Desde el 1 de mayo están abiertas las inscripciones para participar en el Concurso internacional de ideas SEE / Santiago Ecologías Emergentes. El Comité Científico contará entre sus miembros con Belinda Tato y José Luis Vallejo. continue reading
May 25, 2016
April 26, 2016
Last November we were selected, in collaboration with Transform.city, to participate in the Neue Copa Cagrana International shortlisted competition in Vienna (Austria). The scope of the competition was the urban revitalization and definition of the Master Plan in the area Neue Copa Cagrana defining an urban proposal and the relationship of this part of the city with the river.
We were selected along with other 8 teams, including renowned firms such as Dominique Perrault, AZPML, or West 8.
The context: Donau City, Vienna
The study area is located next to Donau City, on the left bank of the new Danube Canal, Neue Donau, passing through the city of Vienna. It is a neighborhood of mainly tertiary character with office buildings of great height, developed in the last 20 years, including the Vienna International Centre.
Despite the good connection with the city center, the large number of buildings and the excellent existing natural qualities, the area is almost deserted during day and night. This is mainly due to the lack of variety of uses, commercial facilities and recreational areas.
The proposal develops a series of strategies to revitalize an area that already has the optimal conditions to become a landmark for the city of Vienna:
1 – Increase density and urban mixture
The proposal aims to incorporate urban, commercial and leisure life at a time when Vienna is starting to look for other forms of identity for the river area. It is important to bring new residents to help to create urban activity throughout day and night, summer and winter seasons by permanent and temporary uses. The mixed-use and residential functions in the first row, including the urban boulevard, have the potential to complete and complement the existing urban fabric and establish, for the first time, the necessary connections to make Donau City a functioning and exciting neighbourhood.
The project proposes a high density urban prosthesis, combining housing, office, commercial and public space, in order to create an active urban spot connected to the surrounding, improving its identity and multiplying the possibilities of use.
The proposal seeks to make Donau City easier to be understood and perceived, with a clear connection to Danube river and its waterfront. Therefore, the proposal is the missing link to the completion of the Donaustadt and is, at the same time, the necessary catalyst to enable the urban regeneration in the area.
2 – Create new urban spots
Copa Cagrana will be an exciting new urban spot in Wien, which is perfectly connected to the city network thanks to the transport connectivity and subway line. Through the physical proximity with existing Donau City, Donau Insel and surrounding neighborhoods, the area will increase popularity and will offer more attractions to the users.
The newly created waterfront will be an urban catalyser with a variety of urban functions, with uses according to the seasons and day and night time:
The FILTER ZONE is a more quiet area free of commercial activities.
The TEMPORARY ZONE changes according the different seasons, with beach bars in the summer, pop-up restaurants, terraces and platforms, etc.
The WATERFRONT is an enjoyable walkable strip with piers and exciting water activities for summer and winter.
3 – Renaturing (urban+nature landscape)
A new urban and natural environment intrinsically connected with surrounding nature.
It will be the connecting environment between Donauinsel and Donau Park but also extending its limits over the water landscape of Neue Donau to create a vibrant and diverse waterscape.
4 – Digital Identity – web app strategy
It is important to create the communication channels in order to advertise and share information about the ongoing activities and as a way to share potential ideas to be implemented. This web APP is thought to work as a social network that provides information for the citizens of Copa Cagrana on what kind of activities they can do on this renewed urban area.
Users will be able to register and create a user profile, with this, they will have the opportunity of proposing activities that will make use of the beautiful surroundings and installations of this urban space. The commercial sector will also have their own space. They will have the possibility of creating a profile which will allow them to publicize their products and business, as well as invite and inform citizens about special deals, offers, events and other celebrations.
FIVE NEW URBAN ZONES
Seeking to achieve these four objectives, the proposal creates 5 zones acting together and related to each other:
Zone C+: Infiltration city
The energy of city life will splash towards Donau City and the urban plinth will extend its limits to bring activity and reconfigure the public spaces around the corporative and residential buildings. These urban tentacles will extend urban plinth limits with linear and small scale pavilions, pop-up stores and cafes, etc. reconnecting and renewing the pedestrian pathways of the Donau city.
Zone C: Social life city
Zone C proposal is the most powerful urban energy boost, as it provides a large amount of overlapped new programs and public spaces easily accessible at different levels.
