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Public Space for the Extreme: Shading

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+urbanism

Manama Souq - Photo courtesy of Emilio P. Doitzua

Manama Souq – Photo courtesy of Emilio P. Doitzua

Sha·ding, to cover or shield from direct sun exposure […]

Direct solar radiation has the largest impact on the comfort in open spaces, the enormous energy of the sunlight can be useful in certain seasons and cold climates but is generally excessive and certainly unwanted in hot and arid climates. Sun shading, and sun protection, has been, and still is, the fundamental way to improve a public space bio-climatic behavior. Reducing the solar radiation that reaches the people or gets reflected by the ground, both by the means of vegetation or shading artifacts, is the most efficient way to reduce temperature and it is widely used at all latitudes from temperate areas to arid ones.
In this short post we are going to present some projects that we consider interesting because of their use of shadow or shadowing devices, we tried to stick to projects that make use only (or mainly) of the shadow leaving other mixed projects for later.

A milestone project in the use of shading devices to create a bioclimatic space in the gulf region is the Hajj Terminal part of the King Abdulaziz International Airport, designed by the NYC based firm S.O.M. architects. The use of tensile structures, wasn’t surely something new at the time (i.e. Frei Otto tensile structures for the Olympic games in Munich date back to 1972) but the scale and the effectiveness of this project made it one of the best and most replicated examples of open shaded spaces. Although not being a true public space the Hajj terminal is quite peculiar, designed to host the massive flow of pilgrims that pass by during the ritual pilgrimage to the Holy Mecca it is composed of two parts, the first is a fully air-conditioned terminal where the offices, customs, and luggage claiming areas are hosted and the second, and far more interesting part, is the famous open space tent-like structure that hosts the pilgrims until their departure to the Mecca (the waiting time can be up to 36 hours).

Hajj Terminal, S.O.M. Architects, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1982. Image courtesy SOM. Image © Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning

Hajj Terminal, S.O.M. Architects, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1982. Image courtesy SOM. Image © Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning

The whole structure covers more than 42 hectares (60 football fields), and it’s composed by 210 tent-shaped cones made of Teflon coated fiberglass fabric arranged in modules of 45,72m (150ft) with an oculus on the top to allow the heated air to escape. Published data demonstrate how effective the design is, reflecting roughly the 76% of the solar radiation, the structure can maintain a notable 27 ºC temperature under the tent even with temperatures reaching up to 54ºC outside providing also a soft diffused light to the whole terminal.

In the late 80s, for the International Expo that took place in Sevilla, the Spanish architect José Miguel de Prada Poole designed the main pavilion for the events in the exhibition area. The “palenque” although resembling the Hajj terminal for the shape of its tensile roof is a much more advanced piece of bioclimatic architecture, Sevilla’s climate can be really harsh during summer and the designing teams put a big effort on the climatic comfort of both the pavilions and the open spaces. The palenque sits in between a pavilion and an open space, it was the main arena for shows and other events and it was, substantially, a covered open space filled with finely designed mechanisms to guarantee a high degree of climatic comfort even during hot summer days. The design used both natural (the pavilion had no walls at all, only vegetation enclosed it a bit) and forced ventilation and air conditioning to ensure the best possible conditions to its visitors but in this case the most interesting part it’s its cover.

The "palenque" during the Sevilla EXPO in 1992

The “palenque” during the Sevilla EXPO in 1992

In this project the bioclimatic design of the Hajj terminal was substantially improved, at a smaller scale indeed, the oculus was substituted with an improved ventilation topping cone and to decrease the temperature of the fiberglass fabric under the Andalusian sun hundreds of watering nozzles were installed around the cones. The water vaporizers were computer controlled activating only when the temperature and humidity rose over a certain value, their function was to continuously wet the roof with a fine mist, the quick evaporation of the water subtracted heat from the fabric and contributed to lower the transmitted heat to the underlying arena.

But shading can also be declined at a temporary and smaller scale. An extreme example, in this sense, is Asif Khan’s Public Space Shadow Canopy Kit, a portable kit that can be easily distributed and installed in any place without any tool or machinery, it can be moved, can be dismounted and installed in another place or can create a successful temporary public space.

