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PoroCity is an invitation to open up the built environment. PoroCity begins with a series of reflections and articles inviting planners, developers and architects to design and build urban porosity. PoroCity provides the tools to prove that urban porosity is socially, environmentally and economically valuable and, through a series of spatial experiments, PoroCity proposes a method to reach it. By looking at how to measure urban porosity, this book aims to promote the capacity of the three-dimensional pixel (the so-called ‘voxel’) for both measuring and evaluating the relative porosity of any built form as well as for negotiating design. PoroCity is an invitation to bring more qualities to the development of our built environment and to look critically at the ongoing processes leading to the densification of our cities. PoroCity by The Why Factory: Winy Maas and Adrien Ravon with Tihamér Salij, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda and Arend van Waart Edited by Javier Arpa Guest contributions by: Arup, Richard Sennett and Paola Viganò


Table of Contents

A Porous Society Welcome to PoroCity

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6

Winy Maas

Solidity is not Porous We Love Nolli

12

20

This is PoroCity

28

Why Porous?

38

Designing the Open City

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A lecture by Richard Sennett

The Porous City

52 A conversation between Javier Arpa and Paola Viganò

Engineering Porosity

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A conversation between Javier Arpa and Adrien Ravon of The Why Factory and Arup team members Edith Blennerhassett, Alan Duggan, Claire Lambe and Rory McGowan

Experiments

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Opening up Buildings Postscripted Towers

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A City of Porous Buildings Postscripted Towers

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Opening up Buildings Prescripted Towers

130

A City of Porous Buildings Prescripted Towers

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Opening up Cities

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A Region of Porous Cities

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Measuring PoroCity The Voxel Tool

300

The Benefits of Porosity The Costs of Porosity

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310

Score, Compare and Choose

A Porous Planet Winy Maas

Credits

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360

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The notion of porosity is complex—it is both scientifically precise and philosophically open. And yet the term feels so right and relevant when applied to the city that it keeps returning to the discourse of architects and urbanists. Used to describe the properties of a material, the performance of a façade, the spatial organization of a building or the emergence of socioeconomic interactions, the word porous is now part of the glossary of design practice. Through the voices of researchers, theorists and practitioners, we propose an alternative reading of our cities by transcending the traditional distinctions between closed and open, mass and void, and inside and outside. This chapter draws a list of challenges and qualities that identify porous cities as better places to live, and offers an updated definition of porosity as a method with which to build them.


A Porous Society


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The production of density is currently connected to the solidity of buildings and cities. How might we open up this solidity? Architect and professor Winy Maas introduces the research undertaken at The Why Factory on the design of blocks and skyscrapers and the potential of porosity as an innovative approach to urban density. The PoroCity he introduces here is, at the same time, a method and a pledge to make cities more open. It is an attempt to demonstrate, through research, that porosity is not only advantageous, but is also structurally possible.


Welcome to PoroCity Winy Maas


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Welcome to a porous society! Welcome to cities that want to be open and porous! Our current cities consist of environments, terrains, buildings, towers and blocks that are enclosed, distant and introverted. Together with the artificial climatization they require, such urban spaces beget fundamentally unhealthy situations. Our enclosed and introverted cities do not allow for urban life, for social possibility or for ecological potential. They do not allow for urban cooling. They somehow block innovation, social cohesion, and ecological and climatic needs. They are simply not open.


How might we open them? How might we blur their boundaries and introduce pockets that facilitate social equilibrium, leave room for the unknown and create streams of circulation and communication? How might we work to introduce zones for greenery and animals, for tunnels of cooling and refreshment, and for channels of water and sanitation? We think the solution has something to do with what we describe as ‘porosity’. How can we achieve urban porosity? What does such a state even mean? In the series of studies that follow, the beginnings of a porous city are imagined and proposed through the manipulation of tower models. By opening our towers, we attack contemporary urban introversion. We imagine logics for towers and buildings


