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Maria-Laura Câsu selected works 2013 - 2017


Maria-Laura Câsu Bucharest, Romania +40 728 268 882 laura.casu09@yahoo.com http://issuu.com/lauracasu/docs/portfolio

2009-2015: “Ion Mincu” School of Architecture - Bucharest, Romania Diploma : “Re-imagining the neighbourhood”, Regeneration proposal for a historical housing neighborhood in Bucharest coordinator- prof.dr.arh. Dorin Ștefan, lect.drd.arh. Dan Dinoiu Master thesis : “Re-imagining the neighbourhood” , Overview of the social aspects of Bucharest’s urban dwelling coordinator- lect.dr.arh. Radu Tudor Ponta


Contents: Competition entry, finalist - COCOON - Greek Inst. of Architects in New York Espresso Bar, Bucharest, Romania Competition - collaboration with Republic of Architects Graduation project - Ion Mincu University School assignment - A stage for Pink Floyd


Romanian Radio Hall, Control Club, Contemporary Art Museum parasitized by bubbles.


My BUBBLE Type: competition - finalist exhibited during the event “A Shelter for Architecture� on April 15th at the General Consulate of Greece in New York Year: 2016 COCOON - Greek Institute of Architects in New York The competition aspires to rethink shelter as the minimum habitat and expand the notion of the boundary between the body and its environment. Participants are encouraged to explore the typology of the archetypical cocoon and investigate the experience of inhabitation as a notion of second skin. My proposal starts from the simple idea that people are and with theire being they create theire own environment, imaginary or otherwise, according to theire particular lifestyle. Heidegger

-

to

be

is

to

build

and

to

dwell.

Nowadays the concept of dwelling is no longer attached to the house as a self-sufficient system, but to gradually externalizing most of its functions throughout the city or maybe even throughout the whole world. Dwelling occurs everywhere, all the time. Bridges and hangars, stadiums and power stations are buildings but not dwellings; railway stations and highways, dams and market halls are built, but they are not dwelling places. Even so, these buildings are in the domain of our dwelling. That domain extends over these buildings and yet is not limited to the dwelling place. (Building Dwelling Thinking, Martin Heidegger 1971:145-146)

Between the inhabitant and the space inhibited there is a constant dynamic, a permanent exchange which can essentially be translated in the experience. We are, thus we experience. We are, thus we dwell, we build, we create. We experience motionlessness or in motion, inside or outside, through the cocoon of our body and mind. But what happens when we want to prolong an experience and our body alone does not allow it?


I imagined a portable gear that holds you, in your bubble, by occupying minimal space wherever you want, whenever you want. The Bubble is made of 29 g/m² 100% nylon embossed, a

transparent, beathable and waterproof material that inflates and keeps warmth inside. The Bubble is an ephemeral shelter, for a short period of

time, but what it is important is it provides a sense of intimacy and safety in order to be able to be where you want longer.


Espresso Bar Type: completed - coffee shop Manole 10 design office Year: 2016 Espresso Bar is a small coffee shop located on one of the most popular boulevard of Bucharest’s city center. Although Magheru boulevard is the link between two very important squares, it is also suffocated by cars, defined by old buildings and populated by not so many pedestrians. The municipality decided that change is necessary for Magheru Boulevard, and it has started with the sidewalks renovation. Sidewalks are now wider, nice light and invite people tot take a stroll along them. Espresso Bar is part of the reanimation process of Magheru’s pedestrian side. It is a small urban cafe meant to invite you to take a break from the hectic city, grab a coffee or a snack, have a little chat with some friends. and go on with your daily bussines. The main feature of the coffee shop, design wise, are the windows that during warm weather can be put to the side and unify the sidewalk with the interior space, thus pulling you inside the enjoy a coffee while passing by.


site plan of the proposal


Select Courtyards Type: competition entry - Residential Development collaboration with Republic of Architects Year: 2015

