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PP1 COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
PP2 SOCIAL HOUSING
PP3 URBAN GROWTH AND SPRAWL
Hola. Somos Juan Antonio Gragera Carrasco, Alejandro Márquez Rodríguez, Álvaro Ruiz Ruiz y Francisco Zapata Jaraíz.
Este es el segundo y último post donde mostramos el resultado final del ejercicio desarrollado durante el curso.
Se trata de una pieza compuesta de 2 elementos, uno para las aristas y otro para los vértices. Es un elemento combinable, personalizable, no requiere cimentación. Con este elemento tratamos de cualificar espacios urbanos sin ningún tipo de tratamiento. Sirve para cualquier tipo de ambiente y apenas se ve afectado por la topografía. Es un elemento ideal para parques, jardines y frentes marítimos, creando un edificio juguete que puede ser disfrutado por cualquiera.
Hello. We Juan Antonio Gragera Carrasco, Alejandro Márquez Rodríguez, Álvaro Ruiz Ruiz and Francisco Zapata Jaraíz.
This is the second and final post where we show the final result of the exercise and during the course.
It is a piece composed of two elements, one to another for the edges and vertices. It is a combined element, customizable, requires no foundation. With this element we try to qualify urban spaces without any treatment. Fits any type of environment and hardly affected by topography. It is an ideal item for parks, gardens and waterfronts, creating a building toy that can be enjoyed by anyone.
Exclusive spaces – Spaces of exclusion
Tutor: Martine De Maeseneer www.mdma.be
Theoretical component teacher: Dirk Jaspaert
Students: Carmen Briers – Manu Vander Avort – Sellekaerts Pieter
A century ago, Brussels boomed in the era of the industrial age. So it attracted more and more inhabitants and immigrants who came and established themselves in their search for work. One of these major landmarks of that important time was the Belle-Vue factory, famous for its beer, geuze Belle-Vue, and previously known as the ‘De Coster Factory’. Placed aside the canal, on a very important vertex of the pentagon in means of traffic and in that time trading routes, this factory was one of the faces of Brussels.
Under this brewing activity, the form and look of the factory had undergone major transformations. Over time, when this beer making was placed to a different site, the building lost his use and vigor. Notwithstanding, this monument was left untouched but nevertheless kept his status as face of Molenbeek, situated at the backside of the site. This well placed remnant of the industrial age however can and must play a major role in the revitalization of Molenbeek and Brussels. The need for good architectural design and urban integration is essential !
As one of the last vestiges of the industrial history of this area, its visual characteristics are of the biggest importance for the collective memory of the site. The imposing brick mastodon shapes define the quai of the canal, exactly where it is adjoining the city center. The landmark status of the factory must be respected. By taking into account the collective memory of the place in our new design, the goal is to create a new appreciation for the old building complex.
“Urban porosity is a key intention for large hybrid buildings with the aim of pedestrian oriented urban places” (Steven Holl). Designing a public building as an island can’t function as a part in the urban fabric. This is why the masterplan for the area makes use of the soon to be executed Ninoofse Poort park plan by BUUR, but some essential changes are made to create a co-existence between the Ninoofse Poort and Belle-Vue, physical as well as programmatic. More globally seen, a link between Molenbeek and Brussels. If attacking both designs separately, disfunctioning of both would be unavoidable.
Designing Belle-Vue begins with 2 supporting elements: The collective memory and a mixture of program.
The existing memory, the covered courtyard feeling, the brick massiveness of the building and the tetris block-like building shape of the brewery building, is handled by a concept “InsideOut/OutsideIn”. A new spatial experience is created by 3 main interventions. The first is maintaining the enclosed character and identity by keeping the front façade, keeping entrance locations and renewal of the strongest volumes. Second, the middle outside space is turned into a central covered courtyard which links all non-residential programmatic functions. Inside and outside space are at the same time socially controlled. Third is preserving existing facades but vary with its use. By opening up existing and new structures, identity is saved but a different use for them is created.
