Tag Archive: design

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  4. 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.

     

     

  5. 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. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  6. 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.

     

     

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

     

  12. 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.

     

     

  13. Lec­ture | Oct 2016
    Aga TN
    Trento | Italy

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    buona_giovane_cover

    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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