The competition brief asks to create a concept for a new medium class residential project in Bucharest. The site is located in a mostly residential neighbourhood with small industrial sites here and there. The project requirements are specifically based on efficiency and a very strict budget, and should include different types of apartments, storage areas, parking and several amenities, the building should not exceed a total of 4000 sqm, given the site limitations in this part of the city. The first step in approaching the project was placing the 4000 square meters on the plot. Thus the proximity and size of the residential buildings near our site made us consider withdrawing as far as possible from the eastern site limit. We then obtained one long 4000 square meters bar. After several investigation steps we decided that the long building would require a more human scale resulting in it’s fragmentation. The next step of the project came naturally by ranking the space created inside and outside the building. One of the main features of the project is obtaining different types of outdoor spaces, each being characterized by the functions it hosts, the exposure to the city and most significantly the facade’s, their colors and textures. The project imagines three worlds bound together by an interior street. Firstly, a public courtyard which communicates with the city through the open portico of the ground floor, hosting public activities, a shop, a cafe, sitting areas combined with plants. The second world is created by the yellow courtyard, where the space is more protected and the children are safe to spend the entire day in kindergarten or just playing around. The last space is consisted of the private gardens. Each apartment from the ground floor has a private garden, thus the inhabitants can experience life in a house but living in the big city.


AXONOMETRC VIEW OF THE PROPOSAL


VIEWS FROM THE STREET FACING THE ENTRANCE OF THE RESIDENTIAL ENSEMBLE


GROUND FLOOR PLAN


BUILDING A FLOORS 2-4

GENERAL LEVELS FLOORS 1-3

BUILDING B FLOORS 1-3 FLOORS 2-4 MIRROR


BUILDING C FLOORS 2-4


LONGITUDINAL SECTION, FACING THE COURTYARDS

1 ROOM APARTMENT

2 ROOMS APARTMENT


3 ROOMS APARTMENT


VIEWS FROM THE SERIES OF TUNELS from the entrance to the last courtyard.

VIEW OF THE GREEN COURTYARD the first space - public courtyard.


VIEW OF THE YELLOW COURTYARD the second space - semi-private courtyard.


Re-imagining the neighbourhood Type: graduation project - Ion Mincu Univ. Coordinator: prof.dr.arh. Dorin Č˜tefan, lect.drd.arh. Dan Dinoiu Year: 2015 The city has a major part in bringing people together. In pursuing this quality that the city has I started with that small part which makes the majority of the built layer-the house. The house is part of a system which contains other houses, public uses and public space, and the first system through which the house interacts with the city is the neighbourhood. Here the social interactions are more intimate, with the neighbours, that we know and can become our frie nds. The activities are more house related, we repair this and that, we help each other, we take part in community activities, we do shopping, we do sports. These are the things that make us feel at home, and give the feeling that we belong somewhere. This is the place where we have our first social relationships, but only if the environment encourages it. Only if the surrounding is welcoming, if there are many public activities and public spaces that create the opportunity for neighbours to meet and interract.


THE STUDIED AREA

landmarks empty parcels


the buildings

plants vs. empty plots

The studied area is part of Bucharest’s historical layer. It contains many elements of strong identity, such as the traditional urban fabric, many historical monuments, academic landmarks - Univ. of Arts, Univ. of Architecture, Univ. of Music, The Arts High School. But the overall image is sad. The houses are neglected, the majority of people living there is old, there are many unbuilt parcels, and the only public space - the street is filled with cars due to lack of parking space.


CONCLUSIONS

In order to make the neighbourhood good for living it needs:

1. people diversity and density.

2. public spaces and public activities to create meeting opportunities.


THE SITE HOSPITAL OFFICES

SHOP

SHOP

WINE SHOP

ADMINISTRATIVE

HOTEL PHARMACY SHOP

OFFICES

KINDERGARDEN HOSPITAL SCHOOL

I applied these conclusions in a part of the area that I studied. The site is formed of a number of empty parcels that together make one in an enlarged urban block. It is surrounded by two streets with heavy traffic but the heart of the block is a nice quiet street.


