tri-weekly brew: what the others say and the project of the week: Taiwan City Art Museum by James Law Cybertecture

This brew may be the last posted from France because in 4 days I'll move to Tokyo for three months of new challenges, new experiences. The first weeks may be a bit blurred since I need to know who does what, where, how, etc. But, well, I will share the evolution of things regularly.
Now, let's begin:
A video to open this tri-weekly brew: The Future City is a Smarter City shared by @thisbigcity and The Future of Technology.

So Smart cities does with quality insofar as, in a knowledge economy, quality trumps quantity. Needless to say that population growth (and demand growth for housing, jobs, infrastructure) equals economic growth.
Smart City yes but Collaborative City. The city can be the engines of innovation if it does not forget the importance of face-to-face contact with others. City is a space that generates new collaborations, creativity and ideas for solving the most intransigent problems.
August 24th, 2011, Mayra Hartmann posted an interested article titled Congestedcities (using hashtags): The Rise of Overcrowds. As people migrate to cities, cities grow, this leads to overcrowding cities. The question Mayra Hartmann poses about the distinction between overcrowding and congestion is interesting. Overcrowding concerns a particular space, she says, while congestion is not a cause but a symptom. Consequently, doesn't overcrowding lead to congested spaces?
One example: traffic congestion. For Hartmann, traffic congestion can be solved with realistic policies and decision-making: development and improvement of public transportation, being diverse (multiple public transport modes…), and process: think of something, attempt at making it work, fail, start again. 'Smart' is the key to this issue of congestion. But a smart city must be diverse, experimental and creative.

Needless to say that overcrowding and congestion are two of a large number of setbacks of the 20th century city. This is why, for many of us, the 20th century city has failed for different reasons among others: it is dominated by cars.

Now, the hard task for urban planners is to implement adaptive and responsive tools to design a city for its people, sustainable, less congested, accessible… Probably this multi-tasking 21st century city could generate solutions to address these issues of congestion and overcrowding. This 21st century city, to quote Saskia Sassen, could become a living laboratory for smart technologies that can handle all the major systems a city requires: water, transport, security, garbage, green buildings, and clear energy. It is announced to be collaborative, as mentioned above, that is, a city that proposes upgrading and problem-addressing plans involving citizens. Why problem-addressing plans rather than problem-solving plans? I am not sure that these issues of congestion and overcrowding could be overcome, even with 'smart' problem-solving tools. As city will continue to grow, issues of mobility — but also of housing, jobs, etc. — will increase no matter how intelligent these tools could be.

On the contrary, addressing these issues could reposition the act of designing city today. It could generate new tools to tackle this question of city-growth, and its consequences — congestion, overcrowding, housing shortage, energy shortage, pollution, and so forth. I just heard an urban sociologist on radio saying that probably we should find solutions to make cities less big or to develop 'problem-solving' solutions for small- medium-scale cities to welcome urban candidates. It is idealistic — some may say naive — however his viewpoint demonstrates a search for rapid strategies to respond to these growing issues of overcrowding and congestion.

Yet city-growth is inevitable since we all want to live in a place that provides all the specific needs, services and opportunities: jobs, leisures, housing and child care, schools, security, healthcare, and transport. Cities are these convenient spaces that will continue to attract new urban candidates.

Hence, to quote Mayra Hartmann, it is fundamental to implement realistic policies and decision-making as mentioned above. Consequently, tackling the issue of congested cities requires transport intelligent enough to adapt to users' needs and different ways of using and living cities.

Now, to close this tri-weekly brew, let's move on to the architectural project of the week: Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal by James Law Cybertecture, a museum made of aggregation of balloons of different sizes. Here is what James Law Cybertecture says on his proposal:
Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal © James Law Cybertecture

States of matter are the distinct forms that different phases of matter takes on. Solid is the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume and shape; liquid is the state in which matter maintains a fixed volume but adapts to the shape of its container; and gas is the state in which matter expands to occupy whatever volume is available.
Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal © James Law Cybertecture

The site is located near the southern tip of Yingge district in New taipei City, on a reclamation rea on the west side of Dahan River. The site is near the Yingge Railway Station and the Yingge Ceramics Museum.
Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal © James Law Cybertecture

The building is 11 stories high, 77 meters in width, length and height. The program is divided into 3 zones, the contemporary museum, children museum and library, administration zones. From the 2/F lobby visitors can access either one of these zones. The northern portion allows access to the 3/F contemporary museum and the special exhibits. The southern portion allows access to the basement library and adminitration offices and the 3/F children museum.
Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal © James Law Cybertecture

The building form allows for natural ventilation and sunlight through the entrances and atrium spaces. Stack effect is movement of air into and out of building driven by buoyancy. This can improve the thermal comfort in semi-open area without the requirement of HVAC system. Energy savings can be achieved. Stack effect is carried out trhough the light well located at the centre of the building. Rainwater is collected through the facade and roof of the building and the grey water is reused for irrigation and flushing of bathrooms. Toreduce the demand for potable mains water, the recycle of grey water and rainwater harvesting can be used for non-portable purposes.
Taiwan City Art Museum Proposal © James Law Cybertecture

PV lamp posts and wind turbines are scattered around the site to promote a more environmentally friendly environment. To achieve better energy performance, displacement ventilation can be integrated with radiant cooling system. Radiant cooling refers to any system where interior surface temperatures are lowered to remove sensible heat gain. During the construction stage, piping system is evenly woven before concrete is casted. Chilled water circulates in the piping system to remove the heat.
Presentation Board 01 © James Law Cybertecture

The design has a conventional column free sustructural system. It is supported by the RC walls at the building edge. The RC wall contributes to the overall thermal mass of the building and provides a continuous surface for the attachment of the "ball" cladding, insulation, and most importantly — waterproofing. The trusses would roughly be 2.5m deep. The random "left over" spaces created between the spheres are used to allow light into the museum. The western and eastern sides have less glazing to block off the sunlight and the northern and southern sides have a larger portion of glazing.
Presentation Board 03 © James Law Cybertecture

Source: archdaily

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