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PoroCity is natural daylight Solid buildings, in their most essential conception, are boxes composed of ground floor, roof and four façades. Façades are defined by their orientation: one façade typically receives sunlight when the opposite one does not. The upper part of the building receives more sunlight than does the lower part. And, depending on the depth of the building, direct sunlight hardly reaches the inner areas. PoroCity is an invitation to bring more natural daylight into our built environment. By using sun exposure to determine the outer shape of a building and increasing the amount of daylight per unit, buildings might lose their solidity and begin to adapt to their environments. Sunrays become a driving force—they sculpt buildings and work at penetrating their solidity. How would a building look if every inhabitable unit received at least two hours of direct sunlight? Imagine every opening and every pore participating in optimizing climatic comfort and increasing the building’s climatic performance. Openings would help to naturally warm different parts of the building, tempering the need for heating and artificial lighting and creating shadow as necessary.

Figure 4: Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect, 1975 During the 1970s, artist and architect Gordon Matta-Clark’s work often involved deliberate interventions on existing buildings. When he was performing the work known as Conical Intersect in Paris in 1975, Matta-Clark was in fact ‘opening a state of enclosure’ 8 and revealing the stratification of a solid building condition. Passers-by allegedly commented: ‘Oh I see the purpose for that hole—it is an experiment in bringing light and air into spaces that never had enough of either.’ 9 If Matta-Clark’s own intentions for the ‘conical intersect’ were more complex, his performance can also be seen as an act of protest against solidity. By his action, he made the building more porous and proposed a ‘reexamination of the quality of life being serviced’. 10

Figure 5: Steven Holl, Sliced Porosity Block, 2012 Steven Holl has explored the notion of porosity in a variety of projects. MIT’s Simmons Hall, a student residence described as ‘sponge-like’; 11 the Linking Hybrid, a mixed-used building presented as an ‘open city within the city’; and later the Sliced Porosity Block, a mixed-use urban block ‘sliced by sunlight’, 12 are all projects that explore the three-dimensional integration of public space through the development of passages, openings, multi-level terraces and pedestrian connections. Porosity, in Steven Holl’s work, is addressed through the development of what he calls ‘micro urbanism’. 13 Buildings as such represent what he describes as a ‘vertical slice of a city’.


PoroCity is views In cities, sometimes the horizon disappears. Solid buildings become visual obstructions and, constrained by the opacity of these surroundings, one experiences a sensation of visual enclosure. PoroCity is an invitation to maximize views. By diversifying façade orientations, maximizing the number of windows and enlarging view cones, designed units could potentially offer 180-degree perspectives on the city. And we imagine that by establishing rules that determine the minimum distance between units, buildings could become more porous and transparent, offer different levels of readability and reveal their interiority. Porous building methods would ensure visual continuity from the outside to the inner parts of the building and from the bottom to the top of a structure. Floors would no longer be visually disconnected from each other. As one ascended vertically, each step would offer a new and different point of view, generating a diverse landscape for contemplation.

Figure 7: MVRDV, WoZoCo, 1997 Figure 6: Jean Renaudie, housing complex, Ivry-sur-Seine, 1973 Housing complex Danielle Casanova, completed in Ivry-sur-Seine between 1971 and 1973 by architect Jean Renaudie, stands as a manifesto against the monotony of the solid buildings built in France during the 1960s and exemplified by the mono orientation of apartments and the vertical repetition of the same floor plan. By introducing a series of angles at 45 degrees in every apartment, the Danielle Casanova complex maximizes windows. It functions as a three-dimensional puzzle that diversifies the orientation and typological possibilities of its apartments.

