Integrated Urbanism

Integrated Urbanism is part of Arup's sustainable strategy. This is a new language based on carbon, resilience and adaptation consisting of the integration and combination of systems local to place and people, and global issues such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the reality of uncertain economic futures.
Wanzhuang Eco-City Master Plan, China © Arup

An integrated urban system includes transport, energy, waste, new technologies, socio-economics, micro-climate, and ecology in order to design with community aspirations a flexible, adaptive, environmentally friendly city for future generations.


Sunday Roundup

This week was focused on two interesting design proposals for two competitions that I enjoyed to present.

Urban Resilience: U.S. cities attempt to reinvent themselves following this adage: "cities adapt or they go away"… in the near-enough future. I will not say enough how serious will be the impacts of challenge issues on cities. Consequently, cities must reinvent themselves to adapt to changing contexts. These are the cases of Houston and Boston. Two cities, both from America. With different patterns, different issues. But suffering of a lack of effective urban planning . These cities are competing with others U.S. cities to adapt to changing contexts. These cities launched a competition to design the city of the future. Perkins + Will and Map-Lab are among those who unveiled their design proposal. The former for Houston, the later for Boston. Perkins + Will revealed an intriguing FibroCity for Houston to regenerate the urban voids and reconnect all these incomplete streets. This strategy leads to a city structured by a green web to instill new life.
FibroCity © Perkins + Will

Map-Lab's design entry articulates health, beauty, equity, site, materials, energy, water for a resilient and sustainable Boston (precisely, the Boston's Innovation District). The agency participated to the Living City Design Competition launched by The International Living Future Institute in 2010. Here again, this results in a sustainable and adaptive city of Boston that accepts fundamental changes — next economy, climate change, ecology.
ResilienCity © Map-Lab
Click Here to read Map-Lab's design manifest.

Article that I enjoyed: Dutch cities as models for South of America? Here is a great article "As the Mississippi floods, follow the Dutch model" by Renée Jones-Bos published May 27th, 2011 in the Washington Post. Anyway, the South needs a serious and effective urban planning to face these increasing climate challenge. Of course no way to link to the issue of global warming, in case you might think.

: and still in the Washington Post is this article "Weather patterns, urban sprawl, human nature add up to extraordinary tornado death toll" by Associated Press, published in May, 28th 2011. I agree with this fact "Historically, the central business districts of cities have not been hit that frequently, but as you increase the land area covered by homes and businesses, you're increasing the size of the dartboard." Here is Marshall Shepherd, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Georgia, interviewed by the author of this article. It is obvious that "fears deaths could begin to rise in the future as a result of sprawl and more people living in vulnerable residences such as mobile homes". Density in the South of America (yet not only this area exclusively) needs to be re-examined to face this growing issue…

A book: I am reading this book Triumph of the City; How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier By Edward Glaeser, specialist of urban economics who presents his survey of "how cities thrive and wither".

And the winner is…: Ali Musavi just unveiled his winning entry for the competition for Design matters 2 Ideas Competition. Participants were invited to design a building block with an inclusive school environment that uniquely enhances the quality of life for teens and adults with disabilities who participate in the Easter Seals VIP Academy in Sarasota, Florida. Check out archdaily's page to have access to Musavi's interesting entry.
© Ali Musavi. Originally appeared on archdaily
© Ali Musavi. Originally appeared on archdaily

I like: Amanda Levete Architects' EDP Foundation Cultural Center for the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is due to completion by 2013…
EDP Foundation Cultural Center for the City of Lisbon © Amanda Levete Architects


EDP Foundation Cultural Center by Amanda Levete Architects

Amanda Levete Architect just unveiled EDP Foundation Cultural Center design proposal for the city of Lisbon, Portugal.
This building's form will be derived from the specificity of the site which is announced to be of strategic importance. As the firm says, it will activate the long neglected riverfront. EDP Foundation Cultural Center will take the advantage of the extraordinary southern light reflected off the water and blurring boundaries between gallery and landscape.
EDP Foundation Cultural Center, Lisbon, Portugal, © Amanda Levete Architects

This building will be conceived as a landscape, that steps down into the river Tagus. With the aim of creating a continuity of the building and its environment, Amanda Levete Architects will integrate the building into the site as if it is emerged from the earth by buckling the building site.
EDP Foundation Cultural Center © Amanda Levete Architects

EDP Foundation Cultural Center will be based on water, light, reflections and people. It is announced to capture the essence of the unique riverside site and the extraordinary southern light of Lisbon.
EDP Foundation Cultural Center © Amanda Levete Architects
Lisbon's light seems to be served as a material to sculpt the building.
Aerial view of the site © Amanda Levete Architects

The beautiful form of the building will be in harmony with its environment. The promenade/roof will be covered with complex cobble stone slabs.
The roof will serve as a promenade accessible to users and visitors. It will provide spectacular views towards the river and the cultural area of Ajuda/Belém.
It is announced to be completed in 2013.

