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THE ORCHESTRATED CITY. Composing a New Urban Fabric.

MARK JASON WARREN | tutor PHIL AYRES | PROCESS WORK Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture | Dept. 2


contents introduction 2 preface 3 1_ programmatic dependencies


2_ a dynamic hierarchy


3_ programmatic density


4_ urban research


5_ the city: centrality


6_ the stacked city


7_ the stored city


8_ programmatic density v2


9_ reclaiming the road


10_ reclaiming the road v2


11_ flexibility: structure 12_ flexibility: 24hour programs


13_ tower: revisited


14_ expression


15_ bigness


16_ rules of the tower


17_ horizon


18_ role reversal


19_ a three dimensional field condition


20_ the latest iteration







“Berlin is the newest city I have come across.”1

1  Mark Twain, US writer, 1892.

“Berlin is a city condemned forever to becoming and never to being.”2 2  Karl Scheffler, Art historian, 1910.

“Paris is always Paris and Berlin is never Berlin!”3

3  Jack Lang, French former culture minister, 2001.

All three quotes were written during different periods of time but all suggest that Berlin is always changing. Berlin is one of the most active and transformative urban fabrics. It has gone through many radical shifts in it’s lifetime. The scheme discusses issues regarding flexibility, scale and context. It challenges the idea of a ‘vertical’ city, often seen as un-contextual. By using the Pallasseum as a study site to investigate the idea of stacking program and programmatic hierarchy, This instigated a further study on the idea of ‘vertical cities’ and the implication these have to their surroundings. I am not a massive fan of such schemes, but this made me want to challenge the subject even more! By re-establishing a new centre[s] of Berlin, multiple urban issues must be addressed. The scheme aims to behave and express itself as a city while knitting itself into the existing urban grain of Berlin. Programmatic relationships within the tower happen in three dimensions over time, therefore allowing it to be in constant transform. ... This contains every part of my journey regardless of the relevance or success it has with my project as it stands now. The project was a result of many iterations that challenge the same subject. What is seen as the ‘final’ solution is in actual fact just another iteration looking to challenge and discuss new things and is merely the beginning of the next... This document will lace images with thoughts which have been extracted from a blog I have been [trying] to keep up to date whilst doing the project.




The Pallasseum.



maison du peuple – jean prouvé


the fun palace - cedric price


...The Pallasseum is a housing project that was built in 1977 by Jürgen Sawade. The housing project bridges over an existing bunker. This site served as a site of study. 01: the bunker. a) the inverted city: The bunker is a building type that exists through out Berlin. They are made from a ridiculous amount of reinforced concrete. From my reading, walls are on average 3m thick! The bunkers had many uses – but what interests me is the idea of the internal city. Thousands of people were sheltered in these huge concrete boxes, but there were many things that were needed to make this box into a liveable unit. As an example, the Blochplatz bunker had a substation the provided power and an emergency generator. It had a good communication system. It had two air intake towers which provided air for just under 4000 people. And a water supply and waste water disposal. These bunkers were miniature boxed cities. b) bomb proof = future proof: As a result of the well constructed and well reinforced construction, bunkers are very difficult to demolish – especially now where things have been built around them. I visited the Sammlung Boros Bunker where it has been converted into a private art collection with a pent house suite above. Our guide told us it took 6 months to dismantle the roof of the bunker to allow the extension to be built! 6 months! It is safe to say these bunkers are here to stay! Many of these bunkers have been preserved as a result of programmatic change. Some are clubs and some are for the arts, but is there a way to really use them? The Pallaseum is the first provocative example of [kind of] integrating the bunker [it isn’t really - I will expand later!]. So this leads me to my next point… 02: the relationship between the bunker and it’s surroundings. a) The Pallaseum: a statement. The Pallaseum is the housing project that spans over the bunker. It does not touch the bunker in any way – it purely bridges it. There are several reasons why this may be. - future proofing: It could have been a case of future proofing. If they managed to figure a way of demolishing the bunker safely it would not effect the housing. - unsure: maybe the decision was made not to touch the bunker as they were just unsure on how to. Maybe the bunker was simply in the way of the building! - it is a statement: It does not touch the bunker because it doesn’t need to, or it doesn’t want to. The Pallaseum could have bridged the bunker and continued further. But it doesn’t. Instead it bridges the bunker and as it just about passes it, the housing touches ground again by its large concrete stilts. In other words, the housing does just about enough to prove a point. They still exist as two separate and independent buildings structurally. 03: programmatic hierarchy. Can you adopt this method of layering buildings across the city. If we replace the bunker with a church, would this be ok? can the bunker be replaced with something else? Within every city, there is a programmatic hierarchy that is embedded in the culture. How can we begin the understand this and manipulate this. If this is done well, I guess we can truly have a considered vertical and dense city. Infrastructure is usually on the bottom of the hierarchy. We always bridge over these. However, it’s because of the development of infrastructure that allows for the horizontal expansion of a city also. What would happen if infrastructure became vertical because it had to? On top of the hierarchy are maybe sacred places of worship. How can we build on top of these? Although there are examples where places of worship have now become thriving clubs where activities far from praying occur… Arguably, this hierarchy is actually in constant change and constant transformation. These changes occur over days, over weeks, over months and over years. The church is used on Sundays, when a school is used during weekdays. The market opens on Saturday and the beach is used when it is sunny. There are routines that suggest a constant and predictable change. But there are some programs, such as going to the park, that are related to the weather. Can a building respond to all of these changes? Or maybe people use the building as it responds to nature. Maybe a program-less building that in reality is highly programmatic!... 8