To maintain adequate sunlight in the surrounding buildings, only 87 of the 100 units could be realized within the slab. Where could the remaining 13 dwellings be positioned? If they were put elsewhere on the site, the open space would be further reduced. A deeper slab with narrower units did not seem possible. The north-south orientation of the block meant that the generator had to be a 7.20-m module. By ‘cantilevering’ the remaining 13 units from the north façade, they are literally suspended in the air. The hanging east-west orientated types complete the north-south dwellings in the block with a view over the adjacent meadow. 14


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The following chapter describes the research undertaken by The Why Factory during a design studio at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). One of its objectives was to introduce and utilize quick and creative ways of using LEGO blocks as a new modelling material. For that purpose, the 16 students participating in the studio had 1 million LEGO blocks at their disposal during the design process. The premises of the exercise were twofold: on the one hand, the work reconsiders the architecture of towers by questioning the traditional principle of core, floors and envelope. By using LEGO blocks as the material for this experiment, we ensured that our towers would not be seen as mere extrusions but rather as three-dimensional compositions of multiple units based on the human scale. On the other hand, the exercise uses a step-by-step method to determine what makes a tower porous. It proposes an exploration of different operations based on a sequence of spatial transformations that gradually open up a generic solid tower.


Opening up Buildings Postscripted Towers The Why Factory: Adrien Ravon with Chun Hoi Hui, Claudia Mainardi, Tihamér Salij, Leo Stuckardt Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda Students: Marina Ferrando, Jaap de Jong, Alise Jekabsone, Jayson Johnstone, Valerie Krautzer, Qian Lan, Bill Lee, Albert Mark, Ana Melgarejo, Vincent Paar, Marcus Parviainen, Alex Parvu, Pedro Pitarch, Mihaela Radescu, Marie-Lahya Simon, Leo Stuckardt, Calvin Tanikaya, Cyrus Wong Guest critics: Kristján Eggertsson, Kristján Örn Kjartansson, Karin Laglas, Mads Bay Møller, Sander Mulders, Huib Plomp, Agnes Wijers


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From LEGO logic to Pixel Power The LEGO block is a great design object in itself. It is simple, playful, precise and beautiful. But LEGO blocks are also a great design tool. Over the past 70 years, the Danish firm has challenged both children and adults while simultaneously, as they write in their own press material, ‘inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow’. As a constructive principle, it seems so easy to stack boxes: following a basic logic offers a myriad of compositional possibilities. Ask a child to play with LEGO blocks and she could probably come up with more structural solutions than the designers had ever envisioned or intended. As solid elements that are easily stackable, LEGO blocks present a clear structural organization. If, on the one hand, the possibilities for conceiving three-dimensional structures are endless, on the other the laws of gravity immediately reveal each model’s structural limitations. Buildings often appear as single, integral entities. But they are, actually, made up of a multitude of smaller elements, rigorously organized inside a predefined envelope. As we look at a building from far away or from closer up, zooming in and out, its resolution seems to evolve. First we see an outer shape and then the multiplicity of components that make that envelope inhabitable. The building, as such, is a collection of smaller containers for programme. The cell, the unit, the box, the pixel, or the habitacle are the smallest inhabitable elements of buildings. Coming to read solid buildings as the compositions of a multitude of smaller boxes invites us to explore architecture from small to big, from the scale of the private sphere to the collective dimension. Pixelated buildings are simultaneously informed by their surroundings and by the interrelations between their units. Ways of living together can determine structural organization: the organization of units should maximize the condition of each unit and preserve experiences of intimate individualism while exploring the emergence of a possible public collectivism. Creating terraces, for example, or diversity in the façade, or creating more daylight and views can lead to building types that enable new forms and resolutions of collectivity. Nearly organic, pixelated buildings can be imagined as living organisms, composing interconnected webs of prefabricated cells. But, just as in nature, some organizing principles can be decoded. The emergence of structure is based on simple rules of spatial cohabitation that determine each cell’s reaction to its direct neighbours. Buildings, as such, become computational objects—an architecture driven by data and emerging from a set of spatial, social and environmental rules.