Source: eVolo


Towards an adaptive city: FibroCITY by Perkins + Will and ResilienCity by Map-Lab

"Cities adapt or they go away". Here is Aaron N Durnbaugh, a Deputy commissioner of Chicago's Department of Environment. Chicago, L.A., New York, Boston, Houston, … The list of cities regeneration program is long. Cities must reinvent themselves. We are witnessing a shift from a fragmented, energy-consuming city — designed for cars — to a reconnected, self-sufficient and adaptive city — restored for their residents. Cities' ambition is to raise their profile as environmentally friendly cities. The keywords to understand and examine 21st Century Cities are: adaptation, connection, and competition, as well as, sustainability, self-sufficient, open, flexible, smart, ecologically friendly, etc.  Let's consider the problem of global warming to start the examination of cities regeneration. As can never be said often enough, cities are facing one of the most serious challenge issues: global warming. This is not a surprise that more and more cities call for a new master plan that considers global warming as Challenge.

Let's take an example: Chicago. Experts forecast that Chicago "could expect 35 percent more precipitation in winter and spring, but 20 percent less in summer and fall." This explains why within its recent master plan, Chicago deploys efforts to reinvent itself to improve quality of life of its residents as well as workplaces.
FibroCity, Houston, United States of America © Perkins + Will

Another case concerns directly urban planning, or a lack of effective urban planning. This second factor is the core of this post: Cities regeneration. Houston is symptomatic of errors in terms of urban planning. Precisely, Houston appears to lack effective city "tools". It has been made up based upon a one-size-fits-all urban planning. This results in urban spaces suffering of fragmentation due to the intrusion of highways in response of an increasingly use of cars. Houston is an example of automobile-dependent metropolitan regions. The lack of effective urban planning leads to serious impacts of congestion and air pollution in relation with cars. As it is often highlighted, it is no more possible to make up a city as we made in the modern era. As the city becomes dense, problems of lack of urban planning tend to become prominent — air quality, congestion as well as flooding, fragmented development, etc.
Recently, a new vision of making-city arises from a reflection on the future of Houston. A new version that highlights the ambition of implementing a better urban planning based on a clear framework to guide quality of life, sustainable growth and changing contexts. The city attempts to operate a transition to a walkable, transit-served urbanism, a city made for its residents and no more for cars. In other words, Houston attempts to shift into a 21st century City that considers quality of life and of course economy as the key element. Quality of life that means a healthy, self-sufficient, environmentally friendly city.

Connection — or Reconnection — is the keyword to understand FibroCity, the project that Perkins + Will just unveiled with the ambition of making Houston a "walkable" transit-served city. Before going deeper into the examination of FibroCity and ResilienCity, Perkins + Will's proposal would operate in a 15-acre site, a portion of Houston urban space that illustrates the city's one-size-fits-all-type of urban planning. The FibroCity consists of a proposal based on interwoven programmatic elements. It aims at regenerating the urban voids created with the intrusion of highways into the urban environment by filling with effective programs. Perkins + Will confirms the issues that Houston faces: lack of zoning code, traffic congestion, lack of public transit, air and water quality, poverty, discontinuity, and obesity. Perkins + Will's FibroCity is a city based on communication networks, exchange such as fibers to regenerate the fragmented urban space of Houston. FibroCity proposal is conceived to provide people space to "avoid the street and vehicular traffic". It is also a proposal that integrate nature areas in the city; it helps the city to retrofit to a self-sufficient city.