Programmatically, the site as a catalysator for the neighbourhood requires a healthy mix of users, activity day and night. The public program is enforced with a residential one. City flight in certain layers of the community towards the countryside forms a problem for maintaining a correct mix of city inhabitants. Here the residential can present a possible solution by ameliorating the aspects on which these flight is based. Levels are designed as one big plan, consisting of units and shared space. Passive activities are placed in the units, where the active take place in the shared zone. People live equally separate and communal. Relation between all layers of inhabitants is initiated.
The beer museum attracts yet again different users, where this museum is designed as a walkway that regulates all internal organization. The museum visitors will, on their walk, not only behold the essential elements of the brewing process, also they visually encounter the users of other functions. The experience becomes one of “see and be seen”.
The Pentagon has been alienated from its identity, it’s hard to feel oneself at home in the metropolis’ beating heart.
But can an architect restore – let alone create – a home? If we look up the origins of this rather vague term, one can perceive a fundamental differ- ence between the mental and the material aspect of living man has made throughout history. The Greeks spoke about hestia, the religious midpoint of a dwelling, and oikos, the house as a structure. In German one translates the former as heimat, which doesn’t only mean home, but also the relation- ship of man towards a certain space. Henceforth an architect couldn’t be able to build a home, since it doesn’t concern something material.
Or can he? We divided the manifestation of the concept of home into three aspects: memory, that what one remembers as well as what one has been taught, identity, how one is or appears to be as an individual, and ter- ritory, the space one relates oneself to. Maybe we can’t influence home per se, but we can manipulate these manifestations.
The first brings us to the historical context of the site: rather than a revival of functions, we restored some iconic images, through the use of certain seemingly classical typologies like a courtyard, a gallery and a grand café. The second aspect concerns local (building) traditions: instead of thwarting an old habit, we reinterpreted the typical non-urban typology of housing.
For territory we formulated a solution against the privatisation and seg- regation in society.
These 3 aspects of home mainly focus on personal individual qualities but a fourth important component of being home is feeling part of a so- cial network. In our individualistic society this is a quality one has to re- establish and emphasise without losing the luxury of personal space. We introduced the concept of ‘hoodhouses’ as a communal space for a number of families to help them to create their own neighbourhood. By using this tool we give attention to a good gradual transition between public and private space.
In order to come up with an individual interpretation of the experiments that we conducted so far, we defined a brief, some rules of the game to cristallise a guideline leading our architectural proposals.
After the break, find two of the four proposals of our team.
DESIGN PROPOSAL 1 – By Antonios AMSPACH
The first proposal starts with a negotiation between the individual and the collective space. The divisions between them give clear site to work with. The challenge starts when the suburban facade, which used to hide behind hedges and fences in order to satisfy the user’s need for security, is revealed. This architectural proposal is focused on negotiating the face to face space between the individual and the collective user. Introducing alternative territorial depths as an alternative ways of using the suburban home. Strategies of social surveillance are suggested taking the issue of social and territorial control into account. The individual can satisfy his/her need for security. The proposal treats materiality as a subtle sequential gap trying to create patterns in order to distinguish the proper distance for privacy. Finally, emergent material patterns provide the possibility for desired overlapped scenarios ( people talking on the streets of suburbia, children playing in front of the houses and not only back to the private gardens) which can give life to the suburban community.
Learning from suburbia, learning from boundaries, facing the users, understanding their needs are some of the pieces which completed the puzzle of this project. Negotiating with the users in terms of individual and collective space, privacy and materiality to reform, upgrade the experience of living in suburbia. The upper aim of this project is the lost “Hello” which is missing from today’s suburb. People bringing the city’s urban culture, conflicting with the suburban one appears to rule upon the latter. Just by saying hello will reopen opportunities for social interaction and will give back to the suburb the gift of the “welcome”.
DESIGN PROPOSAL 2 – By Sarah POOT
The second design assumes that the current inhabitants of Wenduine will need specific arrangement in terms of daily accessibility. The proposal takes advantage of the tremendous amount of space availlable (15% only of
the garden area is actually used) to redistribute the existing functions on the groundfloor and hence to, increase elderly’s autonomy.
The proposal invests the existing upper floors to relodge new family patterns (single parent family, over educated young couples seeking a first job in their late twenties, …) with lower income.