St Thomas Church, London. An operating theatre is located in the roof of a church.


Osaka Stadium [1998-1999]. After becoming disused, it turned into a showroom for pre-fab houses. A baseball field becomes space to exhibit homes and park cars.


Wrigley Field Rooftops, Chicago. The housing surrounding the stadium have had seats installed on the roof.


1 chapter one: programmatic dependencies.

... What happens when a program can only exist when another program allows it to. What if the space of a church is temporarily constructed when there are enough exhaust fumes from the road. This changes the programmatic hierarchy and places the road above the church. It also forces a direct relationship between the road and the church – unlike the bunker and the housing which do not integrate at all. Maybe the hierarchy itself should be in constant transformation. It is a flexible model that shifts when certain conditions are met. But what are these conditions?...


Michael Rakowitz: Parasite. This structure creates shelter for the homeless. They become structural by feeding off air conditioning units. They are dependant structures.



The inflatable balls can only be inhabited when air from the vents are in use. This makes the roof space active at specific times only. The aim is to re-activate space that is not used well.


Gasometers: arguably they are highly uncontextual objects in the city, arguably they are the most contextual object in the city! They signify and respond to the demands of the surrounding areas. They respond to its context.


2 chapter two: a dynamic hierarchy.

What defines a buildings value? In the cities programmatic hierarchy what is at the top and what will be at the bottom? Obviously these things will differ from person to person, and this is the problem! What if the city had fixed boundaries and we could eliminate the urban sprawl? What if there was an extreme condition of the green belt? I will attempt to re-configure the city.


...Programs become active over time. No two programs can co-exist with the same person. In the city there is always dead space where a space is not used for anything. These spaces could support other programs that occur at different times. The rings highlight the amount of use happening in the building[s] within the ring. As you can see the site itself is in constant use – however, these are all broken down into different programs that occur across the site. The outer ring indicates a year cycle, the middle is a week, and the three inner rings are weekdays, Saturday and Sunday respectively... 23











... In this case the church does. Can you build over a church and justify is as much as building over a road, an office, a school‌ However, the church is not used often, and not by as many people as other programs. In actual fact the city is a model of constantly shifting programmatic hierarchies. The hierarchy itself is not based on one factor, such as use, it is based on many things such as how iconic something is, how functional is its location, when is it in use...


...The transforming stacked city as a well oiled machine! The next step is to define which programs have the most value and when, so that they can be put in the correct position of a constantly transforming 3D matrix of a city. The value of each building rises and falls within the context of time...






...imagine this to be a three dimensional matrix where programs move freely through the various layers of city fabric to their specified points when they are in use. The church would only reach the top of the hierarchy during prayer times and weekend services, whereas the offices and schools are at the top during hours of learning and working. This is the ideal – a well oiled machine. This model is based on use. But as said before, the hierarchy is deeper than that. There are anomalies, such as people who work at home...