Urban plinth: fragmented construction from 1 to 4 stories high, multiple programs with predominance of commercial spaces overlapped with public spaces at different levels.
Vertical ecosystems: housing towers with a myriad of different typologies to create a diverse neighbourhood. The housing units help to create a dense neighbourhood with urban life throughout the day.
Urban bridge: On the tenth floor, same level as the top terrace of the existing linear building of social housing, a bridge is creating connections between semi public spaces, with diverse programs within the vertical ecosystems.
Public peaks: the top floor of the different towers is also part of the network of semi public spaces within the vertical ecosystems. These spaces can hold multiple programs and part of their success will be the privileged point of view of the city (terraces, cafes, common spaces,… )
Zone B: nature city
This is a zone where nature is predominant and the urban plinth is melting its limits with the landscape. At the same time, the natural character of this area helps to make the transition between the bigger, urban scale of zone C and both the lower scale of zone B and the waterscape towards Donauinsel, combining natural areas with paths for soft mobility.
Zone A: Leisure city
Leisure cityscape to allow the transition between the formal city and the vibrant and ever changing new waterscape of zone C+. It will hold multiple permanent uses but also temporary programs and seasonal activities. There are multiple temporary and permanent uses in small buildings with similar language, as well as a new riverside walk that will extend to create a comfortable linear space. The relationship with water and the elevation difference will be resolved with a wooden platform that will act as an urban sofa to relax and enjoy the presence and proximity of the river.
Zone A+: Water city
Vibrant and ever changing waterscape in continuous evolution. It will extend the activities of the new urban spot towards the water.
+ water pier: permanent pier, water thematic. Light structure with indoor and outdoor spaces to allow the creation of different bathing experiences. The use will change seasonally, during the winter, outdoor and indoor climatized pools will allow the user to be in connection with the surrounding natural landscape while having a pleasant bathing experience.
+ ice pier: permanent pier, ice and climbing sports oriented. Light structure with a strong seasonal connection. During the winter, part of the structure will be a huge frozen and faceted vertical surface to practice ice climbing, while the lower platform will host different ice skating outdoor rinks to practice in connection with the water and natural landscape. During the summer the ice surface is transformed into a huge waterfall falling from the upper level into the river.
+The urban archipelago: big modular and floating ever changing extension of the waterfront. The different seasons and uses will dramatically transform its configuration. This mutant landscape is built with modular floating platforms/barges that can be combined to create larger flat surfaces if necessary. These platforms can be connected to the limit line of the waterfront to extend its surface.
January 19, 2016
Como os contamos anteriormente en este post, el pasado Diciembre realizamos la instalación Networked Urbanism en la UABB | Bi-city Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism en Shenzhen, en la sección Radical Urbanism, siendo invitados por Alfredo Brillembourg y Hubert Klumpner.
Antes de llegar a la definición de la forma final de la instalación así como se presenta hoy —visitable en la antigua fábrica de harina Dacheng hasta el 4 de Marzo 2016— en ecosistema urbano tuvimos una efervescente fase de reuniones creativas y experimentaciones con diferentes formas de comunicación y representación de los proyectos.
Desde el principio teníamos la idea de transformar el espacio a disposición para la instalación (7,30 x 2,50 m) en un ambiente muy visual, que atrajese a los visitantes desde distancias lejanas — diseño gráfico y colores brillantes — y también, una vez dentro del propio espacio, por algunos elementos más pequeños, emblemáticos y misteriosos, visibles a medias: dispositivos para generar curiosidad.
El común denominador de todos los elementos que componen la instalación corresponde con 3+1 requisitos:
1. Ser low bulk, de poco peso y tamaño, para poder ser transportada por dos personas de España a China como equipaje facturable en cualquier compañía aérea.
2. Ser low maintenance, utilizando tecnologías simples y que no necesiten mantenimiento durante los cuatro meses de la Biennale.
3. Ser low cost, teniendo en cuenta el bajo presupuesto disponible.
4. Y además, claro, ser novedoso, divertido, sorprendente…
Comenzamos a desarrollar la idea de contener artefactos en una caja que motivase los visitantes a acercarse y explorar los micromundos contenidos en ella. Cada caja debía contener los elementos necesarios para describir de manera abstracta y al mismo tiempo comprensible, cada uno de los 11 proyectos que narran la filosofía del Networked Urbanism, tema de la instalación. Hicimos entonces un trabajo de exploración de referencias de diferentes técnicas, entre ellas: el vídeo, los libros pop-up, la superposición de capas transparentes impresas, las ilusiones ópticas del efecto Moiré, figuras efímeras como resultado de sombras de diferentes objetos, etc.º Os compartimos nuestro tablero de Pinterest con una buena colección de referencias sobre el tema.
