in communist-era apartment blocks; • The lifting of the restrictions will imply a more flexible traveling space and therefore a migration away from the UK to other areas with established social networks (Germany) but also towards their origin countries;

• The Romani community in Gorton South, Manchester comprises up to 50 mostly related nuclear families, most of them originating from Tandarei in south-eastern Romania. • The community arrived in Manchester in two waves. (1) 2001-2003 via other European countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) (2) attracted and encouraged by the first wave, arrived directly from Romania or via Spain. • Income is oftenly sent back to Romania to support the elderly generation and other dependents.

• There are no intrinsic distinctions that the current situation Roma community is defined by in relation to other vulnerable communities such as the homeless;

• Most members of the community are of Christian-Orthodox background but are now followers of a Romani Pentecostal church which is their main community forum;

• The familial ties and kinship networks are particularly strong and they tend to share internal domestic responsabilities;

• Overall, their network of mutual support gives the community a feeling of confidence.

• Once arrived in the UK, they tend to occupy large number of vacant properties or low-end rent housing.

• Short-term needs include more employment opportunities, and easier and more transparent access to social services and school places.

• They continue to be engaged in an informal-type economy, in ‘hand-to-mouth’ type of existence, oftenly fueled by prejudices and hostilities directed to their lifestyle. There is however research that suggests they would engage in a formal labour market should such a framework be developed.

160

• The community continues to be predominantly engaged in casual work opportunities. • In Hungary, there is a small number of blacksmith cooperatives which are run by Roma on their own behalf and that produce a wide variety of metal - derived products;


UK

Romania

The Roma Migration Map - The complex structure of Romani society, where the Romani Group is the primary unit, has been described as a “fluid mosaic of diversified groups.”(Liegois, 1994) Mobility has, for many Roma, been part and parcel of identity. It’s “not all wagons and horses,” though, and Roma have been engaged with agriculture (as they still are in many places), artisan skills and automobiles trading, road repairs and roofing. Metal work of all kinds has always been part of the Roma economy, as has craft production (baskets and bamboo furniture, knives’ handles, carved and decorated wagons, fairground signs). Diversity in and amongst Roma groups has its origins in occupational identity, as much as in any other distinctions of culture. 1 Marsh, A. (2013). Gypsies, Roma, Travellers: An Animated History. Available: http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/gypsies-roma-travellers-animated-history. Last accessed 15th January 2014.

1


The Social Structure The Roma Relations and Family Networks • The Romani society is centred around the idea of family, with kinship groups and networks forming the core structure of their socio-economic organisation. 1 • Family networks usually comprise nuclear families of two or three brothers and may extend to include brothers-in-law and their nuclear families. 2 • Nuclear families belonging to a familly network typically aim to settle in the same house or alternatilvely, on the same street or adjacent estates, in close proximity of the other group members. As a new family arrives (part of the kinship network), a need arises to reconfigure the residence arrangements. 3 1 HANCOCK, I. F. (2002). We are the Romani people = Ame sam e Rromane dz̆ ene. [Paris, France], Centre de recherches tsiganes. 2 The Romani Project, October 2009. The Romani Community in Gorton South, Manchester [pdf]. Available at: <http://romani.humanities. manchester.ac.uk/downloads/2/report.pdff> [Accessed 3 January 2014]. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid.

HOUSEHOLDS

CO-RESIDENTIAL

162

ECONOMIC


SOCIAL NETWORK

CO-RESIDENTIAL | TYPES

GROUP (a) most common type: male head of the household (25-40 years of age) shares a house with his children and wife.

Clan

Clan

Clan

(b) a household may inclde the parents of the male head of the household - 3 generations live together. Extended Household

Extended Household

Nuclear Family

Nuclear Family

Extended Household

Nuclear Family

(an average of 7 persons per individual household) 4

163

(c) less common scenario: a female single-parent as the head of the household, living alone with her children

(d) a household may include the parents and unmarried siblings of the wife


The Economic Structure Internal Income Networks • The economic survival of the Roma community operates on the establishment of dense internal networks of income exchange but also on commercially driven external networks with the society stretching outside the group boundaries:

Sustainment: resource sharing

INTERNAL ECONOMY

Self-employment: selling goods or services to non-Roma

EXTERNAL

• An economic household is ‘the unit within which resources are shared in order to ensure the survival of all members. 1 • The weakening economic situation after 1990, discrimination on the now open (and no longer state-run) job market, increasing dependency on a family- based informal fringe economy such as dealing in scrap-metal and other industrial waste products or in grey market goods. • Networks of family ties are distributed across various European cities (such as Madrid, Milan or Rome) and are referred to as ‘colonies’ or ‘diasporas’. Nevertheless, the Manchester Romani residents identify London and Birmingham as the primary urban spaces of Romani convergence, as the places where ‘their Roma’ now live.2 • Within the ‘international household’, resources are shared in order to support the elderly relatives in Romania, for special occasions (weddings), for the purchase of residential properties back home or in order to obtain information on sources of income and accomodation that could facilitate the re-location of a family from one ‘diasporic’ community to another. 3

Figure (A) A Global Household

Living in Romania

Figure (B) Sharing for survival: information, household utensils, food, income

Living in Romania

Living in Romania

• These are tightly-knit invisible networks that are defined not only by the sharing of income and major expenditures, but also household utensils, food and information on outside connections (school services) and procedures (on welfare benefits schemes). 4 1 The Romani Project, October 2009. The Romani Community in Gorton South, Manchester [pdf]. Available at: <http://romani.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/ downloads/2/report.pdff> [Accessed 3 January 2014]. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4Ibid.