Possible combinations for stacking two LEGO blocks


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Spatial experiments Our experiments started when The Why Factory received 1 million LEGO blocks, enough to fill a classroom. Sixteen students began the endeavour of transforming a pile of white LEGO blocks into a collection of open towers at a scale of 1:1000. The solid LEGO blocks served as a monochrome material for this experimentation. Each block of 34 x 16 x 9 mm represented a standard unit with standard dimensions, volume and proportions. Each unit was composed of six faces: four potential façades, one floor and a potential terrace on the roof. Temporarily ignoring the question of programme led to the production of simplified models that focused on the relation between mass (as a generic programme) and void (as public space) and the potential interactions between units. Just as the poché used in the Nolli Map reveals Rome’s porosity, so LEGO blocks became a tool of representation to reveal the porosity of three-dimensional structures. Those physical models, based on a binary composition, would be able to make emergent qualities such as light, views, access and the possibilities for privacy, public life and social interaction legible. Through their intrinsic capacity for simplification, LEGO blocks offered a way to systematize our exercise and make its results comparable. The LEGO block became, thus, our unit for measuring porosity.


Porosity = 0%

Porosity = 12%

Porosity = 56%

Porosity = 43%

Porosity = 57%

Porosity = 74%

Porosity = 65%

Porosity = 51%

Porosity = 58%

Porosity = 88%

Porosity = 20%

Porosity = 57%

Estimation of the degree of porosity based on the ratio between mass and void


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Opening up Urbanism Cities are complex entities. They sprawl throughout the territory for kilometres and their forms reach upward into the sky. However, cities also have local dimensions, on the scale at which interactions between inhabitants and the architecture they inhabit are measured in metres. The size of the streets, the height of buildings, the distance between blocks and the proportion of neighbourhoods have a strong impact on urban life. However, the production of density is usually connected with the idea of monumentality, solidity and isolation. The economic understanding of ‘super tall buildings’, ‘mega blocks’ and dense environment leads to the development of isolated entities that are monumental and not inviting. The idea of density results in high FAR condensed in XXL buildings. Cities therefore become solid and monotonous . They lack intensity and diversity. Densification is a fact. Hubs, large-scale buildings, vertical inhabitable structures and an architecture that answers the challenges of a megacity are indeed needed. But we also want to preserve the well-being of small cities, places that are diverse, intense and intimate. This challenge is an invitation to combine the large scale with the small scale, to combine individuality with collectiveness, and to encourage variety in dense urban environments. Our challenge is to make those mega blocks higher and bigger, but also more social, more collective and more open, to allow people to go through urban forms, to drift around and regain the feeling that some historical city centres and urban villages once provided. How can we generate urban continuity through which one might move gradually from one neighbourhood to another? How to encourage a three dimensionality that overcomes extrusion and translates the urban values described above upward? How can we aim for a vertically oriented town full of parks and public space and defined by a mixed urban programme? By opening up solid blocks, by creating pores and connections between inside and outside, by creating proximity and diversifying views, and increasing daylight, our existing solid blocks would become friendlier. They would also become better for natural ventilation and create conditions for the welfare of vegetation. Suddenly, they could play a role in the city by fighting heat islands and participating in the climatic regulation of the city. Continuity between blocks could create more pathways, improving access and mobility. By connecting buildings with sky bridges or merging towers, the city would become the larger continuum once envisioned by Constant Nieuwenhuys as New Babylon. Constant’s vision for a metacity was an


Samples of different urban fabrics

Amsterdam

Berlin

Casablanca

Istanbul

London

Madrid

Moscow

Vienna


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A range of properties can serve as the basis for an analysis of a building’s performance. From capacity to sustainability, evaluative criteria and formulas abound. How can we objectively measure the benefits of a porous tower? The most relative qualities of towers are represented in natural lighting, views from the building and exterior inhabitable spaces like terraces. By attributing a value to each of those parameters (daylight, view and terraces), the Voxel Tool assigns a total score to every sample data point. Thus it provides information about those different performances for each voxel. The performance analyses, introduced below, are measured based on computational tools to simulate direct sunlight, daylight, view cones and terraces. In effect, more and more BIM software embed the analysis of those performances in their toolbox. It allows, for example, for the calculation of the amount of hours of sunlight exposure, the minimum distance and degrees for view cones, and the distance from a voxel to an accessible terrace.