Particularmente inspiradora fue una visita al Museo del Cinema de Turín dentro de la imponente Mole Antonelliana; en este hay una amplia sección totalmente dedicada a las técnicas que permitían de crear animaciones en los siglos antes el nacimiento del cine. En el fascinante mundo precinematográfico se crearon una gran cantidad de dispositivos y objetos misteriosos, capaces de maravillar también al espectador contemporáneo. Entre estos extraños objetos se encuentran cajas ópticas, linternas mágicas, phenaquistiscopios, taumatropi y muchos más. Para los que quieren explorar más el tema del precinematografía, aquí dejamos un link de Wikipedia bastante exhaustivo.
Decidimos entonces crear dos tipos de cajas: un diorama y una caja que contuviese algo más que un vídeo, un holograma.
La realización de la primera tipología de caja, el diorama, consistió en la descomposición de una representación en perspectiva del proyecto en 5 o 6 dibujos impresos en acetato transparente y dispuestos en secuencia, de manera que la correcta visión de la imagen fuese posible exclusivamente desde un único punto de vista. En el fondo de la caja, una pantalla proyecta ambientaciones, colores y fondos que animan el diorama y establecen un diálogo con los elementos impresos de las distintas capas.
El segundo tipo de caja, el que contiene el holograma, requirió una fase de experimentación y pruebas más larga. En primer lugar hay que decir que probablemente crear estos hologramas sin Internet habría sido mucho más complicado para nosotros. Pero afortunadamente vivimos en la época del conocimiento compartido, y pudimos encontrar en Youtube una serie de tutoriales que explican cómo realizar un holograma casero de manera muy sencilla, con sólo una pantalla y una pirámide de plástico transparente. A continuación os dejamos uno de los varios vídeos que podréis encontrar por la red.
Una vez aprendida la técnica (afinada y personalizada, a través de numerosos prototipos, para nuestras necesidades específicas) tuvimos que realizar los vídeos que cuentan los restantes 6 proyectos de Networked Urbanism, siguiendo el criterio de dejar el fondo negro e invertir/reflejar las imágenes para su correcta visualización.
Los otros vídeos realizados para ser visualizados como hologramas están disponibles en estos links: Ecópolis Plaza, Air Tree Shanghai, Energy Carousel, Madrid Chair. ¡Construyendo una pirámide transparente, tu también puedes visualizar estos vídeos como hologramas!
Las 11 cajas fueron diseñadas ad hoc para la instalación por ecosistema urbano y posteriormente realizadas a corte láser por EXarchitects.
Para saber más sobre el resultado final, aquí dejamos el link a otro post y el teaser de Networked Urbanism. Enjoy!
October 20, 2015
Today we publish an article written by Nathan Romero Muelas, a Spanish architect living in Denmark for more than ten years now. The article has been published in the danish blog arkfo.dk
Immigration is setting Europe in a defensive mode, a state of mind that politically ranges from reluctance to paying lip service to universal solidarity. At the same time, we architects, and not only in Denmark, are busy again with questions of national identity and cultural legacy. Within academia and other architecture institutions, eyes are turning inwards to examine, for instance, all things “Nordic”. There are seminars galore on Nordic urbanism, or for example, on the possibility of a Nordic high-rise.
I’m interested in the timing of these two phenomena. Introspection is important. I guess societies, like human beings, need periodic diving into the oracular “know thyself “ of the Greeks. It usually happens when they feel questioned, or under pressure. I would like to know if this insistence in what we are, (Nordic or whatever), shares this menaced condition.
There have never been so many foreign architects and architecture students, working and living in Denmark. However, how different the situation, the mood, from not yet fifteen years ago, when I first arrived in Denmark. The Europan competition, the Erasmus program: Europe seemed open and enjoying, if I’m not mistaken, a moment of expansive optimism. Today foreigners populate our studios, working as interns mostly, in economic conditions at times worse than their Danish peers. They resemble more the southern immigration of the sixties, a working force that for some threatens the professional establishment, the architectonic version of the very publicised Polish travelling construction workers in Denmark.
