Author Archives: Francesco

  1. Shenzhen Terraces
    Shenzhen | China

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    Shenzhen Terraces, is a new part of the city, that will form the core of the thriving university neighbourhood in Universiade New Town, Longgang District, Shenzhen, acting as a new three-dimensional urban living room. The 101,300-square-metre, mixed-use development for the Shimao ShenKong International Centre contains more than 20 programs, including a small gallery, library, and outdoor theatre.
    Shenzhen Terraces aims to bring vitality and innovation to the area through a seamless integration of landscape, leisure, commerce, and culture. Located in the heart of the Longgang district at the meeting point of high-rise housing, commercial complexes, and sports and educational facilities, the site is ideally located to serve as a defining public space within the region.
    The central concept of Shenzhen Terraces is to merge the existing landscape with the new development by using stacked plateaus for its various buildings. The predominantly horizontal lines of the terraces contrast with the vertical lines of the surrounding high-rises to bring about a sense of tranquillity through their slow curving shapes.

     

    Shenzhen is a metropolis defined by hills of lush vegetation. The topography of the city has allowed the presence of a number of ecological cores which act as islands. The design of the landscape is inspired by such green pockets, overgrown with multi-layered sub-tropical vegetation. Different pebbles compose a design that showcases and enhances local biodiversity, while offering a variety of open space programmatic opportunities.

    The definition of the planting species has been led by a research aimed to re-propose the sub-tropical forest typology, bringing wild nature into the plot with several lush pockets which will contribute to make Shenzhen a city where naturare percolates, fostering a sharper encounter between the city and the wilderness.

     

    Bringing wild nature into the plot with several lush pockets will contribute to make Shenzhen a city where naturare percolates, fostering a sharper encounter between the city and the wilderness.

     

  2. Lecture | Nov 2019
    Streetwise, London Metropolitan University
    London | UK

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    The street is the ultimate public space. While parks and plazas are mostly used according to weather conditions and time of the week, streets are those open spaces we all share, everyday. Intended as axes for multi-modal mobility, street scan be imagined and designed as ecological corridors, spaces that welcome encounter as much as conflict. Streets are the stages where we perform our daily life, where the exceptional mingle with the routine.

  3. Lecture | Nov 2019
    Politecnico di Torino
    Turin | Italy

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    “Incontri sul Paesaggio” is a conference cycle focusing on contemporary landscape architecture, based in Turin. The event, located at “Castello del Valentino” is organized by Politecnico di Torino (DIST – Dipartimento di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del territorio) and Università degli Studi di Torino (DISAFA – Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari)

  4. Parco del Ponte
    Genova | Italy

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    The “Parco del Ponte” is not a single park: the park is made up of five distinct parks that alternate and intertwine, responding to the articulated complexity of Polcevera Valley. The project responds to the different -rather conflicting- identities of the valley, proactively avoiding any forced simplification which wouldn’t pay respect to the multiple souls of the site and the city. The community, the river, the industry, the railway and the hills are the elements that emerge as layers of a juxtapose palimpsest of a valley that has been and -must continue to be- one of the main driving forces of a city that seeks re-birth.

     

    The “Parco del Ponte” is a large-scale urban strategy that proposes to intervene in the urban fabric with micro-interventions in order to generate a new urban structure centered around public space and ecology.
    A thoughtful approach that addresses a bottom-up multi-folded strategy which complements the necessary top down approach of the infrastructural reality of the valley.

     

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    The project responds to the different -rather conflicting- identities of the valley, proactively avoiding any forced simplification which wouldn’t pay respect to the multiple souls of the site and the city

     

    The project doesn’t challenge nor mimic the large-scale infrastructure of the new bridge but -rather, it looks downwards at the intimate human scale of the district life

    The “Parco del Ponte” are an opportunity to consolidate a fragile territory by stabilizing hilly slopes, reducing river flood hazard and reclaiming a soil that has been polluted by the presence of over a century of massive industrial production.

     

     

    The “Parco del Ponte” has the potential to revive the industrial identity by directing it towards small and medium-sized high-tech companies and thus catalyze the many research realities present in the territory.

  5. Central Park
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    Central Parks are green islands within cities, where a natural landscape contrasts with the surrounding urban setting. Such contrast -we believe- is where the quality lies and the limit between Park and City is where the transition can be more dramatically experienced. Our proposal for Central Park Kaliningrad, is an “Island in an Island”, where the insular identity of the park is maximized by digging a new canal, transforming the edge in a new rich and diverse urban experience.

    Oktyabrsky island, is a partially artificial land which demanded massive investment to be realized. The project of the Park aims to be sustainable both financially and technically. The excavated land from the perimetrical canal, is reused in order to form landforms, unique symbols of the future park. The current acid soil, is diversified (by adding layers of alkaline one) in order to create a neutral and basic soils, in addition to the acid one. The resulting landscapes will follow the soil chemical composition avoiding a mere top-down, neo-pastoral approach but, rather generating a park genuinely part of the site ecosystem.

    The urgency of the changing climate, alongside a new understanding of human responsibility, lead the project to be based on one of the main natural resources: soil. The varying acidity of the different layers provide the conditions for different habitats responding to the ground conditions, rather that recreating a fictitious scenography.

    Our project takes the quality of the transition and multiply it by three. The transition becomes here not only a separation between city and park but, through the digging of a canal and the formation of an island, the edge becomes simultaneously city, waterfront, canal and park. 

     

     

    Bridges are not meant as simple infrastructures, but they are public spaces able to intercept the different target groups of Kaliningrad. The 4 main bridges (Cloud, Net, Triple, Smart) create the ground for specific social practices and recreational activities, while becoming new landmarks of accessibility. 

     

     

    Oktyabrsky island, is a partially artificial land which demanded massive investment to be realized. The project of the Park aims to be sustainable both financially and technically. The excavated land from the perimetrical canal, is reused in order to form a hill, unique symbol of the future park.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  6. Tree Top Trail
    Lagodekhi | Georgia

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    Located amid Lagodekhi Natural Reserve in eastern Georgia, the Tree Top Trail is meant to maximize the experience of nature, intended as -in the words of David Attenborough, “the greatest source of excitement, beauty and intellectual interest”. The trail, takes advantage of the topography in order to avoid the use of an elevator. The access point is located on a higher point of the uneven terrain and, from there, it ramps up to reach greater heights, gradually showcasing the forest as a vertical ecosystem. 

    Its defining circular shape, sharply contrasts with the forms of nature, avoiding any simplistic mimic; furthermore, the trail trajectory is always curving, constantly disappearing within the forest canopy, generating a desire to discover the forest, step by step.
    Three main attractions are placed within the trail: a copper sphere which functions as a multimedia room for 360 degrees’ projections, a large net, for visitors to lay or play and a panoramic tower which allows a view over the forest, and integrates a half-spiral staircase to exit, as an alternative to walking back through the long ramp of the trail.

     

    The columns of the structure are organized in clusters, abstract simplifications representing group of trees in the forest and are made from cor-ten steel. In total there are 17 column clusters that support the trail and the additional elements.

     

     

  7. Award | Apr 2019
    World Landscape Architecture | Award of Excellence
    WLA

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    “Into the Forest”, has been awarded by World Landscape Architecture, with the “Award of Excellence”.

    “The installation confronts the phenomena of climate tropicalisation and its catastrophic effects on the environment, by recreating a portion of post-apocalyptic landscape (using leftovers trunks of paper production-chain). Climate change is real, action is urgent.”

  8. Workshop | Mar 2019
    Strelka
    Moscow | Russia

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    Defining the everyday in the city of extremes

    Speculative designs for Sobornaya square in Magadan

    Extremely East: 59°34′N 150°48′E / Extremely Recent: 1930 Extremely Cold: −18.5 (Average Low. Jan.) / Extremely Isolated: 2.000km away from nearest city (Yakutsk).
    If public spaces are stages of the everyday, how to design an urban square on such extreme city? Participants are invited to work in teams and elaborate speculative design attempts in order to foster new processes of space appropriation. The aim of the workshop is to avoid deterministic and over-designed solutions but, instead, to create the conditions for unexpected and open-ended dynamics, where daily life takes central stage and users transform into performers. The definition of conditions (e.g. spatial definition, climate comfort, accessibility) is key to empower people to live public spaces as theirs, fostering improvisation rather than control.

  9. Revealing Geometries
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    Kaliningrad is a city defined by a long and complex history: the palimpsest of the different trances of the past have been –for the most part- erased by the World War. Nevertheless, the project site is one of the few parts of the city that have survived, and is currently witness the different epochs that the city has gone through; the upper and lower pond of Teutonic’s Knights, the military defense infrastructures of the Prussians and the Soviet public park. Despite its cultural relevance, the park has been left abandoned for decades, and the historical infrastructures have turned into ruins. 

     

    “Revealing Geometries” takes shape physically and conceptually, from the fact that ruins can become –as a radical form of preservation- the matrix for a new identity, and similarly, untamed nature the matrix for a rich natural ecosystem. The recognition of the site as a form of archeological park – gives the opportunity to secure in time and space the traces of the past, transforming them into a new cultural/education infrastructure at public disposal. 

    While radical preservation defines the general approach, two design actions are re-defining the park(s): (1) retracing the former path system of the Prussian’s Wallpromeade and (2) defining new geometries that can enhance the rich cultural/environmental context of the area while hosting new programmatic opportunities. 

     

     

    The geometrical spatial definition of the “devices” -responding to the military defense infrastructure and Prussian landscape gardening design language- overlaps with the parks in seven different locations. They are as intensive design interventions centered around the main features of the site (water, ruins, topography, etc.); they are program-less objects that create the conditions for temporary occupation, while permanently highlighting the cultural and environmental diversity of the park, and more broadly, of the ring to-come.

     

    The park is in-fact a system of 2 parks defined by autonomous identities: Kashtanovy Park and Litovsky Park, tight together by a comprehensive strategy. It bears the potential of rethinking the former ring as a whole: a new infrastructure that can host social and ecological interaction, while bringing back the historical layers as evidences to pass-on to future generations. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  10. Into the Forest
    Mantova | Italy

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    Openfabric has been selected to design the public spaces of Mantova city center in occasion of the first World Forum on Urban Forest (WFUF 2018) by FAO. The aim of the design is to engage with the two different levels of the forum: the academic one and the broad public. The project wants to critically represent a number of forest typologies rising both awareness on the importance of nature in urban environments and on the dramatic effects of climate change. Through the tools of ambiguity, juxtaposition, aesthetics and discomfort, Into the Forest aims to challenge the perception of nature and aspires to be adopted by cities, globally.

     

    Fallen Forest

    “Fallen Forest” is a memorial for the millions of trees victims of the cyclone that hit the North-Eastern regions of Italy on November 2nd, 2018. The installation confronts the phenomena of climate tropicalisation and its catastrophic effects on the environment, by recreating a portion of post-apocalyptic landscape. Climate change is real, action is urgent.

     

     

     

    Mediterranean Forest

    The Mediterranean sclerophyllous evergreen oak forest shapes the character of Mediterranean landscapes with a wide variety of formations and structures, according to climate, soil, and anthropogenic conditions. The dominant tree species are Quercus ilex, Quercus rotundifolia, Quercus suber, Laurus nobilis and Arbutus unedo, the latter two having rather often a shrub growth form. The evergreen oak woodlands have been a strategic resource along the history of human societies in the region, providing direct and indirect goods and benefits, as fuelwood, cork, food and fodder, timber, shelter. They range from sea level up to 800-900 a.s.l. and the tree and shrub species are generally very well drought- and fire-adapted.

