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This Portfolio holds advanced design studio projects and some of the seminars’ work that she had developed at GSAPP Columbia University 2012-2013. W The projects bring the following topics: space, tectonics, society, culture and ecology. The approach of the three projects responds to the conditions of the present with the sensibility enough to allow their evolution to the future. The concept of time and change inhabits in all of them. Introducing the projects, there are selections of architectural photographs of the three social and cultural conditions of the projects: New York, South Africa and Athens.





CONTRADICTIONS, New York Architectural Photography Fall 2012 Professor: Erieta Attali


ARCHIPELAGO INFRASTRUCTURE, New York Advanced Design Studio, Summer 2012 Professors: Kate Orff and Gena Wirth


METROPOL PARASOL, Seville Metropolis, Summer 2012 Professor: Enrique Walker


SOCIETY AND CULTURE, South Africa Architectural Photography Fall 2012 Professor: Erieta Attali


NETWORK OF LIMITS, Johannesburg Advanced Design Studio, Fall 2012 Professor: Mabel O. Wilson MASDAR CITY, Eco-city in Abu-Dhabi Sustainable Futures, Fall 2012 Professor: Kate Orff


TECTONICS AND SPACE, Athens Kinne Trip, Spring 2013


SOUND AND INTERPOLATIONS, Athens Advanced Design Studio Spring 2013 Professors: Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia



106 MANIFESTO The Contemporary: Architecture as Concept, Spring 2013 Professor: Bernard Tschumi 112 CLICHES Dictionary of Received Ideas, Spring 2013 Professor: Enrique Walker 116 PETER EISENMAN / MOS ARCHITECTS Architectural Practice as Project, Spring 2013 Professors: Juan Herreros and Jose Araguez


Contradictions, New York

Introduction to the Summer 2012 Advanced Design Studio Architectural Photography, Fall 2012 Professor: Erieta Attali

Brooklyn 6


Times Square







Bryant Park



Archipelago Infrastructure

Eco-infrastructure: Re-imagining the Hudson River Advanced Design Studio, Summer 2012 Professors: Kate Orff and Gena Wirth


The strategy is focused on the research about the effect of the climate change in New York City. The proposal envisions an archipelago of cluster islands as an infrastructure that becomes a barrier to protect of the Lower Manhattan, which is the area at risk because of the sea level rise. On the macro-scale, the proposal develops the piece of the strategy located between Battery Park and Governors Island. On the micro-scale, the proposal also creates a new cultural program for New York City that is the extension of Battery Park and New York Harbor School on the water. The archipelago is a self-sufficient park system in which the cluster islands are built with landfill from the waste plant of “Convanta Energy� in New Jersey connected with an inflatable dam. This inflatable dam is a flexible infrastructure under the water that is inflated when is needed in order to create the flooding barrier and a walkway connecting Manhattan and Governors Island. The extension on Battery Park and New York Harbor School is developed by a topographic system of different recycled edges that, depending on the program, creates biodiversity and different ecosystems underwater. This topographic system provides different experiences over the daily time depending on the tidal force, from independent to a network of islands. This Project was graded with a HIGH PASS, Wwas selected for archiving and possible publication in the ABSTRACT and was exhibited in Dredge Fest at Studio XNew York the last september 2012.


General strategy




Landfill construction


Renewable energy

On the right: Infrastructure proposed in the Hudson River for the protection of the areas at risk of flooding in Lower Manhattan 14


Case study, area between Governors Island and Manhattan

On the right: General Plan of the connection between Governors Island and Manhattan 16


Connection of Governors Island and Manhattan: Flexible eco-infrastructure with three moments 1. Flooding

2. Walkway between Governors island and Manhattan

3. River Transport


Materials Bird safe wind turbine

Flooding risk Inflatable dam


Landfill (Non recycle waste)from Covanta Energy, New Jersey

Section: 1. Flooding

2. Walkway

3. River Transport 19




Section of the extension of the New York Harbor School with ecological materials that allow the infrastructure to reconstruct the biodiversity of the harbor

Floor 22








Metropol Parasol, Seville A new view of the city Metropolis, Summer 2013 Professor: Enrique Walker

Photographed by Fernando Alda

The Metropol Parasol in “Plaza de la Encarnación” of the city of Seville (Spain), designed by the architect Jürgen Mayer in 2010, not only responds to the preexisting conditions of the city, but also generates three different levels of public space. What might appear to be a huge canopy over the public square, is in fact an extension of the city at a new level, the rooftop. The structure of the Metropol Parasol creates the urbanscape of rooftops to the city of Seville. Seville is a compact city of narrow streets. Indeed, Seville is a city that is understood at the ground level, from the street. The city is mainly composed of private residential buildings, of three or four stories, that do not have any space between them. Traditional houses in the historic center of Seville were built with interior courtyards. These function as the exterior spaces of the houses, and allow light to be filtered into them. The roofs provide space for drying clothes and storage. They were not commonly used as an extension of living spaces. But the concept of the rooftop is changing. Rooftops in the center of Seville are becoming cultural and open spaces for people to enjoy the sun and the good weather of this southern city. One of the changes in the city of Seville that explains the new concept of the rooftop is the Metropol Parasol. This building amplified the dimension of the city by exposing to view the existing urbanscape of empty roofs. After the opening of the Metropol Parasol, the city of Seville has begun a cultural program for rooftops. Seville´s Department of Culture is developing a project, called “Entretejas”, which opens some rooftops of public buildings for certain activities, such as concerts, cinemas, lectures and so on. It is also developing a program, called “Redetejas”, which connects private rooftops into a network of public activities. This project was unthinkable before the construction of the Metropol Parasol. 30

This new building in “Plaza de la Encarnación” develops a complex program of functions which are distributed on several overlapping layers. Underground, there is a museum for the conservation of the archeological remains of a Roman city, which were discovered under the square. On the ground floor, there are stores, restaurants and the relocated daily food market which used to occupy the plaza. Above that, there is a public space which is an extension of the main square bellow, connected by a huge staircase. Finally, the complex is covered with a huge roof-structure which also provides shade to the square and a panoramic balcony to the city of Seville. Seville is a city where urban planning has been determined by its historical tower, called the “Giralda”, which is the tower of the cathedral. A bylaw requires that all buildings must be shorter than the “Giralda” tower in order to preserve the historical character of the city. Because of this, there are no other panoramic balconies overlooking the city. The Metropol Parasol is the first building that provides this panorama. But what might appear to be only a point to view the city, in fact, is also a new point of view. The Metropol Parasol is a public building where program is hidden under the new square on the first floor. The building looks more like a sculpture than a building. This perception of the building as a sculpture helps the visitor to understand that the huge canopy over the public square must be another place to visit. It is implied that the Metropol Parasol is not another common building in the city, it is a public building which attracts many visitors to explore it. The difference between this project and another building with a rooftop that people can visit is that the Metropol Parasol looks like an installation, an extension of the ground floor to the rooftop. The distinction between the public space of the street and the private space of the rooftop is defined in more traditional buildings with accessible rooftops. The Metropol Parasol

erases the limit between the public street and the rooftop, becoming an elevated extension of the street, the extension of the public spaces of the city of Seville. This erasure of difference between the public street, the new square and the space of the rooftop is due to the fluid forms of the building, which create an unbroken vertical connection between these three levels of public spaces. Also due to its fluid form, this new public space becomes a new landscape of the city of Seville. This fluid form creates an artificial nature on the rooftop that provides a new walkway along the curved surface of the Metropol Parasol. Then, the public space of the city of Seville flows from the urbanscape of the street to the landscape of the rooftop. The rooftop of the Metropol Parasol not only creates a new horizontal landscape high above the square, but also allows the public to discover the urban roofscape. The building height is slightly higher than the rest of the city. It emerges from the rooftops of the city and presents, to both citizens and tourists, a new public awareness of the rooftops of the city of Seville. This new landscape changes the perception of the urbanscape of the city´s center revealing the potential of the city´s rooftops, as is demonstrated by the new public programs of “Entretejas” and “Redetejas”. Some people have criticized this building because of its contemporary shape and its disconnection with the urban and architectural heritage of the city. During construction, the building appeared to be a publicity stunt to attract more tourists to the city, by creating a contemporary icon for Seville. Instead, this building has created a cultural and public roofscape for Seville which has become the most important places for public activities in the city. The construction of the Metropol Parasol has an economic impact on the city because of this increase in activities not only for tourists but also for Sevillanos. 31

