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Young Architects 11 Foresight

Foreword by Teddy Cruz Introduction by Anne Rieselbach

Bureau E.A.S.T. Frida Escobedo Lopez Ether Ship ex.studio Fake Industries Phu Hoang Office Princeton Architectural Press The Architectural League of New York


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ex.studio

Tambabox Tambacounda, Senegal

To the east of Dakar, where the landscape extends into the savannah, is Tambacounda, the capital of Eastern Senegal, which groups together three regions: Tambacounda, Bakel, and Kédougou. Culturally, the region is one of the country’s richest. Tambacounda’s great cultural wealth is due to its geographic situation. Its traditions and customs have been preserved, yet at the same time it is a place of dynamic multicultural encounters, the result of its shared borders with five other countries: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, and Guinea Bissau. Tambabox is an object-space created from the extraordinarily varied and complex world of industrial textiles that most Senegalese use to make their boubous— traditional formal outfits consisting of three pieces of clothing: a pair of tapered-ankle pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a wide, sleeveless gown worn over the pants and shirt. Tambabox consists of an inner space enveloped by an assembly of textile canvases. The fabrics that delimit this architecture are murals in which the body is partly transformed, becoming part of the linen cloth. They are complex fragments that describe the variety of the landscape and its people; towns that coexist in their markets, their cities, or their vast and wide horizon. Tambabox emerges from the landscape looking for an almost impossible intimate place. It defines a new space, contrasting with the concepts of construction and landscape of the surroundings, which are related to open spaces of ample horizons. The piece works like a structure interposed between the sunlight and the interior space it encloses. The textile planes act as filters that sift natural light from the outside. During the day, lighting in the space varies through different reflections and colorations, with light figures developing through the fading backgrounds. At night the space is transformed into an illuminated polychromatic box, contrasting with the surrounding intense darkness. Tambabox is a static piece that, in contact with the body, becomes an animated object as a provocation transmitted by the skin. The result is a space where sculpture, architecture, and movement come together—a project that explores space through the corporal experience of the people. Tambabox was a collaboration between ex.studio and local craftsmen, carpenters, and tailors—fundamental characters of great tradition in Senegal. It was proposed as an open space where different art disciplines—dancers, musicians, actors, and painters—could take part in the same poetry.


Tambabox 1: Exterior view 2: Illuminated polychromatic box at night 3: Interior space

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4: Project drawings 5: Close-up

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Tambabox 6: Interior space

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ex.studio

Flow: Vegetal Canvas Bilbao, Spain

Flow proposes the creation of a surface formed by multiple vegetal modules— integrated fragments forming a great chromatic mosaic—where diverse varieties of flowers and plants dissolve together in a canvas of multiple ranges, textures, and scents. Location

Flow is located next to the Cadagua River, in the center of Azoka Square, the social, sporting, and cultural center of activities of the Bilbao neighborhood of Zorroza. Zorroza is located at the extreme western end of Bilbao, between the Basurto neighborhood and the Cadagua, which is the natural border between the municipal areas of Bilbao and Baracaldo. The particular characteristics between Zorroza and the rest of Bilbao have created a strong sense of identity for those in the neighborhood. Azoka Square is delimited by important natural and urban elements: the river; the nearby hills; the A-8 highway; apartment buildings; sporting, social, and cultural centers; as well as industrial buildings in disuse. Relationship with the Neighborhood

Inspired by the cultivation patterns of rural fields, Flow proposes the creation of a fragmented landscape inserted into the city square, reinterpreting the diverse urban pieces that form the square’s surroundings into a series of small fragments that interlace and dilute into a great natural canvas of diverse colors of the city. The project is related to its surroundings and to Zorroza through multiple scales and visual levels. On the one hand, it establishes an urban-scale relationship with the buildings that delimit the square: from the interiors and higher levels of the buildings around the square, it is possible to observe the patterns of the colorful vegetal canvas in full. On the other hand, Flow establishes a more approximately scaled relationship at the ground level, where the natural canvas appears as a big garden within the city, in which people can recognize and observe in detail each one of the species that form the project.