The Benefits of PoroCity The Why Factory: Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart with Sander Mulders and Alexander Sverdlov


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Default tower

Our default tower is based on the original 2 World Trade Center in New York. It constitutes our basis for comparison with porous towers. Every design and every step towards the definition of a porous tower is a deformation of this solid tower.


Transformed tower

Comparison is conducted based on the evaluation of volume, gross floor area, faรงade area, terrace area, daylight, views, weight and costs. Towers are subdivided into spatial units of 4 x 4 x 4 m ordered in a cubic grid. Each voxel has the same measurements, allowing for comparison of different towers and also of the voxels themselves.


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Voids

Terraces

Direct sunlight

Views


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The Why Factory

The Why Factory is a global thinktank and research institute, run by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology and led by professor Winy Maas. The Why Factory’s Future Cities research programme explores possibilities for the development of our cities by focusing on the production of models and visualizations for cities of the future. The results of this research programme are being presented in a series of books—the Future Cities series— published in association with nai010 publishers in Rotterdam, and designed by Bastiaan de Wolff of Thonik / BENG in Amsterdam. PoroCity is the eleventh publication in this series, following The Why Factor(y), Visionary Cities, Green Dream, Vertical Village, Hong Kong Fantasies, City Shocks, We Want World Wonders, Barba, Absolute Leisure and Copy Paste. For more information see: www.thewhyfactory.com


Authors Winy Maas

Adrien Ravon

Prof.Ir. Ing FRIBA HAIA, architect and urban planner, is one the founding principals of MVRDV, an interdisciplinary studio that works at the intersection of architecture and urbanism. The award-winning Dutch practice was set up over two decades ago and has established an international identity with a wide variety of building typologies and scales that are self-generated, innovative, experimental and theoretical.

Dipl.-Arch, is an architect, teacher and researcher whose work combines a theoretical and technical approach. Ravon completed his studies at the FADU-UBA, Buenos Aires and at the ENSAPM, Paris, where he defended his Master’s thesis in January 2011. After collaborating as an architect with Officina Urbana in Buenos Aires and Jakob+MacFarlane in Paris, Ravon was appointed teacher and researcher at the TU Delft, where he joined The Why Factory. Since September 2011, Ravon has worked on various research and education projects that focus on urban futures, tools and design methodologies. He had a key role in advancing the Future Models course, which provides specific computing support to The Why Factory’s work. He co-authored The Why Factory’s publications Barba (nai010 publishers, 2015) and Copy Paste (nai010 publishers, 2017). In the frame of his collaboration with The Why Factory, he has worked with the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam, ETH Zurich, KTH in Stockholm, EIT ICT Labs, IIT in Chicago, IAAC in Barcelona, GSAPP in New York City, RMIT Melbourne, Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, ENSA Strasbourg, Design Indaba, the Centre Pompidou and the Dutch Design Week. At the TU Delft, he has supervised The Why Factory’s graduation unit for the past three years. In parallel, Ravon worked as a consultant at MVRDV in 2017 and 2018.

Winy advocates denser, greener, more attractive and liveable cities, with an approach to design, regardless of typology or scale that reflects a user-defined, innovative and sustainable consideration for the built environment. In 2008, Winy founded The Why Factory at the TU Delft, a research institute on future cities which he leads as director. He has been a Visiting Professor at GSAPP Columbia and IIT Chicago and has also held teaching positions at the ETH Zurich, the University of Louvain, the University of Hong Kong, the Berlage Institute, the Architectural Association (AA) in London, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Yale University (Eero Saarinen Chair), Ohio State University and the Rotterdam Building Academy. Winy sits on numerous international boards and juries. He was recently named Supervisor of Almere Floriade 2022 and Eindhoven City, and has been Supervisor of Barcode Urban Development in Oslo. Previously, he sat on the boards of the Economic Development Board of Rotterdam, the Spatial Quality Boards of both Rotterdam and Barcelona, the Netherlands National Planning Office and the Netherlands National Design Group.