164

Living in Manchester

Living in Manchester

Flow of resources (making the economic household)

Living in Manchester

Co-Residential Household


Extenal Income Networks • The Roma economy is based on an itinerant economy subdivided into professional skills, producing tools or offering services to the local population. • Based on the drawing on an immediate financial gain from the encounter with the non-Roma. • Most members of the community are self-employed, involved in ‘small’ income generating activities such as selling flowers and trinkets, the collection and dealing of scrap metal. • All adult members of the household are responsible for income-generating activities and will combine their efforts to optimize any available opportunity. • The engagement in skilled or semi-skilled activities of production or service. • It is important to note that from the perspective of a Romani cultural background, the full range of such activities is regarded as ‘work’, whereas from the perspective of the majority society only some, and perhaps none of these activities are seen as genuine cases of ‘work’. • Absence of contacts and a lack of access to information about employment create a vicious circle of discrimination and hostility that keeps the Roma community trapped outside the urban economic flows - traditional experience of alienation and marginalisation of the Roma. • An increasing dependency on a family-based, informal, fringe economy such as the collection of scrap metal or the recycling of industrial waste products. • The Gypsies have been experts in all forms of metalwork, whether it be as tinsmiths, coppersmiths, silversmiths, or goldsmiths. They have been known as metalworkers from the beginning of their history, forging nails, arm, tools, and cooking equipment. They have been skilled at plating objects with tin, embossing and engraving jewelry. • Gypsies have not only been master metalworkers, but they have also shown great ingenuity in devising relatively light equipment such as forges and hammers. These tools are necessary to their work and are specifically designed to be easily transported.


SKILLED TRADES

(manual labourers)

WOOD-CARVERS (boyash/ rudari)

TINNERS

(kalderash/ caldarari)

BRICK-MAKERS

SPOONMAKERS (lingurari)

(kangliari/ pieptenari)

COMB-MAKERS

BEARHANDLERS

COPPERSMITHS

GOLDSMITHS

SILVERSMITHS

FIDLERS

Copper

Gold

(caramidari)

(aramari/ spoitori)

Aluminium, Tin

(zlatari)

(argintari)

Silver

(ursari)

(lautari)

Brass

UNSKILLED TRADES

(current casual work opportunities in Manchester)

SELLING NEWSPAPERS

(Big Issue - main income generator)

166

SCRAP METAL DEALING (‘rag and bone’)

TRINKET SELLERS

(including flowers)


Domestic

[CRAFT]

• provide the collectors with small and medium items • the collectors require a permit and a predefined collection schedule

• precious metals are redirected towards the foundry area where Roma craftsmen re-model them into new objects;

Collectors

Disassembly

• equipped with vans and tools, the collectors cover Manchester’s territory in search of scrap metal goods; • they also travel to wrecking yards where they make a selection of items prior to returning them to the camp;

COMMERCE

selling of the craft objects to the wider public

CAMP DEVELOPMENT

using the manufactured object for internal use: gutters, chimney, pots and pans, etc.

Landfill

• the metal goods are carried inside the camp and distributed according to their size • each item is disassembled within the designated areas;

Landfill

[RE-SELL]

• the collectors are allowed to browse through the landfill and slect any materials of interest

• selected items are archived and stored within the provided storage spacesl

• unusable items and materials following the disassembly process are taken to the landfill

CHANGING PARTS

• unique metal items are re-sold (car services, individuals)

METAL RECYCLING PLANT • the remaining metal (chassis) is sold to the scrap yards that will melt it;

Scrap Metal Collection and Dealing Act • The Scrap Metal Act, which will be enforced starting with the 1st of December 2013, will replace the old 1964 rules on scrap metal trading. The act is supposed to bring about “much needed reform of the scrap metal sector” and to “effectively tackle unscrupulous operators”. The Act requires anyone trading in scrap to apply for a separate license in every local authority in which they operate. 1 • The new law will generate a significant impact within both the Gyspy and Traveller communities where scrap metal collection and dealing are a primary income source. “From metal working in the Middle Ages they have come through hundreds of years - recycling metal, selling metal, using metal, sorting metal- and this law is going to effectively kill off their lifestyle because they will have to pay for a license in every borough or county which they travel through.” 1

2

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (c.10) London: HMSO. Available at: <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/10/enacted> [Accessed 4 January 2014].

2 Le BAs, D., 2013. Focus: ‘New scrap metal law to hit Travellers hard’. Travellers’ Times Online, [online] 26 September. Available at: <http://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/list. aspx?c=00619EF1-21E2-40AA-8D5E-F7C38586D32F&n=7A45CA86-D88C-4D1A-A6EA-492AA4E29200>[Accessed 4 January 2014].

167


Infrastructural Strategy - Plug In Based on the existing and proposed infrastructural strategy, the spatial strategy of the Roma camp will be designed to plug into the existing site conditions, making use of the existing service core locations and staircases. It is therefore essential to propose a temporary, lightweight, modular infrastructure. The archiving exercise revealed a panoply of scattered evidence holding a temporary or permanent role within the extended timeline of the structureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evolution. Could temporary construction infrastructure introduce a series of formal and material spatialities? Once the Origin project is un-stalled, the Roma Camp can be de-mounted and re-built on a different stalled location across the city.

Hotel Residential

rth two

Whi

Office

168

Pr

inc ess

St.

St.


Past

Future g Abin

gd Abin

don et Stre

eet on Str il Braz

reet

il St

t

e Stre

Braz

Office | Commercial

Residential

S. Ogden Street

S. Ogden Street

Present Sack ville

s ces Prin t

et Stre

e Stre

t

t

e Stre

e Stre

reet n St gdo reet Abin s St ces Prin

don

s ces Prin

g Abin eet l Str

a Can

reet

il St

Braz

2

S. Ogden Street

169

S. Ogden Street

1

MARKET (Gay Village Extension)

PARK (Public Aspiration)

ROMA CAMP

COMPLEMENTARY

TEMPORARY

INCREMENTAL

A programme required to provide the commercial influx essential for the Roma community to develop and sustain its economic cycle.

The park as an area of mixed interaction, as a territory celebrating the vitality and flamboyance of the Roma and Gay communities.

3

A gradual, modular growth of the camp in accordance with the Roma family structure and kinship networks.


t

ee il Str

The Gay Communi-

MARKET

N

PARK

CAMP

CAMP

High Economic Interaction / Controlled Social Interaction

Samuel Ogden Street

MARKET (Village Extension)

Braz

High Economic Interaction / High Social Interaction

The Roma Communi-

PARK / FAIRGROUND

High Economic Interaction / Low Social Interaction

treet orth S Whiitw

t

e Stre

l Cana

RELIEF: park as open space at the junction between highly circulated routes.

INTIMACY: camp location directly connected to Brazil St. as private access.

INTERMEDIATE park as crossing space from Canal St. towards Witworth St.

STRATEGY: camp evolution superimposing the built-in service shafts for the Origin hotel and apartments.

Labyrinth

The Local Communi-

LINEAR vs. PLATEAU extension of the Village across the canal

The scheme will aim to choreograph various degrees of social and economic interaction between the Local, the Gay and the Roma communities.