Public Space Shading Canopy Kit courtesy of Asif Khan Architects

Public Space Shading Canopy Kit courtesy of Asif Khan Architects

Public Space Shading Canopy Kit courtesy of Asif Khan Architects

Public Space Shading Canopy Kit courtesy of Asif Khan Architects

This extremely low-tech and inexpensive piece of design is particularly meaningful for informal areas, unused or temporary spaces that can easily be converted in playful shaded spaces.

The Bab al Bahrain pavilion is a temporary public space designed by Noura Al Sayeh & Leopold Banchini in one of the most symbolic and historic sites in Manama, Bahrain. The pavilion had an extraordinary success during its permanence and it was constantly used and visited, it held events and even workshops. It’s success can be attributed to a good mix of factors, the first one surely being the special value of the place and the second one the it’s good bioclimatic design based mainly on shadowing.
Bab al Bahrain square was one of the main public spaces in the city, very close to the main historical souk and still connected to a natural pedestrian network, it is a privileged place but it slowly lost its status and it has been converted in a roundabout often crowded with cars and very unfriendly for the pedestrians. The first good virtue of this project is the creation of the public space itself, closing the crossing to the traffic and giving back this historical place to the citizens, although it was only for a limited time this demonstrated the power of this kind of intervention and the need for quality public space that this city has.

Bab al Bahrain Pavilion, image courtesy of Eman ali

Bab al Bahrain Pavilion, image courtesy of Eman ali

The second important virtue was the design of a comfortable public space using only the perks of the site, a minimal light structure and a low tech element to protect from the sun. Based on a regular grid of thin steel columns the project is basically made by its “canopy”, a light sun-reflecting fabric (generally used in greenhouses) that reflects most of the energy of the sun giving to the place a nice diffused illumination. To make this design really effective the architects took advantage of a large fountain already existing in the site, the fountain with its fresh water contributes to lower the temperature of the air crossing the pavilion and also generates a cooler spot in the middle of it favoring the creating of a light breeze.


Previous posts of the series:

Public Space for the Extreme: Defining the Extreme
Public Space for the Extreme @ GSD-Harvard
Do you want to contribute to our research about public space for extreme climate? Have a look here.

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Public Space for the Extreme: Call for Papers

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+Uncategorized+urbanism+work in progress

Woody Allen starring in The Front, Martin Ritt, 1976. Copyright of Columbia Pictures.

Woody Allen starring in The Front, Martin Ritt, 1976. Copyright of Columbia Pictures.

The Book

As you may have noticed from our last posts, it has been a while since we have started researching on the possibilities of designing better public spaces for those cities and regions that have to deal with extreme climate conditions. Extreme heat, very often combined with extreme humidity are conditions that, more or less seasonally, affect wide areas of the world. These regions, classified under the Köppen-Geiger climate map mainly as Equatorial and Arid (although with many sub-classifications) comprise various densely populated areas that all face a common problem: the harsh climate, combined with a generic design of the city, results in a scarce and difficult relationship of the citizens with the public space. Our goal is to publish a book that will serve as a design manual and reference for architects, urban planners, public administrators, decision makers, and citizens. This book, containing good practices examples, technical solutions and theoretical essays, will help designers imaging and designing better public spaces considering the local climate, the bioclimatic-comfort needs of the citizens and the responsiveness to the changing environmental conditions.

The Call

We would like to announce a call for papers inviting authors (architects, urban planners, designers, sociologists, engineers, scholars, etc.) to submit an abstract, no longer than 250 words, for a paper that will be published in the book. The content of the paper must necessarily be related with the topic of the book that can be summarized in the“design of bioclimatic responsive public spaces under extreme climate conditions” and can be either about a general original investigation on the topic or related to a more specific field within the main subject, like for example specific bioclimatic control techniques, technologies or principles, specific open air comfort conditions, the relationship between climate and public space usage, etc. Any other idea, even loosely connected with the main topic, that offers an original and innovative point of view is welcome and will be considered by the editors.
The abstracts will be blind reviewed by the editors: prof. Jose Luis Vallejo, prof. Belinda Tato and Marco Rizzetto; they must be written in English and be the result of an original and high quality research. Selected abstracts will be then discussed with the authors to develop the final paper according to the indications of the editorial board, the publication of the paper(s) will, in any case, depend on the quality of the final work.