     

     

     

    Native Forest

    The “Native Forest” recalls a fragment of the ancient forest formations widely covering the Po Valley (Pianura Padana) before the massive transformation to agriculture and urban land cover. In fact large part of Northern Italy was very likely covered by lowlands forests dominated by Quercus spp. and Carpinus betulus, referring to Sub-Atlantic and medio-European oak or oak-hornbeam forests of the Carpinion betuli, as classified by the European manual of habitats. The forests currently survive only in few, small patches, protected as nature reserves. The lowlands forests, although almost disappeared, should be considered for their strategic environmental value, as an intangible heritage of natural and cultural capital of local communities.

     

     

  11. Workshop | Sep 2018
    Eterotopia
    La Maddalena | Italy

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    Unnatural

    We live in a planet which is globally urbanized, where cities have become metropolitan areas, where natural sites are exploited to support human lifestyle, where commodities are extracted and even the wildest areas are suffering of urbanizations effect. In this context, nature cannot be divided anymore from the artifice. The artificial is shaping the planet, influencing the climate, threatening the existence of living species. Nature is not natural, anymore.


    A Geological Tale

    Granite is an intrusive rock, formed by the cooling of magma, and pushed upwards, creating continents, islands, archipelagos. Man has exploited the granite, extracted in quarries has become a refined building material. Other Natures is a speculative set of devices, that position themselves within the geological history of granite. Other natures can be seen as wrinkling of the territory of La Maddalena. Intrusive –as the rock they are made of- they offer themselves to view and comprehend the unnatural landscape of the Archipelago. Devices are instruments to connect different natures: the underground, the water, the atmosphere, the outer space, the supernatural.

     

    Geography vs Geometry
    The ambiguity of the Anthropocene is here rendered with the geometrical shapes of the devices; geometries in sharp contrast with the natural forms of the landscape they are positioned in. Geometries clash with the geography of the Islands, escaping any risk of biomimetic and becoming uncompromised actions of humans.

     

    Macro, meso, micro
    The devices can be read in three different scales; a large one: the geographical scale it interferes with and the million-years’ time span it belongs to; a middle one: the refine complexity of the stone’s texture; the small one: the microscopic dimension of the granite, which is in-fact a landscape on its own, where geometries can be found. Surprisingly, it is in the smallest, where Other Natures devices can be rediscovered, becoming natural, once again.

     

    Ambiguous aesthetics
    The proportions of the devices, their geometrical simplicity, their relation with the surrounding landscape, their mineral appearance aim to create a timeless aesthetics. Some have a defined function, some are mere shapes without a function. Some are of human scale, some others are geographical traces. The devices become tools to imagine possible futures, they might attract with their appearance and repel for their dimension or intrusive positioning. They are not good nor bad, they are a product of imagination and at the same time an instrument to trigger possible imaginative scenarios.

  12. Parco Reggia di Rivalta
    Reggio Emilia | Italy

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    The “Parco della Reggia di Rivalta” although its empty appearance, is a ground that has been occupied by several functions over time: it has been administrated by several owners, and it has gone through both splendor and decay. In the public imaginary, the park is associated with the garden realized in the first half of the 18th century –now lost- where the reference to Versailles Garden was sharp and recognizable. Yet, the site has been witnessing a number of histories and not just one.
    The plurality of the past traces become main ingredients of the design, a palimpsest which doesn’t give priority only to the historical garden, but also refers to the different epochs, including its rural past and its current use as a public park.

     

    A perimetral boulevard hosts a number of ‘design intensities’ while assuring a complete accessibility of the site. The boulevard creates a frame that defines a inner rural park: agricultural land is here rendered accessible by diagonal paths, that refer to both the enlighten landscape design principles as much as to the agricultural pattern of the region.

     

     

    The park becomes a platform for several programmatic scenarios, from local ones to national or even international events. The park aims to bridge the gap between conservation and change, reinterpreting the traces of the past in a contemporary park able to respond to the local yet global identity of Reggio Emilia.

     

     

     

  13. Shortlisted | Sep 2018
    C40 Reinventing Cities
    Milan | Italy

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    Openfabric has been shortlisted, alongside Fresh Architectures and OBR, to proceed to final stage of Reinventing Cities competition, for the site of “Serio”, Milan, located at walking distance from Fondazione Prada.

    Reinventing Cities is an unprecedented global competition organized by the C40 to drive carbon neutral and resilient urban regeneration.

    Together 19 cities have identified 49 underutilized spaces, rapidly available for redevelopment.

  14. Commission | Jul 2018
    Tree Top Trail
    Lagodekhi | Georgia

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    We have been selected to design a Tree Top Trail in Lagodekhi Natural Park in east Georgia, alongside Cityförster, Imagine Structure GmbH and the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN). The project, commissioned by WWF Caucasus Programme Office, is a pedestrian flyover meandering in between the high trees, and is intended as a new eco-touristic attraction able to address both educational and recreational elements. The infrastructure, once realized, will become a device to experience the diverse ecosystems of Lagodekhi Protected Areas.

  15. Commission | Jul 2018
    World Forum on Urban Forests
    Mantua | Italy

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    We have been selected to design the public spaces of city center Mantova (Italy) in the occasion of the “First World Forum on Urban Forests 2018”. The Forum is promoted by FAO and organized with the support of Comune di Mantova, Politecnico di Milano and Sisef, and will be held from November 28th to December 1st 2018. The goal of the event is to bring together a great number of international experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss how to make cities greener, healthier and happier places.

  16. Altitudes
    Selva Central | Peru

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    “Altitudes” is a rural strategy for the Selva Central region in Peru. The region is in a unique geographical condition, being simultaneously part of the Andes mountain range and also the Amazon river basin. The region is defined by the extensive production of coffee, around which the local economy is completely reliant. The urge for a spatial vision is enhanced by the changing climate: because of rising temperatures the agricultural landscape is a ‘migrating’ one. In-fact, producers are moving the coffee plantations uphill, whilst – in lower altitudes – former productive areas are rendered vacant and available for future scenarios. As coffee production is defined by specific geographical and environmental conditions, the study goes beyond the given site-boundaries and elaborates on a global condition: the condition of resource extraction.

     

    The aim of ‘Altitudes’ is to reorganise a currently inefficient coffee production chain, demonstrating the touristic potential of the area, whilst creating the conditions for the region to move beyond the monoculture of coffee and its fragile single-commodity economy. The economy of coffee is extremely volatile – a condition evident in the annual glaring discontinuity of supply and demand – and this imbalance is heightened by the patterns of the changing climate.

     

     

    The study aims to create the conditions for the region to move beyond the monoculture of coffee and its fragile single-commodity economy

     

    The condition for a mix-polyculture can be created through enhancing the vertical economy of the “Selva”. Whilst the coffee shrubs are maintained as an undergrowth layer, new species can be introduced in order to increase the agro-diversity and expand agricultural export opportunities.

     

    The coffee production chain and touristic accessibility is unfolded and re-organised. A new hierarchy is given to the distribution and processing infrastructure which is now defined in 3 steps: the producers, coffee collection facilities and the cooperatives. Furthermore, circularities are highlighted such as the production of energy from solid waste, new marketable by-products and compost to feed back to producers.

     

     

     

     

  17. Commission | Jan 2018
    Litovsky Val
    Kaliningrad | Russia

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    We are happy to share that we have been commissioned to design the City Wall Park of Kaliningrad, Russia. The Walls are one of the few parts of the city that have survived the war. Constructed by the Prussian in the 19th century, when the city was called Königsberg, they have become one of the main public spaces of the city during the soviet period, before falling in the current state of decay.
    Kaliningrad is now undergoing a period of change, centered around public spaces. Other project areas have been currently commissioned, under the same program, to offices such as Topotek 1, West 8, De Urbanisten, Oasi Architects.

  18. Workshop | Jul 2015
    The Flying Lobster
    Val Taleggio | Italy

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    A turning point in the food-insects’ relationship has been established by the 2013 FAO “Edible Insects” report. The document opens and encourages the use of insects in the worlds’ diets: the protein crisis, population growth and unsustainability of agro-industry, are issues whose resolution can be favored if insects were used as a source of food for humans and animal feed.

    The ecological footprint of insect food production is drastically lower than traditional one. The amount of feed needed to produce one kilogram of insects is about one sixth of the one needed to produce one kilo of beef; the water required for the same beef weight is nearly 3000 times greater, the emission of greenhouse gases and soil consumption, are about ten times more, compared to the same weight of insect-edible material.

    A “circular model” is sensitive to disruptions that can interrupt its continuity. Instead, a multi-circular system, where relationships are multiple, is more resilient, as the circularity of the system is ensured by various alternate use/consumption relationships. Integrating the use of insects in the food-production chain, can contribute to the achievement of a multi-circular model.

     

    The multi-circular system generated by insect production is divided into the three ecosystem services that can be pursued through a large-scale production: 1. Food, 2. Feed, 3. Bio-clean (the ability of insects to decompose some waste, such as plastic). The diagram highlights the potentialities of this system, as well as the areas where further research and insight is needed, such as the possibility of using insects to decompose artificial waste.

    Approaching the world of insects (but also snails, butterflies, small reptiles) means diving into a microscopic world. It’s necessary to understand the tiny scale in which they live and reproduce, as well documented in “Microcosmos”, 1996’s documentary. The habitat -as the place whose characteristics allow the life of a given species- varies widely between species of insects (and other small animals). Their life-span can be spatially limited to a given species of tree, or even to a leaf.

     

    The Flying Lobster
    Location: Val Taleggio, Italy
    Time: July 2017
    Context: NAHR

    Comic illustrations: Akab

  19. Zhangjiang Future Park
    Shanghai | China

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    Zhangjiang Future Park will become a new focal point for Pudong with communal public facilities combining nature, culture and entertainment with green landscaped buildings and a public park blending into its surrounding.
    Located in Pudong, Shanghai, Zhangjiang Future Park is part of a high-technology and innovation district for both national and international companies hosting over 100,000 workers. Aside from being a business and industrial park, the area provides residences for workers and their families who live nearby. The competition-winning design combines 10,000m2 of public plazas and 37,000m2 of four distinct venues – a library, an art centre, a performance centre and a sports centre. Furthermore, 56,000m2 of public park will be created which blends in and draws from the natural green surrounding landscapes.

     

     

    The four distinct buildings are at the heart of this development and offer within walking distance an array of cultural and entertainment facilities. They all have activated roofs forming an elevated area connected together with pedestrianized bridges, acting as a second city layer that provides views of the river and neighborhood and picnic areas. The design proposes a recognizable collection of buildings that emerge seemingly like silhouetted cracks in the landscape and provide different perspectives depending on where one is located on the site. The green roofs program not only offers a lively and biodiverse park program integrated into the building’s function but they provide sustainable benefits including stormwater drainage, cleaner air, noise reduction and energy savings due to thermal insulation.

     

  20. Emergent Farm
    Capitanata | Italy

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    “Caporalato” is a system of illegal recruitment of agricultural workers, diffuse in Italy and elsewhere. Although is relatively little known phenomenon, it is extensively diffuse and integral part of the food chain of several Italian products, some of which are considered excellence and exported all ‘over Europe.
    “Emergent Farm” proposal takes shape from the assumption that “Caporalato” is a form of slavery that should, with multilateral efforts, supplanted with legal forms of organization of agricultural labor. Although “Emergent Farm” can not intervene on the endemic causes of “Caporalato”, it can contribute to the formalization of seasonal settlements by proposing a new model of agricultural complex. Emergent Farm is a legal, flexible and integrated alternative to the current condition; its aim is to become a speculative tool, in contrast with the “diffuse-slum” condition.