170

INDIRECT ACCESS no direct access to the Roma commercial labyrinth, but only through the Village Market.


The Grid, the Noman and the Labyrinth Developed by John Hejduk (1999), the nine square grid exercise is based on the transformation of a nine-square grid into a series of spatial alternatives, using a pre-defined kit-of-parts and a set of rules regarding orientation, privacy, construction and structure. In order to be able to introduce the concept of a modular structure, I believe it is essential to understand the relationship between context, grid and spatial praxis rules that defines the Roma lifestyle. Also, the introduction of a pre-defined system would build a ‘guidance’ framework inside of which the community is encouraged to develop its own spatial dialectic.

“The city, as a mechanism, is thus nothing other than a labyrinth : a configuration of points of departure, and terminal points, separated by obstacles” Diamond House, House A, 1980

The Nine-Square Grid Problem, 1999

Ville Spatialle is a conceptual city where people a free to create their own living environment. It is a spatial, three-dimensional structure raised up on piles which contains inhabited volumes, fitted inside some of the “voids”, alternating with other unused volumes. It is designed on the basis of trihedral elements which operate as “neighbourhoods” where dwellings are freely distributed. The concept of social grouping according to family networks can be further explored as a means of responding to the specificities of each extended Roma family or clan. Also, the concept of ‘raising’ the living areas and preserving a free-movement ground floor plan could address the community’s need for privacy, while encouraging social interaction. Again, the concept of a structure shaped by its own inhabitants is furthermore reinforced.

As Friedman states: ”I cannot make a drawing of the

Ville Spatiale, only of the infrastructure…what will come out depends on the players, the residents.”

171


High Spatial Regulation

Roma Community High Social Regulation (exclusivity)

Village Market Medium Social Regulation

Low Spatial Regulation

(conditioned)

Park Low Social Regulation (free/open)

The grid structure poses a series of questions with regarding to the pattern variations that can be developed for each of the programmes - camp, park, market - according to their own spatial and temporal coordinates. However, introducing different spatial configuration implies the emergence of a series of boundaries inbetween activities - how would the transition from one grid form to another be made spatially and what materialities could be introduced?

The General Strategy - Summary Anthropology

Grid/Labyrinth

Based on the existing and proposed infrastructural strategy, the spatial organization of the Roma camp will be designed to plug into the existing site conditions.

The Roma society is centred around the idea of family, with kinship groups and networks forming the core structure of their socio-economic organisation.

The maze concept seeks to identify a spatial form of organization in accordance with the need for protection, for privacy, imperative for the Roma settlement process.

CONTEXTUAL

SOCIAL

Infrastructure

FORMAL


Spatial Initiatives Merging structure, material and space Our current model of architecture is too slow to respond to global social and economic crisis alike. We need a faster system. One that can quickly adapt, bend, strategically buckle, and rebuild - scaffolding. The regularized iron gridded structure enables unlimited freedom and malleability, with the forms and programs of the spaces housed within shifting daily or even hourly according to the desires of the inhabitants. The only components which remain relatively unchanged are basic necessities such as bathrooms and elevators, though even these are allowed to shift positions


Roma Spatial Organization Principles

IMPURE

PURE

CENTRAL GATHERING

DWELLING â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;UNDER THE

Labyrinth as DECEPTIVE

(programmatic polarization)

It is the nature of the habitat that determines the Roma settlementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spatial order. The contextual influence acts according to specific physical parameters (climate, urban or rural environment, topography, available materials, economic conditions, cultures, etc.). In urban areas, the Roma dwellings usually polarize on small plots, forming clusters that share walls and exterior space. In many communities, a large variety of activities take place on the periphery of the built space: cooking, eating, resting, sleeping, working, washing and partying. The exterior spaces are rarely formalized and they range from a variety of transition spaces - porch, stairs, entrance, canopy, shaded space - to courtyard, which is usually a reflection of the local culture.1 The scheme aims to carefully consider each of these elements of spatial organization and translate them into the architectural language of temporariness, of the flexible and modular. ORTA, L. (2010). Mapping the invisible: Eu-Roma Gypsies. London, Black Dog Pub.

SPATIAL

PERIPHERAL COOKING

RESTING

HOUSE = SACRED (based on family networks)

174

PUBLIC

PRIVATE

Zone of Impure

Venice St.

1

WASHING (the street as gathering


Model illlustrating the scaffolding mass that has been â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;carved intoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in order to accommodate the propsed programmes as well as the potential atmospheric qualities of the 3D grid.

175


Labyrinth

While the gridded structure can also inform the organization of the Park and Market areas, it can be challenged through the introduction of different materialties (inflatables, tensile membranes).

Storage

Garden

Kitchen

Living/ Leisure

Play

Working Areas

Communal Facilities

Ground floor accommodating a large and flexible planning system of communal and public activities organized according to living, work and commercial purposes. The scaffolding structure allows for the internal spaces to be easily reconfigured and adapted according to the needs of an increasing community.

Container Assembly

Ground Level

Labyrinth

Market

Park Park

Market

The Residential Floors The residential floors are evolving horizontally, with the polarization of containers around the main service cores, already perforating the concrete structure of the stalled site. With the arrival of new families, each living unit connects to an existing M & E core. Should any social shifts alter the internal rules of the group ( the formation of new kinship networks, the departure of members), the servicing and structural system can allow for endless reconfigurations.

Private/ Residential

Private

Crane & Garden

Park

Private

Market

Public

Labyrinth

The Underground Levels Underground floors accommodating the scrap metal collection, manipulation and distribution centres. The spatial organization is primarily defined by the existing column grid and car-park layout, as well as the location of the existing circulation and service cores.

Storage

Sorting

Offices

Drop Off

Foundry

Hazardous Materials

Disassembly Stations

Parking

176

Park ing

Stora ge

Disassembly Stations

Parking


Residential

Village Market

Labyrinth Park

Metal Workshops (DIsmantling, Foundry, Archive)

The programmatic massing as layered and exposed spaces, appear to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;floatingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; within the density of the scaffolding structure. The visual transparencies, the contrast between the lightness of the structure and the enclosed residential volumes, create a synthesis with the surrounding context. To reveal, not shield, to allow the cityscape to interact with(in) the space.