The Deadlines

Deadline for the submission of the abstract: November 12th 2016
Notification of acceptance: November 19th 2016
Deadline for final paper submission: January 20th 2017


If you are interested please send your abstract to sorry you have to write it down with the Subject: “Extreme Public Space CFP”

A street in Bahrain, photo by Emilio P. Doitzua

A street in Bahrain, photo by Emilio P. Doitzua

All submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication in the proceedings; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.
The final book will be both digitally published under a CC-NC-SA licence and made available for download and physically printed, a limited number of copies will be distributed to key institutions related with design and planning all around the world, especially in regions directly interested by extreme climate conditions. The author, or authors, of the selected essays will be credited and acknowledged. For any other information or doubt please do not hesitate to contact us at the address provided below.

If you want to know something more about our current ongoing research you can take a look at the previous posts belonging to this same series:
01 – Defining the Extreme
02 – Public Space for the Extreme @ GSD Harvard
and stay tuned for upcoming updates.


Bonus link

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Seminario de Activación de Barrios. Ecosistema urbano en Santiago de Chile

Category: ⚐ ES+ciudad+colaboraciones+comunicación+ecosistema urbano+participación+urbanism


El pasado 14-15 Junio participamos en Santiago de Chile en el Seminario Activación de Barrios, parte del Programa de Revitalización de Barrios e Infraestructura Patrimonial Emblemática. El taller se ha realizado en el marco del programa de Revitalización de Barrios que cuenta con el financiamiento del BID, Banco InterAmericano de Desarrollo y con la colaboración de SUBDERE del Ministerio del Interior de Chile como organismo ejecutor. El Seminario se ha organizado en colaboración con el Centro de Ecología Paisaje y Urbanismo del DesignLab de la Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.  El evento surge con el objetivo de ser una ocasión de formación y capacitación sobre los temas de activación y participación ciudadana en la gestión de las dinámicas urbanas para técnicos y funcionarios de diferentes áreas de varias municipalidades de Chile. Los 70 asistentes al seminario han llegado desde 5 municipios de Chile, con contextos y escalas muy diferentes (Santiago, Lota, Coquimbo, Arica y Cartagena). Cada municipio participante del programa debe elaborar un Plan de Revitalización Barrial PRB. El PRB incluye un conjunto de acciones sobre mejoras en las infraestructuras pero también una serie de acciones blandas para poder otorgar vida y activar de manera sostenible los barrios.

photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos

Durante la jornada del 14 se presentaron varias experiencias internacionales alrededor de 3 ejes temáticos: Innovación, con intervenciones entre otros de Alexandros Tsamis, Luis Valenzuela y Jeannette Sordi (implicada activamente en el proyecto de investigación Recycle Italy),  Participación, debate moderado por Felipe Vera y animado con la presentación de las experiencias de Ecosistema Urbano, Diego Uribe y Javier Vergara Petrescu entre otros, y Activación, bajo la coordinación de Veronica Adler, y con intervenciones de Andreina Seijas (recientemente hemos publicado un artículo de su investigación sobre urbanismo nocturno), Fernando Portal de Mil M2 Cuadrados, Angelica Figueroa y Carolina Pino.

Durante la siguiente jornada, Belinda Tato ha moderado un Taller práctico, cuyo objetivo era presentar y compartir herramientas innovadoras vinculadas con intervenciones blandas y procesos de participación ciudadana en la revitalización barrial. Para esto se han desarrollado formatos específicos y mesas de trabajo en las que los participantes han podido interactuar, intercambiar experiencias y desarrollar sus propias estrategias de comunicación, lo que resultó en una sesión distendida e inspiradora.

photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos


photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos

photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos


El reto principal del día consistía en crear una hoja de ruta para la formulación de un plan de intervenciones blandas nutrido de los inputs recibidos el día anterior y apoyado en una entidad operativa territorial. Se trata de definir estrategias que tengan legitimidad en el ámbito de acción, que sean capaz de construir confianza y de establecer acuerdos vinculantes, empujar proyectos, dar soporte a iniciativas de ambos tipos, y eventualmente contribuir a diluir la propia diferenciación de los proyectos como “institucionales” o “ciudadanos”, abordando transformaciones “de, por y para la ciudad”.


photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos

photo: Ximena Ramos Ríos

Estamos muy satisfechos con los resultados del taller y esperamos que la actividad sirva para empujar e inspirar el desarrollo de nuevas herramientas urbanas.