A cross section through the city: collaging a day cycle of a dynamic hierarchy.


0400 am


0800 am


1300 am


1800 am


...The sections act as a cross section through the city, cutting through different programs, typologies, atmospheres and architectural expressions. The apartments are canvasses for the inhabitants to express themselves, where as in the school students express themselves through a patchwork of chosen posters on the wall, and the church expresses itself without any influence a part from natural light and stain glass windows. When making this section, you realise programs that are usually attached do not have to be. Buildings are merely containers of different programs. The tower of the church can be disconnected from the church space – they have different values and therefore can be detached from each other within the hierarchy. The church tower has an iconic value. It must be high and visible and must ring a bell for different occasions. The church space is only used during the mornings and for weekend services. It only climbs the hierarchy during these times. In actual fact it can spend most of its time at the bottom. Some residents go to work and some stay at home. The uninhabited flats can sink to the bottom of the hierarchy, whilst the inhabited ones can go to the top. This highlights the fact that different programs have values based on different factor. The car park has to be close to the road because it is functional. The school and offices are valued on time of use, as these spaces are used in a routine. The church tower has an iconic value, whilst the church space is about time of use. The telecommunications tower is tall as it is functional for it to be that way. The bunker is abandoned and has a visual value as it is a physical memory of what happened before. All of these things effect the way these programs move through space...


3 chapter three: programmatic density.

The city is full of dead space as programs activate spaces at specific times. When programs leave, spaces become dormant and can be used to support a different program. The city could effectively run from a single space. ... How dense can it be before it is too dense? How many programs can we squeeze into one container? Can we create a completely flexible/adaptable space that maintains its values within the hierarchy? Using a similar approach to the cross section through the Orchestrated City, can this be applied to a building? Can we treat a building like a small city, and the city like a big building?...


...The telecoms tower is in use all the time. It is tall, not to be iconic, but purely out of function. The church tower is tall to be iconic, but also allows the sound of the bell to travel farther. The two towers can be merged, creating a dual program within one container. The space within the bell/telecommunications tower can be inhabited by the priest. The living room can have a dual purpose as the altar also. The space of the church is unfolded when services need to take place. The building grows to meet the demands at a specific moment in time. This is ‘a House for a Priest.’ But even the name has been given a hierarchy relative to its program! I refuse to call it a ‘Telecommunications Tower’ or ‘a Church.’ However, the fact that a priest inhabits this and lives here makes this three way program ‘a House for a Priest.’...



Corbusier’s Unite: statically stacked programmes including a pool, running track and school on the roof and interior shopping streets within the residential block.


4 chapter four: urban research.

There have been many solutions to urban expansion. Follows is a collection of different solutions.


Cedric Price sketch.


Edgar Chambless – Road Town, 1910. A linear city built above a railway. What comes first? Does a city expand when the infrastructure allows easy access farther away, or does the infrastructure expand when the city expands?


Yona Friedman – Spatial City, 1958-62. A megastructure that sits above the existing merges the urban and rural areas together.


Constant’s New Babylon, 1956-69. A hovering transformable city. Constant’s social goals were self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction.


James Wines, Highrise for Homes, 1981. This project allows for a vertical scheme within a rigid framework. The framework is filled with buildings that offer a varied architectural expression, one closer to what is found in the city.


Le Corbusier – Plan Voisin, 1925. Multiple high rise buildings.


MVRDV – Jakarta, 2012. Described as a vertical city. Although it does not behave or respond as a city should. It cannot be easily adapted, nor allow for urban expansion.


Patrick Abercrombie – Green Belt, London. A protected green area hugs inner London to avoid further expansion of the city. It is a fixed boundary precaution made to prevent growth.


Nail Houses. Unlike the Green Belt that is government initiated, Nail Houses are houses that remain in their location as the occupants do not want to move to allow development to occur. They become antiques in a newly developed environment. They maintain their architectural expression and then look alien to their new context, even though the new context is alien compared to the past!


Urban Sprawl, the board game. Everyone can become a city planner where the goal is to develop land and make lots of money! There is always a want to expand outwardly. Maybe it would be more interesting if this game was merged with Jenga.


5 chapter five: the city: centrality.