    Caporalato is a illegal system of recruitment of agricultural workers; it’s extensively diffuse and integral part of the food chain of several Italian agro-produces, some of which are considered excellence and exported all ‘over Europe

     

    The different illegal settlements spread in the Italian countryside respond to three typologies: 1. the Slum (made of temporary shacks), 2. the pulviscular slum (occupation of old rural complexes), 3. The greenhouse system (where accommodation are embedded in the greenhouse areas)

     


    “Emergent Farm” proposal takes shape from the assumption that “Caporalato” is a form of slavery that should, with multilateral efforts, supplanted with legal forms of organization of agricultural labor. Although “Emergent Farm” can not intervene on the endemic causes of “Caporalato”, it can contribute to the formalization of seasonal settlements by proposing a new model of agricultural complex. Emergent Farm can become a legal, flexible and integrated alternative to the current condition; its aim is to become a speculative tool, in contrast with the “diffuse-slum” condition.


    A linear shed works as a shading element, collecting rainwater and producing solar energy. Temporary wooden modules can be built and dismantled according to seasonal needs and, a large central vegetable garden foster self-sustainability and creates the conditions for a new sense of rural community. This structure can be linked to traditional abandoned buildings that can become markets for locally harvested products.

     

    Emergent Farm is a flexible and integrated alternative to the current condition; its aim is to become a speculative tool, in contrast with the “diffuse-slum” condition.

     

     

  21. Award | May 2017
    City&Brand Landscape – First prize
    Milan | Italy

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    The jury -led by arch. Alessandro Marata- has awarded our “Into the Wild” project with the 1st prize, in the category “City Play: play and sport areas in the landscape”.

    With the motivation: “an harsh and severe urban void, unfolds into a public space, playful in its forms, colors and vegetation. The project defines a new topography dedicated to play that involves the local residents, defining a new identity for the neighborhood.”

    Original text (Ita): “un vuoto urbano, anonimo e severo, esplode in uno spazio pubblico giocoso, nelle forme, nelle scelte cromatiche e vegetazionali. Il progetto disegna una nuova topografia dedicata al gioco
    che coinvolge nel suo uso gli abitanti, definendo l’identità del quartiere stesso.”

     

     

  22. Gridgrounds
    Amsterdam | Netherlands

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    Het Breed is a modernist neighbourhood defined by rational residential blocks, 5 stories with ‘streets in the sky’ in Amsterdam North designed by the architect Frans Van Gool in 1963.
    Our proposal ‘Gridgrounds’ creates an elongated public square of 88m x 17m, stretched across the central space so all paths converge here defining a new center for the neighbourhood. The asphalt square is based upon the original neighbourhood grid and the grid is made visual and tangible through the white marking lines running through the space. At the points of the grid we placed different play elements in-spired by the modernist playgrounds of Aldo van Eyck in Amsterdam. To create coherence all objects are painted Breedveld orange and blue, two colours that have been used in a recent renovation of the adjacent buildings. Through the cohesion of the colour, each object achieves a new identity, independent works that collectively form an open-air museum of play elements.

    The austerity and monotony of the context is broken by the new playscape while employing the same ele-ments and the layout of the Van Gool plan.
    The square is framed by the grid of plane trees and grass and planting along the sides, the rectilinear form is punctured at three points by two green circles (active play space developed with local schools and pas-sive green space that acts as a sustainable drainage point) and a rectangular multifunctional sports court.
    Given the very limited budget we chose to focus on primarily creating a good functioning public space, a meeting point for all residents at the centre of the neighbourhood. The careful placement of the elements creates different gathering points for groups big or small. Our material palette takes inspiration from road infrastructure, considerably cheaper than usual open space design materials, asphalt surfaces, white road marking lines and “traffic orange” (Ral 2009) and “traffic blue” (Ral 5017) colours. Colourful landmarks make the space identifiable from a distance, an important factor in children’s spatial awareness.
    The low cost materials don’t compromise the quality of the space and the range of possible activities, but rather –here in Breedveld- create a solid and durable playscape that can be use in many unpredictable ways by the many visitors, with a relatively limited economical investment.

     

     

  23. Workshop | May 2017
    Landscapes of Integration
    Mazara del Vallo | Italy

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    Between 5th and 9th May, 2017, we have carried out a workshop within the framework “ConnectingCity | Mediterranean Landscapes and UrbanLab” (an itinerant landscape and architecture lab that aims to discover and link the multiple identities of Mazara del Vallo, a city in the middle of the Mediterranean where stories and culture, landscapes and architecture meet).

    Our scope is to re-imagine the railway corridor, once the train traffic will be moved North, overcoming a great amount of urban and social issues generated by the infrastructure which literally cuts the city in 2 halves.
    Our proposal, starts from the unique character of the city: a multicultural city worldwide renown for the fishing industry and its agricultural inland. By reinterpreting the main features of Mazara del Vallo in a new-linear public space that provides the value of privacy that both the local and the Arabic culture share, in one truly Mediterranean intervention.

     

  24. Lec­ture | Jan 2017
    Federico II University
    Naples | Italy

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    Rural communities have been developing local (resilient) solutions for global problems for generations. Water harvest and distribution was tackled with ingenious techniques which became derelict once large centralized infrastructures were adopted. This is the case of Qeparo, a village of southern Albania, devoted to agriculture and beach tourism, where a irrigation channel of stone construction, built by local farmers, was abandoned a few years ago. Openfabric proposes the adaptive reuse of such infrastructure by bringing forward its multilayered benefits in terms of agriculture, tourism and gastronomy, and the overarching resiliency of small local solutions. 
    Again in Albania, is the second case: the planning and design of a waterfront and island in the city of Berat. Its river, Osumi, with its highly varying water levels, is a threat for the city, which is flooded on a regular basis. Here, Openfabric has developed a strategy for a resilient Island and waterfront that is able to react and adapt to the changing water levels. The project aim is to decrease the pressure of the high waters on the city, while simultaneously creating extra public space for the city and its inhabitants.   
    The last case is the Maritime Cluster of Rotterdam. Studies were made that forecast different economic scenarios for the cluster and Openfabric has been asked to analyze their spatial implication. The port has the potential to shift away from trading towards a knowledge-intense center that can stand out by capitalizing on and investing in a high-skilled and research related market. The balance between a fixed-framework and flexibility is critical for developing a stronger future for the port and a more beneficial relationship between port and city.

  25. Archipelago of Knowledge
    Rotterdam | Netherlands

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    The Archipelago of Knowledge is a new spatial strategy for the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands, that reconsiders the relationship between port and city. Through the fragmentation of areas within the port, a series of islands are created, subsequently enabling the formation of a continuous, 100% accessible waterfront. Urban and ecological quality embedded in the direct relationship between city and water is re-established and enhanced, benefitting both citizens and the maritime cluster.

    The new linear waterfront finally brings water back to the city – a city that often lacks a direct relationship with its largest water body, the Maas River, despite its close proximity and historical and cultural significance. The new system goes beyond administrative boundaries and fragmentation, unifying ongoing efforts of port revitalization and creating one coherent urban vision. The strategy itself, before its implementation, can be seen as a tool to bring together a diverse group of actors; from the city, the maritime cluster, the port, and local communities. Additionally, the waterfront can become a shared space for negotiation where the interests and needs of various stakeholders are discussed in order to find points of intersection and mutual interest.

    The new islands are spatially defined areas where economic and planning scenarios unfold through time. Although their shape is fixed, their program, be it maritime, commercial, residential or recreational, can freely occupy the space according to future economic trends, needs, and decisions, ensuring a new beneficial relationship between port and city.

     

    The port areas are fragmented into islands, resulting in the formation of a continuous, 100% accessible, waterfront

    The waterfront is a system that goes beyond administrative borders and fragmentation but rather unifies the ongoing efforts of port revitalization into one, coherent urban vision

     

     

     

     

    Port expansion has always implied dramatic transformations of the river landscape. The port has expanded and transformed through time, occupying more and more surface. The time has come, now, with changing conditions of the port economy, to re-orient land transformations to the advantage of the city and its people.

     

  26. Lec­ture | Nov 2016
    Politecnico di Milano
    Milano | Italy

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    Bridging Territories: ‘Landscapes are often linked to each other in a system of interdependency. Cities for instance depend on a number of ecosystem services which are generated far from the urban centers themselves. Openfabric aim is to reconnect theses usually disconnected territories, both physically and psychologically. Understanding the relation between territories in terms of system of dependency is crucial to generating responsible plans and strategies that can take in account complex dynamics of cause and effect’.

  27. Songlines Cilento
    Camerota | Italy

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    In order to narrate the environmental and cultural heritage of this part of Cilento, there is a need to follow the traces of who has crossed these mountains. From the Shepherds, with the transhumance – the archetype of each trail, the landscape has been crossed by invisible lines marked by brigants, pilgrims, travelers, and now, tourists. For each of these categories the Jazzis -stone barns built by the shepherds- have represented and continue to represent dots to join, moments of rest in the experience of walking.
    ‘Songlines Cilento’ wants to give voice to the travelers that over time, have le traces of their cultural identity on these landscapes. Our proposal aims to give voice to the sound of their footsteps, their stories, their traditions, proposing the re-use and re-functionalization of two Jazzi and the definition of new thematic routes.
    These wanderers, making up a predominately rural civilization, have passed down their knowledge orally for generations. It is crucial now to search for these traditions to save them from oblivion and so it is necessary to start from the ancient knowledge to be able to innovate and look to the future in continuity with the past.

     

    The rural civilizations have passed on their tradition orally, between generation. Such proposal seeks for traces, knowledge, savoir-fair and traditions to bring them back to life, and therefore protect them from oblivion

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    The operational, management, and finances are shared in between the different partners and local organizations that deal with tourism promotion, culture and gastronomy.

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    Open Kitchen. Flavors are the protagonists of Jazzo Cupi Valleys. The unique products of these territories are an expression of local biodiversity, which needs to be preserved. Similarly, traditional techniques, savoir -aire, and recipes, also part of the oral tradition, need to be recovered before they are lost. The Jazzo Cupi Valli host an ‘Open Kitchen’, powered by renewable energy sources, that can be used to organize classes and traditional cuisine workshops. In the absence of organized events the open kitchen is open to travelers, used by those who, in passing, will stay in the Jazzo and where they may be closer to traditional culinary knowledge through practice. The Jazzo, the exterior portion of the structure, is occupied by a garden where the rarest plant species, most in need of protection, are harvested.

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    Library of Voices. Rural civilizations have handed down their knowledge orally for generations. It is important now, to search for these traditions to save them from oblivion. To do this it is necessary to start with ancient knowledge to be able to innovate and look to the future in continuity with the past. The Jazzo of Cropana is dedicated to sounds, voices. In the inner part is the ‘Library of Voices’ a collection and research accessible space of the oral traditions of the different local cultures in the form of fairy tales, songs, and poems; the same space are exposed and usable, the typical musical instruments of the shepherds, such as the bagpipes. The external part instead is characterized by a ‘sound park’, made up of installations (using natural materials) to recreate the sounds of local ecosystems and to amplify existing sounds, given the natural context.

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  28. Lec­ture | Oct 2016
    Med Net 3 – Resiligence
    Genova | Italy

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    med-net-3-resiligence_program-cover

    Med.Net 03 Forum, ADD organizes two days of scientific and creative meeting and exchange dedicated to promote a strategic vision about the theme of “resilience” and its innovative approach.
    “The Resili(g)ence meeting proposes to combine “Intelligent Cities” (information, knowledge, projection and adaptation) and “Resilient City” (resistance and recycling, reaction and recovery, renovation and adaptation) in a new sensory condition, sensorized and time sensitive.”

     

  29. Lec­ture | Oct 2016
    Leuven University
    Leuven | Belgium

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    cover

    Bridging Territories: ‘Landscapes are often linked to each other in a system of interdependency. Cities for instance depend on a number of ecosystem services which are generated far from the urban centers themselves. Openfabric aim is to reconnect theses usually disconnected territories, both physically and psychologically. Understanding the relation between territories in terms of system of dependency is crucial to generating responsible plans and strategies that can take in account complex dynamics of cause and effect’.

