El proyecto Open Shore, del cual estamos actualmente desarrollando algunas partes, propone soluciones a algunos de los retos de la ciudad de West Palm Beach, Florida, desde varias perspectivas complementarias. Retos que, por otro lado, comparte con muchas otras ciudades costeras.
A continuación os contamos con más detalle nuestra estrategia para activar el cambio en el frente de la ciudad hacia la laguna.
Como se presenta en la página web del concurso Shore to Core, West Palm Beach es una ciudad joven en pleno crecimiento. La región se asocia generalmente con la importante comunidad de personas retiradas que se mudan allí en busca de un estilo de vida más relajado y un mejor clima, pero además hay una creciente población de jóvenes entre 20 y 30 años, así como una gran comunidad afroamericana e hispánica. El centro de la ciudad y las 10 millas de frente marítimo brindan una gran oportunidad para desarrollar nuevas actividades que conecten con diferentes sectores de la población.
Algunas de las preguntas planteadas por el concurso era: ¿Cómo re-imaginar el centro de la ciudad para hacerlo más atractivo y vibrante? ¿Cómo pueden las ciudades recabar información que alimente las estrategias adaptación y crecimiento? ¿Cómo podemos facilitar la interacción social entre grupos diversos? ¿Cómo podemos construir un ambiente que mejore la vida de los residentes física, mental y socialmente?
En este artículo os compartimos el análisis previo y la estrategia general que utilizamos para generar el diseño de cada área del proyecto.
Part of the Open Shore Project was to create a lively urban ecosystem nearby the shore of West Palm Beach, and one of the things that interested us the most was a dark and dirty alleyway near the Banyan Hub. When a city lacks public spaces, every corner, shore or even an alleyway can become a part of the urban ecosystem. These secondary narrow streets are unique opportunities for transformation.
This is how we proposed to activate this space:
From Service Alleyways to Surprising Passageways
The alleyways will undergo a rapid activation process ranging from temporary interventions to the development of permanent structures and spaces to host new programs. Walkability, security, and comfort will be the first priorities to be addressed by means of active and passive climatic mitigation, new waste disposal and lighting systems, etc. Activities will disperse later into adjacent public spaces and buildings and these revamped ‘passageways’ will become thematic routes connecting different parts of the city. keep reading about the passageways!
El 22 de Mayo del 2018 Salvador Rueda, director de la Agencia de Ecología Urbana de Barcelona,presentó en Barcelona, en el ámbito del Congreso Post-Habitat III, la “Carta para la planificación ecosistémica de las ciudades y metrópolis’’. En el mismo congreso se creó una comunidad de miembros e instituciones que apoyan Carta con la intención de impulsar los principios incluidos en ella. Cada profesional, institución y empresa que quiera unirse puede hacerlo inscribiéndose aquí:
Desde Ecosistema Urbano buscamos crear, con una visión integral, ciudades y espacios públicos que incorporen en su desarrollo el equilibrio ambiental, la justicia social y la calidad de vida. Compartimos muchos de los principios del “urbanismo ecosistémico” expresados por la carta, de modo que os animamos a revisarla y, si lo creéis conveniente, suscribirla.
The Banyan garage is envisioned as a new beacon for activities in downtown. This hybrid and flexible building will be open to the public all day long and will be an active presence in the city, producing culture, knowledge, and goods, while attracting businesses, talent, and innovation with its attractions.
Its configuration allows many different uses to coexist, which also makes it flexible to permit future changes in use.
It is a permeable building, open, and accessible to all citizens, a true part of the city from the ground floor to the public roof terrace. Its bioclimatic design, based on a green permeable facade and two big thematic courtyards -natural and digital- will provide pleasant internal climate moderation throughout the year while reducing environmental impact and management costs.
The Banyan Hub is, not only tightly connected to the street: it takes the street and its energy inside and makes it one of its core features. Folding, twisting and ramping up towards the open terrace on the roof, this new kind of street provides a unique urban-like experience inside the building, but also retains many of the features of an ordinary street.
Section of Banyan Hub, an Urban Ecosistem in the Heart of West Palm Beach
Areas of the building will be open to the public at anytime. The building may be accessed by many modes of transportation such as pedestrians, cyclists, skaters, and light vehicles. It connects different uses along its path — from businesses to cultural spaces to public plazas.