Streets will have the crucial role of re-connector "tools" of urban areas. As I mentioned, the highways-oriented city of Houston led to urban areas that were segregated. Houston new master plan calls for the adoption of a smart citywide infrastructure and drainage plan based on national quality standards. Say complete streets. Complete streets in the sense that these streets must be designed for transit, pedestrians, parking, bicycles, landscaping and well-located utilities while streets were conceived originally just for cars and drainage.
Complete streets © Perkins + Will
> One of major problems from which Houston suffers, according the website
Better Houston is the lack of organisation of its streets.
Streets are mainly designed for cars and drainage.
Along with Perkins + Will's design proposal, streets will be "completed" with the
extension of their use to pedestrians, bicyclists, and landscaping, so forth.
These "great" streets will also become "greenways".
Perkins + Will's proposal adds paths dedicated to pedestrians. Paths will be shaded with the plantation of trees to facilitate the circulation of residents. For an European like me, this design reminds me certain cities like Copenhagen, a city designed for public transit, bicycles, pedestrians. This would be a great transformation for Houston.
These greenways will precisely be made up artificial and natural environment, say paths and nature. Trees will be planted to provide shading for the pedestrians. They will have the delicate task to regenerate air quality of Houston.
Diagram — Access to Nature areas © Perkins + Will

A canopy will be built to allow people for a range of views and experiences through the site.
Canopy © Perkins + Will
It will house green promenade and parks.
Under the Canopy © Perkins + Will
> The canopy is a good illustration of Houston's effort for the integration of
landscaping in its urban environment. The canopy will house green promenade and parks.
It will facilitate the diffusion of natural air and sunlight within the green areas.

Urban voids will be replaced by various programs, such as urban agriculture and exchange areas.
Diagram — Urban Agriculture and Habitat Exchange Areas, © Perkins + Will
> The intrusion of nature areas and habitat can help
reconnect the fragmented spaces by filling the urban voids.
This 15-acre site will "incorporate sustainable strategies such as grey water collection and insolation collection as sources of energy and reuse." For Perkins + Will, opting for re-used buildings and lots permits to re-use rapidly the lots for an environmentally friendly program, such as urban agriculture.
Diagram — Net Zero Energy © Perkins + Will
> The sustainable strategy will consist of a solar system that combined
heat and power strung engine generators with no combustion. It will also incorporate
other systems such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.
Diagram — Net Zero Water: Grey Zero Water © Perkins + Will

Diagram — Zero Net Water: Black Water Process © Perkins + Will

This proposal is very ambitious. FibroCity is not the only proposal conceived for regenerating U.S. cities. Map-Lab's ResilienCity is another proposal with similar ambitions: reinventing Boston. The difference is that Boston seems not to suffer from the same symptoms as Houston. Boston's ambition is to provide a high quality physical environment for its residents. An attractive, safe and convenient environment in response to the specific needs of residents. Map-Lab's proposal is for Boston's Innovation District, a new neighborhood built on grey field and brownfield sites that will build residences and workplaces for around 300,000 people. Innovation District plan has an easy and simple ambition: it articulates three task forces: work, live and play. Work, first: to create clusters of innovative people, precisely "a tight ecosystem to foster creative growth — distance equals death". Live: to build flexible housing options to work for flexible lifestyles. Play: to provide public space and programming to foster an innovation ecosystem.
Globally the Innovation District which is part of South Boston redevelopment envisions a new type of urban planning. As the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) underlines, Boston's current zoning reflects " a time when industrial uses were more prevalent along the corridor." In other words, Boston's current urban planning mainly does not correspond to the changing contexts. It does "not reflect the natural spread of residential uses into this area from the traditional South Boston residential neighborhood." The task is to develop a clear vision based on a mixed use zoning district for the area. The Boston's Innovation District new master plan envisions to provide test of groundbreaking technologies in clean energy, citizen participation, transportation, and city infrastructure.
ResilienCity, Boston, USA  © Mab-Lab

This is the framework of Map-Lab's ResilienCity. Map-Lab participated in the International Living Future Institute's Living City Design Competition 2010 that sought designs for cities in the 2035. ResilienCity seeks to invite citizen participation — a community — to "create environments that are culturally enriching, healthier, and equitable." It contains "new canals that give100 acres of land back to the sea and provide for roof gardens and living walls throughout the district with the goal of re-establishing long lost ecological conditions."