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Public Space for the Extreme @ GSD-Harvard

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+urbanism+work in progress

Breathing Streets, courtesy of Nan Liu and Adelene Yu Ling Tan

Breathing Streets, courtesy of Nan Liu and Adelene Yu Ling Tan

During 2015 spring semester Ecosistema Urbano principals Jose Luis Vallejo and Belinda Tato taught a studio at the GSD in Harvard, focused on the design of socio-environmentally responsive public spaces for the city center of Muharraq, in Bahrain. During the semester the students worked to develop ideas and designs to improve the few remaining public spaces in the city, almost completely wiped out by the continuous transformation of the antique city fabric into a contemporary -and rather generic- one, that basically followed the “wide car street + housing block” development pattern, during the last 50 years the city has completely lost its contact with the water, substituted by a wide belt of highways and also its interstitial, small public spaces, almost completely transformed into parking lots. Always considering the climatic conditions that can be easily defined harsh and extreme, the aim of those projects was to foster the use of public space, in a city where public space is not only often abandoned and absent but also where the right to meet and gather is strongly discouraged.

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Public Space for the Extreme: Defining the Extreme

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+urbanism+work in progress

Manama, Bahrein. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Four years ago Ecosistema Urbano held a workshop in Manama, Bahrain, to revitalize and improve the public space around the Bab al Bahrain souk, an area that is historically important for the city but that it is nowadays a mere street crossing rounded by parking lots, without any tree or shadow. The workshop was held in a remarkable temporary pavilion that for a few weeks converted a roundabout into a vivid and often crowded space, a light textile roof offered shadow and protection to the participants contributing to the success of the workshop. The workshop has been also the occasion for us to start a long term project on Bahrain, under the auspices of the UNESCO Arab Regional Center for World Heritage we started a research project mainly focused on the city of Muharraq, its antique public spaces and how could we revive and improve them. This research has been carried on during 2014 and 2015 spring semesters with the GSD-Harvard students and it emerged immediately that one of the main conditions to make use of the public space in Muharraq was the improvement of the extreme environmental conditions that, combined with a low quality design of the space, prevented and discouraged the people to go out and live the remaining public spaces.

Bab Al Bahrain Workshop 2012

Bab Al Bahrain Workshop 2012

Following this same path of research we are now working on a publication to finally release all the knowledge we have accumulated during these years of work, teaching, and research in the form of a book. Our objective is to address the problems that the designers have to face every time they are called to design a public space in an area with a particularly extreme climate (make it extremely hot, arid, tropical, etc.), we would like to provide decision makers, designers and citizens with a solid base of knowledge to help them consider new technologies and concepts to design public spaces optimized for a certain climate, responding to bio-climatic needs and site specific conditions making it more livable, comfortable and accessible.
Beginning today, we start a series of posts dedicated to the design of bio-climatic public spaces, we will periodically publish part of the content we have produced for the book exposing the problems and the good practices that we have found, our concerns, the work of our students, etc. We would like to foster a debate around these themes that might help us developing our book but also raise the awareness around the climatic comfort in public spaces which is a true challenge for architects and designers in many areas of the world.
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Ecosistema Urbano repense la transformation urbaine de Grenoble

Category: ⚐ FR+architecture+art+city+competitions+design+ecosistema urbano+landscape+news+proyectos+urbanism+urbanisme+work in progress


Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer que nous venons d’être sélectionnés pour le projet d’aménagement de la ZAC Flaubert à Grenoble, une grande et excitante aventure de renouvellement urbain au coeur même de la métropole grenobloise. C´est le résultat de notre collaboration avec Sathy, TN Plus, OGI (ingénierie), Res Publica,  et VPEAS.

Il s’agit d’un projet de renouvellement urbain sur un territoire jusqu’alors peu valorisé. La ZAC Flaubert est une zone de transition entre Nord et Sud et entre Est et Ouest de la ville, elle est traversée par de grands axes de circulations qui font de cette ZAC un espace au développement très stratégique. Dû à sa très grande surface (90 hectares) ce projet de grande envergure soulève de multiples enjeux pour la ville et ses habitants. Comment donner une identité à cette zone qui n’est actuellement qu’un assemblage artificiel de micro-identités de quartier ?