COULD THERE BE, I WONDER, A RELATION BETWEEN THIS IMMIGRATION WAVE, MOTIVATED NOT ONLY BY CURIOSITY, BUT ALSO NECESSITY, AND THE URGE OF PROFILING AND BRANDING A NATIONAL OR REGIONAL ARCHITECTURE? BRANDING IN THE COMMERCIAL SENSE (ARCHITECTURE POLITICS) BUT ALSO IN THE ORIGINAL LIVESTOCK SENSE: TO TELL THIS CATTLE FROM THAT CATTLE.
But home is best
In a refreshing essay, (“Drømmen om de smaa samfund”, 1977), Steen Eiler Rasmussen lucidly demolishes the myth of a well functioning small society. He remembers a priest during the German occupation of Denmark. After having spent some time at the Frøslev concentration camp, this priest praised emphatically the experience in the camp. It was a humane experience he wouldn’t have liked to miss: under a common pressure, facing a common enemy, solidarity, mutual care and….a certain cosiness (“hygge”), flourished!
The Biannual competition Europan, with all its limitations and flaws, is a visionary idea, the perfect antidote to nationalist architecture. In the next edition, Denmark has decided not to participate. I imagine there are well founded motives, and surely unrelated to my reasoning here. But let me propose a perverse motive, for argument´s sake: the outcome of Europan is uncontrollable, in principle everybody can win. There follows a compromise, (sadly a weak compromise, in some countries), to build the winning project. Now, let’s say a Chinese architect wins. Frankly folks, what can a Chinese architect possibly know about the arcane secrets of Nordic light? And more importantly: where do we fit this Chinese in the promotion politics of Danish architecture?
Soil, blood and onions
Ever since I arrived to Denmark I have had the unsettling words of the Spanish architect Jose Antonio Coderch at the back of my mind. In 1960 he wrote an essay-manifesto, which was interesting, coming from the most individualist of architects. Its title was It is not geniuses we need know. In it, he wrote: “Let architects work with a rope tied to one leg, to stop them from staying too far from the earth where they have their roots, and the people they know best”. It made then a lot of sense: facing the all pervasive international style, it was a call for attention to the remainder of local building traditions but also hints at the idea that the artist, the architect, should only talk about what he knows well. And that meant then his origin. Despite of his connections to the Smithson’s, his belonging to Team 10 and winning the Milan Triennale golden medal in 1951, Coderch never really left Barcelona. But today I would argue that the exception is an architect that spends his entire life in the place he was born.
I go back to Altea, the Mediterranean town where I was born. I haven’t been here for a long time. Instantly upon arrival, I realize I’m home. That is, my body does. It remembers. The pine trees, the agave, the hills. And, yes, the light, different from any other, and very dear to me. But then I realize that I have spent more time in Copenhagen or Madrid than in Altea, which I left at thirteen. What does it all mean for an architect? Geography, “soil and blood”, I mean. Is it destiny?
I start thinking about notions like Mediterranean, and then Nordic. These are rich, multilayered concepts, and deserving all the scholarly attention they can get…provided we understand that we will not find a single valuable work of architecture that is pure, that isn’t changed, enlivened by the crossing of frontiers. Jacobsen, Aalto, Asplund, Utzon, carry their Mediterranean experience all through their work. Sota, Fisac, Moneo, (who worked for Utzon), were in turn transformed by the Nordic lesson.
I GUESS I’M HINTING AT THE THOUGHT, FRIGHTENING POSSIBILITY, THAT IN AN INCREASING REFINING AND DEFINING OF A NATIONAL OR REGIONAL ARCHITECTURE, NOT JUST ACADEMICALLY BUT IN ORDER TO SELL IT, EXPORT IT, PROMOTE IT, BE IT BALKAN, TEUTONIC, MEDITERRANEAN, SOUTHERN OR NORDIC, WE MIGHT END UP WITH SOMETHING RATHER STERILE, OR ILL VENTILATED: IN SEARCH OF THE QUINTESSENTIAL IDENTITY, WE MIGHT FIND…REDNECK ARCHITECTURE.
Because despite my beloved Coderch and today’s pushers of national architectures, architects do choose now the soil they live and work on. Unlike onions.