177


Inflatable Structure and Thin Membrane Materials The purpose of the workshop was to familiarize us with the possible forms of spatial and material temporariness that can inform a variety of spatial enclosures ranging from hermetic, closed spaces towards open, tensile sheltering devices. Considering the ephemeral nature of the intervention, the inflatable could represent a practical options to creating and dis-assembling space, providing a spatial and material counterpoint to the heaviness of the permanent structure. The workshop enabled us to experiment with different configurations of instant space, with the spatial dynamic the an inflatable structure could introduce to a stalled site. Primarily, the test models enabled me to formulate a series of key questions in the further development of the project: (1) How can I spatially differentiate between pure (hermetic, exclusive) and impure (open, public) space lying at the core of Roma living philosophy? Also, how does the transition boundary between these two concept manifest? (2) What type of materiality could enable me define hot from cold space and how would these be defined and arranged within the scaffolding frame? (3) Could the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inflatableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; element define the temporariness of the fairground, and therefore be used to reinterpret the boundary between Roma, Gay and public? What an inflatable structure teaches is the importance of the experience of space, rather than specified form. It can be introduced as a critique to the hardness of sedentary architecture, as a form of minimum separation between the human and its immediate environment. Testing the various types of spaces that emerge following the interaction between inflatable and grid, between highly regulate and unregulated and various boundary treatments.


Tensile Structures While the tent is a symbol of discretion and secrecy in certain contexts, it stands as a space of central identity and sociablity. Bender tents were made from light, easy to find or inexpensive materials and were quick and easy to construct. According to the Roma philosophy, the tent is akin to a garment, an extension of manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inner being, a symbol of freedom and permanent connection to the natural world, an expression of spatial harmony, reduced to the quintessential, simplified to the very basic. Translation of the tent typology into potential sheltering space. Each â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; supporting the tensile membrane can be used to visually define a certain programme.

179


Programmatic and Spatial Resolution (1) Concentric Dispersal

Venice St.

Brazil St.

Public/Private: Commercial Labyrinth vs. Residential Floor

Central staircase leading towards the upper levels of the sturcture.

Hidden direct access and internal shortcuts only the Roma know.

Introducing the grid as the central form of spatial and material organization, with a horizontal. floor-by-floor dispersal of the residential modules. Nevertheless, this option tends to ignore the cultural subtleties and various identities that define each kinship network within the Roma community.

Park

Roma Camp

(2) Structural Grid

Roma Market

Public/Private: Commercial Labyrinth vs. Residential Floor

The settling process is directly connected to the location of the main service cores.

The Labyrinth - Roma commercial area as a ground for social interaction with the wider public.

Introducing the grid as the central form of spatial and material organization, with a horizontal. floor-by-floor dispersal of the residential modules. Nevertheless, this option tends to ignore the cultural subtleties and various identities that define each kinship network within the Roma community.

Roma Camp

(3) The Modular Grid

Internal identities belonging to each nuclear, extended family or clan are reflected in the modular arrangement.

Each module will be equipped with a private form of vertical access.

Controlled Interaction - while the Roma labyrinth will act as a main generator of income, it will also act as a paravan from the main camp, in line with the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s invisibility and intimacy needs.

A symbolic interpretation of the Roma Camp, introducing the concept of spatial labyrinth and segregation of the residential area from ground floor activities. The circular floor-plan fails to engage with the spatial boundaries of the site and the immediate urban grain, suggesting a self-contained, indifferent attitude towards the existing community and further opportunities of engagement. 180


A symbolic interpretation of the Roma Camp, introducing the concept of spatial labyrinth and segregation of the residential area from ground floor activities. The circular floor-plan fails to engage with the spatial boundaries of the site and the immediate urban grain, suggesting a self-contained, indifferent attitude towards the existing community and further opportunities of engagement.

A study of the horizontal planes that will later inform the vertical separation between public and private programmes within the Camp. This model illustrates how the floor can also extend into a sheltering â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;canopyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for the market area, an expression of the symbiotic relationship between the gay and Roma communities and their sharing of resources.

181


Nomadic Urbanities Constant Nieuwenhuys: Nomadic Urbanities “Is it a social utopia? An urban architectural design? An artistic vision? A cultural revolution? A technical conquest? A solution of the practical problems of the industrial age? Each of these questions touches an aspect of New Babylon.” New Babylon is a design for future architectural structures, made for a society of people who are freed from the everyday work, where play and creative change are privileged. 1 The space of New Babylon has all the characteristics of a labyrinthine space, within which movement no longer submits to the constraints of given spatial or temporal organization. The social space is the direct expression of social independence. The variable, unpredictable structure grows out of movable assembly systems (walls, floors, terminals, bridges,etc.) light and therefore easy to transport, which can be as easily mounted as dismounted, making them reusable pieces of infrastructure. The dimension of the macrostructure are determined by the module of standard elements. An infinite nomadic city, New Babylon represents a key conceptual precedent, one that will enable me to argument a series of the design decisions that will inform the design of the Roma camp.

1

CONSTANT, & WIGLEY, M. (1998). Constant’s New Babylon: the hyper-architecture of desire. Rotterdam, Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art.

182


Indicative montage depicting the horizontal movement permeability on the lower floor (scaffolding colonnade), the vertical segregation from the private residential levels, as well as the potential circulation links that can develop between various sections of the developing structure.

Introducing the module as a response to the kinship networks defining the Roma inner social organization, with each unit comprising of a service core, up to three residential levels and a protective roof membrane.

183


In order to accommodate the various family configurations, three types of modules are introduced, supporting six, four and respectively, two containers per level. Nevertheless, this strategy will is most likely to be subjected to further alteration once tested within the site boundaries.

184

Each module â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;plugs intoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; one of the existing service cores, channeling the transfer of energy, sewage and water towards the upper residential levels.


There are opportunities for the further connections to emerge inbetween modules (platforms, improvised staircases, ladders) according to the dynamic of the familial ties. (Above & Left) Views of the residential modules during the final stage of completion, polarized around the central perimeter delineated by the craneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. (Below) The Village Market, extending its canopy from the ground floor Labyrinth area as an expression of the symbiotic relationship that has gradually developed between the Roma and the Gay community both socially and commercially.

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South North

(Above) Timeline of the incremental structural evolution along the South - North axis. The first module will be installed in the vicinity of the only fully built staircase, connecting the underground levels of the site. (Below) As more family members arrive, the protective canopy is raised along the supporting service core extension, allowing for more floors to be installed and residential containers to be added. The technology and strategy behind this concept needs to be further developed.