It seems natural for cities to expand outwardly. But by doing this they become decentralised. Berlin has been through multiple changed that have adjusted its urban fabric. But like most other cities, it has now developed, and is still developing its own urban sprawl. If the boundaries of the city were fixed, how can we expand the city still? Upward.


Urban sprawl in 2011, and it keeps going...


The future. A hyper central Berlin, located around the geographical centre of Berlin.


...and this is the geographical centre of Berlin. This is how is is celebrated. In a modern city, would this be counted as the truest centre of Berlin. We no longer use rivers for trade, and does the centre always have to have deep symbolic value?


6 chapter six: the stacked city.

Re-organising the city into a vertical stack to create a hyper centralised Berlin. This is a static solution. The city is modelled around a column that stores every building, allowing the city to keep its varied architectural expression, unlike a Skyscraper that houses different programs and has a unified architectural expression. The notion of centre is challenged in this scheme. What is the centre of a city after all? Nowadays the centre is a place where the land is most expensive because it is ‘the centre’. The value of land is based on location. However, by reconfiguring the city into a stacked column, the value of land is now dependant on light. The inner core of the new stacked city, the centre, will be where the less valuable land is, and that is where the suburbs will be re-located. Therefore the centre now becomes the suburbs, and the suburbs becomes the centre‌



James Wines vandal. An extended version of the “Highrise for Homes.�

Densified column city: the core has dissolved into many smaller suburban structures. The outer areas of the column are for the more iconic structures of Berlin. The column becomes an exhibition of the iconic architecture of Berlin.


above: modern city: value of inner city land is higher than surburbia. below: future city: the stacked densified city means the new ‘inner city’ is worth less as it is less desirable than the outer areas where there is more light and views. The more vertical you are the more valuable it is also.


7 chapter seven: the stored city.

This method of densifying the city revolves around a ‘free space’. This ‘free space’ can support any program, is a public space, and is the main axis of the city. All buildings are stored around this axis, like drawers. When the buildings are activated, the buildings slide out into the ‘free space’ and people inhabit them. This means that the city is essentially reduced. The only buildings in use are temporarily in the ‘free space’ and then stored when not in use. The activated city is always a reduced version of the entire city. The city is constantly transforming as different buildings enter the ‘free space.’


Buildings are stored around a ‘free space’. The ‘free space’ can maintain any program as different buildings inhabit the space at specific times of day, week, month, year…


Stored City: Monuments are slid out into the ‘free space’ during the day to view, and housing during the night to sleep in. 73

Plan: the stored city hides behind an artificial valley that stores the buildings until needed. The stored city runs along an axis.


8 chapter eight: programmatic density v2.



Spaces in the city.


The building mass can be broken down and detached from itself e.g. the spire from the church does not have to be connected to the church.


Cross section through the city v2. Spaces absorb accommodate for different programs allow there to be less building, but still supporting the same amount of program. The church becomes an office where the boss sits in the spire.



programs of the existing are re-organised into the vertical scheme.


What happens to the existing level of Berlin? Does it begin to disappear as people inhabit the Neues Berlin? Is it integrated and do the existing and the tower work together?


the day of two people. A person goes through many different spaces that support many different programs. Each space has an expression that is suitable for the program.


Can all of these spaces be combined into one?


9 chapter nine: reclaiming the road.

This is an iteration that may seem a bit off tangent! But, this solution was trying to create something of a smaller scale that could offer a large impact on the entire city. The goal was to reclaim the roads as usable space. The roads are space that is NEVER used to its full capacity. During rush hour, roads are used most, but there are periods where the roads can be inhabited and traffic can travel on the main arteries of the city. This iteration aims to create a ‘streetless’ Berlin. The city can bloom.



sketches: the big roof. By creating a large roof, parts of the city can be shielded from the weather and allow program to happen below at specific times - this allows the roads to be inhabited. The roof becomes a signifier of a closed road/inhabited road.


A canopy is deployed to cover the area of road allowing it to be inhabited.


This is the geographical centre of Berlin. The area is mostly residential - it is a monoculture. It needs to be spiced up like a city centre should. By inhabiting the roads, new programs can be deployed into the space and make the geographical centre culturally rich.


Rush hour: roads are at maximum use, the city is using its entire network. The black building indicate residential buildings. The majority of these building would be empty during the day.