     

  30. Lec­ture | Oct 2016
    Aga TN
    Trento | Italy

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    The Trentino young architects association (AgaTN) has invited Openfabric, alongside other young emerging practices, to showcase realised projects in the form of panels, in the streets of Trento.
    The three offices took part of a lecture series and roundtables to discuss the challenges of the practices in Italy and abroad, bringing examples of projects characterized by a successful process that lead to their realization.  

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  31. Site Visit | Oct 2016
    Maritime Cluster
    Rotterdam | Netherlands

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    We have been commissioned by Delta Metropole and Erasmus University to investigate with a research-by-design process, the spatial consequences of the different economic and environmental scenarios that he harbor of Rotterdam is facing.
    The scenarios under our spot light include the shift from the leading global oil economy towards a more local, ‘home-made’ one; the potential shrinking of the harbor activity due to the pressing competition of Asian shipping industries and harbors; and eventually, disruptions caused by major climatic events.

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  32. Workshop | Oct 2016
    ELAN
    Lima | Peru

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    “Sustainable cities: achieving efficiency in the city” aims to create a space where it would be possible to  progress in sustainable local management, exchange successful experiences, as well as address the challenges that the cities that have had a vertiginous development assume, with the goal of developing proposals to return more efficient urban centres.

    Prioritized areas of the local management agenda: Sustainable construction, Regional and urban planning, Mobility / Transport, Environmental quality (Air, Soil, Water) and urban and industrial waste, Water resources, Energy efficiency, Green areas / Urban biodiversity, Information and communication technologies.

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  33. Teaching | Sep 2016
    Landscapes on the Move | Amsterdam Academy
    Amsterdam | Netherlands

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    Ringroads are motorway systems build around a town or a city. Such infrastructures are often barriers that separate the city into an internal and external part; they reduce physical connectivity between parts and they disconnect functions. The areas next to such infrastructures have a very specific programmatic typology. With time they have attracted program that was not disadvantaged by the disturbed condition that the highway creates (noise, pollution, disconnection…) such as industrial areas and warehouses.

    On the other hand, such areas have also been occupied by large scale open and recreational spaces such has parks, allotments, gardens, golf courses, and zoos. But, even more interesting, ringroads have created ‘no man’s land’, unused leftover spaces where it is not possible to build (yet) and that haven’t been dedicated to specific functions. No use, and no identity. Highways are an example of the concept that disturbance organises cities. The consequence: it attracts certain functions and dismisses other ones. But, if we look at the trends in mobility, we know the condition of traffic will improve: smart mobility technologies and sharing systems might reduce the number of cars and the needed space for traffic. Furthermore, the diffusion of the electric cars will reduce noise and cut environmental pollution.

    Assuming such trends won’t be disregarded and the environmental conditions of these areas – next to and within highways – will dramatically improve in the coming 1 or 2 decades, what is the future of motorway landscapes in cities? What is the future of ringroad landscapes? What is the future of the A10 landscape? The node created by the intersection of the A8 with the A10 in the North-West of the city is an occasion to elaborate on infrastructural spaces in general,but also on Amsterdam and its relation with its ringroad.

  34. 2πR
    Undefined | Italy

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    Post Rural

    The science park is a campus that will be located in the proximity of Italy’s National Deposit of nuclear waste, which will host the waste produced daily in the country by industries, medical centers, and research institutes. The location, thought, has not yet been defined, meaning that our project should be adaptable to different conditions and flexible to different landscape typologies. Working on the italian context gives us extra responsibility, as the italian agro-landscape is of great importance to national heritage. 

    The campus establishes new relation of mutual interest and inter-dependence by binding human settlement with sustainable exploitation of ecosystem services generated by the rural context.

    At the same time, reckless urbanization, if not downright illegal buildings, defaced this heritage making the ‘Bel Paese’, for large part a continuous ‘widespread’ city where the net boundary between town and country, the main quality of historic towns, has vanished. Our plan has the ambition of creating a new model of urban development in rural areas that can serve as an example. Starting with the urban vision carried out by the English Garden City movement lead by Ebenezer Howard at the end of 1800s, the design shares some of the movement’s principles, but takes into consideration the strong criticism that the movement has received over time. We made a move away from the very reasons that dragged the Garden City to a generic suburban ‘green’, which has lost over time its theoretical force, to propose a post-rural approach. An approach that is not an undefined hybrid between the two conditions urban-rural, but a defined system that establishes a new relationship between the urban area (the Science Park) and the rural areas.  The relationship is one of mutual interest and inter-dependence, binding human settlement with sustainable exploitation of ecosystem services generated by the rural context. The proposed Science Park is a new urban model that has as its main objective the preservation of Italian landscape heritage and indissolubly binds technological development to a sustainable use of natural resources.

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    Anti Sprawl

    ‘Sprawl’ is the product of  the ‘diffuse city’.  It is the endless  built space that has blurred the division between city and countryside, redefining cities as metropolitan areas. In the medieval city, for example, this separation was defined by city walls that divided the inhabited areas from the countryside serving as defence from foreign attacks. In our project we apply the same principle of the ‘functional limit’ which the purpose clearly not being for defence, but rather to satisfy the need for infrastructures and sustainable mobility.

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    The Science Park is conceived at the center of a network that links research institutes, the university and industries in a system of mutual benefit. Priority will be given to the companies dealing with renewable energy production.

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    The park is, though, in close proximity to, and will develop strong relationships with, the surrounding areas in which it will be located in order to become a driver of innovation far beyond its borders. The nearby cities and villages will take advantage of and benefit from the Science Park through job creation and improvement of (mobility) infrastructures.

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    Reduce, reuse, recycle.
    Each company located in the Science Park will produce a programmatic document to reduce CO2, employ energy saving measures, and develop a system to create awareness and training courses for employees, including classes and incentives.

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  35. Agro Tourism Albania
    Qeparo | Albania

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    How can agriculture, tourism and spatial planning work together in a circular model, adding maximum value to a sustainable year round local economy? Experts from the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland and Arber Togani, winner of Master Chef Albania, have explored combinations and collaborations between the agricultural sector, production and processing, the tourism sector and spatial design. A great number of local stakeholders have teamed up for this project- with the international experts and business people who have worked on a model for tourism and agriculture, integrating the sectors where possible and working on profitable business models for individual entrepreneurs. Getting to the core of the uniqueness and traditions of the area while looking for ways to innovate at the same time.

     

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    Qeparo, is a village in the southern coast of Albania. Divided in the more recent lower Qeparo and the historical upper Qeparo, has suffered from the Albanian Diaspora that caused a great loss of human capital, which mainly moved to Greece, with consequent neglect of buildings and agricultural fields. Today the village, as many others in the coastal area, is facing return immigration of the ‘natives’, and has the opportunity to be revitalized with agro-tourism. The landscape with its products, can be the starting point for a new prosperity.

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    The exploratory mission consisted in creating a common table where local entrepreneurs, international experts, local policy makers and tourist operators could share their opinions and wishes, and resulted in the identification of several business cases. In less than 2 months five business cases found interested parties and investors willing to bring the cases into realization. 

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    Restore the Aqueduct. The old irrigation channel bears the potential of reactivating terraces by providing continuous irrigation. A surface of 161.000sqm of terraces would need an amount of water ranging from 9660-20.125 cubic meters. Solving the summer irrigation demand can foster a more intensive cultivation (mixed-farming) of the terraces and consequential better maintenance. That will result in a drastic improvement of the local landscape aesthetic and productive qualities. By restoring the water inlet the, channel can feed the terraces and becomes a touristic attraction as well. In-fact, a very simple path can run along the infrastructure rendering it accessible, and becoming a new alternative pedestrian connection to link Qeparo with Borsh.

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    The Perfect Hectare. The agriculture areas of Qeparo, similarly to other villages of the region, are characterized by the monoculture of the olive tree. Although the climate and soil typology allow a broader range of potential crops, there is an extremely low agro-biodiversity.
    The goal of the ‘Perfect Hectare’ is to create a model, a tool for the farmers, of mix-farming. The case is about growing more and diversified crops beneath the olive grove canopy, bearing in mind that the light and moisture conditions are peculiar.
    The hectare is a square of 100m edge, containing 196 olive trees and divided in 4 equal areas as following: 1. Lettuce and Radicchio, 2. Zucchini and Pumpkin, 3. Grass and Alfalfa, 4. Asparagus. The first 3 areas have to rotate every year while the Asparagus has a 10 years life span.

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    Taking advantage of the local potential agro-biodiversity means than the food supply can be strengthen and diversified. The culinary industry can take direct advantage of a broader choice of ingredients. Alongside the Masterchef winner Arber Togani, we delved into the landscape a discovered forgotten ingredients that the chef used to reinterpret the tradition in a modern dish. 

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    The ‘Shepherd Path’.  Is the experience of following the herd alongside the shepherds; the services are two-fold: 1. The daily grazing: from October to June, is a 5 hours track. It starts and ends at the shepherd downhill shed. 2. The transhumance: in June, when the herd moves in the mountain for the summer. Is a 2 days track, 2 nights of camping, where the shepherds cook dishes of the tradition. The track starts from the downhill shed to the mountains. In September, the transhumance goes down-hill following the animals from the mountains to the base shed in the valley. The shed area in the mountains bears the potential of being developed in the interests of the shepherds and the tourists, as following: 1. a water reservoir of 130.000L (dimensioned for a 500 sheep herd); 2. a paved gathering point with a central space for bonfire; 3. basic services to assist the campers;

    shepard

  36. Da-Ring
    Rotterdam | Netherlands

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    JGF_4968_BN

     

    Ring roads are motorway systems build around a town or a city. Such infrastructures are often  barriers that separate the city into an internal and external part; they reduce physical connectivity between parts and they disconnect functions. The areas next to these infrastructures have a very specific programmatic typology.  With time they have attracted program that was not disadvantaged by the disturbed conditions that the highway creates (noise, pollution, disconnection…) such as industrial areas and warehouses.

    On the other hand, these areas have also been occupied by large scale open and recreational spaces such has parks, allotments gardens, golf courses, and Zoos. But, even more interesting, ring roads have created ‘no man’s land’, unused leftover spaces where it is not possible to build (yet) and that haven’t been dedicated to specific functions. No use, and no identity.

    But, if we look at the trends in mobility, we know traffic conditions will improve: smart mobility technologies and sharing systems might reduce the number of cars and the needed space for traffic. Furthermore, the diffusion of the electric cars will reduce noise and cut environmental pollution. Assuming such trends won’t be disregarded and the environmental conditions of these areas, next to and within highways, will dramatically improve in the coming 1 or 2 decades, what is the future of motorway landscapes in cities? What is the future of ring roads landscapes? What is the future of the A20 and the Northern part of Rotterdam?

    Rotterdam will build a new by-pass by 2023 that will reduce the traffic on the northern part of the ring road. We strongly suggest refraining from the temptation of closing the loop and forming a new ring. We disagree with the trend of expanding infrastructures more than needed, which often results in pushing the problem outwards to the next periphery. By reducing investments in new infrastructure, the city can upgrade the existing infrastructure and improve the conditions of the areas adjacent to the ring road.
     

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    On their own, the left over areas and large recreational spaces next to the ring road are valuable landscapes. By creating a system enabling accessibility based on active mobility, these landscapes can finally become usable by citizens. Overlapping these landscapes with the existing urban green network generates the ‘Rotterdam Necklace’, a system of public and accessible open spaces centered around the principle of reclaiming left-over spaces for urban communities.