186


The traditional living enclave: the Kalderash Romas (traditional coppersmiths) are modern alchemists, turning base metals into gold by harvesting the metal skeletons of the industrial leftovers of the communist era and selling them further. While the images above depict residences belonging to the wealthy Romanian gypsies as competing displays of wealth and prosperity, they essentially represent the archetype of the dwelling module, where more members of the same family live under the same roof. What is to be noted for further exploration is the concept of visual identity that each of the schemeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modules could evoke according to the cultural background of each clan. The aesthetic rigidity of the construction infrastructure can be challenged. Bauer, F. 2009, Gypsy Architecture - Romania, viewed 24 January 2014, <http://www.pbase.com/bauer image/126921057>.

187


Exploring the potential massing and material qualities of the Roma residential module (accommodating one ‘nuclear family’) in relation to the programmatic fluidity on the ground floor levels of the structure - the private levels, supported by the scaffolding structure, will appear to be ‘floating’ above the communal activities spaces. Moreover, I believe translating into architectural language the ‘domestic’, informal feel of the Roma traditional house/ tent/ vardo is essential in order to achieve programmatic legibility and most importantly, a feeling of belonging, of cultural legibility.

188


rth

. St

o itw Wh

ice

n Ve

St. Sketch model testing the potential vertical circulation flows in relation to the existing and intended circulation cores. Establishing access towards the upper levels will be achieved through two key access points on Venice and Whitworth St. - while these are purely indicative, their final location will be determined in accordance with the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;invisibilityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; qualities for the passing-by public.

189


A

Camp

A

Residential Residential Residential

Canal St.

Communal Area

Whitworth St.

Sorting & Module Building Area Foundry Car Dismantling Car Cemetery Car Cemetery

B

Park / Market

Labyrinth

Camp

B

Residential Residential Residential Communal Area Park / Market

Venice St. Princess St.

Foundry Car Dismantling Car Cemetery Car Cemetery

Section [AA] and [BB] - exploring the relationship between private/public and vertical circulation. Overground: the access from the ground floor towards the upper residential levels is made through two staricases to the Eastern (Venice St.) and Southern (Whitworth St.) areas of the site. Each module will be accessed through a provate staricase and elevator. Underground: the lower levels of the existing structure are accessed through the existing circulation cores intended to accommodate the Origin hotel and residential schemes.

190


Ground Floor

LOW

Work Areas

Living Spaces

Work Areas

Fairground / Park

N

HIGH

Village Market

Interaction Levels

Roma Labyrinth

Pure Space (Roma-exclusive) External Access

Secret Internal Access

Internal Access

Secret External Access

Intermittent Impure Space (Roma territory, non-Roma visitors ) Impure Space (non-Roma territory)

Ground floor area organized spatially in accordance with the Roma principles of programmatic purity and impurity. The level of interaction with the wider public decrease gradually, from high interaction programmes at the Western end of the site (the Village Market, the Fairground/Park) to controlled interaction (Roma Labyrinth) and exclusive access (the Roma Camp).

191


Residential Levels

Residential Modules

Fairground / Park

N

Village Market

Pure Space (Roma-exclusive) External Access

Secret Internal Access

Internal Access

Secret External Access

Intermittent Impure Space (Roma territory, non-Roma visitors ) Impure Space (non-Roma territory)

Upper levels designed exclusively for Roma living spaces, in line with the need for privacy and separation from the daily activities spaces located on the ground floor. This is mainly due to the sacred qualities of the private living space (the house), that often remains an overcrowded depository of valued objects and refuge for rest and intimacy.

192


Informal vs. Formal: Site model positioning the scheme within the immediate urban context. The structural lightness contrasts the heavy massing of the surrounding architectural grain as an expression of temporariness, of ad-hoc spatial exercises. Moreover, with the concept of construction infrastructure strongly ingrained in the Mancunian landscape, the scheme will camouflage its programmatic purpose, reading to the wandering eye as a critique of the stalled, of the unfinished.

Designing Unpredictability: preserving the informality of the Roma lifestyle, the state of disorder within an intrinsically ordered system can inspire creativity, a rethinking of the conventional use of traditional building methods.

Contained Chaos: The modularity of the scaffolding structure acts as a form of spatial control for the myriad of spontaneous on-site activities, defining the boundaries within which the unregulated can unfold. While the scheme does not attempt to regularize the Roma settlement patterns or inhibit the spontaneity of the internal programmatic evolution, it aims to provide a framework of structural and spatial distribution in line with existing standards and regulations.

193


An informal appropriation of the modular, rigid structure by the community - the industrial is humanized, the regulated becomes unregulated, the rules are occasionally broken. Initial responses to the private vertical access and social distribution strategy according to kinship sub-divisions - nuclear family (container), extended family (floor), clan (module).

Public vs. Private: render depicting the entrance to the public commercial area with the Roma-exclusive residential areas distributed across the higher levels of the structure.

194

Lightness: atmospheric render suggesting the lightness, temporariness of the structure infused with the domestic activities unfolding across the upper levels.


Atmospheres and Spatial Experience

(Fig. 1) Horizontal-opening windows, hidden in the ground-floor OSB Western facade enclosing the Roma Labyrinth. The openings function as a direct approach of the passer-by, an echo of the ‘black-market’ collection of goods (electronics) or illegal entertainment activities (shell games).

195

(Fig. 2) Secret doors carved into the OSB partitioning walls separating the Labyrinth from the Roma-exclusive Camp area. They provide direct access to key spaces such as Bulibasa’s Office (head Roma administrator), the Workshops or the Secret Garden.


(Fig. 4)

(Fig. 3) The Secret Garden - central semi-enclosed courtyard space, developed around the craneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on-site location and functioning as a playground area, gathering and performance space, hidden from the gaze of the public.

196

(Fig. 5) Interior views overlooking the Secret Garden void on the first floor and second floor level. PVC curtains ensure weather protection is achieved, while preserving the levels of visual permeability across the spaces.


Fig. (6) Aerial view of the vertical circulation distribution in relation to the key service distribution cores.

Fig. (7) Eastern view of the vertical circulation from the first floor to the upper residential modules through a series of private access staircases.

197


Fig. (8) Southern Elevation depicting the relationship between the vertical access and the scaffolding structure.