Society and culture, South Africa Introduction to the Fall 2012 Advanced Design Studio Architectural Photography, Fall 2012 Professor: Erieta Attali

Shopping center 32


Townships, Cape Town


Market, Johannesburg


Mine dumps



Network of Limits

Urban Futures / Future Architecture Africa 4.0 Advanced Design Studio, Fall 2012 Professor: Mabel O. Wilson In collaboration with Diana Cristobal

Maponya Mall, Soweto 38

After having researched the city of Johannesburg in terms of Banking, Trade and Cellphone connectivity, we investigated the influence that the creation of malls has had on the social-public behavior after Apartheid. Given the fact that the Malls in Johannesburg are places where people usually socialize, our main questions were: What is public space in the XXI century in Johannesburg? Can commercial space become a space for political action? This proposal aims to build a social movement that reacts against the current role of the mall. The idea is to break the limits between the private and public sphere (like the fence between the Mall and the city), in order to build an attractor and rebuild the public sphere. The main site in the Maboneng Precinct will become the headquarters of this social movement that will distribute ‘temporal and easily assembled construction kits’ to build the limit of the Mall. It will provide space for organization and discussion and which will be a public space for the city that deals with the limit between the site and the street. The objective of this social movement is to claim the expansion for local businesses through the creation of Stokvels1 and through a media platform. The project is based on a flexible layered system of surfaces that materializes the temporal changes of the program through the tension between them. The concept is based on the capacity of those surfaces to dialogue between two spaces and to generate a new programmatic boundary. This Project was graded with a HIGH PASS and was selected for archiving and possible publication in the ABSTRACT.


Stokvels are invitation only clubs of twelve or more people serving as rotating credit unions or saving scheme in South Africa where members contribute fixed sums of money to a central fund on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. 39

South Africa achieves democracy

Opening of MAPONYA MALL in Soweto. Celebrates the growing black spending power

BLACK DIAMONDS Emerging black middle class population.



FNB white consumers FNB black consumers



Telephone banking Internet banking Cellphone banking 112.600

Branches ATMs 1994

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Economy’s chart of Johannesburg Transforming the amount of Data we found about Banking, Cellphone connectivity and the neighborhood of Soweto, we realized that the arise of Malls in the city had an important influence in the economy after Apartheid, as the case of Maponya Mall in Soweto.


1216 6968


Social spaces in Soweto, Johannesburg


Although Malls are private spaces of consumption, these had become the main spaces for social interaction in Johannesburg after Apartheid. We understand this social behavior in 5 main topics:



Deformation of the geographic map of Johannesburg in terms of social spaces


Conceptual model based on different layers of elastic fabrics as an interpretation on the urban fabrics in terms of social spaces of Johannesburg




Testing the tension and deformations of the layers by making pressure of them, the relation between them are different grades of connection and influence through time.


Our project is based on the capacity of those layers to dialogue and generate a new boundary


Network of malls, the spaces for social interaction in Johannesburg.

Maboneng, the headquarter of network Maponya Mall - case study

This project aims to break the limits between the private and public sphere in order to build and attractor and rebuild the public sphere of the city though this social phenomena.



Squares, streets, parks...

Shopping malls, restaurants, retail...



The limits of the malls in Johannesburg: the fence


1. Maponya Mall - case study Maponya Mall is a global mall. It is not related with the neighnorhood and also has the fence. We found some different situations that reinforce our research about social phenomena in Malls: the parking has a temporary public socialcare for unemployed people of Soweto.

Network of Malls of Johannesburg



Network of Malls of Johannesburg


Understanding the mall as an artifact that works against the local business of the neighborhood, we aim to reverse this situation. The objective of this social movement is to claim the expansion for local businesses through the creation of Stokvels and thourgh a media platform in the area of influence of the mall. Stokvels are clubs of twelve or more people serving as rotating credit unions or saving scheme in South Africa where members contribute fixed sums of maney to a central fund on a weekly of monthly basis. In the end, the general objective is to reconstruct the idea of the segregated city into a unified city. 52




We envision the project working in the following way: A sowetan invest a small economical quantity in the association of Stokvels,built in Maponya Mall. As result he gets ecomic aid and advice in order to start a small business. This new business man now is part of this new community. This community records what he is offering and introduce it into the virtual space created between the network of Malls in Soweto. This will make his business to be known by a wide range of people, increase his profits and save money.

Parasiting the fence of Maponya Mall

Section, breaks the limit between the street and the mall building an attractor, a bridge between the two sides.This attractor of connection generates a new programmatic boundary.


According to social participation, our system is based on a temporal and easily assembled construction kit. A modul that is 4m wide that provides a solid structure for not only the programmatic staples but also, different coverings, such as fabrics, plastics or rigid infils.

Image of the parasite-structure


Prototype of the three main programs of the parasite-structure: 1. Stockvel 2. Media Center 3. Workshop

Fence of Maponya Mall

Floor of part of the parasite-structure 55

2. Maboneng Precint The project in Maboneng Precinct becomes the headquarters of this social movement that will distribute “temporal and easily assembled construction kits’ to build the limit of Malls.



According to the idea of our model, the project is based on a flexible layered system of skins that materializes the temporal changes of the program through the tension between them. The concept is based on the capacity of those skins to dialogue and generate a new programmatic boundary.




These skins become surfaces in tension that will generate 4 programs of social discussion and organization occupying the entire plot as a public as a programmatic boundary between the street and the building: political assemblies or workshops, factory, demonstrations, market.



























Constructive Section 65

Masdar City Eco-city in Abu-Dhabi

Fall 2013 Professor: Kate Orff In collaboration with Saami Sabiti INTRODUCTION The 21st century is characterized by the dramatic increases in urbanization and growth in cities across the globe and expectations are that over the next 50 years, the portion of those living in cities will rise to 75 percent (UN 2011). This new age is accompanied by the globalization of capitalism and its links to dramatic changes in land ownership, agricultural productivity, huge social divides and increasing inequality (Harvey 2010). As a consequence, carbon emissions have increased and the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ is helping to drive the next climate change (IPCC 2007). As such, the trend likely to define this century is the threat to the sustainability of the natural environment. Masdar City_ With over a third of the world’s cranes hard at work building artificial islands, an underwater hotel, and the world’s tallest building, biggest mall and most expensive airport, the United Arab Emirates has turned its attention to building the world’s most sustainable city. Masdar City, a $22 billion initiative to build a brand new, zero-emissions city for 50,000 from scratch in Abu Dhabi, is well into phase one of construction. The city will cover an area of more than seven square kilometres, and will feature intelligent buildings and the most efficient possible use of resources. Internal combustion engines will be replaced by an electricity powered transport system to provide clean mobility. And, Masdar’s power infrastructure will feature a range of renewable energy technologies (photovoltaic plants (PV), a concentrated solar thermal power plant (CSP), evacuated thermal tube collectors, and a waste-to-energy plant) and, the master plan includes the concept of zero waste, according to the Masdar company website. The city also wants to attain the ambitious ‘One Planet Living Principles,’ which were developed by BioRegional and the World Wildlife Fund International (two organizations overseeing the environmental aspects of Masdar City). The goal of One Planet Living is to create a “tipping point” for unsustainable trends, reverse this trend, and increase sustainable living. One Planet Living is a global network of demonstration projects and communities that are all striving to achieve ten sustainable city principles. BEDZED, UK is the prototype since it was there that developers learnt about the relative importance of lifestyles and infrastructure in comparison to green buildings in creating a sustainable community. But there are some serious questions about whether or not this project can serve as a model for others even if it does manage to achieve its sustainability goals. 66