August 9, 2013
Today we introduce Matthieu Darcourt, an architecture student who has been doing a short internship with us, bringing the French language back to the office after a couple of years… Here is what he tells us:
I’m a student in architecture at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) of Strasbourg in France, and I will graduate in October 2014. I had the opportunity to travel a lot especially during my Erasmus in Budapest and my internship here at ecositema urbano in Madrid. I believe there is no such thing as losing yourself in an unknown city in order to discover it’s deeper essence, culture and personality. As an architect and as a person, I am really interested in this balance between big cities and traditional culture, and Madrid is a beautiful example of it: a 21st century city with a village atmosphere.
During my internship at ecosistema urbano, I had the chance to think about it when writting an article about situationist theories and urban participation. Indeed, thanks to their blog, they take some time to think and research concerning urban social design, so it creates a stimulating and creative atmosphere and projects. I found really interesting the original project approach they have, including social networks, technologies, and creative commons, questioning urban landscape and social life. Finally, I enjoyed the nice atmosphere of the studio, especially during cooking time! Thanks again.
Occupation: Architecture student
Interests: Architecture, Anthropology, Sculpture, Cities
City/country: Strasbourg, FR
August 6, 2013
Today we introduce Claudio Marras, a young architect who is doing an internship with us, taking part in various aspects of our work… and also bringing a great Italian touch to our lunchbreak! Let him tell us a couple of things about himself:
A young dreamer architect.
Passion, Curiosity and Perseverance: I want to travel, I want to see, I want to know.
Hello everybody, I am Claudio Marras a 30 years old italian architect come from Sardinia, Italy. I will try to synthesize my life with 3 simple keywords.
From from child to young adult
A life lived wrapped by passion. Food, travel, sport, people, ART… Born in a creative and art-loving family, I was easily able to discover and explore different worlds. Living in a island I had, from the beginning, the pleasure (and necessity) to go abroad.
I lived in Croatia, Usa, Spain and Germany and I traveled throughout most of Europe.
From external world to myself
Each place/person could teach you something. It’s up to you understand the way to acquire knowledge from it. Every place can be different for everyone, it’s the culture and meaning behind it that matters and makes it special and unique for every one. It is not only the place, it is also the experience.
As an architect I have to design the space in relation with local dynamics and needs, trying to involve those who will use that space into the process.
From Valencia to Punto d’Incontro
My architecture thesis project (2007) was the synthesis of my mindset and my professional way of seeing urbanism and architecture: bottom up architecture, social approach, participatory process. The project’s AIM was to find a social and cultural way to convert the spare time of the people. The idea was to give to everyone the opportunity to know and exchange skills and competencies in a public space coordinated by the Time-based currency system. The project was studied for the river park of Valencia, Spain.
Starting from these theoretical input, I’m developing it in a practical way trough Punto d’incontro (Meeting point) project. It is a box that contains active and creative groups or people who work for the re-appropriation of public space through a participatory process. Artists, professionals, and experts interact with the local population to involve people in a urban renewal.
Bachelor Degree of Territorial, Urban and Environmental Planning in 2005.
Master Degree on Architecture in 2007.
Freelance architect from 2009 with a Certificate of Site Safety Coordinators (2012).
Currently a Post-Master student of Urban Research Lab Sardinia – Environmental Design in the University of Sassari (Sardinia) in partnership with Dessau Institute of Architecture (DIA) of Anhalt University of Applied Sciences where I spend the first part of the Master (5 moths).
more information on LinkedIn profile
In tempi come questi la fuga è l’unico mezzo per mantenersi vivi e continuare a sognare.
In times like these, escape is the only way to stay alive and keep dreaming.
Henry Laborit, from the italian movie: Mediterraneo
Here is a short summary about Claudio:
July 18, 2013
Jose Luis Vallejo and Belinda Tato will be taking part in the IE Master in Architectural Design kicking off this Autum in Madrid.
The IE Master in Architectural Design seeks to bridge the gap between the existing fragmented post-professional architecture courses and the ever shifting reality of the professional practice. This will lead to a strengthening of two fundamental foundations of the profession: scientific-technological knowledge and an awareness of the underlying contemporary cultural base. This knowledge, combined with entrepreneurial and management skills, clearly plays a key role in understanding the complexity and scope of the profession when it comes to preparing architects to lead interdisciplinary professional teams.
You can read more about the program, faculty, facilities and admissions at the Official website