Explore Lab 5

Sustainable emergency housing solutions for the Netherlands

Sustainable emergency housing solutions for the Netherlands

Sietze Meijer

In the light of climate change and rising costs of climate change impact reduction it is imperative to examine the effects of climate change on the built environment. Assuming a worst case scenario for rising sea levels the consequences and solutions for the existing built environment in the town “Kruiningen” in the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands with high flood risks are explored.
The consequences of flooding for the existing built environment in this region were investigated and, following a resilience-strategy, a proposal was done to cope with the external changes. 50 % of the existing buildings, 2-storey row housing from the 1970’s, were equipped with two different kinds of building extensions and additional supply of essential non-food items such as solar boiler photovoltaic system, compost toilet, etc. Also, a major addition to current local emergency response policy was proposed. Within the area a network of crisis centers was established in existing communal centers like schools, sports clubs and stores. These shelter refugees, local coordination of emergency responsethey form a distribution network for food and non-food items, to supply inhabitants of the adapted buildings.
The adaptation of the existing built environment should not only allow it to overcome disaster, but also enhances the quality of the area in non-disaster times. This would justify a major investment in adapting the existing built environment. The resilience approach offers a strategy reducing dependence on finite sources. Thus resilience is proposed as an alternative approach to climate change of which sustainability is a derivative.

Open source urbanism for Amsterdam

Open source urbanism for Amsterdam

Erik Courrier

Kiyoshi Seikei, world adventurer, uses modern materials such as steel and aluminum to craft Case Study like houses in post-war Japan. Kazuo Shinohara integrates traditional values into abstract concepts in three distinct design phases. Kazuanari Sakamoto designs inside-out, the outside expression results in everyday poetry. Bow-Wow takes an anecdotal approach depicting the smallest and most anecdotal functional mix-up present in Tokyo to inspire his designs.
The four successors of TokyoTech Architecture school develop and refine their dialogue between architecture and the city. Much like a living organism redetermining its contours over time, Tokyo’s hidden order can be read behind its chaotic and addictive appearance. The Asian city based of plot ownership is built from detached buildings shaped by a variety of urban rules such as built surface, floor space index and north side angle. Lets make space for architecture with detached urban planning! In my graduation project I propose extending Amsterdam North with a new approach to urbanism. A 200.000m2 former industrial ground is subdivided by means of a substrate logarithm creating a randomized and spontaneous urban plan. Main arteries are superimposed to the existing context to facilitate accessibility, and variously dense zones are employed next to a sports facility, marina and park. The goal is to create an independent multifunctional extension for Amsterdam that can work on its own.Each plot has to answer a set of urban regulations. In order to illustrate the development, all the built blocks are generated, and a strip of 5 buildings is designed on semi-public space. From right to left: a kindergarden school, an atelier-house, a multifunctional building, parking tower, and retail store.

Notes on the nature of informality

Notes on the nature of informality

Haris Heizanoglou

It was an attempt to approach and understand the dynamic nature of informal phenomena, having as an aim to build a theoretical framework, by re-asking fundamental questions and developing the necessary vocabulary and consciousness, in order to be able to support further research.

The basic scope under which the whole research was produced regards informality as the child of the coexistence of relations between technical and natural ends, therefore supports an approach where it will not be considered as a mere side-effect but rather as a natural condition.

It is precisely this natural and dynamic character that was used in the process of the research itself, which was produced as a constant and dynamic scaffolding. Research was building up theoretical scaffolds that in turn were used for building up more complex scaffolds and push the old ones to collapse, build up again and let collapse and so on, taking this process towards a fulfillment in the way which Aristoteles gives the name “entelechy”.

This is a process that doesn’t conclude because concluding is impossible by nature, by the nature of informality itself. Therefore this text should be considered as an instance, a part, of an evolutionary process and not something conclusive, it couldn’t have been and it consciously never intended to. I don’t have in my hands a complete theory or an answer to a problem. What I have is the record of my own attempt to transform my aesthesis into a gnosis and translate my abstract feeling about things into knowledge that can be communicated and developed further.

Nomads in Noman’s Land

Nomads in Noman’s Land

Laura van Santen

Geopolitical boundaries define us as statist territorialized beings. Abandoning the state territory is a breach of the social contract. Fragile political states may cause displacement of populations, when these are forced to cross physical borders for political, economical, social, or environmental reasons. There are 42 million displaced persons in the world. The United Nations Refugee Agency strives for voluntary repatriation to a home country, resettlement in another country or permanent integration in the country of asylum.

The spatial result of the problematic political status of the refugee is manifested in reactive urbanism and temporary architectural solutions. The case of Burma, one of the largest source countries of displaced persons, was the topic of this thesis and was researched in a field study on its Thai border. Parallel to the 150000 official refugees residing in camps for over 25 years, there are another estimated 2 million unregistered Burmese illegally living and working in Thai factories in the porous border area.

The project proposes an extraterritorial settlement in the river that serves as a border between the two countries. The economic catalyst for such a settlement would be a garment factory housed in a parasitic bamboo structure suspended under the existing ‘friendship’ bridge. The urban layout on the riverbed is determined by sanitation units provided by NGOs. These concrete water towers cum bathhouses form a grid onto which makeshift houses can latch on, creating intimate courtyards.

Chitakale community centre

Chitakale community centre

Lot Bakker

Once long ago I had a dream, to go to Africa as a dentist and help the people.
But how can an architect help in Africa? I learned people don’t need buildings to be given to them, they only might need some knowledge if they please so.
But then what? You have to have a design to be able to finish your studies.
I decided to pick a place, go there and find out what would be a wanted building design. In the small village Chitakale Trade Centre near Mulanje Mountain, Malawi, I did interviews, observations and a workshop with schoolchildren. I came to a design that supported both what was strongest already in the village, the trade, and what was wished for most, vocational training.
A market hall with possibilities for several levels of trade is combined with a training centre with classrooms, lecture spaces and workshops. In between a passive and an active connection is designed; a large pond just to sit at and stare to the other side, and next to it a cinema annex theatre.
The complex is like a stage to it’s users, a concrete flap with small buildings on it as it’s decor, expandable if the users please. The thatched roofs reintroduces a technique that is almost forgotten. Beams and columns are made of the non-indigenous pine trees, and water is filtered and collected under the pond in the middle. In years to come the now plane white walls will undoubtedly get many colourful, cheery paintings of cell phones and bottles of coke.