Le nouveau maire écologiste désire mettre tout en oeuvre pour intégrer les citoyens à la co-construction de cette zone et plus largement à leur ville. Pour ce projet, il a fait l’engagement de ne jamais cesser le dialogue avec les habitants, les riverains et les commerçants au cours de chacune des phases du projet. Il est également question d’élargir le panel à de nombreux acteurs économiques, institutionnels, académiques de Grenoble grâce à des débats et des discussions. L’objectif est d´échanger les points de vues et les différents avis sur l´avenir de Flaubert.

En juin dernier, lors de notre première visite, nous avons pu mieux comprendre les enjeux du territoire et observer de près la vie urbaine.

Notre objectif actuel est d´étudier en profondeur le projet, pour comprendre à quel point il est complexe et pour nous rendre compte des challenges qui nous attendent.


La zone de la ZAC dans Grenoble

Un des moments fort de cette visite fût la découverte de la Bifurk et de son “éco-système”, c’est un espace hybride où la vie bat son plein grâce à l’équipe et à de nombreuses associations très actives, qui ont su transformer cet ancien entrepôt industriel en un espace polymorphe où l´on peut trouver une grande diversité d’activités : théâtre, concerts, expositions et même un skatepark.  Juste à côté, “La Plage” est la première plage urbaine permanente construite en France. Dédiée à la pratique de sport de sable elle offre au Grenoblois un large choix de sports des plus conventionnels aux plus insolites.



baloncesto bifurk

En face de ces lieux emblématiques de la ZAC, il est question d’implanter la casa “Terra Nostra”, une maison en terre et bois construite par les étudiants des écoles d’architecture de Lyon et Grenoble. C’est une occasion de connecter au projet une infrastructure existante, en créant une espace dédié à l´urbanisation de Flaubert à l´intérieur de la maison.

KODAK Action Cam

Le prototype Terra Nostra

La force de Grenoble est son ouverture d’esprit avant-gardiste : innovante et créative, elle s’inscrit depuis deux décennies dans un programme promouvant une ville plus agréable, plus sociale, plus durable. À l’écoute de ses citoyens et à l’affût des innovations techniques, technologiques, sociales et économique, Grenoble est bien plus que la 11 ème métropole française. Elle est un exemple novateur d’une volonté politique et citoyenne visant à construire autrement la ville de demain. Plusieurs initiatives urbaines et citoyennes singulières ont profondément participé à la mutation de la ville et à sa nouvelle morphologie. Le changement passe par de “grandes actions” mais aussi par de “petites initiatives” qui accumulées donne à la ville une identité propre. La ville soutient chaque année plus de 600 actions qui se regroupent autour de trois grandes lignes directrices : favoriser la participation des habitants, lutter contre toute forme d’inégalités sociales, mettre en avant des territoires les plus fragilisés.

La forte volonté de faire participer les citoyens au renouvellement de Flaubert se place dans la continuité d’une politique ouverte aux  propositions de chacun et à l’écoute de ses citoyens. L´intégration de chaque partie prenante au projet permet de recentrer la ville sur ses usagers, de se focaliser sur la ville “à taille humaine”, faite avant tout pour ses habitants. Ce nouveau regard sur la ville et la re-qualification du cadre de vie qu’il engendre participe fortement à l’attractivité territoriale de Grenoble, souvent surnommée la “Capitale des Alpes”. Grenoble est un véritable laboratoire urbain : en 2005, le conseil a adopté un programme de rénovation urbaine soutenant les opérations de renouvellement urbains au sein de la ville en leur accordant un budget très conséquent. Illustrons cette singularité :

Une ville qui réinvente son architecture

La construction d’un des premiers éco-quartiers français dans l’ancienne caserne militaire de Bonne en plein centre ville ( 5 hectares) est un exemple qui concrétise le désir de concilier ville et environnement. Loisos Sava, architecte en chef du projet prône la réinvention de la façon de construire, offrant à la fois une baisse des dépenses énergétiques, une mixité sociale et une mixité fonctionnelle. Cet éco-quartier de nombreuses fois primé a notamment reçu en 2009 le Grand prix national “Ecoquartier” délivré par le ministère de l’Ecologie, de l’Energie, du Développement durable et de la Mer. De plus, très récemment une vaste opération de révision du Plan Local d’Urbanisme intercommunal (PLUi) en 2015 a été opéré. Une des mesures phares de cette révision est la diminution de la hauteur maximale de construction.