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Content Credits Winy Maas and Adrien Ravon with Tihamér Salij, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda, and Arend van Waart Edited by Javier Arpa Text Editor: Rachel Julia Engler

A Porous Society Welcome to PoroCity Text by Winy Maas

Solidity is not Porous Text by Adrien Ravon Graphics edited by Claudia Mainardi

We Love Nolli Text by Adrien Ravon

This is PoroCity

Experiments Opening up Buildings: Postscripted Towers Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s “Opening the tower” studio at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, during the Fall 2011 Students: Marina Ferrando, Jaap de Jong, Alise Jekabsone, Jayson Johnstone, Valerie Krautzer, Qian Lan, Bill Lee, Albert Mark, Ana Melgarejo, Vincent Paar, Marcus Parviainen, Alex Parvu, Pedro Pitarch, Mihaela Radescu, Marie-Lahya Simon, Leo Stuckardt, Calvin Tanikaya, Cyrus Wong Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda Collaborators: KRADS Guest critics: Kristján Eggertsson, Kristján Örn Kjartansson, Karin Laglas, Mads Bay Møller, Sander Mulders, Huib Plomp, Agnes Wijers

Text by Adrien Ravon

Why Porous? Designing the Open City Text by Richard Sennett Lecture organized by the academy van Bouwkunst in January 2018

The Porous City Text by Javier Arpa and Paola Viganò Interview conducted in February 2018

Engineering Porosity Text by Javier Arpa, Adrien Ravon and Arup team members Rory McGowan, Elisabeth Blennerhassett, Alan Duggan and Claire Lambe Interview conducted in February 2018

Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s ‘Porosity Hong Kong’ workshop at the Hong Kong Design Center during the Fall 2012. Students : Noah Cheng, Frankie Chan, John Chan, Shervan Chan, Jose Cheung, Dicky Chu, Wentang Dong, Eleanor Fu, Xinhui Gui, Gloria Ha, Miracle Hui, Sylvie Hui, Andrew Hung, Randolph Lai, Ennio Lam, Philip Lam, Susan Lam, Vicky Lam, Tak Lee, Cherry Leung, Carol Ng, Jack Pun, Queenie Sham, Billy Tam, Cecil Xu, Samantha Yip, Sun Yi, Lai Lok Yu, David Wang, Chui Shan Wong, Joshua Wong Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Tihamér Salij, Ania Molenda Collaborators: Hong Kong PolyU, HK Design Institute, City University of Hong Kong Guest Critics: Timothy J. Jachna, Luis Costa, Atul Kansara, Shan Chia, Joseph F. Wong, William To, Carol Leung, Grace Lau Text by Adrien Ravon Graphics edited by Chun Hoi Hui, Claudia Mainardi, Adrien Ravon and Leo Stuckardt, Project description by Adrien Ravon, Tihamér Salij, and Leo Stuckardt

Opening up Buildings: Prescripted Towers Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s “Opening the tower” studio at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, during the Fall 2011 Students: Jaap de Jong, Marina Ferrando, Alise Jekabsone, Jayson Johnstone, Valerie Krautzer, Qian Lan, Bill Lee, Albert Mark, Ana Melgarejo, Vincent Paar, Marcus Parviainen, Alex Parvu, Pedro Pitarch, Mihaela Radescu, Marie-Lahya Simon, Leo Stuckardt, Calvin Tanikaya, Cyrus Wong Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda and Adrien Ravon


Guest critics: Sander Mulders and Rob Niejle Text by Adrien Ravon Graphics edited by Chun Hoi Hui, Claudia Mainardi, Adrien Ravon and Leo Stuckardt, Project description by Adrien Ravon, Tihamér Salij, and Leo Stuckardt

