lunedì 21 marzo 2016


The aim of our kinder GARDEN is to provide different kinds of space through a large and unique playground to let each child discovers himself and gain some autonomy in a spirit of freedom. The space is thought to meet the different essential criteria for the development of the child. It’s a safe place where kids can walk and run the way they want and make their own mistakes. It’s not a question of nursing the pupils but more a question of letting them learn by themselves through experiences. It’s also a social space where they can learn from each other.
It was important for us to create a space where children from every age can meet and play with each other. Bigger children can help the little ones and help them become more responsible. Little children can take example from the biggest ones and grow up. It’s a space connected to the city as well, because children are the city’s actors of tomorrow. The space also allows pupils to discover all of their senses. The topography is not the same in the entire building, the boxes are different, the materials too. All of that to encourage children to be curious and creative. The last point is to make a ludic place because, even if the space is thought for children to grow up, we still managed to make them dream in this environment. It’s a magic forest where they can draw on the walls and on the floors. Where they can build huts on the branches and climb the big central hills as explorers. It’s a space to let children be themselves.
In our design process we were really attached to link closely elements of structure and architecture. For us the relation between those two elements is essential to create a complete, sustainable and well-designed building. 

LNS - LONDON SURSERY SCHOOL // FIRST PRIZE - Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar, Davide Troiani - ITALY & NEDERLAND

Nowadays the absence of direct experience has completely misled children’s perception of the world and of its most basic processes. This appears particularly true in urban environ-ments where children often ignore, for instance, that milk comes from living animals or that beans don’t sprout in cans.
Avoiding any old-fogey approach, it’s commonly known that children are inherently and intuitively curious naturalists. We believe that this innate quality should be exploited, stimu-lated and guided through the educational approach of the nursery of the future.
This model sees the nursery as a catalyst capable of combining, along with game, nature and technique in a renovated didactic path based on three approaches: learning from nature, learning from technique, and learning from practice.
Child's physical, social, emotional and cognitive development can all be encouraged by interaction with animals and plants. Furthermore children are more prone to approach and interact with others when sharing a mission or a duty.
It’s even truer when the survival and wellness of a third relational component (i.e. an animal or a plant) relies on such a mission. In this way domestication can be, on the one hand, the bridge between a  less socially outgoing child and other poten-tial playmates, on the other hand the way to stimulate subjective processes such as the development of self-esteem and sense of responsibility.
Hence, the spatial definition of the nursery establishes an integration of traditional scholastic environments and experimental spaces that merge didactic and farming. Rather than merely relying on a fixed subdivision in classro-oms, the daily and seasonal routine of the groups of children from 2 to 5 years old unfolds along a trajectory based on natural cycles.   

Children learn from teachers and assimilate through practice how to domesticate animals and plants. At the same time they establish a respectful relation with nature, with the human community and the places in which their life takes place. Organic, biodynamic and permacultural approaches are preferred in the ethical production with didactic ends that permeates the routine of the little farmers.
Infants too, although in a passive way, can benefit from living in such an environment. Several studies indicate that the contact with certain animals (i.e. donkeys) promotes both relaxation and curiosity in babies. Furthermore the proximity to animals bolsters their still-developing immune systems and trains them early to fend off assaults from common allergens and bugs.
To conclude, we claim that the nursery of the future should be a place where children are not only raised, but also where they are given the possibility to raise and construct themselves. This possibility, as natural as birth itself, has been lost and should be rediscovered through the combination of traditional approaches/spaces and innovative hybrid ones.

sabato 17 ottobre 2015

BTP - BARCELONA TEMPORARY PAVILION // HONORABLE MENTION - Adrian Sanchez Rodriguez and Helena Fuertes Pliego - SPAIN

BCN Cloud Pavilion

Human beings, forced to stay with their feet on the ground, have always wanted to touch the sky, resulting in the creation of majestic structures that can lift us hundreds of meters above the ground, buildings that are lost in the clouds. However, not many have tried to bring the sky onto the ground. Our idea is based on the possibility of grabbing and incorporating it into the city, capturing air and building a cloud with it so the atmosphere, distant and intangible, is at our fingertips, while it is a temporal pavilion, just like a cloud is not expected to stay in the same place.

