HONORARY MENTIONS / CALL FOR PROPOSALS / by Social Cooperation Architects

BORDER LANDS

Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey, Justin Loucks, Philip Mallysh, Nina Hitzler, Jamie McFayden
Canada

Calgary is located in a beautiful wide-open prairie near the West edge of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Unfortunately, this endless plateau of grasslands has failed to constrain extensive low density growth, leading to many environmental, physical, economic, political and spatial issues. Although the municipal debate has turned to densification, the simple reality is that the city continues to grow inexhaustibly outwards. It has gotten to the point that starchitects, invited to design the most recognizable architectural icons of the city, have turned to a new façade style – a pattern of detached houses - in order to describe the identity of our city.

The greenlands that surround Calgary can be seen as lost spaces that were formerly or will imminently be overcome by the unrelenting assault on the periphery by armies of detached houses. While Renaissance Ideal Star Cities were designed to protect from hostile invaders, today the invasion threatens from inside city limits - perhaps the fortifications need to face the opposite direction!

Border Lands proposes three interrelated design elements to contain the outward spatial expansion of the city while creating new landscapes that accommodate leisure and biodiversity:

Perimeter Park…
this thriving and diverse recreational and ecological landscape provides a wall against development and a retreat to the green;

Diversion Channel…
is a strategic re-routing of the Bow and Elbow Rivers to irrigate the Perimeter Park while also providing an alternative path in future flooding conditions; and,

Urban Extensions…
are five high density development lines that more than quadruple the density of Calgary while providing efficient below-grade transit and highways and mixed use programming that also connect the city with the green.


MUSHRICE SERIES

Nancy Diniz, Alexandria Frisbie, Buquo Hai, Anqi Huo
United States

IDEA:
We propose a framework for investigating relationships between architecture, fashion and food through one bio-material. The project translates this idea into a modular system with 3 multiple functions: a garment, a blanket and an edible material in order to provide a 100% organic, portable and recyclable temporary shelter plus food for one person in the event of unpredictable situations such as natural catastrophes like flooding, earth quakes, or war zones in hot humid climates.

By using bio-design ad food engineering, we propose a 100% organic material cycle system. The structure temporarily diverts the natural carbon cycle to produce a multi-functional structure that grows out of agricultural waste and returns to earth producing food—with almost no waste, no energy needs, and no carbon emissions. This approach offers a new vision on not only the traditional approaches of mono use and function products but mostly because the textile and food industries display high levels of embodied energy and environmental impact using non-renewable resources and processing them with non-renewable energy and producing unwanted by-products along the way. In this proposal we envision bio-degradable materials that are multi-use, multi-functional and multi-scale.

SCOPE AND SCALE:
Our prototype builds on our research into bio materials using agriculture waste with mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi, which consists of a network of interconnected filamentous cells called hyphae. The mycelium of mushroom- forming basidiomycetes is highly attractive and embodies a great potential, because of its tendency of growing on a wide variety of substrates, therefore it can be used in a  range of diverse materials and applications, related to the architecture and the design fields. Moreover, this organic network of filamentous cells is characterized by peculiar properties, such as strength, elasticity, thickness, homogeneity and water repellency. Mycellium grows in a range of different organic materials, such as straw or other forms of agricultural waste. When baked, the network of thread-like filaments is transformed into a very durable and waterproof material. The  three layers of the material are designed as a tessellated matrix and demonstrate different properties and behaviours. The outer skin is resistant and water-proof, the middle skin contains several zipped containers where very thin edible materials are preserved. The inside skin is soft and warm to be comfortable in contact with the body. Additionally to the textile material there is a foldable and very light weight bed using a bio-degradable bio-plastic structural material.