Fig. (9) Western Elevation introducing the residential modules on the upper levels of the structure in relation to the service cores.

198


Fig. (10) Whitworth St. approach - the Southern entrance and the Labyrinth exit point are protected by the PVC facade, acting as a camouflage for the key access points to the structure.

199

Fig. (11) Introducing the residential modules for two, and four containers per level. Each container can accommodate an average of 7 family members, and by extension approximately 98 residents per level.


Fig. (12) Eastern view of the core services, industrial staircases and scissor lifts as vertical means of distributing energy and circulation.

200

Fig. (13) The scissor lift platforms as a basic alternative to the traditional elevator design.


Fig. (15) Interior view from one of the private access staircases towards an extended familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s container arrangement. The system allows for residential units to be added, removed or shifted, according to the internal group dynamics of each clan.

201

Fig. (16) View towards the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;interior courtyardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the four-container module at the top level.


Integrated Technologies Construction and Environmental Strategies

203


Construction - Sustainability Issues Architects play a key role in solving social challenges – one that goes beyond their roles as creators of forms or iconic architecture. On a global scale, the economic platform on which architecture operates has shifted. Improving the quality of our cities, striving toward urban sustainability and offering lifestyle solutions for the rational use of resources and land are only some of the areas where it is within the architect’s power to make a change. The Roma Camp has been designed as an expression of ad-hoc improvisation, in line with current visions of an innovative form of sustainable architecture, and drawing its value and spatial qualities from the unpredictability that the social component brings to the design and construction process. Most importantly. it is the material choice and construction techniques that ensure the scheme fully engages with current issues of Climate Change and resource depletion.

• The primary AllRound Layher aluminum scaffolding is primarily comprised of previously used scaffolding and is fully recyclable.

• The PVC Curtain Strips represent an practical, cost-effective alternative to hard-surface materials such as glazing in the environmental control of the scheme.

• Norbord OSB internal partitioning walls and external residential container lining: with the amount of carbon stored in wood panels, they are highly carbon negative, making OSB a truly sustainable green building product. OSB uses small diameter trees (approx 10-15 years old) in the forest thinning process so is a more sustainable forestry practice. Most plywood is shipped from Far East and South America which means the product is incurring shipping miles. Norbord is the only UK manufacturer of OSB, which means fewer carbon transportation miles.

• ePTFE Lightweight Roof Structure - fast construction, smaller foundations, easily opened, extended, relocated. The use of such tensile materials help qualify for energy saving, innovation and recycle-ability/ re-use. For example, electrical costs can be reduced when natural light is transmitted through the fabric providing sufficient natural light. Other advantages of using e-PTFE as part of the roof design include: - Energy Savings through natural light transmission; - Material Conservation via minimum mass design; - Lower fuel consumption for shipment; - The light color screens (natural white) reflect heat and glare, reducing A/C demand;

• Polycarbonate Sheeting in for the ground floor levels of the structure and in the roof design of the residential containers. Polycarbonate sheeting systems are a design and sustainability conscious technology. Among other benefits, this technology is extremely durable, flexible to design needs. It is completely recyclable and often made of recycled materials.

• The Suspended Garden - Green Roof System adapted to the first level of the structure. Since the industrial revolution, smog and heat levels – know as the urban heat island effect – have increased in major cities. With its intense vegetation, this system helps control the rise in temperature, make the air cleaner and managing the water resulted from rainfall.

‘In Limbo’ does not propose a strategy birthing pristine, perfectly aligned spaces and sleek technologies, but an exploration of the imperfect, of the random and the improvised - a breathing, ever-changing structure that echoes the unconventional ways of the Romani people and their ability to adapt in any given environment.”

204


1:200 model exploring the structural relationship between the maximum truss - span of 7.5 m and the scaffolding bays on the ground floor level.

1:100 model developing the relationship between the scaffolding structure, the residential container and the PVC curtain strip facade.

205


Series of 3D computer modeling studies of the structural strategy between the five levels of the scheme - scaffolding bays (red), OSB partition walls (green), floor decking (light blue), service cores and circulation elements (grey).

3d Study model further refiningof the structural patterns between scaffolding bays, colonnades and spanning truses.

206


11

12

10

9

2 8 4 7 1 5

4 6

5 3

1:20 @ A3 Detailed Section through the Ground Floor Labyrinth Area 1-

external scaffolding structural bays (1.5m x1.5m x 2m)

2 internal scaffolding colonnade bays for structural support and natural lighting maximizing (1.5m x1.5m x 2m) 3-

250 x 7500 mm long trusses, reinforcing the scaffolding structure

4 - PVC curtain strips delineating the entrance in the Roma Labyrinth area. Also used for the weathering protection of the upper residential levels, lining the inside of the scaffolding structure. 5-

12 mm Fibralith board

6 - OSB (22mm external, 18mm internal) and insulation foam core (120 mm) walls with outward opening awning windows 7 - 800 mm galvanized service core pipe (water, sewage and electricity ) for the upper residential levels

8structural floor lattice, aimed to withstand the weight of the residential modules - this strategy has been later abandoned in favor of a denser truss system. 9-

decking system

10 - structural roof pylon (900 mm in diameter at ground level), running through the core of an external structural bay 11 - mast element supporting the ePTFE tent membrane. 12 - stabilizing suspension cables transmitting the load from the peak of each tent unit to the top of the pylons


1:50 Sectional Model further refining the relationship between the density of the structural mass and the enclosing public/private programmes.

208


Stabilizing Cables

Supporting Pylon

ePTFE Tensile Membrane Staircase

OSB Residential Hut Perforated Steel Decking

PVC Curtain Strips

Scissor Lift

1-

22 mm outer OSB board panels 2440 x 1200 mm

2 - small boiler unit 3 - adjustable base plate

Polycarbonate Panels External Scaffolding Structure

209

OSB Ground Floor Walls

4-

glass window on 25.2 mm â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; galvanized steel profile, high density glazing sealant

5-

25 mm cellular polycarbonate window panels fixed with self-drill screws

6 - galvanized steel profiles


2950 mm

2750 mm

4200 mm

2440 mm

1

1200 mm

250 mm 4500 mm

4 1350 mm

3 13150 mm 12450 mm

5

1200 mm

1150 mm 1200 mm

500 mm

400 mm

WC and Shower

Kitchenette

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 1 Living an Dining Area

1:100 @ A3 Plan View of the Residential Hut

210

Bedroom 3

6


8

a

6

3

9

7

5

2

1

10

14

4

13

12

(11) Adjustable base plate fixed into the concrete slab. The dimensions of the footplate are 150 x 150 mm, with a maximum spindle travel of 55 cm .