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    The forthcoming by-pass will lead to a decrease of traffic on the A20, and, with time, smart mobility technologies will reduce the space needed by vehicles, decreasing the environmental disturbance of the motorway. The new condition will bring about possibilities for the reuse and reprogramming of infrastructures which will have become redundant. We propose repurposing the highway as an urban road, potentially reducing the amount of the ring road needed to be removed completely. This would allow for the road at city level to be transformed into a park.

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    Looking back, in the city recent history it is evident that top-down processes associated with large infrastructure were detached from small scale community-lead initiatives. With our proposal we address the need to connect the large scale with the small scale – government decisions with local community needs. Re-thinking infrastructural spaces can increase quality and generate opportunities for the inhabitants, while providing a larger urban and regional service. 

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  37. Lec­ture | Apr 2016
    FilBo
    Bogota | Colombia

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    Ortofoto

    In occasion of the ‘Filbo’ International Book Fair of Bogota, we are invited to present the office and relevant work of our practice on a presentation format, and take part in the workshop ‘New ways to develop Cities’ where the public sector will give us a “challenge” that needs to be solved by the participants and local developers and decision makers. These events will take place in the Dutch Pavilion, between April 25th and May 1st 2016. 

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  38. Site Visit | March 2016
    the traveller and the olive grove
    Qeparo | Albania

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    the-traveller-415

    Qeparo, is a village in the southern coast of Albania. Divided in the more recent lower Qeparo and the historical upper Qeparo, has suffered from the Albanian Diaspora that caused a great loss of human capital, which mainly moved to Greece, with consequent neglect of buildings and agricultural fields. Today the village, as many others in the coastal area, is facing return immigration of the ‘natives’, and has the opportunity to be revitalized with agro-tourism. The landscape with its products, can be the starting point for a new prosperity. Spatial and planning proposal will follow soon…

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  39. Site Visit | February 2016
    A20 Snelweg en Stad
    Rotterdam | The Netherlands

    Leave a Comment

    0.JGF_5043_BN

    A new planned by-pass road will decrease the traffic intensity on the A20 part of Rotterdam’s ring, moving away from the city a large amount of through-traffic. If the smart mobility trends are also taken in consideration, new urban scenarios are possible in the Northern part of the city. Check out our proposal here: http://www.openfabric.eu/da-ring-rotterdam-nehterlands/.

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  40. Ballyfermot Playground
    Dublin | Ireland

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    playground-cover

    The Lawns are an important green space at the centre of Ballyfermot. Defined by large meadows, several prominent trees and some sports fields. But, as often happens, there is a lack of Identity and lack of variety in terms of playing types and sport facilities. Our proposal aims to propose a method to define a  new strong character for central public space. The Playground becomes part of a designed green belt around the sport area, than interacts with the city by fragmentation, creating new pockets spaces than can host different uses and activities. The project is organize around 3 central paved spaces surrounded by designed green spaces where the landscape becomes integral part of the play-scape. Users can explore and experience a variety of scenarios carefully organized in order to enhance interactions between different age and social groups.

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    With the Ballyfermot Playground we address how the whole park could develop in the coming years, with the play park as a catalyst for the wider area. The plan fits into the framework, defining its North-East corner. Next we imagine the Lawns being defined by 3 different layers: The Green Belt, the Sport Core and the Green Mile.

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    A series of paths connect the play park to the lawns, Le Fanú Road and the Plaza in front of the Leisure Centre. The Green Mile runs through the plan and traverses the main skate space. Carved out of the paths we have defined three Play Plazas. These spaces form the central meeting points in the plan and are designed to accommodate different user groups and types of play.  Finally we have the green spaces, each of which differs in its character, function and planting types.

     

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    The Pallyfermot Park is organized around 3 main plazas- The largest is the Skating and BMX Plaza in the south of the plan. The primary users here will be older children and teens on BMX’s, skateboards and scooters and there is plenty of place for everyone to watch the action. A second space for younger children and families sits close to the entrance and in the shelter of the Leisure Centre. Finally a small pocket space under the trees caters for parents who would like to sit and keep an eye on their children exploring the Wild play area.

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  41. Lec­ture | Dec2015
    RAoB Rotterdam Academy
    Rotterdam | Netherlands

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    RDM_Campus

    We centered the lecture around our interest in spontaneous colonization of public spaces (both by people and by nature) with a special attention to the city of Rotterdam.
    In-fact back in 2012 we made several field trips in neglected part of the city as industrial areas an vacant lots studying the spontaneous wild vegetation growing there. Non-native plants thrive where native ones do not: their importance is crucial. We deepen our interest with our Diverse Networks project , a strategy for increasing biodiversity in Rotterdam by rethinking and reusing the public transportation network. 

  42. Workshop | Nov 2015
    It Doesn’t Take Much
    Genova | Italy

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    IMG_2185

    ‘It Doesn’t Take Much!’ workshop aims to prove how minimal interventions can change the perception of spaces and the their usability and how we can trigger spontaneous use of the space with low-cost and easy to implement measures. The workshops intent is to directly intervene in the public space of the historical center of Genova, observing and documenting with documentary film technique, how the interventions effect people’s behaviours.

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  43. Lecture | Nov 2015
    MIT
    Cambridge | USA

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    MIT-CAMPUS_small

    Openfabric’s aim is to generate spaces where the city, society and nature come together, addressing spontaneity rather than imposing rigid design and planning solutions. The office in its first 4 years has been designing spaces and strategies where people and nature can ‘colonize’ the landscape freely, finding solutions to avoid over-design and over-regulation. Bringing back to the city wild nature and fostering non-formal uses of the public space can generate an array of unusual and transient activities resulting in new social and ecological patterns.

  44. Lec­ture | Nov 2015
    Cornell
    Ithaca | USA

    Leave a Comment

    Cornell_Sage_Hall_small

    Openfabric’s aim is to generate spaces where the city, society and nature come together, addressing spontaneity rather than imposing rigid design and planning solutions. The office in its first 4 years has been designing spaces and strategies where people and nature can ‘colonize’ the landscape freely, finding solutions to avoid over-design and over-regulation. Bringing back to the city wild nature and fostering non-formal uses of the public space can generate an array of unusual and transient activities resulting in new social and ecological patterns.

  45. Exhibition | Oct 2015
    One Architecture Week
    Plovdiv | Bulgaria

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     ‘This is an experiment of commoning the Maritsa River. Commoning as questioning the nature of the river as a border. A border between nature and culture, north and south, “European” and “non-European”, private and public… Commoning as the action of connecting, sharing, making, opening, relating and producing together. Commoning as exploring new co-existences and not as creating a substitute to the existing.
     
    Ideas, seeds, water, air, cultures and spaces, which we collectively produce each and every day, all of those are common(s). They are the results of collective efforts, research, thought and creation through time and regions. During ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK 2015, we will be exploring the networks in Plovdiv and creating new ones locally and across countries, through spaces of collective action along and across the river, on and under the water. We will be reading, listening, living, debating, sun-bathing, imagining, rowing, learning, doing, producing and re-producing.
     
    ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK 2015 has as its main goal claiming the Maritsa River through commoning it. The festival will attempt bringing the river, as a forgotten element of Plovdiv, back to the city. It will attempt bringing the publics of Plovdiv, river Maritsa, and those who share the common(s) together along the river.’

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  46. Lecture | Oct 2014
    Parco+ Villa Croce
    Genova | Italy

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    ‘Parco+, an urban park for Villa Croce’ is a design workshop that was held in Genoa, Italy, between the 22 and 26 September 2014.
    A series of conferences and lectures have been integral part of the workshop. Guests have deepen into their experience in art, architecture and landscape; amongst others: Francesco Garofalo and Barbara Costantino (Openfabric, Rotterdam), Valter Scelsi (Scuola Politecnica di Genova), Alberto Gianfreda (Accademia di Brera), Stefano larotonda (USI-Mendrisio), il collettivo ICAR65, Luca Bochicchio (Ph.D, storico dell’arte contemporanea e curatore), Splace (Genova), Luca Depietri (Pro-Helvetia, Locarno), Paolo Basso (D’Appolonia, Genova), Anna Martinelli (Italfim, Bergamo)

  47. Seeding memory
    Seoul | South Korea

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    perspective

    The site’s legacy for Korea, Seoul, and the world is immense. It represents for many the emergence of Korea on the global platform. This history must be respected, but not treated as a static relic. The power of the site must be leveraged to bring forth a rich layer of surfaces and subsurfaces fertile for future legacies. Urban development has been assumed to be delivered from the top and subsequently occupied and interpreted by society. Both top down and bottom up have their power. This proposal uses the strengths of both to influence and co evolve with each other to the benefit of both. A ‘citizen-centered space’ IS an International attraction. Allowing the many existing forces flowing by the site to cohabitate within it will allow the emergence of a competitive ‘internationally exchange district’. Urban ecologies, like natural ones, have life cycles. The strategy is to enhance already assumed large infrastructural gestures to allow space for experimentation, expansion, and even death of spatial programs. The space must not be ‘redesigned’ to be once again static, awaiting its next redesign in 30 years. It must set forth a series of systems to allow for the site to grow and adapt with its city, its country, its people and the global society.

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    The XS generates public life, XL are containers that attract new users.xl-xs

    XS SEEDS. Not pavilions, but activators that can grow, die, or merge.

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    Long Lines – various influences on the site. A new transport network of Bus Rapid Transit and Ferry network is formed linking the moving of people to the Han River. The Tancheon River pulls the nature from the distant hills along the site. The Teheran-ro extends the Gangnam business main street into the site. The surrounding residential communities and their inhabitants permeate into the site.

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    XL: NATURAL and ARTIFICIAL INFRASTRUCTURES. The extra large elements such stadiums, road infrastructures and river are enhanced sustainy exploited accrodingly to the climatic challanges of the site

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  48. Lifelines
    Berat | Albania

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    Approaching an island doesn’t mean to approach a defined fragment of territory. An island is part of the larger organism of the river, and is the river the natural element under our spotlight. The dependence of the Osumi Island to its river is so evident that is not even possible to define the shape of the island, continuously transforming with the varying water levels to the extreme of disappearing. In our proposal we consequentially start by addressing a more resilient water system that can absorb risks and vulnerabilities and develop its own cultural and recreational identity. Osumi Island is part of it; its context makes the island unique. The Unesco heritage site and the urban context integrates with the natural system of the river generating a all new range of possible scenarios and a new cultural gravity which is urban, by nature. 

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    Our proposal aims to reconnect cities (in our case Berat) to the river, connection that has faded in many situations, if not even lost. Establish an interdependence is the trigger for addressing urbanites to sustainably take advantage of the water resource rather that a careless exploitation.

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    The project redefines the public space of the city of Berat, introducing more space for temporary and fixed uses, related to different programs. Following the logic inTroduced by the project the new bridge, the “frame” and the path connecting Bulvardi Repulika are considered “fixed /established” spaces that offer ground to “temporary / mobile” events.

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    The Island adapts itself to the different levels of the water generating an always- changing landscape around and in the pool. While the pool itself gives extra volume for the water to reduce flooding risk, it creates the conditions for a variety of new recreational scenarios.

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    The planting species are selected on the basis of different aspects. First of all species are all indigenous and part of the local riparian landscape. They are divided is three categories: (1) plants and trees above the water level, (2) plants on wet soil, temporary flooded, (3) plants constantly on wet soil, often flooded. The species selection is driven by their biological and aesthetic characteristic as capacity to: increase the water quality, consolidate the slopes and decrease the erosion, capability of attracting wildlife, blossoming quality.

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    The ‘filter embankment’ is the element that defines the new island. It consists of a layered structure of gravel and stones of different grain sizes. It works as a horizontal filter: the water of the river infiltrates into the embankment before gathering into the water basin. In the inner part, selected vegetation works as a second phytoremediation filter, oxygenating the water and reducing pollutants. The whole system is supported by a steel structure and has a path running on the top.