URBAN NOMADIC FARM

Ting Wen, Zhe Zhang, Sai Shu, Xiaozhou Zhu, Fei Wu, Chen Li
China, Netherlands

 

Industrial development represents the starting phase of revolution and human progress. It transfers the focus of daily life from farming, animal husbandry, and other agricultural production to industrial production. Due to the industrial development, Industrial society is superior to the pursuit of high efficiency production. The sectorization creates geographical segregation of several sectors of economy. The consequence of the segregation is that the urbanian has limited accessibility to involve in other agriculture related processes, rather than being a consumer. Urbanian has amount of consumption knowledge, but limited insights of food production, processing, distribution, and preparation. With purpose of fulfilling in the urbanian’s consumption, city highly depends on food supply from outskirts of the city or even other states. What urbanian has to face now is the scarcity of the global food supply; and urban tedious life lead to lack of urbanian's spiritual enrichness. To reawaken the interests of food production in the city centre delegates reviewing the relationship between agriculture and urban lifestyles.

Transportation is always the starting point of industrial development; and it closely relates to contemporary daily life. Bus routes become the main geographical connection between these sectors of economy, to break the segregation. From dawn to dusk, from Monday to Friday, under the industrial manufacture centric way of living, the limited accessibility to agriculture refers to both space and time. In the busy everyday life, people transfer between indoor spaces; and have no time to contribute to the agriculture. Except rail transportation, bus is recognised as the most used carrier to provide such a public space which people has no choice but to stay. 

Industrial development triggers industrial transformation; transformation normally subverts the old-style lifestyle and embrace new one. Urbanian tried to get rid of inefficiency of old-style lifestyle, and the meaning of inhering agricultural production. Re-introducing agricultural matters never intends to completely overthrow contemporary urban structure. it requires moderate approaches to stimulate city transition. NOMADIC FARM as an abstract carrier allows urbanian to rethink the possibility of integrating agriculture in our urban lifestyles, and in the industrial manufacture centric way of living. It maintains current bus network; but it renovates the traditional bus prototype to stimulate the alternative lifestyle. NOMADIC FARM mixes food production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption, by combining several moments of farming, animal husbandry and industrial life. Such a self-sustainable system enriches the daily spiritual life for urbanian. And the mobility of the NOMADIC FARM  stimulates the food related activities in all the surroundings it passes by. It creates the awareness and proactive involvement to the ecosystem of food production in the whole city.


CEU DE JANEIRO

Dhoghua Chen
China

On January 1,1502, a Portuguese expedition first anchored by Guanabara Bay. They named this land Rio de Janeiro, meaning River of January. And people settled down. The society of settlement started to form in Rio. Settlement life existed long ago in human history. In a stable natural environment, people chose to settle down on certain land, to manage the society more efficiently with a centralized power. Rio was such a centralized-organizing and fast-running society that consists of a different hierarchy like a treelike, top-down network. Such ends up some vulnerable members among society, like the favela. They are always struggling for life improvement and conflicting with the local police or army. Also, the efficient settlement society led to the massive invasion to the natural environment. The environment become more and more unstable. It was so changeable that we could not lie in the settlement any more. As Rio was overwhelmed by the sea, it sinks in history forever. The brink of ruin always catalyzes the new hope. The unstable environment drives them to turn to another mode of society—nomadism. Because the sea has overwhelmed the land, the sky becomes the last domain for nomads. People renamed Rio de Janeiro as Ceu de Janeiro, which means the January Sky in English, to celebrate the rise of a brand new world. They bravely build up the floating houses, which can move from place to place as they loose anchor and camp again, to break away with the strong tie to the land and power, and to seek for a relatively resourceful and stable environment. First, different from settlement society, the nomadic Ceu is the being of multiplicity, from centralized management of power to self-organization, from priority for efficiency to coexistence of harmony, from layers of subordination to equality of pluralism. It doesn’t focus on monopoly or unity, but an interchanging environment or integration. Each one is heterogeneous but equal. They interact with each other and exist as an exterior connection. Second, Ceu is anti-pedigree and anti-center. In past, there is always a dependence between settlement and land, like the property system. In contrast, Ceu does not attach itself to the land or depend on any power. It is just like the game of Go or the universe, rather than the chess, the solar system or the tree. One belongs to himself, without any subordination. It is never a defined city, state or kingdom. Third, the science development,such as the material and information, provides the fundament for nomadism. Connected with super infrastructure and public facilities, people share resources from physical society, virtual cyperspace and natural storage. The fixed infrastructure points become a transfer platform for them. They will not obtain benefit or be deprived from it by old economical mode, such as land-rental or production-profit mode. Like the seeds in wind, to be spread and to sprout in different fields, they find a way to continue their story.