The design takes into account the fact that suburbanites use to turn their outdoor space into sequential gaps, tend to use extra-space as a buffer between their individual sphere and the outsiders. However the strategy proposes to assert this behaviour and consider sequential gaps as possible benefit, it will reconfigure the sequences of spaces in order to provoke overlapping situations. The existing living spaces are relocated in such a way that they amplify a deconstructed space thanks to bufferings alternatively playing the part of sequential gap or overlap scenario given the seasonal behaviours.
With an eye to use architecture and design as agents for social change, the proposal will try to encourage new social relationship, practices and uses of the residential space trough the materiality of reconfigured boundaries. Today’s urban fabric in the residential area of Wenduine is roughly composed of an average detached house turning back to each other and endlessly repeated. Our various interviews revealed that the inhabitants of the residendential area of wenduine claim for privacy, solitude, exposure and security.
Reinvestment of the parcels generates a tangle of alternating full and empty, of accessible zones as well as unacessible. At the crossing of three parcels or more, the courtyards offer a potential for increased use that will allow the community to interact over the course of daily activities. The shelves integrated in the walls structure may host among other things storage for gardeners, bicycles racks, vertical gardens, informal seating, rabbit breeding or other little pleasures of spare time able to generate attractiveness for meeting and exchange.
The wooden light-frame building is based on a tri-dimensional grid of 65 centimeters, which integrates all the technical and structural elements. The modularity of the grid considers the eventuality of future additions and guarantees both low cost and rapidity of construction trough prefabricated elements. The unusual thickness of these walls can also integrate a system of storage, visible or invisible, and can be accessed from one side or the other, sometimes from both.
Short spans between those walls allow a effective provision of portal system, occasionally freeing some walls of structural frame. The design features large glass openings, bluring boundaries between indoor and outdoor space while maintaining visual contact that amplifies the perceived space. Horizontal filters combined to vertical openings generates overlapping sequences of space and light, and protect the inhabitants of different levels from unwanted visual contact.
Flat roofs that overhang thoses portals are vegetalised to provide to the upper level residents non accessible extensive ornemental gardens while ensuring an excellent thermic and accoustic comfort to the inhabitants of the lower levell. Pitched roofs are uncovered to offer accessible courtyards to the upper level unit. The remaining existing structure of the roof allow the passage of light while providing privacy to its users. In general, the doors are replaced by screens and windows with frames that go beyond the mere utility range. A large rotating doorshelf for instance, plays with perspective to increase the readability of reunited spaces, while a window facing its alter ego blur the boundaries from one space to another.
Over provoking social interaction and a solution toward sustainable development in those times of growing population, the main effect of the project would be to expand in space one’s sence of belonging while reinforcing his « privacy zone ».
People tend to appropriate themselves the space they are evolving in. For instance, the path one is used to walk trough to go his work place, the shop where he does his weekly grocery shopping, the bakery he goes to in order to bring back croissants to his wife on sunday mornings are refered as « my street », « my neighbourhood », « my living environment ».
At first, colloquial use of the multiplicity of paths and potential destination spaces proposed by the design strategy will complexify and extend the scope of their belonging sense to the next street, the next neighbourhood. On the other hand, the materiality of the architectural design will guarantee high intimacy in proximity (trough the multiplication of human-scaled rooms, enclaved courtyards, and alcoves in the walls among others) and high privacy levels (ensured by a specific configuration of space and a set of screens controlling the visual relations).
Habitar, recorrer, contemplar
Estudiantes: Carlos Avellaneda, Daniel Villamarín
El proyecto integra un parque recreativo, un mercado y vivienda, dándole prioridad a la movilidad vehicular de la zona de intervención. La prioridad del proyecto es crear el máximo del espacio público que se integre de la mejor manera con el humedal Juan amarillo.
Inhabiting, travel, contemplate
Students: Carlos Avellaneda, Daniel Villamarín
The project integrates a recreational park, housing and a market, giving priority to the vehicular mobility in the intervention area. The priority of the project is to create the maximum public space which tries to integrate the best way to the Juan Amarillo wetland.