Prioritizing public accessibility is integral in ensuring that this project has a landmark presence in West Palm Beach. Banyan Hub is envisioned as an urban ecosystem where users can satisfy their wants and needs without ever having to leave the building. Banyan Hub is sure to set the tone for the future of West Palm Beach as a collaborative, sustainable, and creative city.
The Banyan Hub includes a series of public spaces located at different levels connected by a re-envisioned parking ramp which provides access to different spaces and twists around the courtyards.
+A flexible square at ground level which consists of an open hall connected to the surrounding streets and to the passageway at the back of the building.
+A covered but open air plaza at an intermediate level of the building, right where the two courtyards begin. This space is the heart of the Hub and plays a crucial role in its climatic conditioning and cultural activity.
+A top terrace, overlooking the lagoon which offers a panoramic view of the natural environment and of the whole downtown. Relaxing and breezy like the decks of a cruise ship, it is and an ideal place to begin a stroll through the building and along the waterfront.
One of the most important qualities of a city is the ability to evolve by changing its uses and its physical configuration according to the needs of the society that lives in it. The Banyan Hub materializes these principles as it being conceived in a way in which changeability is the only constant. It will remain open to transformation by its managers and users, embracing evolution as a way to stay useful and relevant. This will be achieved by introducing changeable programs and spaces between fixed elements, and designing movable physical delimitations and reconfigurable technical infrastructure.
Change is the only constant
The rich mix of different uses in close proximity helps create situations where activities can complement and benefit each other. This also gives a special character to each part of the building, enabling interactions that would not take place in a conventional building.
In order to become the everbeating heart of West Palm Beach, Banyan Hub will include a diverse and complementary set of programs, balancing the type of activities, desired level of comfort, need for equipment, and profile of the participants throughout the day. The scale of the Hub allows the coexistence of various uses, bringing together diverse age groups, interests, and communities.
Management & Stakeholders
The Banyan Hub operational model could be developed as a public-private partnership. The main partners could be comprised of the City, private companies, non-profits, athletic associations, and other organizations. This would beg the creation of a managing board which would share the funding, ownership, and decision making responsibilities of the building.
This board would take care of the construction and later lease spaces and equipment to other urban stakeholders. It would also create working committees for logistics and maintenance, programming, communication, and participation. It would serve as a mediation entity between institutions, the general public, entrepreneurs, and other potential partners.
Belinda Tato and José Luis Vallejo will be participating in the On Cities Workshop, organised by the Norman Foster Foundation, which will take place this week (18 to 22 June 2018) in Madrid. The workshop will focus on Autonomous Innovative Communities, selecting a district in Madrid as a case-study for a research project that will be developed throughout the week. The On Cities Workshop will include seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutoring and urban architectural tours to learn more about the context of Madrid and it’s districts. During the course of the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to engage with the Norman Foster Foundation’s archive and research projects.
Can each community locally produce all of the energy, food, and clean water needed for basic living—requiring no centralised infrastructure? Can humans transition from ownership to sharing, while living and working in compact, agile, supportive environments? This workshop explores the premise that emerging urban innovations can dramatically reduce resources consumed by cities while simultaneously creating more livable, entrepreneurial communities.
‘We are living in an era of extreme urbanisation and rapid global warming’, states workshop mentor Kent Larson. ‘The challenges of both call for more than mere incremental adjustments.’
After reviewing applications submitted by hundreds of candidates from around the world, the selection committee awarded ten scholarships to students from the following universities and institutions: American University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, United States; London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile; Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark; Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft, the Netherlands; Tongji University, Shanghai, China; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
These ten students will engage with a group of specialists through a series of seminars and lectures culminating in a five day workshop led by the Atelier mentor, Kent Larson, Director of MIT Media Lab City Science Group and Initiative, and his team. Nicholas Negroponte, Co-Founder and former Director of MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, United States will act as the Chief Advisor of the workshop tutoring the students through the research process.
The Academic Body spans a wide range of practitioners working in different fields interrelated with the City, including: Beatriz Colomina, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Architecture, Princeton University, Princeton, United States; Luis Cueto, General Coordinator for the Mayor in Madrid, Madrid City Hall, Madrid, Spain; Anupama Kundoo, Principal, Anupama Kundoo Architects, Madrid, Spain/Auroville, India; Winy Maas, Co-Founder and Director of MVRDV and Director of the Why Factory, Delft, the Netherlands; Tim Stonor, Managing Director of Space Syntax, London, United Kingdom; Leonor Tarrasón, Director of Environmental Solutions, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Oslo, Norway; Belinda Tato and José Luis Vallejo, Founders and Directors of Ecosistema Urbano, Madrid, Spain/Miami, United States.