ResilienCity design proposal consists of over 15 million square feet (1393545.6 square meters) of green spaces for recreation and green roofs.
ResilienCity © Map-Lab

ResilienCity articulates Water, Energy, Health, Materials and Beauty. Water, first. Map-Lab's net zero strategy integrates the transformation of an existing bus tunnel into a 20 million gallon district water cistern. The goal is the restoration of existing hardened edges (granite seawalls) into permeable surfacing that allow for aquifer recharge through reconstructed wetlands.
Infrastructure Section © Map-Lab

Map-Lab's energy strategy will propose 4 times what is required in the district by using a variety of processes including photovoltaic systems on building roofs and the roads, biogas using organic waste, and MicroCHP strategies at individual building scales. As for Health, this part is unclear for me. It requires to be developed or, at least, more details. According to the architects, ResilienCity will encourage all visitors, workers, and occupants to be active and educated about their health. It is not specified which practical strategies will be drawn to help people to be active and educated about their health. Nonetheless, the design proposal propose to reduce substantially the vehicular traffic. In contrast, public transit system will be increased and improved by relocating the tractor-trailer trucks to a new Eco Industrial Zone.
ResilienCity — Mixed Use District Section © Map-Lab

Materials consist of the reuse of existing buildings and a self-imposed limitation of 500 km radius for sourced materials. Each building will be equipped with a building nutrition label providing nutritional value to residents. This system will provide information about energy, water and waste.
Home Section © Map-Lab

Beauty, finally, will consist of educational opportunities about nature, health, buildings and community. A model that encourages the engagement and tracking activities will be created. This is a 'carbon card" as an embedded synthesis of the economic (debit card) and the ecological (embodied energy factors) "costs' of things, as the agency says.
ResilienCity © Map-Lab

This will be a device, as an evolution of smart phone technologies, that will provide the residents' ID card, communications, data accessing device, credit/debit card, embodied energy measurer as well as their health status.
ResilienCity Site Plan — Aerial view © Map-Lab


JDS Architects receiving the World Architecture News (WAN) Award

JDS Architects just announced to have received an award for being one of WAN (World Architecture News)'s 21 Architects for the 21st century.

The initiative aims to highlights 21 architects who could be the leading lights of architecture in the 21st century; outstanding, forward-thinking people and organisations who have the demonstrable potential to be the next big thing in the architectural world. The jurors were looking for architects, whose directional ideas are helping to shape the future of architecture, whilst keeping within the boundaries of commecial viability and sustainability.
The review concluded that only the entries that absolutely blew the jury away on every count should be awarded 'winners', while sixteen practices were given the prestigious accolade as the leading exponents of the future of architecture were as follows: Atelier Ryo Abe 'Japan, JDS Archirects (Belgiul/Denmark), Nieto Sobejano Arqhitectos (Spain), Oatterson Associates (New Zealand) and the Reluif Ramstad Archirects (Norway).

For more detailed on WAN: Here.


Ecological Borders Competition

Ecological Borders announced that the third competition just opened.

The new - third competition calls for a radical reimagination of the current relationship between humans and the built environment through the establishment of new architectural protocols of coexistence in the search of a new Partial-Total Ecology: "YUmen(eco)tec-pharming".

The jury
François Roche, R&Sie(n)

Submission deadline
28 June 2011, 12:00, CET (Central European Time).

For information (registration, prizes): Here.


eCAADe Announces the eCAADe Grant for Young Researchers

eCAADe announces the eCAADe grant for young researchers. The following is from eCAADe.

We invite young researchers studying in Europe who have not yet presented at an eCAADe conference and will not present at eCAADe 2011 in Ljubljana to submit their approved phD proposal and a motivation statement (together 1000 to 1500 words).
The phD has to be in the wide field of computational technologies in research and education for architecture and related profession. You will attend a pre-conference phD workshop where you will present your work and discuss with experienced colleagues.
The Workshop 2011 will be held at the eCAADe conference in Ljubljana/Slovenia on Tuesday 09/20/2011. The grant is worth more than 500,- (400 Euro Cash refund to cover your expenses when you attend the workshop and a special students registration to attend the conference afterwards).
The deadline for application is : 06/15/2011
Notification of acceptance: 07/15/2011.

For more: Here.


Sunday Roundup: Among Others

Good initiative: designdeservice is a online resource created by Matthew Marino and his team of User Studio for the francophone service design community. As it is for the francophones, it is in French. The principle is clear, like an open-source system, users are invited to contribute and add definitions, case studies, tools and methods specific to the field of service design.