11

1:20 @ A3 Detailed Section through the Ground Floor Labyrinth Area 8 - 250 mm Allround modular truss system 1-

22 mm outer OSB board

2 - 120 mm Insulation Foam Core - expanded polystyrene (EPS) rigid foam

9 - 12x 6 cm timber stud with fixing to the immediate scaffolding pole through the AllRound Connection

3-

25 mm cellular polycarbonate window panels fixed with self-drill screws

10 - 18 mm OSB board for internal lining

4-

12 x 6 cm horizontal timber beam

11 - Layher scaffolding adjustable base plate (screw jack)

5-

12 mm Fibralith board

12 - 300 mm in-situ concrete floor

6 - 300 mm in diameter corrugated metal pipe for airflow and thermal control

13 - awning OSB â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hiddenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; window with a 430 mm opening

7 - 18 mm diameter fixing bolts

14 - galvanized industrial lighting fixture


2

1:2 @ A3 Detailed Section of the PVC Curtain Railing System connect to the primary scaffolding system 1 - 44 mm galvanised steel scaffolding clamp 234-

4

41mm aluminum scaffolding tube

40mm aluminum wall mount sliding track

4mm thick x 200mm wide pre-punched, hinged PVC curtain strips (pack in roll) 3

5-

reinforcing plate

6-

garlock neoprene 1

1

1

2

2

6

5

5

3

3

1:2 @ A3 Detailed Section of the PVC curtain railing System connected to an underground concrete beam 4

212

4

1 - 4mm thick x 200mm wide pre-punched, hinged PVC curtain strips (pack in roll) 2-

50mm aluminum wall mount sliding track

3-

mild-steel â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hook-onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hanging system

4-

encased sliding trolley


2

c1 1 d

c2

1:100 @ A2 Section through the top residential level of a two-unit module.

(Above) 1:50 @ A3 Detailed Sections of the Supporting Pylon (Left) 1:50 @ A3 Detailed Sections of the Tensile Tent Membrane Mast

d

1

1 - 30mm diameter steel cable connection between tent mast and supporting pylons

3

2 500 mm diameter/ 35 mm interior column, steel tube, galvanised, coated 3 - 1.1 mm membrane, glass fibre mesh, PTFE coating, natural white 4200 mm diameter compression ring, steel tube, galvanized, coated, suspended with eight cables from four adjacent pylons.

213

4


Aluminium Standards, diameter 48.3 x 4.0 mm, with rosettes at every 50 cm for a maximum of eight connections. Four small openings in the rosette determine right-angled connections, four larger openings permit connections at any angles.

1.5m

1.5m

1.5 m ledgers, functioning both guardrails and bracing elements - no ledgers are required at deck level, which reduces the number of components required compared with other systems, saving weight and cost.

6.2

5m

The diagonal braces with wedge brace the basic system together through their high connection values.

2m

1.5 m

Toe-boards are positioned between vertical standards, and are available in steel, aluminum or wood (which can be branded). The steel toe board reduces fire risk and is longer lasting. Due to Layherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design, there are no gaps between the toe-board and deck.

The base collar with rosette together with the height-adjustable base plate form the scaffolding base. The vertical standard is then placed into the base collar for further construction.

214


250 mm high x 7.5 m long Layher scaffolding aluminum beams . For longer spans, beams can be joined with spigots (lattice beam connectors) secured with hinged pins, lattice girder bolts with locking pins or special bolts with nuts.

The spacing of the diagonals on the lattice girders allows for connection of couplers to the top and bottom chords.

Perforated, non-slip steel decks 0.32m x 4.14. Layher decks are a structural element and so ledgers are not required at deck level, saving cost and weight. A lift-off preventer locks the decks against lift-off and make longitudinal ledgers unnecessary. This material and weight saving creates additional assembly and transport benefits. Durable and very strong, with a high load bearing capacity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thanks to the perforated surface - high estimated in industrial use.

AllRound Stairway Tower, 500 (public areas and escape stairway tower) Constructed using standard Layher Allround components (standards, ledgers, diagonals and decks) with a few additional components (stairway stringers, deck locking clamps and handrails). For an escape stairway tower, 150 people can be allocated to one meter of step width, meaning that a stairway 2.07 m wide is sufficient for a building with 300 people.

Rise - 20 cm, fitting in scaffolding bay 2.57 m long and 2.0 m high.

Normal handrails or childproof handrails can be used. Height is adjustable and stair width can be varied by using different width decks for treads.

215


(a) Sliding the wedge head over the rosette and inserting the wedge into the opening immediately secures the component (b). A hammer blow to the wedge transforms the loose connection into a strong structurally rigid one (c). The four small punched-out openings in the rosette automatically centre the ledger at right angles (d).

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

2

3

6 1

5 7 4 8

2

1

1:2 Detail of the fast-fit Layher AllRound Scaffolding Connection 1- cross member 2 - rosette or anchoring plate 3 - central aperture 4 - radially arranged cut-outs 5- tubular member (48 mm diameter) 6 - end attachment of a tubular member 7 - key, shim or wedge 8 - transverse groove or slot

3

4

4

7

5 1

2

1-

48 mm diameter aluminum standard

2-

40 mm diagonal braces connected to the central rosette.

3 - Layher ring system - the wedge head and standard are matched to ensure central loading.

3

216


5 4

1

2

3

1

6

1:50 @ A3 Detailed Section of a Residential Unit 11

2345678-

217

vertical and horizontal structure made of galvanized steel profiles, ‘C’ Profile - 30 x 60 mm 50mm 70kg/m3 mineral insulation board 18 mm inner OSB board lining 25 mm cellular polycarbonate window panels fixed with self-drill screws outer layer, 22mm OSB board window made of 2 x 4+4 glass on 25.2 mm ‘L’ galvanized steel profile, high density glazing sealant perforated non-slip steel deck planks 0.32m x 4.14 m 250 mm Allround modular truss system


Structural Composition Stage 1: Stalled structure appropriation and terrain preparation

Stage 2: Ground Floor Scaffolding Erection

Stage 4: Ground Floor - The structural refinement of open, semi-enclosed and enclosed spaces.