LANDSCAPE CONDENSER

Darío Cobo Calvo
Spain

The project is developed under a very specific frame: Madrid in 2014, in a ‘post-Spanish housing bubble’ moment, when the public and private powers keep their eyes back in the center of Madrid, after wasting all the opportunities that the suburbs could offer before the bubble.

Instead of demolishing, which is hard to justify, the project adds a value to re-describe the existing space. Some strategies in different scales makes that such an apparently banal space as a parking could become a box full of unexpected experiences.

A landscape occupation system conquers the big obsolete structure in the center of Madrid, which becomes a stack of public spaces. As well, a communication system goes freely through the existing structure, and proposes a new organizational frame, which contains the necessary services to active the old infrastructure –lockers, circulations, resting areas-.

Some of the investigation and work topics, far from being opportunistic, are very important nowadays: such as the recycle of an obsolete infrastructure, the hybridization of natural and artificial materials and the reuse of some of the demolition elements.

 It’s an emphatic and risked proposal, which makes references to the European utopias of the 60’s and an implicit critique to the current system of public land management. The apparent forcefulness in the re utilization of the existing structure (hardware), is not that important, when the great flexibility to host several programs is demonstrated (software).


CRECE JUNTO A LA NATURALEZA

Alejandra Salvador Camarmo
Spain

The change and evolution of a planet, towards a more sustainable planet, should start from the bottom and thinking about the future inhabitant, making child's education very important. It should give and be a radical change in this education; linking it more with ecosystems that surround us. Involving them sensitively to this. All the project works around a new education, an education based on the game, self-expression and child autonomy, awareness of nature, ecology...


We know that children play, not only because they like it, but also because they have the need to do it. The game is not just one kind of children activity, it is also the basic child behavior. They play because they want, for an internal motivation that push them to rehearse actions and interpretation of themselves and their environment. Playing is to the children a vital experience which possibility them to transform , create other worlds , live others’ lives ,play to be others while never ceasing to be themselves, think like others  and , above all , discover that there are  other ways to think and feel. During the game they are tested, they practice, they confirm, they reject... Playing is so necessary that those who do not play or play just a bit can reduce or even block their growing process. Anyway, although playing is a natural push, it needs some conditions of material spaces and moments. Will these conditions which relate the project with the user. The starting point for every space and atmosphere of this children’s center.


SOCIALLY EMPOWERED INDEPENDENT PRODUCTIVE COMMUNITY IN SUBURBAN AMERICA

Tsvetelina V. Chursalska
United States

The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 is considered by many economists the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It resulted in the threat of total collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market also suffered resulting in evictions, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment. One sector particularly hard-hit was the suburbs. Although the suburbs have long attracted families as part of the American Dream, today’s suburbs have gotten new set of dysfunctions: sealed windows, weedy lawns, empty parking lots and storefronts, immigrants in large masses flocking into decaying neighborhoods, unbuilt communities and abandoned factories. The suburbs have proved not to be recession-proof. This proposal will re-evaluate the suburbs through the systems of infrastructure and the finance that supports it, in order to propose a more robust model. Social capital has untapped potential in mitigating the demise of the suburbs, or can offer an alternate model of the suburbs. The proposal is looking at the architectural effects from social capital and community development for a community improvement. 


NOW WHERE WE KEEP THEM 

Lucía Martín López, Antonio Cantero Vinuesa, Consuelo Fernández Giraldez
Mexico, Spain

According to the Sustainable Development Area at the World Bank, it is not possible to establish a connection between individual weather events and climate change. But scientists have warned that the intensity of extreme events will increase if climate change is not halted. Pending a solution to this global problem, the proposal provides quick and effective accommodation for people suffering from these extreme weather events and minimizes the transition time between shelter and housing. For this a transportable modular system that supports different groupings at urban, edification and house scale is offered, adapting itself to different urban and rural situations. On the project urban areas reserved for occupancy in time of disaster are defined and water sensitive designed. These areas are subdivided in an emergency and are occupied by shelters while arrive the final prefabricated modular houses. The housing can be assembled as they are brought to site and instantly be occupied by those affected while still constructing the building. The shelters are used for the building skin providing protection and awareness of the climate problem.