Open Shore is a complex project that addresses many different topics in an effort of providing solutions to several challenges that the city of West Palm Beach shares with many other cities. For this reason, we decided to present more in detail our project in a series of 3 posts dedicated to the three main points of the proposal: #1, Strategy to trigger the Change; #2, Waterfront: celebrating unexpected public space; #3, Banyan Hub: a city into a building.
Before going into detail of our proposal, it would be useful to introduce the context of the city of West Palm Beach.
As reported in the Shore to Core Competition Website, West Palm Beach is a young city that is growing quickly. Many associate this region with a large retirement community, but there is also a growing population of people in their 20s and 30s, as well as large Black and Hispanic populations. The city’s downtown and 10-mile waterfront present an opportunity to develop new amenities that reflect the city’s emerging populations, and design is a crucial tool for tackling these evolving needs.
The design competition asks: How can we reimagine our downtowns to make them more engaging and vibrant? How can cities collect information that informs future adaptation and growth? How can we facilitate social interaction among diverse groups? How can the built environment improve residents’ physical health, mental health, and social capital?
Today we present the first post of the series, starting the narration of this exciting experience. This first chapter introduces the previous analysis and the general strategies that informed the design of the project areas.
Among other experts and architects that will take part to the event, there are: ENORME Studio (ES), Fosbury Architecture (IT), Luca Montuori (Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning at the Municipality of Rome, IT), Orizzontale (IT), Olga Polishuk (Chief Operating Officer of Strelka Institute, RU), SET Architects (IT), Jean-Benoît Vetillard (FR), U67 (DK), and WikiSpazioPubblico (IT). Moreover, the second day of the festival on Monday, September 25, will be closed by the keynote speech of Koert van Mensvoort (Next Nature, NL).
About New Generation Festival: The 4th edition of the New Generations Festival – Architects VS Rest of the World – proposes an intense programme of discussions, workshops and cultural activities, involving numerous international guests, gathered to reflect on the profession of the architect from multidisciplinary points of view. After successful events in Milan (2013), Florence (2014) and Genoa (2015), Rome will host the fourth edition of the New Generations festival with the aim of creating a community of architects and experts from different disciplines, in order to redefine the role of architecture in contemporary society.
The relation between the new generations of architects and other disciplines is a broad field of discussion that will be addressed via three umbrella topics: (a) Urban Vocabulary & Public Space, (b) New Economies & Values, and (c) Digital Infrastructure & New Media. These 3 topics will be at the center of the debate during the Festival, inviting young architects, city makers, sociologists, economists, public & private institutions, startups, communication and digital media experts, web developers, programmers and many others professionals to discuss and exchange ideas. The discussion will see the participation of representatives from the wide network of the New Generations Platform, which counts more than 80 young practices and more than 500 international experts.
URBAN VOCABULARY & PUBLIC SPACE: cities are changing at a fast pace, is the profession and the way we face urban problems keeping up with this rapid developments? New Urban Vocabulary looks at the way architects are more and more becoming mediators in complex urban processes, proposing new ways of thinking not just in terms of urban planning methods, but ways of working with communities, re-activating and re-claiming public space.
NEW ECONOMIES & VALUES: how did the economic crisis of 2008 affect the profession? What do we mean when we talk about successful, sustainable and collaborative economic models in relation to the design field? Collaborative Economies proposes an investigation of the economic models behind successful, emerging and innovative architectural practices. The aim is to analyse the contemporary workscapes with a specific attention to economic sustainability, unveiling challenges and opportunities of the contemporary workfield.
DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES & NEW MEDIA: New Technologies and Digital Media are changing the way we work in an unprecedented way, but what is the impact of those changes on the architectural profession? Which new figures and experts need to be involved in this highly complex process? Digital infrastructures looks at how seamlessly integrated technological systems run in the background of our cities but have the power to fundamentally change both the approach to architecture and the way we experience spaces, creating a base for innovation.
Ecosistema Urbano está buscando arquitectos para su incorporación en nuestro equipo de Madrid.
Buscamos dos perfiles, con competencias lingüísticas diferentes:
+ Un perfil inglés nativo/bilingüe
+ Un perfil con alemán profesional
Para ambos perfiles se requieren además los siguientes requisitos:
– Máximo nivel de conocimiento de programas de BIM y QGis
– Experiencia en el desarrollo de proyectos de ejecución
– Experiencia profesional internacional
– Disponibilidad para incorporación inmediata
Los interesados pueden enviar CV y portfolio antes del lunes 11 de septiembre a la dirección firstname.lastname@example.org a través de un enlace a Issuu o similar (sin archivos adjuntos, por favor).