And, while Masdar has the potential to be a model for the future of eco-city development, critical analysis reveals that building a new city in a desert may not be the most effective way to achieve the goals of the Masdar Initiative in Abu Dhabi (Bullis 2009). And so, the first challenge is to define what a sustainable development is.

Figure 1: One Planet Living Sustainability Principles.

Sustainable Development_ The word “sustainability” is no longer exclusive to the field of ecology. Today, it is used in multiple fields to express continuity that provides the basis for the validity of a project in the future. Sustainability, in essence, means to never allow for progress to shorten life. In terms of Masdar as a new type of ‘eco-city’, sustainability is defined by an emphasis on environmental aspects, such as cyclical urban metabolism, the minimization of energy and materials, and a formulated path to a zero carbon human settlement. However, the concept of “sustainable development” features environmental, economic and social aspects. The question here is whether or not ecocities reflect a new type of modernity or a rejection of it. II. CONTEXT In 2006, The Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi set up the Masdar Initiative to spur innovation and get involved in all parts of the global low carbon value chain. The initiative invests in renewable energy and sustainable technologies, from research and development startups to commercial operations. It also develops projects, establishes joint ventures and acquires companies with promising technology. The Masdar Initiative is driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, which is overseeing the Masdar City project. The long-term aim is to generate the human and intellectual capital necessary to position Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, as world leaders in industries based on low carbon technologies. And while it could be understood that the environmental, technological and political changes underway globally are the key factors behind this initiative, we would suggest that the real drivers at work are: 1) a very high regional carbon footprint and 2) the economic reality of diminishing fossil fuels. In any event, the Abu Dhabi Government has put a lot of money towards financing a broad base of initiatives to address the changes underway and come up with workable,

economic responses. Oil and the Economy_ It is important to remember that this is a country that earns on average $225 million a day from oil revenues and produces nearly 9 percent of the world’s supply. However, these reserves are by some estimates, likely to be spent by 2037 (IEA 2011). In this light, the diversification project underway in this fossil fuel-based economy makes sense. Indeed the Emirates have already proven to have the wherewithal to change from an unsustainable economic course since it was back in the 1920s and 30s that the country would the switch from an economy led by the pearl trade to one dominated by oil and gas (Moser 2012, Elsheshtaway 2008a). The country is now working to make sure the future will be about the renewable energy they help develop. The difference now, is that the process of discovery is far more complex than simply drilling a hole in the earth’s crust. And, economic irony notwithstanding, this is an endeavor that requires a significant amount of capital. Energy Footprint_ The chart below describes some of what makes the UAE unsustainable. Its energy use remains higher (by a wide margin) than many of its economic peers and is driven, in part, by a hot climate and an over-reliance on air condition units to cool the interiors of buildings. The World Wildlife Fund has declared the Emiratis to have one of the largest per-capita carbon footprints in the world. Incidentally, much of the blame (for high energy use rates in buildings) dates back to the introduction of modern building techniques that negated traditional architectural approaches to dealing with an arid and humid desert climate (Al-Sallal et al 2012). A study on Al-Ain city, UAE showed that 40 percent of total cooling energy is utilized to offset heat gains from walls and roofs. Masdar is set to reverse this unfortunate trend by integrating vernacular design with modern techniques while paying attention to both function and form.

Figure 2: Comparative analysis of UAE energy use per capita in 2008 (Source:


Figure 3: Construction site during Phase I.

Abu Dhabi is located along the coast of the gulf at 24°28 N latitude and 54°22 E longitude within an intense climate classified as a subtropical hot desert. The climate is characterized by high humidity in summer due to a trade wind pattern that draws wind across the hot Saudi Arabian desert prior to crossing the gulf subsequently increasing absolute humidity leading to a summer design condition with a 47.3°C extreme dry bulb temperature and a 33.8°C extreme wet bulb temperature. This high level of humidity also serves to dampen diurnal temperature fluctuations, reducing the efficacy of energy saving strategies such as nighttime purge ventilation or thermal mass. Winter months are mild with a minimum design temperature of 8.4°C and are relatively arid with cooler winds approaching from the south or east. Rainfall is sporadic, though potentially heavy, with annual average of 80-100 mm, mostly occurring within winter months. (ASME 2010). These design conditions present would-be followers of the Masdar model a reason to reconsider and brings to light another instance to how difficult it will be to replicate successful applications from the Masdar experiment. Sustainability, it could be said, is site-specific. And, this includes governance. Politics and policy_ The political system that a designer or developer operates in has significant bearing on what gets done and how quickly things move. Abu Dhabi is essentially run like a familyowned business. The country’s rulers simply don’t have the constraints of other social and political systems operating today. This puts Masdar in a unique position. Master-planned eco-cities in general require large expenditures and tough rules that only non-democratic governments can achieve (Lau 2012). And, as already mentioned Masdar is dependent on the hereditary emirate of Abu Dhabi, whereas most cities around the world need the consent of politicians and ordinary citizens before such a plan can go forward. In many cases, including the US, such a project would be seen as politically infeasible.

Climate_ 68

One need only look as far the recent debacle to turn Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island into a new mixed-use public space. With so many competing interests in play, initial plans had to be significantly scaled back. This raises a critical challenge for policymakers in developed nations: how and where to create spaces in cities to perform rigorous large-scale sustainability projects. And while we can critique autocratic governance systems it could be argued that democratic ones have done little to lead the way forward. This notion directly challenges the efficacy of consumer-centered, representative democracy since this system has, in one researchers mind, “conspicuously failed to wean us from a way of life that threatens us with extinction (Lau 2012)”. Perhaps for now this remains an open question and one that necessitates some

appreciation for the Masdar response as a potential alternative driver towards real systemic change and the development of new forms of energy. Still, at a cost of over $22 billion, is not surprising that very few governments are positioned to design and build entirely new cities from scratch. And moreover, researchers are realizing that very little is known about the ways in which best practices are produced and used and what their role is in urban sustainability policymaking (Bulkeley 2005). The question arises once again: what can we really learn about sustainability from an experimental laboratory in the desert? And what exactly constitutes a city? These two questions repeat the general theme when trying to compare Masdar with almost any city. Firstly, Abu Dhabi’s climate is unique or unrelated to several other places on the planet. Secondly, political climates and constraints differ between countries. And third, a city is more than a geographical or economic unit with a dense populous. III.


