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Development Strategy 3

The project is set in København, Denmark. Denmark is a country that is highly developed socially, politically, economically and is recognized as the country with the most happy citizens in the past few years, additionally it has charted top 10 in Forbes magazine best places to live for several years.
Additionally, Denmark has no or very little natural resources. It is therefore of paramount importance that the country develops a socio-economic-political-urban system that is entirely self sufficient. The country has to focus on renewable energy sources and the economy based on innovation – which it is already doing to some extent.

The human society’s development at large is directionally proportional to the technological advancements which are driven by available energy.

Architecture and urban development are both the drivers and the consequence of a growing awareness of our cultural development. Understood as such I believe that in the wake of 21st century inexhaustive list of conditions which include: climate change due to pollution, overpopulation, unequal distribution of wealth and available resources, social inequalities, loss of blue collar jobs and general unemploynment, aging of the population in developed countries, etc; architecture has a critical role as a driver in reevaluating the position we find our society in.

A different approach in planning, spending our resources and assigning priority is crucial for the much needed regenerative design of our future cities. After inspection of our current situation it becomes critical to understand that merely continuing the way we live now is not only unsustainable, but rather destructive.

Looking back through history of architecture, or for that matter politics, art, economics, technological development or any other field of human interest it is easily observed that there seems to be a cycle of revolutionary and reactionary movements. Renaissance-Baroque, Modernism-Postmodernism, etc. I would like to point out that neither of these cycles is inheritly good or bad. The cycles correspond to either dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs – revolutionary; or with the abundance of accessible wealth and resources due to a previous revolutionary movement – reactionary. In this sense revolutionary movements set the premasis for a better world, whereas reactionary movements explore the nuts, bolts and pieces of that world. Both of them contribute.

If we take a closer look at the problem we can see that there are two major issues with our social system. We use energy sources that produce toxic waste and we don’t recycle the used goods well enough. Then there are a number of other factors, but however one looks at the problems we are faced with, it all comes down to the available energy.
Observing the socio-economic-political state in the 2013 it is clearly evident that we are entering or are starting a new revolutionary period.

I would like to propose a project that adresses this situation. I propose a spin-off society that is completely self sufficient in terms of energy. In order to achieve this the stage needs to be set by venture capital with no return or a publicly funded kick-starter project.
The project will focus itself on the big picture of building buildings, where does the funding come from, where does the energy come from and how it is used, how the buildings are erected and constructed, how they are put together as a system of elements, what technologies are used and what form is most appropriate in a given scenario:

1. Kickstarter-like project, backed by public awareness, gathers the necesary monetary resources to start off the build.
2. An energy system that produces more energy than it had ever consumed whilst being set up is built. In this way the urban design is automatically regenerative.
3. The abundance of energy is sold back to repay the investment, the surplus is used to build and power the buildings.
4. Urban and building form as well as the construction methods are investigated to save as much energy as possible whilst providing the most hospitable and enjoyable environment for the inhabitants.
5. The project gets built in complete stages of several smaller urban entities comprising of: Housing, Care for inhabitants, Urban amneities and transportation.
6. When all of the land is used the project is extended to the existing urban fabric of the host city.
7. In all steps it is assured that there is always a surplus of energy, that is the most important step that is required for the regenerative effect of the proposed project.
8. The project works in cycles.

How form and urban form are explored:

The focus is on designing self-sufficient neighbourhoods in terms of energy sustainability, building “production”, goods production, housing, care for the individuals, goods production, transportation, etc.

Assesment of the success of the project lies in evaluating whether it is trully able to regenerate the city, that is, if it is possible to theoretically prove that the project can perpetuate itself due to the parameters that were set and allow for growth.

Assesment of apropriate form relies mostly on the functional rather than symbolical characteristics. Part of my argument is that we are in a revolutionary period and we must therefore first asses the new functional challenges that we are faced with.
Beauty, usefullnes of buildings, respect for heritage and cozyness are percieved as functions that buildings perform and designed as such.

The goal of the project is to create a city within a city that will be energy independant of the host city. Energy independency would in turn bring obsolence of material possesion. There would be two ways, either a new monetary system based on knowledge and sharing of ideas, but ultimately that would not be necessary, as the sole purpuse of of a monetary system is to create oppurtunity for material inequality which stems from limited resources.
The project’s final outcome would be a new form of society that is self perpetuating and regenerative. Following the outlined cycles of growth, the society would start to devour it’s surroundings, integrating them into itself.


The project is thought out and developed on three layers:
1 Societal
2 Urbanistic
3 Detail – component system

In order for the project to be succesful it needs to be designed bottom-up and top-down simultaniously. I understand this in such a way that there are two systems developed at the same time, the first one is of the urbanistic scale and addresses the positioning and distribution of buildings in the site. It addresses proximity, volumes, accessability, program, general form, etc. On the other hand, there is another system that deals with the underlying logic of building all buildings of the project. This system allows differentiation through repetition and continuity. It will be designed in such a way that the component maximum measurments and conectoions are standardised, whereas the material and the exact form are free of constraints.

The two systems inform one another and are dependant on each other. The systems should be developed symultaneously, their progress interrogated by the other system in order to allow maximum efficienty and coherence.

The Urban system:
The area of interest is observed and a wholesome strategy of development is set in place. The strategy for development pivots around two major elements.
The life line – metro + pedestrian/cylcist + car + public amneities – it is a snaky structure that cuts through the development area and serves as a major network connector and a landmark. It also serves as a seam and an attractor, a consolidator of activities.
The 3d grid – there is a 3d orthogonal grid set over the development area. Each compartment is an imaginary box that can serve any of the programs such as housing, public greenery, communal spaces, offices, gardens, public services, galleries, public venues, healthcare, production, building production, distribution, energy production, roads, etc.
After all the possible programs are identified, releationships are set. It is paramount that the sizes of all components are identical, that solves problems with vertical communication which is set within a 4 by 4m core within a 16 by 16m square which represents 1 component with the height of 3m.
Relationships between components include minimum and maximum distance of either component from the other, minimum and maximum aggregation of components, facade sides, minimum and maximum vertical height position, etc.
Part of the design of the grid is to design “the bowl” that is to say, the general outlines, the maximum boundaries of the system into which the components are then fitted. The components are then placed into the grid with the help of computer calculation of the set parameters. In this way, the project is highly parametrical, yet, it does not conform to some of the dogmas of modern day parametricism, namely the curvy form.
The project’s aim is to find a new way of doing what we have already been doing in architecture, that is, findin the best form to conform to all the parameters that are set either by us -  architects, the planners, the clients, that are influenced by style. The projects aims for a sample system that in it’s concept can be percieved as timeless.

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