Explore Lab 7

The benign of the city

Elsbeth, Lilith & Lieke

The metamorphosis of the coolsingel; or the benign of the city

Architecture has the habit of arriving too late and staying far too long. This final-year project steps off from the paradox between the slowness of what is built and the transience of use. The metamorphosis of Coolsingel, or the benign demolition of the City examines the essence of architectural metamorphosis. It uses metamorphosis to confront the consequences of a pointless hypothesis in an urban setting that in turn burdens us with the question of architecture’s autonomy.

Metamorphosis is the poetic equivalent of transformation. Unlike transformation, metamorphosis marks the onset of a seemingly pointless change. In this project the subject of metamorphosis is Coolsingel in Rotterdam. By extrapolating the essence of Coolsingel, the boulevard alters from a highway to a runway. To make a space for the planes, the area around Coolsingel transforms into an airport. When the planes leave the city Coolsingel will return in a new guise.

The rebirth of Coolsingel gives it the guise of a contemplative space. The beauty peculiar to the newly created space lies in the paradox between the wholesale clearance of the street and the compaction of the built fabric round about. The facade’s explicit formal idiom with its openings for gateways and loggias reconsiders the characteristics of an architectural urbanity not designed to a specific programme.

Bioclimatic water tower

Bioclimatic water tower

Piero Medici

The Bioclimatic water tower is a sustainable skyscraper collecting, cleaning and reusing rainwater. It was designed shaped and oriented after having take in account the wind-driven rain effect and after having modelled wind-driven rain fluxes. Orientation and shape is also studied to optimize the sun light exposition and energy production through wind turbines and PV cells.