Our approach proposes almost zero energy consumption and strategic actions at different scales:

URBAN SCALE
Depending on the urban situation in which we are working the architectural response will be different. In case of consolidated city areas the proposal will be more compact, while in the case of unconsolidated areas will tend to be less dense solutions. An improvement of urban space favoured by the permeability of the ground floor portico with the environment is proposed in both cases.  The portico works at the same time as a place of security in case of flooding. In this space live a public extension of the street and gardens whose surface is distributed among various groups of users of the building according to the initial subdivision of the emergency camp. The gardens maximize user participation in the design of collective space and reduce the impact of impervious materials enhancing the water sensitive urban design. To consolidate the streets that don't face the housing building we will use local facilities, shops or workshops.

BUILDING SCALE
The grouping of housing is progressively realized depending on the needs of the inhabitants. The process is managed through a cooperative formed by the residents. This cooperative manages the evolution of the building and spaces of community relationship, which may vary in size and in use at the time. The main space of relationship is the gallery, whose function may be determined in an informal way by users. This element at the same time allows for natural cross ventilation of dwellings and works as thermal cushion and light controller. The use of textile elements as control components, allow changing the facade according to climatic variations.

HOUSE SCALE
The modular construction allows flexibility not only in general terms the building but also in terms of housing. The system allows to group up to three modules to achieve different types of houses and allows that the houses vary in time expanding or decreasing depending on the needs of its inhabitants.


LA APOTEKA

Ersen Timur
France

 

Oaxaca region, Mexico. Our project takes place on a two hectares site, close to the village of Mazunte, in the middle of the Zapotal jungle. Cristian, our client, wished to create a permaculture project on his land. To that purpose, he needed a new structure in which to develop these projects and from where to share his expertise. The building, “La Apoteka” extends to two floors, including both private and professional areas. Upstairs, the private part includes a bedroom and a terrace. Downstairs is devoted to work, featuring a tool store and an open air workshop.

The building has a hybrid structure, with load-bearing firebrick walls attached to a bamboo framework. This framework consists of seven arches connected by metal supports to the stone foundation on the north façade and to the brick wall in the south. In the Mazunte region, houses are usually built with brick walls within a concrete frame.  Local workshops producing handmade firebricks are common in this region and we wished to make full use of the qualities of this material. Therefore, the load-bearing walls of the structure would be formed of these bricks.  Considering the expense of metal and concrete in Mexico, we tried to minimise their use.                With bamboo and firebrick as the main materials, we also endeavoured to build the palm roof and the stone foundations with local materials. One of the central principles of this project was to collaborate with local craftspeople and to use their materials and skills. By experimenting with details, new structures and shapes, we intended to produce a new perspective another vision of their work.

The tropical climate divides the year into two seasons: hot and dry in winter, hot and wet in summer. Considering this, we decided on an open facade to the north and a larger wall to the south, creating a fresh atmosphere in the entire building. The brick patterns used are designed to create large hollow walls, increasing the level of insulation. The south facade has a particular design: inspired by Laurie Baker's work, it slopes outward due to regular spacing of the bricks. Each layer is making shadow on the next during the hottest time of  day, keeping the facade pleasantly cool.

From the design to the use, the project is built around collaboration between the architect, client and construction team. In this project, the architect is both designer and worker; the client participates in both conception and construction.

In Europe, our educational system creates design specialists, making this kind of collaboration difficult. As recent graduates, our lack of knowledge of techniques and materials separates us from the builders. Building a house as a harmonious collaboration between bricklayers, architects and clients, is unusual in Europe. We tried it in Mexico: at the end, we found we had a strong construction team, imbued with a sense of common purpose. Many decisions were made on the construction site, after considering the opinion of all.

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