One particular controversial issue that a new sustainable development must address is the tension and ambiguity that exists from the moment planning begins. Even if a new eco-city develops fossil fuel free features, such development inevitably consumes additional land and resources. Abbasi et al, point out that problems relating to Masdar’s carbon footprint arise before the first residents move in and continue to escalate over time since the main power source, solar, is far from carbon neutral. So, what then is ‘more sustainable’, a new city or retrofitting an existing one? Framed in this way, Masdar City could be considered an experiment in new ‘greenfields’ construction techniques—one that casts significant levels of doubt on today’s complex notion of ‘sustainable development’. The city’s original timeline included six development phases, beginning with the development of Masdar Institute, Masdar Headquarters, and the initial residential, office and community infrastructure in the first phase. Phase 1 of the city should be completed in stages through 2015 and will likely accommodate 7,000 residents and 15,000 commuters; at full build out in 2021 - 2025, they expect around 40,000 residents and 50,000 commuters (Masdar City website: Needless to say, the embodied energy calculations related to each and every phase differ widely. It then may well be the case that the only way for Masdar to be sustainable would be to not build it at all, and instead spend the money on converting the existing economy and

infrastructure in the UAE. That said, new green buildings can generally deliver better ecological performance than retrofits (Boyer et al. 2010). Moreover, building from scratch does in fact permit a more comprehensive, systems approach, and greater degrees of freedom than adaptation of an existing urban environment. IV.


Utopian City_ It could be assumed that Masdar city will be a kind of utopian model that will need much adjustment in order for it to be replicable in the UAE and elsewhere. After all. Abu Dhabi’s leaders have expressed a utopian vision for Masdar city, and all utopian visions can be seen as unrealistic (perhaps by definition). The legacy of this type of movement has been largely unsuccessful and relativity un-adopted. Historical examples include the following list: Roman City (-50 B.C.) Roman Empire. The Roman City, developed over centuries throughout the Roman Empire as an outpost of colonial rule, was ideally a walled, gridded settlement. Established initially with northsouth and east-west axial streets, known as the cardo and decamanus, the city was laid out as a grid, with soldiers’ tents giving way to more permanent structures along the grid of streets over time. Each block, or insula, was envisioned as a programmable slot and was mixed-use, containing apartments, houses, shops and workshops, creating a dense city core surrounded by the wall. Between the urbanized zone and city wall was the pomerium, a buffer zone, and beyond the wall lay agricultural lands. Urban amenities such as plumbing, reservoirs, drainage and sewers, pedestrian sidewalks and traffic calming measures were employed throughout the city, along with public amenities like markets, public baths and toilets, theaters, and religious and governmental buildings. Garden City (1902) Ebenezer Howard. Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by “greenbelts” (parks), containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture. Garden city would house 32,000 people on a site of 6,000 acres (2,400 ha), planned on a concentric pattern with open spaces, public parks and six radial boulevards, 120 ft (37 m) wide, extending from the centre. The garden city would be self-sufficient and when it reached full population, another garden city would be developed nearby. Howard envisaged a cluster of several garden cities as satellites of a central city of 50,000 people, linked by road and rail. Examples: Letchworth and Welwyn Garden Cities and Hampstead Garden Suburb. 69

Cite Industrielle. Tony Garnier In his city, Garnier undertakes to shelter a radically new society where the land is common property. Despite this, the city’s formal structure is organized on a functional plan imposed by the industrial world. The principle of dividing a city into sectors and eliminating streets would appear soon thereafter, in the drawings of Le Corbusier. Broadacre City. Frank Ll. Wright He wanted to represent the city of the future, convinced that the transformation of the physical environment would give birth to a new civilization. Broadacre city shatters the model of the traditional city: each family owns and lives on at least one acre per person. This proposal originates in traditional American values: individualism, the pioneering spirit, and sensitivity to the bounty of nature, traits that have been adapted to the demands of a world dominated by the airplane and the automobile.

Radiant City. Le Corbusier Le Corbusier’s Radiant City attempted to open the city to light, air and nature, while simultaneously achieving extremely high residential densities. The park-like ground plane of the city was completely open to the pedestrian, crisscrossed by elevated highways and dotted with towers. Horizontally, the city was zoned into specific areas of residential, administrative/business and industrial functions. Residents inhabited superblocks, self-contained residential neighborhoodbuildings of 2,700 residents that had communal amenities and recreational facilities. Cruciform office buildings in the business zone of the city were to be forty-stories tall, housing 3,200 workers per building. The plan was highly influential in residential and commercial planning for decades after it was introduced. The comparative data in terms of surfaces, population, density, green spaces, parkland and floor area ratio is the following:

Figure 4a: Comparing site plans of utopian cities of the past.


In terms of site area, Radiant city has the most space, with 10.000.000 sqm, but Masdar is a close the second. On population density, Roman city, Radiant city and Garden city are denser than Masdar. Radiant city has more population than Masdar (from 100.000 to 200.000 more). Comparing percentage of green space, Radiant city, Broadacre city, Roman city and Garden city have anywhere from 100 % to 46 % more greenspace. Also the case when we look parkland. Radiant city, Garden city, Broadacre city and Cite Industrielle have more from 46% to 5 % of this indicator too. On floor area ratio (3D area / 2D area), Masdar City tops the list. Our comparative analysis suggests that the urban plan of Masdar City offers nothing new from the traditional Roman city. It is many ways devoid of any new concept or features in terms of urban development. That could change and Masdar could be a successful development if it gains full awareness of the local context and the type of people likely live there. If Masdar fails to link with existing settlements and remains

completely isolated, then it will face severe growth problems and remain a utopian model. In other words, the success of new cities depends on multiple factors: - Geographical - Economic - Political - Social - Technological - Environmental As far as technology and financial resources, what is green about Masdar City is not the solar cell technology, nor any of the other high tech features. By far, the greenest characteristics are well known and straightforward: mixed use, high-density development, incorporating mass-transit. These attributes create a vast majority of the environmental benefit.

Figure 4b: Comparing site area, density, population, greenspace and parkland.


Building vs city_ Masdar city has an important and rather distinguishing characteristic. Its ground floor is elevated 7m high in order to accommodate its subterranean building and transportation systems. This idea uncovers two additional weaknesses in the Masdar City scheme. First, the heavy reliance on a personal rapid transit (PRT) system—, which is still in the developmental stage and without which the scheme falls apart. An seond, dependance on a highly engineered infrastructure network, which makes it very difficult to collaborate with sub-developers and deliver the scheme in a way that respond to phasing, market demand, and developer capabilities. No single entity in the UAE has the development capacity to deliver this project, so having an inflexible development approach either dooms the project, or risks degrading the ideal nature of the scheme in order to bring it to market. This inflexibility reinforces the idea of that this city does not allow for any form of ‘natural’ evolution, and thereby places the idea of sustainability at risk of being diminished. Public Space_ Masdar City resembles a huge shopping centre and makes the viability of public space in this city is doubtful. Planners have recreated the illusion of comfortable street life in a manner consistent with the interior spaces of a mall—producing a type of solar mega mall. Malls by their very nature are exclusive, sanitized building forms that reject spontaneity and meaningful human interaction, perhaps as a way to control and maintain a focus on commercial activity or because planners often fail to realise what works and why. This mode of planning is not difficult to critique and brings our discussion to a looming challenge for the Masdar brand of sustainability: feedback. Interestingly, it’s a challenge that requires the same type of thinking used to integrated the city’s passive and active building systems. In other words, when the planners, Foster + Partners, were considering how to address serious and well-known environmental issues, they looked for meaningful historical references (Moser 2012). The Yemeni city of Shibam became a model, traditional Arabic wind towers became a feature and water efficient desert plants became more than a ‘nice-to-have’ (Al-Sallal et al, 2012). In other words, the designers understood the value of using history as a planning tool and made certain to pay close attention to context. The result is the integrated approach we see in the building architecture and site plan. However, an issue that remains open to scrutiny and hidden from discussion, is the fact that Masdar’s social fabric is unlikely to function in the same way its buidlings do or in ways that mimic successful desert cities of the past. 72