zac de bonne

Une ville accessible et durable

Grenoble est également une ville pour tous, mettant au centre de ses préocupations l’accueil de tous les publics. En effet elle a été classée première ville de France sur le baromètre de l’accessibilité aux handicaps avec une moyenne de 18,7 et deuxième ville européenne. Grenoble a créé un service d’auto-partage de véhicules électriques appelé “CitéLib” en collaboration avec Toyota  qui souhaitait tester ici-même ce système de location unique au monde. Le but est de stimuler la multi-modalité de la ville, en effet ces véhicules 100% électriques servent à incrémenter l’offre de transports publics existants en proposant une solution alternative pour les “premiers et derniers kilomètres”.

Une ville qui s’engage

De plus, Grenoble a su marquer les esprits par une prise de position très forte en 2015. En effet, c’est la première ville européenne à bannir les publicités de ses rues, proposition qui a été soutenu par leur nouveau maire écologiste. La lutte contre la “pollution visuelle” prive la ville d’une manne de revenus importante. Des affichages dédiés aux activités culturelles et aux informations de la mairie remplacent les affichages actuels. De nombreuses autres villes voient en Grenoble un modèle à suivre.

Publicité Grenoble

Une ville innovante

Que ce soit au niveau national, européen ou international, Grenoble se démarque par son goût pour l’innovation. En effet Grenoble a reçu de nombreux prix et certifications à toutes les échelles:


En 2014, Grenoble a été labellisée “FrenchTech” ainsi que huit autres villes de l’hexagone. Ce label a pour but de donner une meilleure visibilité à l’international de l’attractivité technologique des villes françaises.


Grenoble a été, en 2014, sacrée deuxième ville la plus innovante d’Europe après Barcelone au concours pour le prix de la première capitale européenne de l’innovation. Ce prix vise à récompenser la ville qui offre le meilleur «écosystème d’innovation» en connectant les citoyens, les organismes publics, les établissements d’enseignement et les entreprises.


Cette «iCapitale» a également été cité parmi les 15 villes les plus innovantes par le magazine Forbes en 2013.

Le quartier de la Presqu’île, au Nord de la ville est spécialisé dans les technologies de pointe. Cette Silicon Valley grenobloise est un véritable pôle d’attraction pour le reste de la ville et participe considérablement à sa renommée. La connexion du quartier de la presqu’île à la ZAC Flaubert constituerait une formidable opportunité pour le quartier objet de notre projet qui pourrait donc créer en son sein de nouvelles dynamiques. Ce n’est qu’une des propositions parmi tant d’autres, aucune piste n’est écartée, l’idée étant de procéder par étapes et de se donner un temps d’expérimentation afin d’envisager plusieurs hypothèses éventuelles.

Grenoble Presqu'île

Grenoble Presqu’île – image:

Pour conclure, autant dire qu’en de nombreux points Grenoble sait se renouveler et imposer une nouvelle façon de penser la ville. Ces exemples inspirants et stimulants placent la barre très haut, le défi est grand et nous sommes honorés d’avoir l’opportunité de participer à l’élaboration de ce laboratoire urbain qu’est la ville de Grenoble.


À bientôt pour plus de nouvelles sur ce projet ! 


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Ciclo “Nuevas arquitecturas para nuevos horizontes” en Madrid

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura+eventos

El próximo martes 4 de octubre comienza el ciclo “Nuevas arquitecturas para nuevos horizontes”, donde diferentes estudios —Barozzi/Veiga, Carme Pinós, Nieto/Sobejano, Josep Bohigas, Harquitectes, Ecosistema Urbano, Batlle i Roig, Churtichaga, Quadra-Salcedo, SOL 89, Arquitecturia, Arturo Frediani, RCR y Emilio Tuñón— expondrán algunos de sus trabajos.

Desde Ecosistema Urbano contaremos uno de nuestros últimos proyectos, Cuenca Red, sobre el que también podéis leer varios posts en este mismo blog.

Las charlas, comisariadas y moderadas por Llàtzer Moix, se han estructurado en cuatro jornadas, cada una con un enfoque:

Horizontes Exteriores: La experiencia de los profesionales españoles en el extranjero durante los años de la crisis.

Horizontes sociales o colaborativos: Sobre la labor de los profesionales que priorizan una arquitectura de carácter social y colaborativo.