We are honored to announce that Ecosistema Urbano has been recognized as a 2017 Social Design Circle Honoree by the Curry Stone Design Prize.
What is the Curry Stone Design Prize?
The Curry Stone Design Prize is awarded each year to honor innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues. Supported by the Curry Stone Foundation, the Prize highlights and rewards projects that improve daily living conditions of people in communities around the world. The Prize acknowledges work that is considered emerging in the professional and public consciousness.
What is the Social Design Cirle?
This year, in honor of the 10th anniversary, the Curry Stone Design Prize assembled a group of 100 of the most compelling social design practitioners of the last decade, a project called The Social Design Circle. As the organizers of the prize refer: These are practices which have captivated and inspired us over the years, as we’ve built a global community of visionaries, activists and game changers. The Social Design Circle project gives answer to what are defined to be the 12 most urgent questions in social design practice. Each month a new topic is adressed through a new open question. Answers come from different practicioners among the 100 winners. The questions up to date asked are:
Should designers be outlaws? Is the right to housing real? Can design challenge inequality? Can design prevent disaster? Can we design community engagement?
Here follows the report of the jury regarding our work:
We honor Ecosistema Urbano particularly for their progressive ideas on community participation. The group has worked to update the very notion of “community participation” through the development of online tools which encourage global participation on local projects. The group has developed several apps to collect community input throughout the design process. New technologies work to break down barriers which traditionally inhibited the full participation of community. Many of our ‘communities’ today are in fact digital, so the idea of community participation must be updated as well.
In a physical space, the group is best known for their green projects like Ecobulevar – a project of ‘air trees’ in the Madrid suburb of Vallecas. The project is intended to be temporary, but creates the same sort of community space that one would find in an old growth allée.
The air trees are made from repurposed industrial materials such as recycled plastic, greenhouse fabric, rubber tires. They contain rooting vegetation and atomizers that cool and moisten the air in the cylinder and around it (8oC to 10oC cooler than the rest of the street in summer). The cylinders can be used for public gatherings, and solar panels provide electricity for lighting when needed (excess energy is sold back to the grid and helps fund the maintenance of the structures).
This and other sustainability projects like Ecopolis in Madrid speak to a shared sense of community responsibility and interaction.
Moreover, an interview we gave for the occasion together with our colleagues of Interboro constitute the episode 24 and 25 “Tools for urban action” of the Social Design Insight podcast. You can listen to episode 24 here, while the episode 25 will be shared on Thursday June 8 on Curry Stone Design Prize webpage.
We are very happy to announce that our project Open Shore is the winning proposal of Shore to Core, the international design competition to reimagine downtown West Palm Beach as a dynamic, resilient waterfront city! We are thrilled with the great reception that the project has had, and eager to continue its development side by side with the people and the institutions of West Palm Beach.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Rain Plaza
Here we share the press release from Van Alen Institute:
Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) today announced Open Shore by Ecosistema Urbano as the winning proposal for the Shore to Core waterfront design competition. The Shore to Core competition invited international designers, planners and architects to envision what the future of the West Palm Beach waterfront could look like over the next 20 to 30 years, taking factors including populations, economies and the environment into account. The winning proposal will serve as a “vision board” for the city’s future, providing a starting point and framework to help the city adapt and make the most of the waterfront.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Rain Plaza
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Plan
Selected from a pool of over 40 international teams and two finalists, Ecosistema Urbano’s winning proposal envisions a healthier and more resilient downtown and waterfront for West Palm Beach—a keystone city in southern Florida with a growing population of people in their 20s and 30s, as well as large Black and Hispanic populations. The competition proposals imagine new amenities that reflect the city’s emerging populations, and Shore to Core’s organizers believe that design is a crucial tool for tackling these evolving needs. The initiative included public consultation, and this input played a role in the jury’s decision-making process.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Strolling on the Waterfront
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Aerial View
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Flagler Drive and the Cloud Forest Habitat Plaza
Ecosistema Urbano’s winning design answers Shore to Core’s call for a comprehensive, forward-thinking urban plan to make West Palm Beach’s waterfront a year-round destination for locals and visitors alike. The proposal includes what could be the first public bioclimatic domes in the U.S. adorned with hanging gardens. These domes create climatically comfortable spaces 365 days a year, thereby supporting a more socially cohesive city.