Stage 5: First Floor - The installation of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Suspended Gardensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Stage 6: First Floor - The truss load-bearing system and the perforated metal decks are installed.

Stage 7: Second Floor - The distribution of the first level of residential containers.

Stage 8: Second Floor - The scaffolding structure is extended to accommodate the next level of the

Stage 9: Third Floor - As the kinship networks expand, the second layer of residential containers is distributed.

Stage 3: Ground Floor Spatial Definition - OSB partition walls and main circulation cores.

Stage 10: Fourth Floor - The crane distributes the final residential level containers.

Stage 11: Fourth Floor - Tent - shaped ePTFE membranes dress the top of the structural scaffolding. In order to avoid central masts under the peaks of the tents, 35 m high pylons (900 mm in diameter at ground level and 350 mm diameter at their peak), are placed at the corner of the tent unit. Moreover, the tent peaks are held by four sets of suspension and stabilizing cables connected to the mast tops.

218


Other Systems h1

h2

1

2

1

1

2

6

2

6

3

3

3

5 4

1:5 @ A3 Detail of the Connective Hook

1:5 @ A3 Detail of the Galvanized Steel Hook

4 - 100 x 50 mm carabiner to support seats with ropes or rings on top

1 - 48 mm scaffolding tube

1 - 48 mm scaffolding tube

5 - nylon bearing

2- connective hook (adapted for clothing lines and hammocks)

2- 4 mm plate thickness cuff , 35 mm wide

6 - bolt M10 and safety nut

3 - 50 mm galvanised steel scaffolding clamp

3 - stainless steel â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hook

h2

h1

219

4


Environment and Energy NORTH Little sunshine - Cold winds during winter Storage and Sorting Area Workshops

WEST Elevation exposed to weather conditions.

A

B

Village Market Storage Areas

b

EAST Morning Sun, Pleasant temperatures during summer, Cold during winter Private Main Entrance Kitchen and Dining

c

A B

a

SOUTH Elevation with most advantages Play and Lounge Areas Labyrinth/ Market Area Residential Huts , south-facing

Section AA: The sun is absorbed by the south-facing facade

Section BB: The north sunlight is directed towards the central courtyard area.

Oriented on the North-East / South-West axis, the building has been programmatically organised to maximise the amount of daylighting, while preserving appropriate levels of internal temperature and visual comfort. Based on the sunshade studies analysed during an earlier chapter of this report, the footprint of the build space covers the on-site area with the highest natural light levels, while the park has been oriented and landscaped to connect to the immediate street life.

220


Water Supply and Distribution 1: 100 @ A3 Sectional Detail of Water Collection Funnel 1 - compression ring, steel tube, galvanised, coated 2- 90/ 10 mm steel tube, galvanised, coated 3 - 350 / 35 mm diameter interior column, steel tube, galvanised, coated 4 - 41 mm diameter stabiliser cable steel, PVC Mantle 5 - 45 W LED Lamps with 8mm steel sheet metal, galvanised, coated support

6

13

6 - 1.1 mm membrane, glass fibre mesh, PTFE coating, natural white

1 14

7 - rainwater container, 30 mm steel, galvanised, coated

4

5

8 - timber bench 9 - 150 mm downpipe, steel sheet metal, galvanised, coated

2 3

1

7 8

10 - 6000 L rainwater collection tank 11 - rainwater filtering and pumping station with valve

9

12 - 200 mm pipe, steel sheet metal, galvanised, coated 13 - sprinkler distributor pipe

12

14 - 90 mm pendant sprinkler head The rainwater harvesting system has been as a means of irrigation of the first floor suspended garden area. The water is collected in the PTFE coated funnel, and stored in a water collection tank. With the aid of a pump station, the harvested water is redirected towards the upper level of the structure where it is distribute through an installed sprinkler system. Approach of the first floor gardens through the Funnel Passage area.

11

221

10


Heating, Ventilation and Sewege Systems

Small Heating Unit

(b)

Cold Water Pipe

Hot Water Pipe Local Cold Water Pipe

Hot/ Cold Air

Service Shaft

(a)

General Servicing Strategy Red (Warm) - Spaces requiring heating, but requiring no artificial ventilation Blue (Cold) - Spaces requiring no heating, but requiring artificial ventilation Yellow (Open) - Spaces requiring no heating or ventilation interventions

222

Main Sewage Pipe

HVAC Unit

Main Cold Water Pipe

Local Sewage Pipe


(a) 3

5 4

2 1

Residential Hut Local Heating Unit The hot water pipes (1) heat the outdoor air supplied by the fan unit (3) powered by local electricity cables (4). The air is directed throgh a hot water vented cylinder (2) with the resulting heated air is lead to the internal domestic spaces.

3

Ground Floor Heating and Water Supply For warm and cold water supply: Cold water is directed through the water heating unit (1) and then directed towards the upper levels of the structure. Cold water (2) is supplied directly through the main service shaft. For the heating of the ground floor areas: cold air is guided through an outdoor fan unit (3) that directs the air supply through a hot water vented cylinder (4). The sinuous hot water pipes heat the air which is guided towards the spaces requiring thermal control (5).

2

3 1

4

Residential Hut Local Heating Unit The hot water pipes (1) heat the outdoor air supplied by the fan unit (3) powered by local electricity cables (4). The air is directed through a hot water vented cylinder (2) with the resulting heated air is lead to the internal domestic spaces.

223


Axonometric view of the 800 mm diameter central galvanised steel columns servicing the ground floor and the five residential modules levels.

224


(a)

Residential Level: the hot air inside the living modules is released through the window openings. While the PVC curtain facade ensures weathering protection, the 10 mm gap in-between the PVC strips allows for air to be filtered on each floor level. The scaffolding colonnades running through the central courtyards of each module, as well as the overall

(a) 200 mm fixed PVC Curtian Strips with a 10 mm gap

(b) 200 mm fixed PVC Curtian Strips with a 20 mm overlap

Suspended Garden: the optimum temperature cycle inside the first floor level â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;greenhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is preserved through an increase of the PVC curtain facade overlap to 20 mm. In addition, the PVC facade incorporates a sliding channel that allows for the internal ventilation control.

(b)

225


BAS | Boyd Auger Scholarship| On the Move  
BAS | Boyd Auger Scholarship| On the Move  
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