Day time/night time: the main arteries of the city are used as the smaller roads become inhabited by program.



rush hour. The canopy is closed as the roads are in heavy use (with smart cars!).


day/time: the roads are used to accommodate many different programs. The canopy is fully deployed, signifying the roads change of use.


closed canopy: all roads are in use.


fully deployed: one road is used as a main artery. Programs exist on the other roads.


the boxes indicate the many mashed programs. they can also be read as rooms. a pedestrian infrastructure is also deployed to allow pedestrian crossings over to other islands as well as shortcuts over buildings.


10 chapter ten: reclaiming the road v2.

By using smaller modular devices, more like lamp posts, these can be scattered across the city and bloom when needed.



shifting blocks: the building blocks have been placed above the roads surrounding the geographical centre of Berlin.


a spatial syntax of berlins roads. they clearly define what are the main arteries of berlin.


a spatial syntax of a single island. the mass of buildings are the only obstruction. there are very clearly defined circulatory axis’, but also a lot of ‘dead’ space around buildings. there are two different types of site that can support two varying tempos of program.

the blooming city! the temporary city blooms when needed. it creates a bridge between different urban islands and creates a more localised urban fabric.



the structures deploy themselves when needed. The stand as street furniture and connect to existing buildings to give more space to the existing.


plan of closed space: the ground marks the space that exists at certain times.

attached: the deployable structure attaches itself to existing buildings allowing for a further expansion. [i know this is structurally optimistic!] 105

closed: the space contracts.


the Pallasseum. there are 3 levels of site. the road, the deadspace and the abandoned building. they all offer a site for programs that can occur over different periods of time.


11 chapter eleven: flexibility: structure.

How can you exhibit the statue of liberty, and also use the same space for other programs? This was a very brief study on how this could be achieved. It began the discussion of a structure that transforms for different programs.


the structure transforms for the different uses. 109

12 chapter twelve: flexibility: 24hour programs.

I changed direction from the streetless Berlin into creating isolated buildings that can offer 24 hours support for multiple programs. The challenge here is to try and keep the architectural expression of each program throughout the transformations.


time table showing 24hour programs.












a church / a cinema / a market


a kindergarten / an observatory / a library


a museum / a hostel


a rollercoaster / a train :a switch in program which happens at an hourly tempo.


an office / a stadium : a switch of program relative to event.


The following building shows how the movement of surface begins to redefine space.

01: church. between the hours of 9am-12pm the church exists. the front is oriented towards the sun. There is a tower and an arched church window. The bell of the church is the speakers of the cinema.


02: market. the structure opens up to create a space for markets to take place. the structure defines the space of the market.


03: cinema. the structure reconfigures itself from 5pm onwards into a cinema. the church tower becomes the ticket sales desk.


the following buildings use the re-purposing of structure as a form of contracting program. The structure of the kindergarten is used as swings and library shelving.

01: kindergarten. morning. the observatory room is used as a circular reading room as it is on ground level.


02: transition. the observatory acts as a lift also. when lifted the space below becomes free to use.


03: observatory. evening. the observatory is lifted hydraulically to function correctly above the other buildings.


the following scheme uses the idea of unpacking to change program. structure, such as wall or column, does not necessarily act as structure, but act more as objects that spatially optimise the space for the required program.

01: a museum / hostel.


02: the museum. day. The plan is open to allow a free circulation around the artefacts


03: the hostel. night. the walls fold out and compartmentalise the space into room. beds fold out from the walls.


Placing program into the tower. The programs will have a relationship vertically over time.


13 chapter thirteen: tower: revisited.

Whilst looking at isolated conditions regarding program, I also was looking at the tower to try and create an overall strategy for the tower.


plan: the panels will shift relative to the sun. allowing specific programs to occur when the sun is at its prime position.