Made with non-breathable canvas balloons filled with helium, the real anchorage of this roof is the open sky, which pulls it up. These balloons are tied together and to the pillars by nylon cords, almost invisible, creating the illusion of a flying cloud among the regular buildings. A dreamy spiral staircase brings you to its surface 15 meters high, having the chance to walk, sit, and contemplate the horizon with the viewpoint of a bird, or even share a kiss on the cloud.

Art exhibitions are displayed underneath the balloons, organized with weightless chain fences and protected from the evening sun with cheap customized panels - e.g. foam board. Due to the nature of these fences, there are no strong, view-blocking heavy walls that oppress the exhibition area, but thin, see-through membranes that allow light, air, and the visitor’s eye to move around. Art pieces, hanging from these wired walls, seem to be floating, contributing to the atmosphere of the pavilion where everything seems to belong to the sky, including ourselves.

venerdì 2 ottobre 2015

BTP - BARCELONA TEMPORARY PAVILION // HONORABLE MENTION - Germana Musco, Ilaria Gizzi, Ilaria Giraldi, Francesco Cosentini - ITALY

BCN_Better Come Nosy

“A foreign tourist has arrived in Barcelona. He has thin legs and big feet to stand. He has scales that protect him from the sunlight. He has many eyes on very long necks to explore better what surrounds him (he is very nosy). He carries a box for the lunch and many memories and stories to tell. But since he has long travelled and the life of a traveler monster can be quite solitary, he decided to look for new friends to share his curiosity. He heard that in Barcelona there are many other monsters like him and many nice people to meet. So he took some deckchairs to host his new friends, and he leaved to Spain. Don’t be shy, he looks forward to meet many people like you! Get nosy with him!”
This is the introduction to visitors when they approach the BCN (Better Come Nosy) Pavilion and this is the idea from which all started. In Barcelona we can find many fantastic architectures, just think about Gaudí’s Casa Battló with its balconies or to Casa Mila’s monstrous chimneys. The “monster” concept as we mean it is a place that has a strong impact but, instead of being repulsive, as a paradox, it excites curiosity encouraging people to interact and to learn enjoying the pleasure of exploring the city.


CONCENTRATION: The BCN pavilion acts as a magnet, concentrating many needs and entertaining tourists and citizens. It is a place where people can rest, learn, have fun or only pass through.

FLEXIBILITY: The pavilion can host many different functions and temporary events. Thanks to its flexible nature it can live day and night and be attractive both for tourists and citizens.

INTERACTION: All the design was conceived to encourage people to interact with the pavilion and with other people. The technology is simple, almost totally manual in order to tempt people to touch more than just observe passively a mechanism. The shell of the pavilion can be touched and rolled and can change every moment. Periscopes and info-deckchairs offer a user-friendly technology. Everyone can have a different approach to the city. Everyone can learn, explore and have fun.

TRANSPARENCY: Because of its temporary nature and in order to excite the curiosity and the will to explore, the design of the pavilion is light and transparent.

lunedì 28 settembre 2015


Alma Pavilion | The Project

Since the nature | location of the site area is critical and full of potential, the positioning of the intervention has to be strategic, and so its conformation | scale too. Speaking in practical terms, the need for a huge volume has come in order to compete –in a referential and collaborative way- with the heavy mass of the old Customs building that dominates the square of Port Vell. But in this case, a huge volume has to be as much lighter as possible, possibly lifted from the ground, in order to not limit the original flow of the place and the views between the harbor and the city. Barcelona owns a character that tends to prefer a free flow instead of limited and defined spaces, and so the majority of its buildings are lifted from the soil, suspended by brave protrusions or aerial structure: a way so extravagant as it is clever to dominate the space! The big volume wants to follow this concept.

The fact that is made of several layers of fishing net is both typological –for the area, the traditional, ancient port with fishing activities- and aesthetical | conceptual. Like a fishing net can capture fishes in the sea, this great net is here to catch people from all over the city; to bring the light of the Spanish sun and making it pleasant. The structure that supports this almost precarious element is visibly temporary, self-standing and made of stainless steel. It consists in a group of four steel pole and an internal frame of steel cables –used for tension structures- attached to the ground by a bolted steel plate, while the cables are beringed to the soil by tie rods. At the same time the structure acts as a sort of, again, typological character for this precise location. It reminds the highnesses of the masts
of sailing boats in the nearest Marina of Port Vell. And, of course, it also recalls the trees that are located in the site area.