Just completed: Steven Holl Architects, in collaboration with Solange Fabiao, just completed the Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz, France. This results in a fascinating dialogue of convex/concave forms derived from the spatial concept "under the sky"/"under the sea". "The building's strong spatial qualities are experienced from the museum's entrance, where the lobby and ramps to the gallery give a broad aerial view of the exhibition areas, as they pass along the dynamic curved surface that will be animated by moving image and light…" (Steven Holl)

The Book of the week: Visiting my local bookstore, I bought A Green New Deal. From geopolitics to biosphere politics last week. This book is of Enric Ruiz-Geli and Cloud9 and published by Actar Editorial and Arts Santa Monica. It is on my desk. You can find in your local bookstore or Here, or Here.

Before: Before reading this book, I warmly suggest to read Jeremy Rifkin's essays: Biosphere Politics: A Cultural Odyssey from the Middle Ages to the New Age (which is hard to find), Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis. Nonetheless, a new book — The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy and Changing the World — will help for a best reading of Ruiz-Geli and Cloud9's book A Green New Deal. Jeremy Rifkin contributed in Ruiz-Geli and Cloud9's book. Consequently…

I like: Perkins and Will's FibroCITY and Map-Lab's ResilienCity. The first one, FibroCity, is a proposal by Perkins and Will. It aims at regenerate Houston's urban area. Urban voids will be filled up with places for people, activities, and interactions.
FibroCity, Houston, USA, © Perkins and Will. Originally appears on archdaily
FibroCity © Perkins and Will. Originally appears on archdaily

The second one, ResilienCity is a proposal by Map-Lab which aims is to set the vision for the future of Boston's Innovation District. This district is a new neighborhood built on grey field and brownfield sites providing residences and workplaces for over 300,000 people.
ResilienCity, Boston, USA, © Map-Lab
ResilienCity — Sea Level Change Coastline © Map-Lab

I Like: Mecanoo Architecten's Shenzhen Cultural Complex proposal has been chosen by the district government of Shenzhen. The complex contains a public art museum, a science museum, a youth center and a mega bookstore on a 90,000-square-meter site. This project will be built with the collaboration of the artists Doug and Wolf.
Shenzhen Cultural Complex, Shenzhen, China © Mecanoo Architecten
Shenzhen Cutlural Complex © Mecanoo Architecten

Among others…


To-do list: Some essays, books, …, suggestions

Some suggestions that I invite you:
To read: Liveable v lovable by Edwin Heathcote for the Financial Time. The question that I posted in the Urbanism facebook page: how to measure a liveable city? How to measure a lovable city?

To check: CNBC has posted its 20 Cities You don't Want to Live in… Yet… To be clear, these cities are American. But you can list your own 20-cities-you-don't-want-to-live-in list (don't forget to add your "yet"…)

To follow: I invite those of you who have a strong interest in urbanism to join the Urbanism facebook page. Just click Here and join us. You will share, discuss and comment essays, impressions, workshops, books, conferences, etc. with us. Be free to join us…

To read: A Green New Deal. From geopolitics to biosphere politics, by Enric Ruiz-Geli and Cloud9, Actar Editorial. The book is available: Here. However…

To read: it is important to read Jeremy Rifkin's The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, and add in your next-books-to-read the same Jeremy Rifkin's The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy and Changing the World, which will be released on September 2011… before reading Enric Ruiz-Geli and Cloud9's A Green New Deal.

To read: Involuntary Prisoners of Architecture by Fecility D. Scott. I followed a discussion between Ethel Baraona Pohl, Javier Arbona, Paco Gonzalez, and Pedro.

To read: Rethinking The Urban Transformation Projects Again: The Distribution of Public Burden and Benefits. The Case of Kartal District, Istanbul, by A. Erdem Erbas and Tansel Erbil. Zaha Hadid is working on the master plan for the Kartal District. I received this link from Malgorzata Hanzl (thanks again for sharing this essay with me).

To get: Icon Magazine Issue 096. June issue "Oceans" of the famous Icon Magazine with a letter from Tokyo by Icon contributing editor Julian Worrall who describe the tsunami and its aftershocks… It's just in my June-list.


UIA 2011 Tokyo Youth Jamboree

Representing the international community, 160 young architectural professionals and students will work together to reflect upon architecture and the city of 2050 and present their practical visions for the future. The workshop theme will encourage participants to think about cultural and sports facilities, as well as the many institutions that support the functions of a city.