14 chapter fourteen: expression.


the city: the multiple typologies and architectural expressions found in a city reflect the contents of the tower.


the contemporary tower: a single holistic expression that does not express the multiple uses that makes it function.





closed: like most contemporary towers they are closed. they have no expression. they cast shadows.


open: when the tower is active the facade shifts as well as interior planes to allow for spatial opportunities for programs to exist. This constantly changes throughout the day. The tower now has an expression. 148

an event: the tower reconfigures itself for an event. this speaks about a transformation that happens to a different tempo. 149

tower responding to specific site conditions. at ground level Berlin certain buildings will need light at specific times. the tower has the ability to let light pass through as it reconfigures its panels. the towers mass is broken down and the tower becomes hyper contextual. 150

15 chapter fifteen:

bignes 151


statue of liberty – in scale, out of place.


Berlins TV Tower – out of scale, in place? Located in the same city in what is considered the city centre according to google maps. The tower has now been placed in the new geographical centre.


Burj Khalifa – out of scale, out of place? The worlds tallest tower now celebrates the geographical centre of Berlin! But as a mass it can be seen as out of scale.


Proposed – a break down of mass. The individual masses are similar scale to the existing Berlin. Does this mean it is in scale? the mass is just reorganised in a different way, vertically.



the buildings that effect the tower are an office and school. the tower will cast shadows over these buildings from 11am – 1pm. the tower reconfigures itself to allow light to pass. RED ZONE = LIGHT IMPACT ZONE.


16 chapter sixteen: rules of the tower.


pro domo vandal. some changes to the story.


the shoe bag: the bag takes form of its contents. the same bag can house many different shoes, indicating many different contents, therefore expressing the inside. the bag can also have nothing inside.


the configuration. NO SHELVES. the bags hang in free space. this is a 3 dimensional field condition. they have cross axis relationships. the contents will change, meaning the configuration will alter. this adds the dimension of time. the bags are constantly negotiating space between. the frame holds them together.


01: The tower frame acts/is artificial ground. 02: structures that inhabit the frame have the ability to be ‘invisible/non-existant’ and are multi programmable. 03: relationships occur cross axis and are relative to the existing ground level Berlin. The relationships are constantly transforming.


01: a space frame tower is erected. 02: parts of the frame are taken away to cave new space for multiple programs. 03: the structure of the space must be able to pivot to allow light to pass through when needed. 04: if expansion is required more frame is taken away and used on the additional towers.


01: test model. frame as artificial ground.


02: test model. take away parts of frame to inhabit.


03: test model. inhabit cave with transformable structure.


04: test model. the city begins.


17 chapter seventeen: horizon.

The horizon is a important part to this project. Of course, because it is a tower it will have an impact on the horizon, but due to the expression of the tower, I believe the tower actually three dimensionalises the horizon and allows it to wrap around my project, allowing my project to be a part of the city.


the tower acts as a new horizon. my previous studies regarding programmatic heirachy have become void. a church can be near the bottom but obtain value by being seen on the new horizon. horizon is a 3 dimensional thing‌


Inception: the city folds on itself, creating a new horizon.


what this means is that my previous study on programmatic hierarchy relative to its location has now become void. If a church is at the bottom of the tower and has an impact on the horizon than it does not matter that is at the bottom.


18 chapter eighteen: role reversal.

The tower is moulded by the shadow paths to avoid shading buildings. There are permanent structures and temporary structures which disappear to allow light to pass through. This has a direct impact on the planning of Berlin as the shadows of the tower begin to dictate how you build on ground level. There is a role reversal.


the shape of tower is dictated by the projection of shadows it would cast on the existing Berlin. The red indicates where permanent structures can exist without shading any buildings at ground level.


the shadow of the permanent structures within the tower avoid the existing layer of Berlin. They have a direct impact on the planning of the future Berlin as they shade around the existing buildings, meaning there will be a lack of development in the shaded areas.


19 chapter nineteen: a three dimensional field condition through time.


time based model. Space manifests over time. the partitions move at different tempos allowing different spaces to occur.


the church. the chairs become stain glass and the bell are speakers for the cinema.


open. the structure opens up to allow light to pass through to the existing berlin.


cinema: in the evening the structure allows for seating to be repositioned into a cinema space.


20 chapter twenty: the latest iteration... the beginning of the next...







to end with... I was stuck on my project one evening, so I decided to email some of the architects that acted as an influence to my project to see whether they would comment on my scheme. After trying to find their email addresses here are the responses...


after attempting many Rem emails BCC, I got this back!


James Wines got back to me with a very pleasant email!


Mr Friedman got back to me with some books to look at!