Researchers have long identified the interplay between the urban and nomadic cultures as a key agent in urban renewal for desert cities (Bianca 2000). Cities, it is thought, need more than just remote sensors in their feedback mechanism; they need social cohesion, group solidarity and strong leadership. So, unless we are willing to count the researchers and students that will initially reside within Masdar, as ‘nomads’, the challenge of building a city to last could force fundamental change or indeed collapse. V. CONCLUSION So, what then are the external factors of historic urban development? And, how can we trace these complex morphological clues in service of sustainability? The first question requires the examination of such things as locational choices and the basis on which these choices are made. Historic trade routes and geopolitics are common factors, but so too is the availability of natural resources. The second question, requires that we remain aware that modern development trends are today governed by the replacement of organic and social processes by abstract and artificial mechanisms. Bianca and others remark that “cultural identity cannot be produced by rational thinking alone.” (Bianca, 2000). Modernist development principles seem to disagree. One of the main issues of sustainability, however, is the importance of context, place, history and society. It seems to be contradictory that the global problem of sustainability must be resolved with local sustainable development, but Masdar City is becoming a place for the world to test active and passive systems and infrastructures at the urban and architecture scale. And even though problems of context, efficiency and actual footprint still have a long way to go before they are fully answered, Masdar may be one of the best places we (sustainability managers) have to learn and generate results. Masdar City planners have to regard any apparent lack of social sustainability as a failure to address these modern development trends and ultimately a failure to be truly sustainable. In the final anaysis, this city will have to answer to the actions of the desert climate it finds itself in without disregarding it’s mission to be a sustainable urban example worth following. Time will tell.

VI. BIOLIOGRAPHY - Abbasi, T. and Abbasi, S. A., Crit. Rev. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 42, 99–154 - “An Obsessive Compulsion Towards The Specular”. Interview with Rem Koolhaas. 2008 - “A Zero-Emissions City in the Desert. Oil-rich Ab Dhabi is building a green metropolis. Should the rest of the world care?” Kevin Bullis. Technology Review; Mar/Apr 2009;112, 2; ABI / INFORM Global - “Cities, Towns & Renewable Energy” International Energy Agency ISBN: 978-92-64-07687-7 - “Ciudad y Utopia” Eligia Calderon Trejo - “Ciudades Ideales, Ciudades sin futuro. El porvenir de la Utopia” Rodrigo Castro Orellana. Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Suplemento 3 2010 ISSN: 1130-0507 - “Collage City” Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter - “Designing a sustainable house in the desert of Abu Dhabi” Khaled A. Al-Sallal*, Laila Al-Rais, Maitha Bin Dalmouk Architectural Engineering Dept., Faculty of Engineering, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates. - Elsheshtawy, Y. 2008b. “The evolving Arab city: Tradition, modernity & urban development.” New York: Routledge. - Foster + Partners: News/291/Default.aspx - Fox, J. (2008, March 4). Ecocities Of Tomorrow: Can Foster + Partners’ Masdar City In U.A.E Be Truly Sustainable?. Retrieved December 4, 2008, from php. - Gimbel, B. (2007, March 12). The Richest City In The World. Retrieved December 3, 2008, fortune_archive/2007/03/19/8402357/index.htm. - “Green building practices around the world” Frank Mills, ASHRAE Journal 2012. - “Historical Analysis as a Planning Tool” Carl Abbott and Sy Adler. 1989. Historical Analysis as a Planning Tool, Journal of the American Planning Association, 55:4, 467-473 - “La Utopia, Historia De Un Concepto” Regina Perez de Alsina. Area Digital Nro. 2 Feb. 2002 - “Managing Sustainable Innovation. The Driver For Global Growth” Ian E. Maxwell. Springer. 2009 ISBN: 978-0-387-87581-1 - “New Cities In The Muslim World: The Cultural Politics of Planning an ‘Islamic’ City” Sarah Moser. University of Massachusetts Lowell. 2013. - “Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron Or The Shape Of The Future?” Annissa Alusi, Robert G. Eccles, Amy C. Edmondson, Tiona Zuzul. Harvard Business School. 2011. - “Systems Integration For Cost Effective Carbon Neutral Buildings: A Masdar Headquarters Case Study” Jeffrey L. Boyer, 2010, ASME. - “The Enigma of Capital: And The Crisis Of Capitalism” David Harvey. Oxford University Press 2010 - “Urban Form In The Arab World” Stepfano Bianca. Thames and Hudson. 2000 - “Utopia. The Search For The Ideal Society In The Western World” Roland Schaer, Gregory Claeys, and Lyman Tower Sargent. Oxford University Press. 2000. - “49 CITIES” WORKac. Storefront for Art and Architecture 2009. ISBN: 978-0-615-28586-3 - “Masdar City: The Source of Inspiration or Uneconomical Spending?” Lindsay Snyder, 2009. - Masdar city. - Masdar Initiative (2008) aspx - “Paths To A Low-Carbon Economy – The Masdar Example.” Sam Nader 2009.


Tectonics and space, Athens

Introduction to the Spring 2013 Advanced Design Studio Kinne Trip Spring 2013





Chanel of Corinto



Treasury of Atreus 78


Sound and Interpolations Architectonics of Music

Advanced Design Studio, Spring 2013 Professors: Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia In collaboration with Alfonso Simelio AWARDED WITH THE LUCILLE SMYSER LOWENFISH MEMORIAL PRIZE, GSAPP COMMENCEMENT 2013


The project of the Center for Contemporary Music Research in Athens was inspired by the piece of music Deserts, composed by Edgard Varèse, considered one of the pioneers of electronic music. The piece is divided into seven very distinct parts, four orchestral sections interpolated by three segments of electronic music. We noticed a clear difference between the electronic and the orchestral, but also a structure in which the latter organizes the former. We saw that dichotomy as having a very spatial condition, and we interpreted it in two ways. On the one hand, we used two different materials, each one giving shape to a different part of the design. The orchestral music is represented by the mesh tunnels, whose continuous circulation and its rises and drops stand for the fluidity of the music and its sudden changes in speed. The electronic music, much more artiticial and cold, is exemplified by the concrete walls in which geometric figures have been carved out. The particular structure of the musical piece is represented by a mechanism that allows the conceptual model to open 360 degrees, inverting itself. When the block is closed, two separate circulations are intertwined but unconnected. When it opens, external openings allow the circulation from one half to the other in new places. The external walls that once delimitated the cube come in contact, creating a kind of short-circuit that allows the unexpected to take place. Using the concepts and language developed during the research phase, we developed a project that would contain research labs, classrooms, studios, a conference room, a coffe-shop and an auditorium. Based on the dichotomy in Varese’s piece, we designed an articulated volume made of two opposing cubes, one fixed and one that can rotate. When the building is in its closed position, it works as an enclosed research center and auditorium. When it opens for the summer, it becomes completely permeable, and the resulting public space, which extends into the auditorium, acquires an active role in the urban scene of Athens. This Project was graded with a HIGH PASS and was selected for archiving and possible publication in the ABSTRACT. 81

The orchestral and the electronic music are brought face to face. The sound of 14 winds, 1 piano and percussion make space explode in different directions over time where the light comes in. Electronic interpolations unfold the space transforming the meaning of the architecture through movement.