Horizontes de recuperación: Una aproximación a la labor de los arquitectos que renuevan el medio construido y el natural.

Horizontes singulares: Cuatro miradas a cuatro arquitecturas particulares, no adjetivadas.

Clic aquí para ver el programa completo

Fechas y horas:

4 de octubre a las 19.00h: Horizontes exteriores.
18 de octubre a las 19.00h: Horizontes sociales o colaborativos.
9 de noviembre a las 19.00h: Horizontes de recuperación.
23 de noviembre a las 19.00h: Horizontes singulares.

Lugar: Centre Cultural Blanquerna, c/Alcalá 44, Madrid

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ASULAB: creando un Laboratorio Abierto para Asunción

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura+ciudad+ecosistema urbano+investigaciones+participación+Plan CHA+urbanismo


Hace unos meses entregamos a la ciudad de Asunción el Plan Maestro para su Centro Histórico, del cual hemos hablado varias veces en nuestro blog y que ahora publicamos en versión íntegra disponible en nuestra página de issuu.  En este post os contamos en detalle uno de los aspectos más innovadores del Plan CHA, el ASULab, es decir el Laboratorio Abierto que hemos concebido para impulsar el desarrollo del Plan, facilitar la comunicación entre ciudadanía e instituciones y asegurar una implementación del Plan más abierta, democrática e inclusiva. ASULAB funciona como una “oficina del cambio”, velando por que el Plan CHA se implemente, convirtiéndose en un motor efectivo para la ciudad.

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Stortorget Square in Hamar is an incredibly lively place, even Sting says so !!

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar+ecosistema urbano+events


Do you remember those drawings of our preliminary design for Dreamhamar project? And how Stortorget Square, the main public square in Hamar, was represented as a flexible and dynamic place for public events, concerts and gatherings? one-thousand-squares-01

Well, as many of our readers may know, after that initial phase we developed a complex participatory process (narrated in detail in our publication Dreamhamar – a network design process for collectively reimagining public space), that led to the urban design we finalized in 2012. The final spatial configuration of the main public space of Hamar is characterized by the presence of the Social Ring, an arena used as an ice skating area during the winter and as stage/meeting area/urban beach during the summer.


Since its construction was accomplished, Stortorget square fulfills its role as the main center of the urban life in the city. The Social Ring has truly become a landmark for Hamar and we are so pleased to discover at Stortorget’s Facebook page a great number of pictures showing so many different uses and users enjoying this reconquered public space.

Picture: Thomas Tapani Härkönen – from Facebook

Even if during last years Stortorget square hosted events of different kinds targeted at different social groups, satisfying the interests of many (kids playing gymnastics, classic music passionates, bikers, ice-skaters, Christmas tree lovers, etc…) without any doubt one of the most acclaimed event took place last August, gathering more than 8.000 people and completely filling the square at its maximum capacity.

Pictures from Facebook. Authors from top right: Glenn Sætre, Morten Aspeli (3 pictures), bottom: Torfinn Kringlebotn

On August 6th 2016 the concert of the world’s famous musician Sting took place at Stortorget. Local newspapers reported that it was a great success, and honestly, looking at the pictures it really seems so. We are so happy that one of our most loved public spaces, conceived with locals to be transformed into an icon of new ways of making urbanism, gained this visibility, not only because of the features of the place itself, but also for the importance of the event it hosted, becoming known to a larger audience.

Stortorget Square on the day of Sting’s concert. Source:

Sting performing in Stortorget Square. Source:

Further information (in Norwegian, of course) at here, here and here.

We hope many other events will take place at Stortorget, and that it will continue to be a great and liveful place!



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CUENCA RED | Escuela Febres Cordero – nuevo edificio híbrido en el centro histórico de Cuenca

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura+arquitectura red+Cuenca Red+ecosistema urbano+proyectos+social housing+urban social design+urbanismo

Vista aerea febres

Continuando con la narrativa del plan Cuenca RED y tras haber presentado la estrategia general del proyecto, el proceso de socialización desarrollado y como éste ha influido en las principales decisiones de diseño de las estrategias de acupuntura urbana y red de patios activos; hoy compartimos el último de los proyectos, siendo el de mayor impacto previsto por su escala, singularidad y enorme potencial: la Escuela Febres Cordero.

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