Now the ground wants to clearly translate, almost literally, the duality of land and water in a physical, controlled and clear form. Following the brief’s maximum areal dimensions, a temporary rectangular platform is installed on the dark, heavy ground floor. It is divided in three parts | sections, of which one third –towards the sea- is dedicated to the materialization of the water concept, translating it into a water mirror that became both a playground and a device that remove –visually- the distance from the sea’s water. The remaining two thirds are dedicated to the free flow concept and, of course, to the exhibition area. Since it wants to juxtaposing with the original floor, the platform is raised 30 cm from it. That strategy allows to hide all the technical “issues” under the platform, minimizing their impact.
The collectivity | singularity concept it is, at last, materialized into functional elements that acts like two different tools of aggregation, a sort of lexicon understandable only experiencing it. For this reason the collectivity translate itself into a circular, continuous ring bench, positioned in between earth and water. With this tool the people can met each other in a common, pleasant place. The singularity acts the same way, but translating itself into singular seats they becomes an intimate manner of stay in a place. The seats are also tables: they can be lifted up from the platform when necessary, blocked and used. At the end they can be unblocked and lowered to their original role of seats. In this action they found their singularity character, linked to the will of a particular user.

The rest of the functional program follow the same concept, but it approach the city side of the pavilion. Three small blocks, coated with satin stainless steel, detect two accessible toilets and one storage | technical box. A multimedia info point -with a devices recharge system and internet connection- and an outdoor cafeteria | bar countertops, are coated with the same satin steel. They are the last two pair of functional elements of the pavilion, acting like others attractors for the people from all over the location, making the whole pavilion character even more interactive.

giovedì 24 settembre 2015

BTP - BARCELONA TEMPORARY PAVILION // FIRST PRIZE - Thomas Van Gaver, Julien Hubert, Guillaume Dorne, Audrey Thomas - FRANCE

new outdoor structure for Barcelona

The construction of a temporary pavilion along the promenade of the Port Vell in Barcelona leads us to requestion initially the project site. The city strategic location acts as a connection between the Rambla, persistent trace of the old Barcelona, and the Mare Magnum complex, a symbol of the renewal of the industrial part of city. And secondly, this allows to question the pavilion functional program itself : synonymous with ephemeral, often emphasizes adaptability without regard to its neighborhood. 
It is by combining the two problematics : the functional program and the location that we imagined the new  outdoor structure we have entitled barceloon. The area of the pavilion hosts a lot of streams compounds as by tourists than by citizens of Barcelona. We thought the pavilion in order to create an installation that would allow free pedestrian and vision rather than a closed space.
The project provides a contextual quality in the pavilion that seems to us important to bring to this site by not letting appear the boundary between modernity and history. We saw this project as an opportunity to requestionner the relationship between the scale of man and the space he practices. It is this way of creating space with a structure and land forces that make us want to use materials designed for different logical to those commonly used in construction. The balloon as inflatable and self-supporting element seemed to us, respond to this problem thanks to its lightness, its ephemerality but also by its form that would meet the principles of composition of the surrounding buildings. 
The pavilion that we propose is a space composed of about 200 balloons secured to the ground with ropes.  Organized on a rectangular plan of 50m by 25m, the proportions of the pavilion echoes the maritime buildings on each side of the square. Its classic plan attempts to blend into the historic urban landscape. The balloons levitated create space pavilion working on the interface between the soil and the canopy. In addition to the effect of shade house, balloons of different sizes and placed at multiple heights offer more spaces to passersby. 
This is a sensory experience around the levitation and the relationship between interior and exterior of a place. The public space under a structure can interfere with the social practices of users. The hierarchy in the size of the balloons will mark the various programs on the ground. The furniture on the ground, to contrast with the lightness of the roof and to meet the need for sustainability of space in relation to the public space will be built in mineral material. Such an extrusion of the materiality of public space, benches and other furniture pavilion will be made of marble to give a seat to the pavilion.

giovedì 4 giugno 2015

SKY CONDO - NEW YORK CITY FARM TOWER // FIRST PRIZE - Joseph Varholick & Posin Wang - U.S.A.

The organism is complex: born of man, serving nature, subjugating nature. It is a dichotomy of agrarian and industrial - of old ways and new technologies. It is the homestead and the factory, sited on worn grounds and new frontiers. The vertical farm defines an altogether new way of life, a culture that is not easily reconciled with the schemas of our society and as such creates the illusion of contradiction and confusion. The education and installment of a new society of urban agronomists, with a currently inaccessible understanding of a deep, cultural and spiritual commitment to ecology is perhaps the greatest challenge facing agriculture in an urban environment. The vital movement towards the production of sustenance in our cities is by its nature radical … and in order to be embraced, it must turn our culture on its ear.