On the right top: Model closed and open On the right bottom: Open model 82


Main section of the closed model


Main section of the open model


Music interpretation with the conceptual model. The pathway in the interior of the space has relation with the speed of the music over time.

Interior spaces of the conceptual model Snapshots of the video


Interior of the conceptual model


Conceptual model in movement Snapshots of the video.

Interior spaces of the conceptual model in movement. Snapshots of the video.



Site of the Center of Contemporary Music Research in Athens, Greece

Closed model of the proposal for the Center of Contemporary Music Research


The proposal use the L shape of the plot in order to develop the concept idea, open and closed the building to the urban scene in Athens.

The building moves with a system of magnetic levitation.

Open model of the building the proposal for the Center of Contemporary Music Research


Facade of the proposal when is closed



Record, Ensemble, Percussion



Class rooms

Coffee/book-shop Conference room



Section of the proposal when is closed


Facade of the proposal when is open


Public plaza


Section of the proposal when is open The audirotium is open to the public plaza in Athens.


Image of the interior when the building is closed 96


Ground floor, closed and open


Image of the Auditorium when the building is closed


Second floor, when the building is closed

Second floor, when the building is open

Structure and facades of concrete walls.



Image of the building is open at night 104



The Contemporary: Architecture as Concept (from 1968 to present) Spring 2013 Professor: Bernard Tschumi

There is no architecture without a concept, and that concepts are what differentiate architecture from mere building. The most important works of architecture in any given period are the ones with the strongest concept or idea rather than simply those with the most striking form or shape. From 1968 to the present, we identify eight different periods in terms of their ability to mark the history of ideas and concepts in architecture.

For and Against statements. 1. Typological concepts For: The type is not a “frozen mechanism” that denies change and emphasizes an almost automatic repetition. The very concept of type implies the idea of change, of transformation. The concept of type enabled architecture to reconstruct its links the past and it is reinforced through its continuity. Architecture responds to the context. Against: The type means immobility, a set of restrictions imposed on the creator who must be able to act with complete freedom on the object. Against the relation between type and form, no type can be identified with only one form, even if all architectural forms are reducible to types. The idea of type reduced to image, or better, the image is the type, in the belief that through images communication is achieved. As such, the type-image is more concerned with recognition than with structure.

2. Concepts in Autonomy vs. Signs For: Architecture is responsive to and visually cognizant of its own history, the physical context in which a given work of architecture is set, and the social, cultural, and the political milieu which called it into being. Architecture includes both a conceptualized formation of space and the circumstantial modifications that a program can make this space undergo. Against: Presume architectural form to be recognizable transformation from some pre-existent geometric or Platonic solid. Formal compositional themes as independent entities freed from cultural connotations. Against the manipulation of the form as a way to introduce an explicit historical reference.

3. Phenomenological Affects For: The modernization can no longer be simplistically identified as liberative in se, in part because of the domination of mass culture by the media industry and in part because the trajectory of modernization has brought us to the threshold of nuclear war and the annihilation of the entire species. “Deconstruct” the overall spectrum of world culture and achieve a manifest critique of universal civilization. Building through the layering into the site, the idiosyncrasies 106

of place, find their expression without falling into sentimentality. Against: High-tech approach predicated exclusively upon production and the provision of a “compensatory façade” to cover up the harsh realities of this universal system. Against the reduce all urban planning to little more than allocation of land use and the logistics of distribution. The condition of absolute placelessness. Normative visual experience to the tactile range of human perceptions.

4. Heterogeneity Disjunctions Fragmentation For: Architecture of disruption is always referred to a concern for context and tradition. It is related to the dispersion of the subject and the force of social regulation where the idea of order is constantly questioned, challenged, pushed to the edge. Against: Neither form following function, not function follows deformation. Irregular geometry is not always understood as a structural condition rather than a dynamic formal aesthetic.

5. Programmatic Concepts and Diagrams For: The architectural project is a critical understanding of our present toward the future. This must use the problematic of the present (growth, mobility, migration, climate change) like a datascape, to build our environment that projects into the future and allows growing in over the time. As a product of our present, Bigness is a new typology of architecture of programmatic hybridization. In Bigness, what you see if no longer that you get, interior and exterior become a different project. It is a city within the city. Against: Against the idea that Bigness no longer needs a city, can exist anywhere on the planet. The building needs to respond to the data of a location, such as climate or program, with the flexibility enough to allow its evolution.

6. Minimalism and the Art of Construction

forms produce complex phenomelogical effects. Architecture is the design in which the perceiver has invested, it is space for people to live and work in. Making an object is a new problem each time, depend on the context. Against: The tradition does not exist. Against the idea of the envelope as the element where is registered the public values of the architectonic object.

7. Ideological and Ecological Envelopes For: Architecture is to remain convergent with culture, it needs to build mechanisms by which culture can constantly produce new images and concepts rather than recycle existing ones. The envelope is the surface and its attachments. It is a boundary that not only registers the pressure of the interior, but also resists it, transforming its energy into something else and engages with social and politic domains. It must be capable of generating an unlimited number of resonances of the culture, society and city. Against: The envelope is not a separation between the inside and outside, it is the link between them. It does not have to express a cultural symbol of a particular moment because it will not survive changing conditions. The envelope must express the interaction with the society and the culture and evolve within it.

8. Post-critical Percepts? For: Virtualization often operates there as reality’s vector of change, as an index of tendencies. Faced with the uncertainty of future alternative developments, it is absurd to wish to construct rigid decisional models that furnish strategies over long periods. Decision theory must assure the flexibility of “systems that make decisions”. Against: The ineffectiveness of ideology is clear. The crisis of modern architecture is not the result of tiredness or dissipation. It is rather a crisis of the ideological function of architecture.

For: The simple is not “be reduced”. The simple is the formula of a process rich with a great number of possibilities. Simple 107

The sustainability of types Since our world has developed rapidly, urban composition has undergone great changes. Globalization, virtualization and contamination are the main changes of our days that push to find new point of view of Architecture. Architecture should be a critical understanding of these topics allowing changes in over the time. It is important to be aware about culture with the flexibility enough to allow its evolution. Despite the concept of culture as history, today culture means people and location, such as climate and program.

Caldea, 4000 b.c.

Since the industrial revolution pushed cities to grow up rapidly, the contamination started and the climate changes. In order to preserve our world allowing evolution, the history is also important. Looking back to the history of a place, we can find the keys of climate and how cities were better designed in the past. The history must be understood as the essence of a place and its culture, and the type is the tool to find this essence. Types are not images or forms of the past, types are the tools to be sustainable. Looking at types, we can learn how to build better our future. In the 18th century, Quatremere de Quincy introduced the concept of type as the result of a long history able to change, modify and evolve, different from a model. In the 19th century, Durand made a table of basic elements, such as columns, pillars, foundations arguing that the form in architecture is a method of composition based on generic geometry of axis superimposed on the grid. In the 20th century, functionalists of modern movement rejected the idea of type. However, Le Corbusier showed great interests in industrial prototypes which can be repeated, such as Unite d´Habitation. In this building, a unit was the result of mass production without connection with the context, commited to architecture as mass production. According to this, Aldo Rossi uses the definition of Quatremere: “the word type does not represent so much the image of something that be copies or imitated perfectly, as the idea of an element as a rule for the model�. For Aldo Rossi, the type was a law of forming a building by the long term accumulation of the basic life style and experience of people, the result of cultural conventions In his building in Milan, the housing bock in Gallaratese (1969-1973), Aldo Rossi reflects his theoretical work answering the problems presented by designing under the ideas of urban morphology and types. The building brings the corridor as type and the feeling experienced in traditional Milan.