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    The waterfront is a performative urban edge. The runoff water is addressed to the edge, where stepped phytoremediation planting purifies the water before it flows into the river. The sidewalk is enlarged in order to improve the pedestrian experience, and the waterfront is accessible allowing people to finally ‘touch’ the water. An urban dike is added by raising the sidewalk to avoid flooding where the current water edge is too low.

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  49. Unveiling the Riviera
    Southern Riviera | Albania

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    The southern Riviera has an incredible array of different landscapes and under-exploited attractions. A lack of accessibility on the local scale prevents visitors to enjoy the region and its local qualities. Accessibility however, is a sensitive topic. We want to make the various attractions accessible, but we don’t want to spoil the ‘adventure’ allure of this landscape, and we are conscious that new connections, if not supported by clear rules and guidelines, can increase unregulated development. Our proposal uses the existing panoramic road as a backbone for a new system that can expand the recreation potential of the area. Multifunctional platforms along the road are the starting points for trails that connect the road with the many and diverse attractions. Open air activities, local productions and urban life are linked in one comprehensive body that take maximum advantage of the existing qualities and become carrier of new sustainable development.

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    In our vision is key to understand that approaching the coastal area alone is a mistake. The region has to be approached in its whole structure, a complex sequence of different landscapes intertwined together and dependent of each other. By increasing the accessibility and promoting a year-round program we aim to activate the cities and the villages, the agriculture fields and the wetland, the beaches and the mountains. A new identity where the wild atmosphere and the local traditions are preserved and form the foundation for a respectful and profitable us of the landscape.

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    The SH97 and SH98 roads already have several platforms along their routes. Asphalt surfaces used as parking spaces during the summer period are empty during the rest of the year. These areas are the starting point of a system of trails that connect the road with different urban and natural attractions, and they embed the possibility for a more extensive use throughout the whole year. In fact they can be used as multimodal platforms flexible to host a series of scenarios and events in relation with the seasons and based on the sustainable exploitation of the local qualities.

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    The southern Riviera has already all the potentials to go beyond its 2-month touristic season and become a year-round attraction. Let’s take for example December, January and February, a period when the beaches are empty and the tourism in the area is virtually non-existent. Citrus and olives harvest can be exploited as a cultural/educative attraction; bird-watching reaches it’s maximum interest because of migrations passing through the area; horseback riders can enjoy the countryside as well as the snowy mountains within a short distance; periodical local markets showcasing typical products as olive oil, honey, mountain tea, mussels can attract visitors off-seasons.

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    The trails that connect the platforms at the main road with the different attraction point become an experience on their own. View points, art pieces, different landscapes and a variety of programatic possibilities mark the path facilitating the orientation and transforming it into an exciting journey.

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  50. The 24 gardens of Sanlin
    Shanghai | China

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    The Sanlin area on the Pudong side of Shanghai is one of the last green-ish areas along the Hangpu river. How to make use of this special atmosphere? The transformation from a agricultural village mix-use towards a green urban neighborhood offers special opportunities to develop a diverse and sustainable urban park-like development. The existing tapestry can form the basis of a patchwork of gardens, some more park-like others like small neighborhoods with their own character. In the collection of river developments the Sanlin area will then stand out as a green urban park. The Sanlin area can be easily connected to the metropolitan transport system of Shanghai, offering good connections for both inhabitants as visitors.

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    The plan is a organize around two main concept: 1. a patchwork of gardens defines the different neighborhoods and 2. a ring park that gives a clear structure and a connective ecological role to the masterplan, connecting it to the Huangpu River area.

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    The masterplan is a collection of neighborhoods and parks, that in total create 24 gardens. The landscape diversity gives the structure and the character to the new development.

     

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    BAMBOO ISLANDS. Low residential is here combined with a water high-ecological landscape. Each house has direct access to water; a variety of bamboos’ species are defining the character of the area.

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    FLOWER GARDEN. High density residential buildings are arranged into a garden landscape. Each building has its own garden, and each garden has a different design, creating a patchwork that reminds the richness of a botanical garden.

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  51. River Pebbles
    Changsha | China

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    The difference between rocks and pebbles is deter- mined by the restless action of water which, with time, smoothens rocks into rounded, polished stones. The creative process can be seen as the stream of water: the unceasing effort to transform everyday life into something special, and the result can be compared to the elegant variety of river pebbles.
    In the Changhsa Creative Park, islands of activity are obtained within the functional flows of pedestrian, cars and emergency vehicles routes.
    Like pebbles are similar in dimension and shape, but all different to each other when it comes to colours and textures, a new variety of urban elements are spread over the site; they create the conditions for spontane- ous and creative use of the public space, for the benefit of the people who work in the offices and for the many visitors.

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    A grid of trees is the background of the plan; the pedestrian flows are the functional streams that generate the pebbles, elements where people can meet, work and perform in a creative environment.

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    The highest concentration of vegetation is located at the south side in order to take maximum advantage of the shading and cooling qualities of plants and trees.

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    A variety of water feature are located at the northern side of the site in order to enhance the cooling effect of the prevailing winds that originates from the north-west.

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    Like the river pebbles have similar size but are different to each other in colours and texture, in the same way a variety of public space elements defines the area. A great array of functions are spread around the site and allow a large variety of activities to happen spontaneously; in a pebble shape.

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    The choice of the two main materials, the stone and the gravel is led by the aim of reinterpreting the traditional Chinese court-yards in a contemporary key. The juxtaposition of gravel and stone will enhance the sensory experience of the open space not only visually but also in a tactile and acoustic point of view.

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  52. Publication | Jun 2015
    A10 magazine
    Netherlands

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    A10 depicts in this issue the new Albanian trend of urbanization, construction  and planning lead by the former mayor of Tirana and now prime minister Edi Rama. An extremely young and vibrant market is establishing in the country and a number of initiatives such as design competitions have took place in the last years. A10 takes our winning proposal for the southern costal area of the country, the Riviera, as a example.

  53. Lecture | Jun 2015
    TU Delft
    Delft | Netherlands

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    Openfabric, as part of the winning team, together with UNLab, CoRDA and the Environmental Technology & Urban Design department of TU Delft, were invited to present Berat Island Project, Friday on the 26th of June.

    The teams presented the Berat Island winning project “Research by Design: Exploring Resilience – Lifelines between Memory and Transformation” and introduced the next implementation phases of the process. The event was followed by professors and students at TU Delft.

     

  54. Lecture | May 2015
    Genova University
    Genoa | Italy

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    The University of Genoa has invited us to lecture about our experience in the market as a young office. By describing our business model, the markets in the different countries we are working in and our projects, we gave an overview of what Openfabric did in its first 3 years and the direction we intent to overtake for the coming times.

     

  55. The Green Valley
    Shenzhen | China

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    longhua-cover

    Longhua District is located on the symbolic central axis of Shenzhen north of the Civic Center and Futian. However so far the district developed informally, as it was not part of the original Special Economic Zone. Its setting surrounded by green hills offers the opportunity to match the rising desire of Shenzhen people for a better living environment with close connections to nature.
    The open space masterplan connects a number of independent parks into a landscape system that reaches to the nearby mountains, reservoir and river. Shenzhen’s iconic hills and the Guanlan River Eco Corridor [link] will become accessible for recreational outdoor activities.
    Urban design guidelines link the park system with the adjacent development plots in a way usually not achieved in China. The experience of the natural landscape will become part of everyday life, offering relief from hectic urban life, and giving people the opportunity to learn from, appreciate and care for their surroundings.
    The project was supported by an ecological impact assessment to address storm water management, reduce the heat island effect, and positive ecological effects in order to create a healthy and ecological city environment.

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    The Green Heart is the area framed by the two Long Lines and is the place where the highest ambition for the integration of landscape and development is concentrated. Very visible from the over-ground metro line, is the core of the Green Valley where the built structure and open landscape interact harmoniously. Five different finger parks, cross the Green Heart in the east-west direction.

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    The Water&Hill Park is a highly sustainable park. The eastern part of the park is standing in a low topographical area that allows water collection: recreation here is directly linked with nature and with the educational value of the ecological landscape.

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    The Low Line is a vibrant sequence of different urban spaces under the metro line viaduct. The shadow casted from the metro line viaduct protects the underlying part from the strong heat in summer creating a more pleasant microclimate underneath. Different urban spaces are located in the Low Line: sport fields and playgrounds, seasonal and wild gardens.

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  56. Lecture | Feb 2014
    UniPolis University
    Tirana | Albania

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    Openfabric has presented to UniPolis’ students and teachers some of the latest office projects following the theme of ‘the wild dream’. The role of wild vegetation in urban contexts as well as people’s relation with ‘real’ wilderness have been under the spot light of the lecture. Special attention has been given to our strategy for the ‘Riviera’ southern coastal area of Albania.

  57. Lecture | Nov 2014
    New Generation Festival
    Florence | Italy

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    New Generations Festival invited professionals from all over the world to Florence in order to re-think the boundaries of our profession. A variety of topics related to the future of architecture have been discussed through lectures, debates, workshops and pecha-kutchas. Openfabric has participated to several initiatives of the festival.

  58. Sokolniki: 4 parks, 40 forests
    Moscow | Russia

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    sokolniki-cover

    4 Parks
    Sokolniki Park is not one park, it is several parks in one. Currently two types are dominating: the commercialized urban theme-park and a kind of low maintenance natural landscape park.
    But Sokolniki Park, with its size and structure has the potential to house even more park types under its unifying ‘roof of tree crowns’. It can also develop an identity as a manicured city garden and a more open and less prescribed city park.
    In this way the different identities make the park more attractive to wider audiences and allow for a more diverse programming and habitat. The coexisting identities unified by the forest make Sokolniki unique.
    Sokolniki Park is the urban retreat, the big forest that houses urban treasures within it.

    40 Forests
    Sokolniki park is commonly perceived as one forest. With a trees coverage of nearly 80% the park can be seen as one continuous woodland structured by the radial system of main paths and made accessible by some experience trails that cut through the forest and link together existing program and newly programmed spaces, in relation with the natural context.
    But there is much more potential than that.
    By keeping the existing canopy of trees untouched, acknowledged as the main natural (and cultural) quality of the park, just by working various forest understories settings, a great variety of forest typologies could be generated.

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    The experience of the forest in Sokolniki today is pretty limited. Visitors mainly use the rays’ system to stroll or bike; usage of the forest is restricted to short accesses of about 100 meters. This happens because there is a lack of a path system of intermediate importance between the rays and the dense web of informal trails through the forest. The main concentration areas are the 3 main plazas that works as accesses from the city to the park and main gathering points. A series of food/drink outlets and kiosks along the main triangular structure are also points of high concentration. In a secondary level the whole system of landscape feature will attract a number people in the forest.

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    Thematic loops constitute a network to explore the park: Landscape and gardens loop, Festival loop, Playground loop, Horse riding loop, Mountain biking loop, Art loop, Adventure trail loop, Skiing loop

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    The entrances as themed event park zones: The main entrances are the most active centres of Sokolniki Park – themed event park zones around three functional plazas: Fountain Plaza, the historic, but currently only focal point of the park; Health and Sport Plaza in the North-West with entrance from the train stations; Forest Plaza in the North- East with the focus on “Nature in the City”

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  59. Into the Wild
    The Hague | Netherlands

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    02.JGF_cover

    Play is about finding ones place in the world and making sense of that world. We have created a plan that seeks to juxtapose two different worlds. The man made and the natural. The plan has an urban exterior and a wild natural interior, each space contains a different type of play.

    The formal exterior is a place for sports and structured ordered games, while inside the wild interior children are encouraged and free to construct and destruct their own play spaces using natural materials. A boundary “ribbon” between the two worlds wraps and protects the interior, while adapting towards the exterior to allow games and integrate traditional playground elements. This “ribbon” is the threshold, a place where children learn to move between the natural world and the man made world. The relationship between the man made and natural worlds is the essence of sustainability, forming an understanding of this dialogue through participatory play and creative interaction is an essential childhood experience currently missing in many urban areas.