It is the urban farm’s necessarily unorthodox mindset which leads us to the most radical, yet rewarding of schemes. New York, the city of towers has been pursing verticality for over a century. It was here that the first elevators were installed, where the steel-frame skyscraper was pioneered and brought to new heights. In this place that reaches the sky
we continue to challenge the occupant’s orientation to the ground plane. We have taken the farm and the field and turned it skyward; it becomes the literal connection between earth and heavens, as New York truly becomes oriented vertically. Our ephemeral fields are kinetic looms of vegetation, held aloft by buoyant dirigibles in the atmosphere. Urban agriculture is liberated of the dimness and grime of the street-level city, and opened up to light and air. It is the deployable hanging garden, an icon and a park of an entirely different experience, the new lungs of the city. It adds new dimension to the natural aspect of the city by adding a vertical axis to the highline viaduct, opening the possibility for greenery and agricultural growth in three-dimensional space. We envision
the vertical field as a set of movable and re-configurable parts. These may be re-oriented to grow different crops, hangared in the building’s atrium for winter, or set aloft at

a separate location until ready for harvest. While this kinetic field is woven into the permanent structure of the building it provides a sort of urban theatre within the void of the open atrium, allowing another enthralling experience along the highline path. The high- line and street levels are interconnected and programmed with an open market that allows for social interactions and the sale of produce to the local population.

The residencies in the two wings of the building are interconnected by a doubly-helical path, punctuated by communal gardens which are each meant to accommodate 3-4 units. With the addition of balconies to each unit, the act of growing as prescribed by the provided spaces, becomes a socially-scalable event. There exists the private or individual garden at the scale of the household’s balcony, the communal garden, at the scale of the terrace which is shared and maintained by several households, and the public farm, which is main- tained by the entire building and provides food for the local urban population. These are functional, yet social spaces, all intertwined with the intent of supporting a culture ca- pable of the deep ecological values needed for the venture of urban farming.

We propose a program that produces food in proportion to healthy human diet, using a local labor population which in term consumes the produce.      This ensures a high quality of crops and a meaningful connection to the ingredient. A culture has the opportunity to thrive and mature around this mutual endeavor to provide, and the sharing of labor’s rewards. New jobs are created, and a popilation is educated about their own livelihood ad well was the greater environment's. The culmination of these practices is an architectural organism that stands as an icon in the city. It is an urban event, a metropolitan asset, and an object of progress.

The vertical farm employs a variety of technological innovations aimed at sustainability and productivity. High-altitude balloons sheathed with screens for moisture harvesting are an artificial raincloud, returning water to the farm via a drip-line. Using stored electri- cal power from photovoltaic arrays this water can be split via electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. Like an inverted lung, the farm vents oxygen into the carbon-rich city. The hy- drogen is used to inflate dirigibles that hold the farm aloft. Windmills continually rotate the farming system, ensuring all crops are equally exposed to light, and allowing the field to be used as its own water lift for irrigation. As the farm passes into the atrium, crops are harvested and the growing medium is replenished and re-sown in a giant loom-like appa- ratus. All of these systems are made lightweight and mobile through material and structural innovations, such as the use of lightweight composites and alloys. In the colder months it is intended that the vertical structure is stored within the building’s atrium and used for greenhouse growing as durable plastic drop sheets are used to enclose the void, and trap solar radiation (this serves the double-purpose of creating an insulated air-void around the heated residences). All organisms in the farm are selected as part of a sustainable ecological web that can operate as a closed loop, or aid in the support of other endemic species, supporting and enhancing the biodiversity of the island, and extending the mission of the highline.

Our proposal not only allows for a radical alteration of the Chelsea neighborhood, but also envisions a flexible and deployable system, reconfigurable for a variety of environments and circumstances. The production of food in our urban centers is a vital step towards the sustainable city that may be realized only through the mass deployment of these practic-
es and infrastructures. The adaptability of this scheme is paramount to its implementation and the general proliferation of vertical, urban farming. We see this model as an archetype that establishes a timeline, one which matures with a new urban skyline of filled with sus- tainable agrarian-urbanity, with skyward fields of green.