| Author: Anastasis Troullides
| Tutors: Daniel Köhler, Rasa Navasaityte
| University of East London
Succeeding the curtain wall, the façade today is composed with just one element: the window and its repetition. The mass of windows emphasizes rhythm, in contrast to historical compositions, where windows were used to place accents or determine the axes. Contrary to a proper emphasis of a body metaphor, rhythm resonates its parts. In a curtain wall the mass of windows produces the effect of a grid. The grid is not an object in the first place; it is the result of the assembly of windows. The quantity of windows absorbs the façade as a whole to a condition of the part. The possibility of assembly, in modern sense typically the array, is contained within the single window. The idea that the façade, through the method of assembly, is already inherent in the design of the window itself must have crucial consequences for the composition of walls.
This notion of a whole as part for the part as a whole, will be our entry point to design a “wall” contributing to the city. The re-assembly of the façade will allow us to reoccupy that what we have lost in architecture: space. The re-articulating flat assemblies towards porous space can extend the possibilities of the leftovers behind the curtains: in our case stacked mass housing ensembles.
Strangely, most mass housing projects do not fail because of the quality of the apartment’s arrangements, but the lack of open space and shared facilities.
Today, those massive concrete landscapes seem to be impossibly huge and virtually abandoned. These deteriorating buildings we will take as a starting point for reactivating intervention. The re-imagination of a lively neighbourhood goes here hand in hand with the technical upgrading of such building structures to self-sustainable environments. Therefore, as an ecological design we seek for a city that turns into an architectural composition of humans and inhuman parts equally.
By investigating the curtain wall of the Neo Solar Power Corporation as a case study and dissecting an element of its façade which makes part of the system we can identify the repetition this element has in the construction of the facade. This element will be the tool to design. The re-assembly of the element will allow us to push its spatial and design qualities to its limits. The elements are part of everyday building construction and therefore are freely available as mass produced aluminium extrusions with the ability to span at whatever length is needed. With the ability to use an element that is able to vary in length will allow us to creatively design and to re-articulate this element for a different use altogether. The re-articulation allows us to be able to create figurative frames which acts as nodes in a way of further design.
A building extension of a mass housing complex with open space, shared facilities.
The existing building is a complete 100% residential block without any real interaction between its residents or the surrounding environment. This proposal is to change the 100% living block into a more permeable/transparent entity combining people’s hobbies into something communicative by introducing an atrium intervention. To provide seamless walkways from private spaces which lead onto semi-private and public spaces through the means of an atrium will free up the densely packs apartments and allow a more sociable living environment. The atrium intervention connects existing apartments to shareable spaces and allows the users to have a sense of separation from their living spaces to their social/work spaces but still having their connection to their homes. The atrium will bring in a sense of permeability to the building spanning between two cores. Translating the building from a purely inhabitable space where people live and sleep, to a social communicating hub/cultural intervention. With the intervention occurring between two cores there is a greater opportunity for residents to meet each other and engage in social communication. The atrium is to combine resident’s hobbies together. With the ability to view spaces at different levels will spark a more enjoyable and creative way of living.