The theme is Kizuna.
Connections with your family, friends, loves, and even with your neighborhoods. Kizuna is the connections with your precious people that cannot break off. On 11. March 2011, the biggest earthquake in recorded history hit the east coast of Japan. An enormous number of people have passed away and still missing. Many others are still suffering and in need for help.
However, the generous response and support from people and organizations all over the world mean a lot to us.
We believe — Kizuna — connects the world.
The enormous damage of the devastating earthquake disproved the confidence in architecture infrastructure in Japan. Compared with the area which suffered the direct onslaught of the earthquake disaster, the damage to the capital city, Tokyo, might only be slight. However, this catastrophe was enough for us to imagine how serious menace it will be, if an earthquake over magnitude 8.0 hits directly Tokyo.
Now, it must be time to ask ourselves again, how architecture can prepare, resist, and make the future, assuming the earthquake in Tokyo.
Learning from 3.11, we hope to investigate and explore the new possibilities of architecture fro the future with participants from all over the world.

The workshop will be held from 22nd to 29th September, 2011.

NYC: National Olympic Memorial Youth Center
COREDO: COREDO Muromachi Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall

Enrolment Limit
120 students and 40 young architects

For information and registration: Here.


Community in a Cube by FAT with BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

FAT (as known as Fashion Architecture Taste) just unveiled construction images of their project Middlehaven that they are building in collaboration with BioRegional-Quintain Ltd (BQL).
Community in a Cube © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

Middlehaven is a major regeneration scheme for a former industrial docklands in Middlesbrough.
Community in a Cube © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

This project consists of a Community in a Cube (CIAC) building with 80 residential units and commercial or retail tenancies at ground level.
Community in a Cube © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd
North Elevation © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

The design meets a range of targets, including the aspirations of the masterplan, construction efficiency and providing lifestyle choices for future residents, the architects say.
North Model © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd
Concept © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

The BQL One Planet Living principles underpin all aspects of the development, which will meet and exceed the EcoHomes Excellent rating.
Rendering of the Community in a Cube © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd
Court Model © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd
Cross Section © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd
CIAC is due to be completed in 2012.
Plan of the 3-6th Floors © FAT and BioRegional-Quintain Ltd

What is FAT?
FAT is an environmental design studio with an international reputation for delivering outstanding and award winning projects at a range of scales and for many different uses. FAT specialises in architecture, cities and design. FAT works for cultural, commercial and government clients including Igloo Regeneration, BioRegional-Quintain, Tate, Grosvenor, Selfridges and Rotterdam City Council and are committed to developing our clients briefs into extraordinary projects.
The studio is directed by three of Britain's leading architectural and design thinkers: Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob, each of whom are committed to developing architectural culture both through practice and through design research at institutions including Yale and the Architectural Association. The directors are closely involved in the design of all projects which are managed by a project architect or leader in close contact with the client.
Current projects include the BBC Media Village in Cardiff, The International School, Birmingham, residential schemes in Sheffield and Middleborough and an art academy in Eindhoven. Recent projects include a Library in SE London, a cultural centre and park in Rotterdam, and a new build mixed use development in Amersfoort, NL.

Just completed: Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz, by Steven Holl Architects

The Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, designed by Steven Holl Architects in collaboration with Brazilian born and New York-based artist and architect Solange Fabiao, is just completed.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf, Biarritz, France — Rendering of Master Plan, ©Steven Holl Architects
Site Plan. Image courtesy: Steven Holl Architects

The starting point is the spatial concept of "Under the sky"/"Under the sea". The building derives its overall form from a concave/convex relation.
South Elevation. Image courtesy of Luc Médrinal

Concave is the exterior; convex are the inner spaces. A complementary aspect to this project is that the building merged with its site enhancing the dual relation of the concave and the convex, the exterior and the interior.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf — Concept Sketch, ©Steven Holl Architects

Not only is the building integrated in its site but also it is created by the site. In this context, even the exterior spaces appear to have been treated as an "interior" space, if we consider the sky as "ceiling".
Plaza, ©Steven Holl Architects

Whatever the sky may be treated, this results in a fascinating building/central gathering place for the city of Biarritz, conceived as a continuation with its surrounded environment.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan
> Two glass boulders host a restaurant and the surfer's kiosk. These boxes are connected
to the two boulders on the beach in the distance. The glass boulders
can be reached through the main entry lobby connecting the street level to the restaurant and surfer's kiosk.
They are also accessible independently through the plaza.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan

The exterior slope serves as a gathering plaza and a skate pool. It is made out of a textured white concrete covered with Portuguese cobblestones paving with grass and natural vegetation.
Interior Space, ©Steven Holl Architects