The proposal also illustrates how the city’s Banyan Garage could be upcycled into a mixed-use building with both public- and private-sector roles featuring adaptive climates suitable for a range of activities, including a farmers market, coworking spaces, and skyline viewing platforms. Additional amenities include vibrant thematic alleyways—with such features as a rock climbing wall, interactive exhibition space, and immersive foliage—that harness the cultural values and experiences unique to West Palm Beach, while also providing shade and introducing new elevated programming spaces
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Level 4 Open Air Plaza at Banyan Hub
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Farmers Market day at Banyan’s ground floor
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Social green space at Banyan Hub overlooking the downtown
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Banyan Hub | Section
Ecosistema Urbano will present their proposal to the WPB CRA board in May 2017. The CRA board will identify priority projects within the Banyan Garage and downtown alleyways, and then contract with Ecosistema Urbano. This process will be followed by outreach to the community about the individual elements that are scheduled for possible implementation in late 2017 or early 2018.
“The Shore to Core competition and resulting proposals truly offered insights into how we can plan a strong and vibrant future for our city,” said Jeri Muoio, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach. “Ecosistema Urbano’s design was applauded by all as enhancing the waterfront and creating new, iconic experiences that incorporate our natural resources, cultural spaces, and inclusive urban atmospheres.”
“Ecosistema Urbano’s proposal addresses social cohesion in a compelling way by integrating locally responsive systems with a welcoming public space that will further diversify the city,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “We’re thrilled that West Palm Beach is looking to the future and rethinking how to create a downtown that is uniquely theirs— a downtown that enhances the wellbeing of residents and visitors alike.
The runner-up design finalist, Perkins + Will, created a proposal focusing on community-building with a continuous waterfront park, extended Great Lawn, and the Banyan Garage revitalized as a multi-use civic space. Van Alen has synthesized the work of the finalist teams into a key findings document, “A Shore Thing: Key Findings from the Shore to Core Competition,” that summarizes the shared insights from all three proposals.
The Shore to Core competition has parallel research and design tracks: The aim of this structure is to understand how waterfront cities like West Palm Beach can become healthier, and to create design strategies that will make them more responsive to rising sea levels. The winning research team, Happier by Design, focused on how specific types of public spaces may increase the wellbeing of people who use them, and conducted a pilot study analyzing the health benefits of more complex and engaging urban landscapes.
By testing environmental psychology principals with tactical urban interventions, Happier by Design found that public space designs that boost feelings of fascination foster wellbeing. The research team also recommended that designers focus individuals’ attention on nature and create spaces that are both comfortable and interactive, including such features as movable seating and adjustable lookouts that frame the landscape. The team’s recommendations affirm the dynamic and engaging designs proposed by Ecosistema Urbano. The combination of innovative research and original design in Shore to Core reflects Van Alen’s mission to use research and design to inform the planning of new civic spaces.
Raphael Clemente, Executive Director, Downtown West Palm Beach
Colin Ellard, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo, Department of Psychology
Patrick Franklin, President and CEO, Urban League of Palm Beach County
David van der Leer (Jury Chair), Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Jeri Muoio, Mayor, City of West Palm Beach
Penni Redford, Sustainability Manager, City of West Palm Beach
Manuel Clavel Rojo, Clavel Arquitectos (substitute for Terry Riley, K/R Architects)
Jon Ward, Executive Director, West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Lilly Weinberg, Director of Community Foundations, Knight Foundation
Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY Studio
Nancy Wells, Professor, Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, Design and Environmental Analysis Department
Ecosistema Urbano Team:
A multidisciplinary Madrid and Boston-based team comprised of principals Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo; Marco Rizzetto, Carlos León, Antonella Marlene Milano, Luisa Zancada, Jorge Toledo, Marta Muñoz, Pablo Santacana, Lola Pouchin, Maria Vittoria Tesei, Andrea Bertrán, Ana Patricia Maté, Lucía De Retes Cascales, Cristina Rodríguez, Elizabeth Kelleher, Lorena Tselemegkou, Luana Scarpel, Silvia Sangriso, Daniela Menendez, Julia Casado, Constantino Hurtado, Andrés Walliser.
To view high-resolution images for this project, including work by the winning team, click here
To view animated images of Ecosistema Urbano’s proposal, have a look here