Opening up Cities Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s “Porocity” studio at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, during the Fall 2012 Students: Reiner Beelitz, Miguel Van Den Berge, Trine Bølviken, Jia Chen, Marie d’Oncieu, Martijn Van Gameren, Tan Ruey Guang, Guillaume Guerrier, Xi Guo, Enes Ismailati, Chung Heng Kwong, Afke Laarakker, Matteo Schiavone, Tatiana Starchenko, Maciek Wieczorkowski, Sannie Yip

Score, Compare and Choose Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s “Porous Structure” studio at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, during the Spring 2013 Students: Olga Berning, Xiao Du, Alberto González Ruiz, Narinna Gyulkhasyan, M.F. Hercules, M.A. Heredia Moreno, Rudo Valentijn Koot, Manthan Mevada, Mitalee Parikh, Peng Zhao, Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov, Arend van Waart Collaborators: Rob Nijsse (ABT), Bas Wijnbeld (ABT) Text by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Graphics edited by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Development by Alexander Sverdlov and Arend van Waart

A Porous Planet Text by Winy Maas

Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov and Arend van Waart Text by Adrien Ravon Graphics edited by Chun Hoi Hui and Charles Gregoire Project description by Adrien Ravon and Lex te Loo

Measuring Porosity The Voxel Tool Text by Adrien Ravon Graphics edited by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Development by Sander Mulders, Adrien Ravon, Alexander Sverdlov and Arend van Waart

The Benefits of Porosity Text by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Graphics edited by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Development by Sander Mulders, Adrien Ravon, Alexander Sverdlov and Arend van Waart

The Costs of Porosity Developed and illustrated by the students of The Why Factory’s “Porous Structure” studio at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, during the Spring 2013 Students: Olga Berning, Xiao Du, Alberto González Ruiz, Narinna Gyulkhasyan, M.F. Hercules, M.A. Heredia Moreno, Rudo Valentijn Koot, Manthan Mevada, Mitalee Parikh, Peng Zhao, Tutors: Prof. Winy Maas, Alexander Sverdlov, Arend van Waart Collaborators: Rob Nijsse (ABT), Bas Wijnbeld (ABT) Text by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Graphics edited by Adrien Ravon and Arend van Waart Development by Alexander Sverdlov and Arend van Waart


Acknowledgments 24 See Paola Viganò, The Territories of Urbanism: The Project as Knowledge Producer (Lausanne: Routledge-EPFL Press, 2016). 25 See LEGO’s website, at: www.lego.com. 26 LEGO blocks appear to be infinitely stackable. In fact,

We would like to thank all the students of The Why Factory for their contributions to this book. We especially want to mention Chun Hoi Hui, Lex te Loo, Claudia Mainardi and Leo Stuckardt for their valuable support in the postproduction and editorial process.

Durhuus Bergfinnur and Søren Eilers, two mathematicians at the University of Copenhagen, recently took on the challenge of calculating the number of ways to stack six LEGO blocks together. He developed a computer program to run these iterations. His results showed that there are more than 900 million ways of stacking six LEGO blocks together. See Durhuus Bergfinnur and Søren Eilers, ‘On the entropy of LEGO®’, Journal of Applied Mathematics and Computing, vol.

We are grateful to the Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition ‘Common Ground’, the Hong Kong’s annual Business of Design Week, the Architekturgalerie Munich, the MIPIM International Real Estate Conference in Cannes, the TU Delft Science Centre, the KAF Almere and the Centre Pompidou in Paris for exhibiting the results of this research.

45 (2014) no. 1-2, 433-448. 27 This approach is best described by the authors of Generative Gestaltung (Lazzeroni, Bohnacker, Groß, and Laub, 2009), with their diagram illustrating their definition of generative design.

We are also grateful to LEGO for supporting The Why Factory by providing LEGO bricks for our research. We are also grateful to KRADS for establishing the link between The Why Factory and LEGO

28 Peter Sloterdijk, Foam City in Ecumes: Spherologie plurielle, Trans. from German by Olivier Mannoni (Paris: Hachette, 2005), 583. 29 John Frazer, An Evolutionary Architecture (London: Architectural Association, 1995).