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    The Ribbon separates the artificial and paved exterior from the internal natural part. Its shape creates a variety of pockets spaces that can interact with the urban context; it’s 3-dimensional character give to the ribbon extra playful quality, in-fact it can be climbed, crossed with a tunnel or slide, it serves as a sitting element and as a skating grind, and much more.

     

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    In exterior area, lines create the matrix for a playful and active appropriation of the space. Some sport fields are defined, but the lines also create an abstract pattern that can be interpreted and can serve to set new rules and boundaries for new games.

     

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  60. Pub­li­ca­tion | Sep 2014
    WLA 15
    China

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    WLA15-small
    The WLA 15 edition of WLA Magazine features Large scale projects and Large Ideas. These grand ideas and large scale projects showcase the ability of landscape architecture to transform cities and the surrounding landscape. BIG’s Rebuild by Design project , HUD provides a design to mitigate climate change by transforming existing structure and adding several interventions – moving and permanent. Liupanshui Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape transforms a peri-urban channelised waterways into a beautiful large wetland and water landscapes that provide ecological and socially sustainable designs. These are just two of the projects featured in WLA 15 which also includes projects from AECOM,  STOSS, MVRDV, Sasaki, Openfabric, ASPECT Studios, UNStudio, BDP, Mandaworks & HOSPER, Mathews Nielsen and a student project from PennDesign.

     

  61. Xiangmi Orchard
    Shenzhen | China

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    Xiangmi is a natural retreat where people can escape the hustle and bustle of the noisy urban environments. The juxtaposition of different landscapes provide a wide range of scenarios where people can enjoy the park in different ways. From strolling through experience paths that cross the lychee forest, to fish in the natural ponds where rain water is collected and purified; from playing in the sport fields and playgrounds, to enjoy the locally grown products in blossoming fields -reminding the agriculture past of the area. The common theme that ties the different landscapes together is the sustainable approach that leads to reuse soil and water, and take advantage of renewable natural resources to create a healthy balance between people and nature.

     

    1. CONNECT: An inviting new hotspot for the neighborhood 2. RE-USE: A symbol for sustainability 3. DIVERSITY: A beautiful collection of natural and artificial settings

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    While the built environment of Shenzhen is changing rapidly, trees can be seen as its only true and lasting heritage. Besides this, the dense lychee forest gives Xiangmi Orchard a special atmosphere that we consider very valuable. Therefore, our idea is to preserve as many of the existing trees as we can. Any construction or intervention should always focus on keeping the trees intact. The integration of trees within paths, plazas, stairs and buildings, the character Xiangmi Orchard will become even more unique.

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    The construction of large new buildings like the Flower Expo always starts with excavation. Transporting the excavated soil to another location would require many truck journeys and would therefore cause a large emission of CO2. Rather than considering this excess soil a problem, we use it as a resource. Together with the soil that comes from the enlargement of the lake and the construction of two new ones, it is used to create a sound barrier the park and Xiangmihu Road. The hills are planted with tea bushes and will have small pavilions integrated, as well as the recycling center.

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    The new pedestrian bridge that connects the westside of the park to the east side adds an entire new level to the experience of the park. Starting from a height of 8 meters above the ground, visitors will have a panoramic overview of the entire park. It connects directly to the higher floors of the natural science library. Above the hill, the bridge submerges through the dense canopy of the lychee forest.

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  62. Pub­li­ca­tion | Jul 2014
    Volkskrant
    | Netherlands

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    ck-spread

    Construction of Openfabric and dmau’s project “Into the Wild” in The Hague has started. The concept combines three types of playgrounds: conventional playgrounds with equipment, small sports fields and adventurous natural playground that are normally found at the city’s edges. Into the Wild stimulates children to create their own games and develop a sense of self-worth. 

  63. Exhibition | Jun 2014
    Venice Biennale ‘Fundamentals’
    Venice | Italy

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    axo-cropped

    The journey begins with the ‘case’ of Milan which has been used as an example of “laboratory of the modern”, whose architectonic and city planning affairs of the last 100 years – but also several key moments in its past history – demonstrate the particular means employed by projects with a large transformative role compared to the pre-existing urban structure. From historical Milan to the city that hosts Expo 2015, an example of great territorial transformation over recent years which will be observed in its various content and present and future developments.

    Expo 2015 – a laboratory for the environment
    This section presents the work-in-progress of the 2015 Expo in Milan.
    In “2030 EXPOst”, some young architects envisage possible future metamorphoses of the area of the Expo after the conclusion of the world’s fair.

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  64. Lecture | May 2015
    Il Sabato del Paesaggio
    Verona | Italy

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    ‘Il Sabato del Paesaggio’ is an international cycle of conferences held in Verona, that brings together people of the Landscape Architecture environment. Openfabric has been invited in May 2015 to showcase the latest office projects in the framework of the best >36yo NIB award.

     

     

  65. Dayun New Town
    Shenzhen | China

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    In contemporary Chinese society cars and motorized transportation systems have dramatically limited motor experience of people. Combined with the fact that most of CBD users have a sedentary work, and, cities to their best to reduce any physical activity (stairs have been replaced by escalators) the impact on public health could be substantial.
    The extensive use of cars, of course, is also affecting common health by increased air and sound pollution.
    That’s the background of our proposal: a model where active transportation methods, walking and biking, take central stage in the urban experience. We propose to enhance and make more efficient the public transportation network, and we create the base for a new relation between people and cars, not by separating them, but by reorganizing hierarchy in favour of bikers and pedestrians.
    Many urbanites have lost direct contact with nature. Nature in cities is becoming more and more limited to small patches of manicured green. Losing contact with nature poses several threats to our cities: low resilience to extreme climatic events and high pollution; and to citizens: the ‘lack of experience’ of nature, which has been scientifically proven to be fundamental, especially for kids.
    We propose wild nature as an integral part of the city: a dense vegetation layer of shrubs and trees that will assure a high level of biodiversity by creating the needed conditions for wildlife habitats.
    We take advantage of the sub-tropical climate to establish a lush landscape as an amenity for citizens, as an important ecological connection and to mitigate the meteorological events.

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    Dayun lies between natural areas with high ecological value and the urban center of Longgang. Its position is crucial, in the urban scale, for extending the qualities and benefits of nature into the urban setting. A new green fabric follows the shape of the city: the streetscape. Its network structure allows certain resilience and flexibility, and a more extensive influence on urban-ecological.

     

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    Each cluster is defined by its own identity; diversity meets in the streets: various atmospheres and situations distinguish a vibrant public space.

     

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    The main plinth typology will follow the public space structure of the 2 plazas and the boulevard. The secondary plinth typology is meant to activate and regulate some important streets, second in hierarchy to the plazas and boulevard. 

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  66. Lecture | Nov 2014
    New Generation Festival
    Milan | Italy

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    Openfabric has been invited to lecture and to debate on the topics of how the financial crisis affected our profession.
    The main objective of the New Generations Festival in Milan is to create the conditions for a real encounter that is extremely important to improve bonding and collaboration among different professionals.
    The new Generations research analyzes the impact of the financial crisis on young European architects, with a series of video interviews to a selection of 36 young architectural practices.

  67. Urban Currents
    Medellin | Colombia

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    A river, by definition, refers to movement. Only if we interpret the Medellin River area as a single geographic entity composed of natural elements (fauna and flora) and artificial (history, culture, mobility) we understand that the opportunity presented by this call goes beyond the area defined for the contest.
    Ideas of history and identity are key to any city. Currently many cities choose to erase/cover ‘undesirable’ history and forms of the city with classic forms of public space. Our proposal is to reuse, as much as possible, the existing city forms and to reinterpret them in a more contemporary, people friendly manner. This is will remain more true to the city’s collective memory, provide a richer public space and be massively more efficient in terms of investment spending.
    Working with ‘found objects’, as it is called in the art world, the proposal grounds the design in its place.
    Much of the land available along the riverfront is trapped in cloverleaf car interchanges, unreachable spaces for pedestrians. By simply removing the ‘inner leafs’ of the interchanges, pedestrians can access these spaces. In combination with the removal of half of the roadway next to the riverfront, much more space is given to people. The existing asphalt is reused and reinterpreted for pedestrian paths, activities, etc. The existing road bridges are adapted to provide grand pedestrian access points to the riverfront. Further, this removal of the ‘inner leafs’ steam lines the amount of cars given access to the riverfront. It can still function as a driving corridor but is treated as a boulevard and no longer permits drivers to do every single movement. It allows on, off movements, which will transform the riverfront boulevard to a place to cruise, not to commute.

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    The road infrastructure along the river is maintained and new sustainable public transport systems, as BRT, are proposed. By re-balancing the traffic with a parallel roads’ system, the car traffic at the riverfront can be dramatically decreased, generating new urban scenarios. 

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    Recycling old industrial buildings, in combination with new housing developments, foster ideal conditions for the creation of a vibrant public space. The river connects the sequence of clear public spaces. The BRT stations will be directly connected with the new Riverside.

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    The meeting between the river and its tributaries becomes an opportunity for water management. The quality of the water is improved with the biological function of various plant species. An innovative landscape becomes a public park where people can learn in-situ about ecology and sustainability.

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    Once the mobility system is re-structured and re-organized, some infrastructures are unnecessary and therefore abandoned. The infrastructural ‘clover leaves’ can be colonized by cyclists and pedestrians. A variety of activities can occur in these new facilities and become the symbol of a city that has reclaimed the forgotten spaces.

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  68. Jianshan Landscape City
    Haining | China

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    The location chosen for the Jianshan New City is situated in a breath-taking natural landscape context, between the hills and river. This provides the opportunity for future dwellers of the new city to have physical and visual contact with the largest scale of natural landscape.
    The different scales and types of landscape both natural and man-made, together form the landscape framework of the plan.
    The primary connections between the hills and the river are formed by four linear parks. Three parks connect into this structure – the central park, the eastern park and the golf park.
    The central park is the main meeting space of the city and is organized into two main parts: densely planted outer edge of forest and he inner area, a collage of different
    functions that will host a number of different activities and programs.
    In the outer part, a web of paths links from the context into the park. In the inner area a large central lake allows visitors direct contact with the water and plays host to a number of water based activities such as fishing, sailing and canoeing. Other areas are dedicated to agriculture, ecology and woodland. There is also a large events space.

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    The primary connections between the hills and the river are formed by four linear parks. Three parks connect into this structure – the central park, the eastern park and the golf park. A finer grain network of linear green spaces along the canals create additional green pedestrian and cycle connections in the plan A continuous network of tree-lined streets will create quality addresses, and a green, shady and walkable city.

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    A strategy of minimal intervention in the existing water network and the addition of a new central lake in the central park will provide the required water storage in the new city. The water network will be integrated into the landscape and the streetscape, creating urban quality from a water management necessity.

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    A strategy of minimal intervention in the existing water network and the addition of a new central lake in the central park will provide the required water storage in the new city. The water network will be integrated into the landscape and the streetscape, creating urban quality from a water management necessity.SCHEMES

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  69. Publication | May 2013
    C3 magazine
    South Korea

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    Openfabric and dmau recently won the Dutch sustainable playground design competition, organised by the Richard Krajicek Foundation and Architectuur Lokaal. The competition asked for ideas of how to incorporate sustainable thinking into the design of sports playgrounds. In response to this the design concept juxtaposes a man-made exterior with a wild natural interior. 