Here the corridor can be a type, a fragment from meaning of the past. Aldo Rossi, then, re-composited it in a rational way, the repetition of an element as an interior street. The type is not a “frozen mechanism” that denies change and emphasizes an almost automatic repetition. The very concept of type implies the idea of change, of transformation and enables architecture to reconstruct its links the past and it is reinforced through its continuity. The type is the result of a physical context in which a given work of architecture is set, and the social, cultural and political milieu which called it into being. The concept of type does not introduce an explicit historical reference, introduces cultural references. “The modernization can no longer be simplistically identified as liberative in se, in part because of the domination of mass culture by the media industry and in part because the trajectory of modernization has brought us to the threshold of nuclear war and the annihilation of the entire species”. Achieving a manifest critique of universal civilization it can be found the tactics to develop a more sustainable future. The architectural project is a critical understanding of our present toward the future. This must use the problematic of the present (growth, mobility, migration, climate change) to build our environment that projects into the future and allows growing in over the time. As a product of our present, Rem Koolhaas pointed out that Bigness is a new type of architecture that means programmatic hybridization. Bigness is the product of globalization, it no longer needs a city, can exist anywhere on the planet. Bigness is the type of the shopping mall, the air-conditioning, the lift, the mechanical escalators, the high-tech that the 20th century had developed in order to increase the consumption under the paradigm of comfort. However a building needs to respond to the data of a location, such as climate or program, with the flexibility enough to allow its evolution. As a product of this globalization, the increase of consumption has become unsustainable increasing contamination and changing climate. Globalization has become an enemy. All the technologies that has been developed during the 20th century to increase the comfort have become dangerous for the nature and life. The new type of bigness has been forced to grow up anywhere on the planet, producing structures that survive using 24 hours of air conditioning, mechanical escalators and lift, and several other features that increase the consumption of

resources of our world. Looking back to the history of a place, we can find the keys of climate and how cities were better designed in the past. The history must be understood as the essence of a place and its culture, and the type is the tool to find this essence. Looking at types, we can learn how to build a sustainable future. Related with Aldo Rossi´s corridor in the housing block of Gallaratese, there many types in our cultures that achieve comfort of buildings without contemporary high-technologies. In this case, the corridor is an important one because is a transition between the exterior thermal conditions and the interior, producing shadows in the walls, decreasing the thermal transmission. In the Mediterranean culture there is one important type that is the patio. The Patio is the arab architectural tradition that was brought to the Mediterranean countries. This type generates an exterior space around walls. Giving the fact that sun in those locations is very intense during many months of the year; these walls generate shadows to the space and themselves decreasing the overheating of the walls. Therefore, this effect decreases the transmission of high temperature to the interior of the building. The patio becomes a comfortable microclimate inside the building and the necessity of air-conditioning is over. Then, the consumption and the CO emission decrease. According to the idea of type as a non-frozen mechanism, the type of Patio has many different configurations, evolving from the past to the present. The patio is the example of the flexibility of the type. This type can change from an open courtyard in the summer to a green house in the winter. The patio can be transformed into a greenhouse only closing the space with a glass ceiling. With this new ceiling, the patio can keep all the sun heat warming the walls of the building and decreasing the loss of temperature inside avoiding the necessity of air conditioning and then, decreasing the CO emissions. Giving the fact that sustainability is an important question to develop, energy efficiency is more important than renovable energy production. The concept of production and consumption of technologies always belongs together. A solar panel needs many technological parts to be manufactured, so all these parts have to be produced before, that means consumed. However, the concept of energy efficiency can be achieved looking back to traditional types, but not producing high-tech elements that consume many resources. 109

Hassan Fathy, Egypt

In the last year, four Spanish universities participated in the international competition Solar Decathlon Europe 2012. They won 12 awards and the second position on the competition. The competition is based on the idea that each team, universities around the world, builds a self-sufficient and efficient housing prototype and competed for the best energy efficiency and energy production. In this case, this four Spanish universities, University of Seville, Jaen, Granada and Malaga designed a house, called “Patio 2.12� based on the concept of the Mediterranean patio. The patio was the comfort regulator of the house. Four different prefabricated modules were attached to the patio that can extend through it, becoming the patio inside instead of outside. The patio was covered with a flexible structure, which had three positions: open, when the light comes in, closed, when the patio is on shadow, and closed with glass, when the patio becomes a green house. In addition, the house re-interpreted traditional construction materials of that climate, Mediterranean; in order to has the same thermal conditions. After testing all the features used in the prototype, the team won the first prize in sustainability, in energy efficiency, in energy balance, in innovation and in many other topics. We can say that the type of Patio is a sustainable type. The patio is only one example the rich bioclimatic heritage that can be found through the history of Architecture. The concept of passive system can be found in elements that produce shadows, ventilation, thermic inertia, vegetation of different types. Each climate, such as, warm, cold, arid or wet weather, had developed their own types through the history seeking passive comfort conditions. Northern countries are characterized by pitched roofs, that allow better water evacuation and prevent snow accumulation, and attics that double the roof in order to control the thermal transmission between the inside and the outside. In these countries, we can also recognize architectural types that are related with these elements in northern cities; they deny the modern horizontal roof and use more transitional spaces such as the green house, that keeps the warm temperature from the sun light decreasing the necessity of heating and then, the CO emissions. Desert countries are characterized by other kind of architectural features. Traditional architecture is mainly characterized by ventilation towers, shadows, and massive materials brought from the desert. The ventilation tower is an important element that had developed different types. The ventilation tower or scavenger wind tower is an important passive element that means natural air cooling, decreasing the necessity of air conditioning, and accordingly less CO emissions.


Looking at the traditional cities and how cities worked in the past, we can also identify types of cities that are sustainable. These are the ones which houses, offices and entertainment were close enough to decrease transportation, another big question on sustainability. Compact cities generate shadows on the street, better public environment and less temperature transmission between the building and the street in warm climates. The rapid growth of cities introduces one of the questions of sustainability, the land footprint and the landscape consumption. The type of city that are more compact has less land footprint meaning less consumption of natural resources for a sustainable future. The modern suburban cities do not care about this question, increasing not only the consumption of land but also the transportation, indeed, the energy consumption. Sustainable types are not the commonly called “green buildings” or “green architecture”. Green architecture has become a big cliché; it seems to be a recent phenomenon. Green architecture has been imposed as sustainable type by simply introducing horizontal and vertical gardens into buildings and installing solar energy. But instead of being sustainable, these features, in most of the cases, consume more energy than save. Recently, these buildings seem to become a new type. As Stan Allen points out in his book “Landform building”, the relationship between landscape and architecture has gradually developed according to the ecology concerns from the sixties to the present. These new buildings have grown up from the small to the big scale. These big landform buildings are related to the Bigness that Rem Koolhaas recognizes as a new type of our days. These buildings, called landform buildings, are not sustainable at all, are also the cliché of sustainability, of the necessity of architecture to justify its relationship with landscape.

diversity is embodied in the uniqueness and plurality of the identities of the groups and societies making up humankind. Source of exchange, innovation and creativity, cultural diversity is as necessary for humanity as biodiversity is for nature. In this sense, it is the common heritage of humanity and should be recognized and affirmed for the benefit of present and future generations” Sustainable architecture is traditional architecture. The contemporary problem of contamination through architecture can be resolved looking back to the history. The history of architecture has evolved by finding the best construction and living methods that industrial revolution forgot. These traditional methods as types imply the idea of transformation, from the tradition to the sustainable future. Sustainable architecture and city is not an amount of data in terms of program, land use and logistics of distribution. Contemporary architecture is layering into the site, the idiosyncrasies of the place, find their contemporary needs related with culture and society without falling into sentimentality. Sustainable types are not the image of the past, are not geometries or forms of the tradition. They are the logics of the construction methods with long history. The use of historical or traditional types responds the question of sustainability in architecture meaning the design of contemporary architecture. The very concept of type implies the idea of change, of transformation intrinsic in architecture allowing its evolution. It is the formula of a process rich with a great number of possibilities to a sustainable future.