We would like to thank the Academie van Bouwkunst for allowing us to record Richard Sennett’s lecture. We would like to thank Richard Sennett, Paola Viganò and Arup for their contributions. Finally, we thank MVRDV’s PR department, especially Jan Knikker, Isabel Pagel and Nicolette Pot, for their continuous support for this project. Very special thanks to Ulf Hackauf for his contribution with ideas for this project, from the beginning of the research until the completion of this book.


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Credits Concept: Winy Maas and Adrien Ravon with Tihamér Salij, Alexander Sverdlov, Ania Molenda and Arend van Waart Editor: Javier Arpa Text Editor: Rachel Julia Engler Copy Editor: D’Laine Camp Editorial assistant: Chun Hoi Hui , Lex te Loo, Claudia Mainardi, Leo Stuckardt Graphic Design: www.BENG.nl Design of The Why Factory logo: Thonik in collaboration with BENG Lithography and Printing: Die Keure, Bruges (B) Paper: Arctic Volume, 120 grs Publisher: Marcel Witvoet, nai010 publishers, Rotterdam ©2018 The Why Factory and nai010 publishers All rights reserved. No part of part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For works of visual artists affiliated with a CISAC – organization the copyrights have been settled with Pictoright in Amsterdam.

© 2018, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam It was not possible to find all copyright holders of the illustrations used. Interested parties are requested to contact nai010 publishers, Mauritsweg 23, 3012 JR Rotterdam, the Netherlands. info@nai010.nl Nai010 publishers is the specialist in the publication of books about architecture, urban design, spatial planning, visual art, photography and design. The target readership for nai010 publishers includes architects, planning professionals, artists and designers—professionally active or in training—as well as a growing number of readers among the general public. Our publications are distinctive for their relevance to the target groups and for their stimulating contribution to contemporary sociocultural debate, thanks to their innovative and interdisciplinary character. PO Box 21927, 3001 AX Rotterdam, NL www.nai010.nl Available in North, South and Central America through D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers Inc, 155 Sixth Avenue 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013-1507, tel +1 212 627 1999, fax +1 212 627 9484, dap@dapinc.com Available in the United Kingdom and Ireland through Art Data, 12 Bell Industrial Estate, 50 Cunnington Street, London W4 5HB, tel +44 208 747 1061, fax +44 208 742 2319, orders@artdata.co.uk Printed and bound in Belgium ISBN 978-94-6208-459-9


Our current cities are comprised of enclosed, distant and introverted architecture equally isolated from urban life and ecological context. How might we open these spaces? How might we introduce pockets of space capable of triggering social encounters, multiplying circulation and facilitating the introduction of flora and fauna? This book gathers the research conducted by The Why Factory into what we term ‘urban porosity’. Using both analogue and digital approaches, our researchers and students explored modes to open up our cities. What might be imagined to open our towers and city blocks? Stepped floors? Public stairways? Grottos in which city dwellers might meet? Could we manipulate building envelopes in order to increase façade area? Might we perforate built volumes and thus create pocket parks? Each of our hypotheses led to a series of step-by-step interventions that materialized in the form of a vast collection of towers built by our students using LEGO blocks. When gathered together, the resulting army of LEGO towers shows how far we can—and cannot—go. How much can a tower bend before it collapses? At what point does a porous tower become fi nancially impossible to build or maintain? PoroCity shows the way to the construction of a more open city and society. Why wait to build it? Welcome to the open city! Welcome to PoroCity!

PoroCity is the eleventh book in The Why Factory’s Future Cities series, and follows The Why Factor(y), Visionary Cities, Green Dream, Vertical Village, Hong Kong Fantasies, City Shocks, We Want World Wonders, Barba, Absolute Leisure and CopyPaste.

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PoroCity  

Our current cities are comprised of enclosed, distant and introverted architecture equally isolated from urban life and ecological context....

PoroCity  

Our current cities are comprised of enclosed, distant and introverted architecture equally isolated from urban life and ecological context....

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