6. THE WORKSHOPS

1. THE STREET

5. THE PUBLIC CANTEEN

4. THE LIBRARY AND THE READING GARDEN

3. THE SCHOOL YARD 2. THE EXISTING SCHOOL AND THE COURTYARD


AXONOMETRIC VIEW OF PROPOSAL WITHIN THE ENLARGED URBAN ISLAND Re-imagining the neighbourhood:

7. STUDENT DORMITORY

8. HOUSING STUDIOS

1. The street 2. The existing school 3. The school yard 4. The library 5. The public canteen & office space 6.The workshop space 7. The student dormitory 8. Housing studios


1. THE STREET

5. THE PUBLIC CANTEEN 4. THE LIBRARY AND THE READING GARDEN

3. THE SCHOOL YARD

2. THE EXISTING SCHOOL


GROUND FLOOR PLAN 6. THE WORKSHOPS

7. STUDENT DORMITORY

8. HOUSING STUDIOS


1. THE STREET I proposed closing the street for automobile traffic and giving it to the pedestrians creating a common place that encourages social interaction.


2. THE EXISTING SCHOOL Based on some theories of UNESCO studies from the 70’s, school buildings can be adapted to community use. They can extend their services to include elements of non-school-age population such as: life-long education, youth clubs, vocational classes, sports etc.

3. THE SCHOOL YARD I proposed to open the yard for public use during after school hours. During school hours the courtyard can be closed with pieces of mobile furniture which can be chained at the entrance. When the courtyard is open, people can move the furniture and adapt it to their uses.


The mobile furniture

The school yard is closed for public

The school yard is open for public


4. THE LIBRARY The main source of culture in the neighbourhood. Situated on an empty parcel with a direct link wih the school yard. It has a beautiful reading garden which can be accessed only by checking-in the library. When the library is closed, the garden is open to the public.


VIEW FROM THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE LIBRARY TOWARDS THE READING GARDEN


2F

3F


8. THE STUDENT DORMITORY

Is part of the densification approach, by bringing variety and new young people in the neighbourhood. The ground floor has a shared living room and multiple study areas. On the upper floors there are 64 private bedrooms. Two types of floors - 8 bedrooms - 2 small kitchens and living rooms - 8 bedrooms - 1 large kitchen and living room. In this way space creates the opportunity to meet the next door neighbour. A group of 4 friends can occupy a 4 bedroom unit.


View of the shared living room from the ground floor


9. THE STUDENT’S ROOM

The most intimate part of the project. The place where one is alone. The place that is apropriated, personalized and adapted to ones needs.


Detailed section of the student dormitory building

Detailed plan of the student’s room


A stage for Pink Floyd Type: school assignement Coordinator: prof.dr.arh. Dorin Č˜tefan Year: 2013 As it seems like The Wall’s traditional representation is a little outdated, the school assignment wanted us to explore new ways of expression for it. Significant importance in the project has the fact that Pink Floyd always tried to deliver a message. By breaking the pattern of big concerts, that are like a closed circle, thus the message being delivered to a certain public, the proposed stage infiltrates itself in the domestic environment of the usual Bucharest inhabitant. Most of the people in Bucharest live in communist apartment buildings which have cramped spaces, and the buildings breath each other’s air. In these neighbourhoods public space represents a major issue. but it does possess an interesting feature. The space between the buildings resembles to a concert hall, the difference is that in a concert hall the ground floor is priviledged space, and in this case, the public space between the buildings is poorly used and filled with cars. By preparing the concert, the area is cleared and filled with people. An ephemeral stage appears and completely changes the atmosphere. By the end of the show, the place is filled with people, and becomes a key moment in which they realize that the place is theirs and that they can keep it that way.


The space between the buildings resembles to a concert hall, but the ground floor is poorly used and filled by cars.


The communist apartment building is all over Bucharest.


The back of the buildings would be cleared and filled with people waiting for the ephemeral stage to come.


January, 2018

Laura Casu Portfolio  
Laura Casu Portfolio  
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