The interior space derives its specificity from curved interior walls and ceiling. The walls are covered with a white plaster and the floors with a wooden floor.
Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf. Image credit: Iwan Baan
Interior Space. Image credit: Iwan Baan. Originally appeared on designboom
Interior Space — Exhibition Space. Image credit: Iwan Baan. Originally appeared on designboom
South elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao.
Originally appeared on designboom
West Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao
Originally appeared on designboom
North Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao
Originally appeared on designboom
South Elevation. Image courtesy: Solange Fabiao.
Originally appeared on designboom

Who is she?
Artist and architect Solange Fabiao was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fabiao, since very early age has been committed to the fine arts considering painting lifetime activity. At the age of 8, Fabiao produced her first set, a large-scale painting of a tree on a black background. Diversity in the creative process and in the forms of expression has been her focal point; Fabiao studied Architecture and received her BFA in Set Design. Fabiao worked as set designer for the Brazilian Network Rede Globo and designed sets for theater in Rio de Janeiro and in Berlin, Germany. Fabiao studied digital media and art history at the HDK and Freie Universität Berlin seven months before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1994 Fabiao left Berlin to New York.
Fabiao received several honorable mentions for her architectural projects, in 2005 she won the architecture competition for the Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf in Biarritz, France. The collaboration with Steven Holl Architects is now complete and set to open in June 2011. As industrial designer Fabiao has launched in 2005 in Austria an innovative door handle which combines pliable silicone technology and sculptural qualities manufactured by Olivari in Italy. Elementar no.1 — Path to Henry Hudson, an outdoor installation was part in Ahoy! Where lies Henry Hudson an exhibition of Henry Hudson memorials in Woodstock, NY celebrating the Quadricentennial of Hudson's explorations in 2009.
In 2008 Fabiao inaugurated her project AMAZONIA (Projecting on Black) at Western Bridge, a non-profit space in Seattle — a HD Video series shot in the Amazon region during the dry and wet seasons of 2006 and 2007. The single-direction videos, which presented unedited the dramatic changes that occur during sunrise and sunset were projected on a black-painted surface revealing a new kind of depth to the projected image while also exploring the extremes of darkness and light.
Fabiao's art projects have been exhibited in Europe, in the Americas and in the Middle East. Including Global Public Art Project TRANSITIO: TRANSITIAO_MIAMI in 2006, TRANSITIO_NYC in 2005 (Made possible by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with support from The September 11th Fund; the project was selected to participate in the 2006 Architecture Venice Biennial to represent NYC at Cities, Architecture and Society Exhibition) 2004 TRANSITIO_BEIRUT, 2003 exhibition TRANSITIO NYC_TORNIO in the Aine Art Museum in Finland, 2002 at Art and Idea — Mexico City and 2001 Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes — Location: 1.3 miles at the Paul Rogers Gallery in NYC coinciding with the Guggenheim Museum exhibition, Brazil: Body and Soul. In 1997 she participated in the 47th Venice Biennial presenting the Internet project Cyberclone 2000.
AMAZONIA (Projecting on Black) is on view from April 30 to June 11? 2011 at the Simon Fraser University gallery in Vancouver, Canada.

Building Facts
Project: Cite de l'Ocean et du Surf
Design Architects: Steven Holl ArchitectsSolange Fabiao
Project Architect: Rodolfo Dias
Project Advisor: Chris McVoy
Assistant project architect: Felipe Taboada
Project team: Francesco Bartolozzi, Christopher Brokaw, Cosimo Caggiula, Florance Guiraud, Richard Liu, johanna Muszbek, Ernest Ng, Alessandro Orsini, Nelson Wilmotte, Ebbie Wisecarver, Lan Wu, Christina Yessios.
Project Team DD/CD: Ruessli Architekten — Justin Ruessli, Mimi Kueh, Stephan Bieri, Bjorn Zepnik
Associate Architects: Agence d'Architecture — X. Leibar, J.M. Seigneurin
Structural Consultant: Betec and Vinci Construction Marseille
Acoustical Consultant: AVEL Acoustique
HVAC Consultant: Elithis
General Contractor: Faura Silva, GTM Sud-Ouest Batiment
Location: Biarritz, France
Status: Completed
Year: 2011
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Source: Steven Holl Architects

Images appeared on Steven Holl Architects, except if specified on designboom

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