Flow

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1: Flower surface

Vegetal Grid

The project is an 1,184-square-foot grid, made up of 336 modules. Flow uses 155 varieties of flowers and plants of diverse colors and tonalities: from purple to blue, pink to red, passing through orange, yellow, and green, and ending in a darker brown. Some of the species used include flowers like petunias, tagetes, impatiens, begonias, surfinias, celosĂ­as, lobelias, ageratums, verbenas, guineanas, stipas, and cinerarias, as well as aromatic herbs such as thyme, oregano, lemongrass, rosemary, and mint. Modular System of Geotextile Cultivation

The identically sized units that form the grid were made with a modular cultivation system, with each unit being twenty-two inches wide, twenty-four inches long, and one inch thick. The system uses plants that were grown within soilbags made of an agricultural geotextile that is water permeable and photodegradable, and that contains a substrate adapted for the good growth of the plants. The plants were precultivated for eight weeks in a greenhouse outside of Bilbao before being placed on-site. Once its plant has sprouted, flowered, and taken root in the substrate, each module reaches a degree of homogenous growth.

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2: Flow in relation to the urban context 3: Vegetal canvas

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Flow 4: Chromatic plan and plan showing flowers and plants used

5: Growing process with geotextile system 6–8: Details

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Nest Architectures Navacerrada, Madrid, Spain

The contemporary city has modified the nature surrounding it, altering the relationship between constructed and unconstructed contexts, diluting and extending the limits of the city in an undefined way and forcing nature to abandon its intrinsic character. This transformation from the natural landscape to the artificial landscape has generated mixed environments of contact and transition between both surroundings. The project Nest Architectures, situated on the border between the Guadarrama mountain range and the city of Madrid, is an inverse intervention into urban and natural spaces that explores new ways of defining the border between the two spaces. The work creates a new hybrid landscape, built with vertical wood elements that form an artificial forest—a forest to be walked through, and, at the same time, act as a housing complex for the mountain’s inhabitants: birds. We proposed for Nest Architectures to be an open and unpredictable work that leaves space for new encounters, without having direct control of them. In this way, the piece has a dialogue with the landscape, reflecting new ways of coexistence and passage between natural and built surroundings. The work is formed of 14 wooden poles of different heights (from 14.1 feet up to 21.3 feet), in which two elements, support (pole) and volume (birdhouse), work as one homogeneous wooden piece. The wood defines the cycle of transformation of the piece, in which the process of change determines the physical conception of the work. With the passage of time, the Nest Architectures will transform along with the surrounding landscape.

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Nest Architectures 1: Model 2: Elevation 3: Nest architecture

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4: Detail 5: Front view 6: Multiple views

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Pathway and Landscape Observatories San Michele di Ganzaria, Sicily, Italy

This project was an instantaneous construction in the landscape of Sicily. It is composed of pathways of the senses that connect San Michele di Ganzaria’s Linear Park (a former railway and train station) to a small lake at the base of a hill. The route begins with a natural passage under the railway line, where the visitor enters a field of finocchio flowers, walking on a path that ends on a platform suspended over the lake. Along the pathway, visitors discover small pavilions that act as reflection spaces and observatories of different landscapes. The intervention explores architecture, art, and landscape, experimenting with different instruments and materials through hand-constructed elements built in Linear Park to discover the hidden landscape. Small viewing pavilions made of natural materials that come from the area (river canes, hay, firewood, ropes, and earth) are integrated into the project. The project is the result of a collaboration between ex.studio, as directors of the workshop Construire Naturale, and students of architecture and landscape: Eliana Baglioni, Claudia Biondi, Claudia Brunelli, Francesco Garofalo, Alice Palazzo, Antonio Privitera, and Silvia Salvatorelli. The project was curated by Marco Navarra and Alessandro Rocca.

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Young Architects 11: Foresight