     

  70. Rethink Athens
    Athens | Greece

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    The key to rethinking, and ultimately reviving, Athens is to be found from within. At a time when Athens is undergoing a severe test a close look at the city’s existing and inherited qualities reveals strong conditions for rejuvenation and self-belief. ‘Athens Acts’ does not advocate a radical revamp, but instead proposes a clear framework, a scenography if you like, that creates the conditions to enable the people of Athens themselves to take centre stage and determine their own city. The pedestrianisation of Panepistimiou Boulevard will finally make the completion of a pedestrian triangle together with Aiolou and Ermou Street possible. Each side of the triangle will carry its own identity with Panepistimiou becoming Athens’ premiere creative and cultural axis with dozens of historic buildings, theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries. Furthermore Panepistimou and Patission will be perceived as a new, unified boulevard that starts at the University and National Archaeological Museum, ends at Syntagma and links all the iconic squares in between. The atmospheres of the surrounding neighbourhoods will be reflected in the squares and boulevard to create distinct local identities. Reciprocally the axis will be an enormous boost to the revitalization of these local areas. This is particularly valid for Omonia that, when closed to car traffic and opened to pedestrians, will at last fulfill its potential as a vibrant metropolitan plaza and become a catalyst to regenerate the areas to its Northwest.

     

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    The future identity of Panepistimiou Boulevard lies very much within the special program that can already be found along the boulevard, above all the trilogy of university, library and academy, and the opera. These provide the foundations for creating a vibrant cultural axis in the city centre.

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    The design maximizes the positive impact of the local climatic and microclimatic conditions, whilst minimizing non-beneficial impacts, to ensure sustained pedestrian comfort through passive and low energy means. The strategy focuses on reducing direct solar access to street levels, harnessing prevailing winds to promote cooling air movement, using water to moderate the local climate, minimizing water consumption, maximizing the benefits of rainwater, using solar energy to power night lighting and promoting green roofs to reduce the heat island effect and promote biodiversity.

     

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  71. Award | Jan 2013
    NIB Landscape Award <36
    Italy

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    Nib Under36 award is a national prize given to emerging practices dealing with Landscape Architecture and public space design. Openfabric has been awarded in the 2013 edition, the ceremony took place in Salerno, Italy. The complete list of awarded offices is the following: 1.Ciclostile Architettura 2.Bam! 3.Openfabric 4.Temporaryin 05.Twentytrees 06.Ekp2088 07.Laprimastanza 08.Near 09.Merci 10.Nove.Architetti

     

  72. Pingdi Low Carbon Campus
    Shenzhen | China

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    The Shenzhen Eco City will showcase some of the most advanced sustainability-related technologies in the world, and the different ways of how these can affect different disciplines and therefore people daily life.
    Sustainability has an extremely important role when it comes to landscape design. Dealing with landscape means to deal with some crucial ecological topics as the protection of natural systems, a resilient water management and enhancement of flora and fauna biological diversity.
    The project starts from this deep understanding of the site background and local conditions. The landscape of Pingdi is not only meant to be the natural setting for the Shenzhen Eco City, but rather it will be part of it, the living part of it.
    The landscape itself will showcase different ap- proaches of how open space design can be inte- grated with sustainability, and, in the same time, will provide space for relaxing and recreation to the many visitors of the site.
    Three different landscapes will here merge creating a rich variety of atmospheres and will provide different functions to the users. Each of the three landscape typology will be driven by a specific sustainable approach of dealing with the open spaces, and will activate new natural processes that will mitigate the presence of Man and the exploitation of the land.

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    The North and West area of the site, temporary vacant, will be densely planted with different trees ‘species. This area will be used as a tree nursery: once a new use of the land will be required, the trees will be moved and replanted in the park. The southern part of the site will include a new urban park. It will feature a natural-looking landscape of ponds connected to each other. Those ponds will work as a storage volume for rainwater and grey waters, and they will be cleaned by phytoremediation. The riverfront will be kept as natural as possible, and planted with a wide variety of species enhancing the local biodiversity.

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  73. Diverse Networks
    Rotterdam | the Netherlands

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    Public transportation is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public. Different systems overlaps to reach every corner of the city forming a network made of lines, nodes and points.
    Rotterdam is very well connected by public transportation system which is formed by bus, metro, railway, tram and covers in total 634 km in length.
    In a biodiversity point of view, the network is a key point for conserving habitats: wildlife (whatever are the species dominating a certain habitat) has to be free to reach ecological cores, the steppingstones, using connections. DIVERSE NETWORKS is based on a very simple question: Which is, in an urban environment, the most extended, existing network? Public transportation! Human networks, in centuries developed and diversified to reach even the more remote part of the city. DIVERSE NETWORKS propose to reuse, adapt and reinvent public transportation network to make them suitable for both humans and biodiversity. Intriguing new designs can be developed for flexible structures, like bus stops and metro stations which provide shelter for the passengers and forage conditions for birds. Street profiles can be smartly re-imagined to be useful for busses and trams and in the same time highways for insects. Railways will grow greener and will be repopulated with butterflies and dragonflies.

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    By reusing public transportation infrastructures, Diverse Networks aims to restore biodiversity. In facts, in our cities built areas, industrial sites and transport infrastructures fragmentise natural habitats. This disconnected landscape results in an extremely poor urban ecosystem made of unconnected ecological niches. Diverse Networks it’s not a new green superimposed green infrastructure, but rather a new hybrid system that can combine the need of a shared passengers networks together with a densely spread ecological system.

     

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    GIS mapping are showing the scientific base of Diverse Networks. The typologies of vegetation, the location and extension of the different species, the maintenance regime to which they are subject are all informations needed to understand the ecological potential of the city and consequently guiding the strategy.

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  74. Publication | Jun 2012
    Bauwelt
    Germany

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    Egypt has been the epicenter of the Arab Spring in 2011 and Tahrir Square become the icon of the movement. Public spaces have the power to symbolize democracy as they are the place where people can gather and protest. Bauwelt Magazine shows and reflects on the 3 different awarded visions of Tahrir Square.

  75. Exhi­bi­tion | May 2012
    Matadero
    Madrid | Spain

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    ‘Matadero exhibits a selection of projects participating to the international call for ideas for the reinterpretation of the Tahrir Square in Cairo. To celebrate the launch of the revolutionary movement that was born and continues to develop in Egypt, the international platform  ICARCH launched the competition ‘A New Tahrir Square’, and participants from around the world could make a proposals for a new concept for the Tahrir Square. In this exhibition we can enjoy and analyze the work provided numerous teams.’

  76. Via XX Settembre
    Genova | Italy

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    The project “Living in the City in the City” is the outcome of the international design competition organized by the Municipality of Genoa for the enhancement of Via XX Settembre.
    The elimination of private traffic on Via XX Settembre becomes an opportunity for Genoa to create new places to live in the city within the city, generating urban gravitations and reverberating existing functions in the neighbourhood.
    In addition to rethink the system of mobility referring to functional and logistical requirements of traders and residents, the project produces a system of urban relationships stretched on the axis of Via XX Settembre, through a series of new polarities detected at the cross-roads, developing three themes: Culture – Information – Meeting. The idea of the project promotes a strong sense of self-identification by the Genoese, recovering the essential meaning of living seen as taking care of their city.
    As the inhabitant lives his own home, so the citizen lives his own city: Via XX Settembre becomes the “urban living-room” where a renewed community can share their own identities.
    In this sense the project fosters a process of urban renewal with expanded benefits on the body of the city (in terms of real estate development also), rediscovering Via XX Settembre as a very urban place, with strong environmental and social values.

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    Social gravities are a variety of attractions spread along the boulevard. They are gathering points for people and their influence is reflected in the design which unfolds and adapt accordingly. Stages, wi-fi areas, benches and bus stops are just few of the ‘episodes’ that will re-activate the central pedestrian axis.

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  77. Planting democracy
    Cairo | Egypt

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    Jury report: ‘…the project seizes a vital feature of the site: a connection which goes beyond symbolical geometries and designed boundaries. It’s a landscape proposal with a remarkable botanical report that reminds the earthly garden, the reconciliation place par excellence. The tree is the unit, democracy a garden to look after.’
    Our idea is to give to Tahrir Square the shape of what it represents today and what it can be tomorrow. An icon to the critical role that open spaces play in revolution and post-revolution era. It symbolized the revolt, and now it deserves to symbolize the rebirth of a democratic Egypt. As a new icon and space for interaction New Tahrir has the potential to play a role in consolidating a common cultural-historical background which creates an underlying identity of a community.

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    Forestation is based on a selection of different trees that are relevant in the Egyptian tradition; the result is a sort of green museum, where each plant has its own specific history and symbolic role. The variety of trees aims to represent the wide variety of people who have gathered together during the riots for a common, unique idea.

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    To make Tahrir Square an aggregation space, there is an ineluctable necessity: the creation of shade. During the period of occupation of the square, citizens sought shelter under the few trees present and they erected temporary shading structures. The need is clear: to foster social interaction in the open spaces in Cairo, you must create the conditions for climate comfort.

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  78. Exhi­bi­tion
    Aids Memorial Park AIA
    New York | USA

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    AMP-Invitation

    Founded in 2011, AIDS Memorial Park (AMP) is a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to the recognition and preservation of the ongoing history of the AIDS crisis.
    To generate inspiring concepts for a memorial park, AMP launched an international design competition in November 2011 sponsored by Architizer and Architectural Record. In just six weeks, 475 proposals were submitted from more than 26 U.S. states and 32 countries on six continents. Openfabric was awarded with Honorable Mention.

     

  79. Spread the Voice
    New York | USA

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    The memorial wants to pay respect for New Yorkers AIDS victims for each of the 5 NYC boroughs. Taking the move from the USA 70s campaign which motto was SILENCE IS DEATH, and had a pink triangle as logo, the remembrance of the victims becomes here an active park where everybody is free to talk, inform and perform on five speech podiums. This stages are surrounded by circular elements useful as sitting elements, beside being sculptures themselves, five steles representative of the five boroughs victims. These circles are the community remembrance and in the same time an active warning for the future: never again make the silence kill people: silence is death, communication is life!

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    Five circular pockets spaces are defined within the park. Five as the NYC boroughs, they create a continuous sitting element oriented to a central little stage. Such central element is a free speech podium, where anybody can stand up and express is thoughts and ideas, respectfully of the low, freely.

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  80. Trazos no Claustro
    Lugo | Spain

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    The cloister and the building preserved intact its artistic and historical values. Our proposal is based on the assumption of respect for the cloister identity keeping and enhancing its mystic atmosphere. We add a new historical layer to the site: a contemporary layer. This is accented by shape, texture and material, but still delicate, without proposing a new specific function, it creates a flexible space for new uses. The signs in the soil – light and subtle as the leaves of the walnut tree located in the cloister – become small changes of level, useful as informal spaces to sit. These signs are organized in a fluid composition, which has its starting point in the access point to the cloister. Space becomes flexible for different uses, for which we suggest a cultural-traditional relationship with museum activity as well as city holidays. When the architecture turns down at night, lighting will make the ‘traces’ vivid and visible.

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  81. Play
    Genova | Italy

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    Selected from hundreds of submissions, our project was built in one of the most famous European floral festivals: Euroflora2011. Our choice was to create a dynamic design by realizing a platform where visitors could directly take part in the creative phase of a project, proposing their own design.
    The platform is a square of 13×13 pixels characterized by species of lettuce, which vary in colour and texture. These are contained in boxes of perforated PVC, recycled from big advertising banners, useful in its function for the strength and versatility to drain rainwater. Everyone moving the boxes can create the patterns they want and the outcome is continued interaction of visitors. The result is a project changing over time, never static, but rather a meeting point for the game and cooperation. The perforated PVC box is currently evolving to become a design object.

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    The PVC containers for the plants are all made by reusing the plastic material of the advertisement banners.  The making of a planter is very easy; the only needed tools, besides the PVC, are a knife, a ruler and a staple machine.

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