Sustainable architecture is not green. Sustainable architecture is cultural, is related with history. Sustainable architecture is contextual, the location means climate, society and culture. Sustainable architecture is not exportable. Bigness, high tech and globalization is not sustainable. The new types, such as shopping mall, are unsustainable. The shopping mall and the suburbia need more transportation, air conditioning and mechanical escalators. Art. 1 of the universal statement of UNESCO about cultural diversity: “Culture acquires diverse forms across time and space. This 111


Dictionary of Received Ideas

Spring 2013 Professor: Enrique Walker In coolaboration with Alfonso Simelio and Maria Esnaola The Dictionary of Received Ideas aims to examine received ideas-in other words, ideas which have been depleted of their original intensity due to recurrent use- in contemporary architecture culture. Based on Gustave Flaubert’s unfinished project, Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues, the seminar proposes to disclose, define and date received ideas prevalent over the past decade, both in the professional and the academic realm, in order to ultimately open up otherwise precluded possibilities for architectural design and theory.

1. The Twist The twist is usually a residencial or office tower that in order to generate an exterior iconic presence makes the formal move of twisting the whole prism volume. It is basically a superficial strategy as the floor plans suffer no modification, it is derived from the structural freedom of the facade in contemporary architecture. The building needs to seem dynamic. In movement. Therefore, relations like the “body movement” in Calatrava’s Turning torso tower. Just an easy way to generate an analogy. Genealogy - Peter Eisenman: In his formal research towards an architectural of autonomy, he got to the twisted shape using the turning and moving of the grids in different levels. -Frank O. Ghery: Introduces a genealogy more based in the idea of the skin. The program is no longer relevant as the building is shaped by the the external appearance. - The cliche is based in buildings that don’t look like buildings. The twist is just a mechanism to get an iconic appereance. In this sense, Turning torso building of Santiago Calatrava is not a cliché but a precent. He is using the analogy of the human body literally translated into architecture. Design manual 1. Organize the program into slabs 2. Find the axes and the best views in the surroundings 3. Rotate each floor slab gradually. 4. Connect the slabs with a twisting envelope

Design tool: Rhinoceros software


Historical references about spiral movement in Architecture and Art

1959 FRANK LL. RIGHT Guggenheim Museum New York, USA

1975 PIERRE JEANNERET Punjab University Student Buidling Chandigarh, India

1919 NAUM GABO Kinetic Construction

1919 VLADIMIR TATLIN M. to the Third International



PETER EISENMAN Haus Immendorff Dusseldorf, Germany


FRANK O. GEHRY Hannover Tower Hannover, Germany


SANTIAGO CALATRAVA Turning Torso Malmo, Sweden



HERZOG & DE MEURON Young Museum San Francisco, USA


HERZOG & DE MEURON New Tate London, UK


BIG Scala Tower Milano, Italy


OMA/Rem Koolhaas Park Ave. Tower New York, USA


SOM InfinityTower Dubai, UAE


ZAHA HADID City Life Milano, Italy


2. Mikado Mikado is the design of stacking geometric volumes with some rotation, forgetting the idea of the public space vertically or the three-dimensional urbanism that was originally the aim of Dutch architecture in order to find an efficient use of the free land). Genealogy This idea connects with the approach that the Dutch’s, such as MVRDV and OMA, started in the 90’s in the Netherlands. Based on the idea of a three-dimensional urbanism, they make more efficient the use of land by stacking programmatic volumes and then rotating or dislocating them in order to obtain more open space. The aim of these projects was to create a three-dimensional puzzle of program, public and empty spaces, as opposed to the post-war residential block. It is a way of redesigning the traditional tenement house grouped around a courtyard into a vertical building, such as in the Berlin Voids in 1991. In 2005 MVRDV design EPO Offices, following the same concept. This building stacks some bars vertically in reference to the idea of stacking containers. Design manual 1. Cut pieces of blue foam indistincly 2. Stack them in different levels 3. Rotate the blocks leaving some free roofs 4. Distribute your program among the volumes Design tool: Blue Foam




MVRDV Berlin Voids Berlin, Germany


MVRDV EPO Offices Rijswijk, Holland




HERZOG & DE MEURON BIG Tate Extension Sonderborg Harbour London, England Sonderborg,Demark


MVRDV Logrono Cubes, Logrono, Spain


OMA Singapore Apartments Singapore


MVRDV Peruri 88 Jakarta, Indonesia



HERZOG & DE MEURON VitraHaus Basel, Swizertland


SOU FUJIMOTO Tokyo Apartments Tokyo, Japan


Peter Eisenman / MOS Architects Architectural Practice as Project

Spring 2013 Professors: Juan Herreros and Jose Aragüez In collaboration with Alberto Manrique and Alfonso Simelio Architectural Practice is being affected by important changes. Offices –one of the architect’s core activities- are diversifying from the unipersonal orthodox model to very open kinds of formats. At the same time, different emerging practices show that the commission –projectconstruction procedure is only one aspect of architects work. Now is the moment to explore and identify new ways of being an architect, where the architectural office and practice are the “starting projects”, the engines that drive their creativity.

Interviewing Hilary Sample, partner of MOS Architects. February 22, 2013 Avery Hall, GSAPP Columbia Everything all at once, by MOS Architects. 116

1. MOS Architects MOS Architects is a young firm whose principals are Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, both professors at Columbia University and Princeton Unicversity.

“We understand the architectural office as workshop”. “Media as a way of thinking and engange with clients. Software, movies, art installations” “We are dealing with Everything all at once”. “After the market crashed, we decided to work on temporary projects but temporary projects pay for them selves” “Moma PS1 Afterparty pushed us to have a structure of an office” “We do not have business development”. “It is not about being famous, it is about work and the relationship with clients” “Our organization is horizontal and everybody has different skills without specialization” “We are two partners, one associate and three interns.” “Our challenge is to work more internationally” “We want to get better fees, be able to pay better and have an office with a little more structure in the future”


2. Peter Eisenman Architects Peter Eisenman Architects is an architectural office whose principal is Peter Eisenman, professor at Yale University.

Interviewing Peter Eisenman, principal of Peter Eisenman Architects February 28, 2013 Peter Eisenman Architects Office 118

“We are an small office, ten architects. I (Peter Eisenman) am the principal, who has the ideas and who is involved on everything, Richard Rosson is the administrative and Sandra Hemingway is the project coordinator”. ”The most important thing in Architecture is to have a Project. The architectural project needs practice but practice does not mean that has a project”. “An office only needs to build five buildings in order to make a difference”. “Competitions are the opportunities to make a project, but the conditions of construction eliminate the project” “The theoretical work is the most important work of an architect in order to make history” “Architects do not solve problems, they have to develop their own discipline. A project has a value to the culture in general” “My network is my colleages, my students and my family. Clients are not my network”. 119 +1 (787) 599-9831

Š2013 by Margarita Calero

MARGARITA CALERO Portfolio GSAPP Columbia 2013