Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Architecture vs Housing: Four Case Studies – PART 1

My pleasure is to introduce fernando grenell and thomas balbarda from bboa that's bruno balapar the architecture office from rosario argentina the partnership established in 2012 i think pretty much straight after their graduation and short after that .

Their practices won more than five first prizes in architecture competitions and more recently other awards for their work have started coming in in 2021 they've been invited to latin american architecture vienna in papullona spain we've learned about their work uh mid uh this year um through publication of uh two of their projects which .

Went viral in architectural websites uh the first one uh medicine building which effectively is seven detached homes in fisherton the suburb of rosario was dealing with increasing density of development in a lot where previously we would find a single home that was now seven buildings being built .

And shortly after that we learned about their slightly older project that was completed in 2015 and that's social housing in granada by korea the project that we will be uh talking about today over to you uh guys .

Well thanks george and everyone our english is a little bit rusty so to make ourselves more clear we decided to be barely a speech and in order to feed the whole thing in 15 minutes so first of all we would like to thank the school of melbourne for inviting us .

To give this lecture and to show our work even though this is not the first time we show our work abroad it is our first contact whatsoever with australia so naturally we are really excited about having this experience and we really hope there's a next time to do this face to .

Face i am thomas and my associate fernando our office is officina architectura we used to be fellow student mate at university and after getting our degree we opened our practice in 2012 as george said one year after that we were hired to develop the following .

Project we are going to give this lecture about it is a social housing development located in granada a small town close rosario the the third most populated city of argentina to begin with we consider important to contextualize .

The circumstances behind this design challenge for many years in argentina the possibility of obtaining mortgage loans was restricted and in 2012 the creation of a trust fund called program gave the possibility of access to housing .

Through a loan with a term of 30 or 40 years program was an initiative that the national government promoted for the delivery of 100 000 mortgage loans to acquire dwellings that were built by the program through urban developments the program worked through national .

Competitions where construction companies in order to participate had to make not only an economic offer but also a design proposal in each urban development we were hired by a construction company to accomplish a proposal that on the one .

Hand would be appealing for national judges but on the other hand had to be affordable enough for them to make a competitive offer in other words as architects we were in between government expectations of overthinking designs and the company's economic efficiency .

Philosophy even though designing with a limited budget represented the challenge the rules of this national contest were a major obstacle the brief program designed basic sketches that define a footprint that was not allowed to change as designers the possibility of .

Proposing changes was not really clear and respected and we had to respect the amount of typologies the units the square meters the amounts of services such as bathroom and kitchens and well of all these models were mandatory the vigoria project consists of 120 units split into seven buildings .

From the beginning of the designing process the limitations became the strength of the new proposal and only justify variations were the ones that prevail empty space became the main strategy of intervention this operation was not necessarily more expensive but would improve lots of variables taken into .

Account in the design of each building preparation to the volumes would not only improve the space quality of the buildings but also its relationship with the stream in a in a country such as argentina security considerations are always taken into account in the .

Designing process in this case by increasing the amount of entrances to the building compared to the brief base the relationship with the street improved as well as the neighborhood security and while these features allow residents to establish control over .

Their private and community property and ultimately deter criminal activity the whole project is divided into three families of buildings this includes ground floor plus three-story building ground floor plus two levels and ground floor plus seven levels .

Each building was originally defined schematically in the brief base problems were identified in each building provided by the brief but overcoming these mistakes became the starting point of our design proposal in the lower buildings the ground plus three floor and plus two floor buildings were identified we .

Identified sorry the circulation as extremely unefficient the distance from the main entrance to each unit for us was unacceptable in addition the whole volume was combined with one duplex unit on top of another one this composition .

Represented a contradiction because we were supposed to give a building with a diversity of dwellings so in other words the original conformation of the volume was the result of the repetition of the same unit towards this fact we considered that the .

Diversity of apartments was something essential we consider to provide the future inhabitants a sense of belonging and that it was a factor in promoting individualism this problem was an ambitious one to overcome because every unit was supposed to have the same square meters and .

Facilities facing this challenge we arrived at the conclusion that by adding empty space volumes different units with the same square meters could be added and the rest of this operation would be completed with the circulations this operation added .

Across duplex as an alternative another variation possible in distribution was locating bedrooms sometimes on top and sometimes at entrance levels this way the proposal manages to develop eight different units compared to the only one given by the brief base .

Another design strategy was to pay special attention in the circulation stages open space was carefully thought out and it gradually changes its scale along the way through the complex a private exterior space was also provided in every unit in addition to this strategy .

Rational solutions were proposed in order to make the construction process more efficient every decision made was thought out to be an affordable solution an example of this is the use of the same frame window for the whole intervention as well as a module structure the open circulation was thought out to .

Work as a common serious space where neighbors were expected to socialize and to appropriate for their own personal use we believe that this kind of space makes the building breathe and provide an extra and extra exterior space for the unit that is that which is essentially small in terms of square .

Meters modifying the distance between the buildings was not allowed but the perforations where the circulations take place make the central garden healthier in terms of illumination and ventilation and contact with the streets cross ventilation was also taken into .

Account in the proper design of each unit each and every unit has it as thomas said kitchen and bathrooms are also the same in every unit also to make construction affordable all of this designing decision had a great impact on reducing costs moreover .

The whole building is completed by the repetition of this first four modules this also made the development of the technical and executive plans more efficient finally the ground plus seven floor building original volume is wide and not high enough .

So the plan is broken and shifted in order to improve the respected perspectives the main challenge was to work this typology embracing some of the solution provided in the other typologies in the lower ones in this case the empty space was also added and placed it in every floor of the .

Circulation this action improved the common space that generally lacks natural lights and sights the position of the balconies in each dwelling were also switched in between floors to provide a wider range of typologies .

So we added different types of typologies not only in the lower buildings but also in the ground plus seven ones ultimately our intention was to express an architecture which not only favored inhabitants but also the citizens in the offer in the offering of possible human .

Scenarios understanding their own residential project as the building of urban landscape for us every obstacle problem and difficulty faced in the designing process has always always been enriching the idea behind every building has always .

Appeared by trying to fix an apparent problem our architecture is proposed in order to improve not only living condition in this kind of complex but also to provide positive solutions to urban landscape surroundings thank you very much okay thanks very much for the .

Presentation that was amazing and it was it's an amazing project congratulations for that and we're really privileged to to have you with us uh in this seminar um we've agreed to one or two questions after this and um i i'd like to start with um addressing the topic of uh individual .

And uh personal uh when it comes to uh designing for collective uh housing so you were given the brief um to design 105 or so um individual units in a very close proximity uh to to each other and you know when we're reading about a project the topic that comes out is that you wanted to address uh individuality um in .

That uh and uh maybe it would be good to hear a couple of more sentences of um how do you address that in terms of design and what can what can designer do to to put more importance on individuality of residential spaces .

Well thanks george you know that that's something that as this was one of the first project we came through as an office everything that we learned from this experience we carried on investigating about and lots of housing projects came after this one and .

This particular thing of searching for individual individualism and where the repetition of dwellings is something common in this kind of project it is something really interesting for us where in this case in particular we we also have like the restrictions of not being able to change the square meters or the bathrooms and .

Kitchen had to be exactly the same so we managed to to to check when we found out that maybe changing positions in the duplex kind of uni where the bedroom on top or something sometimes on the entrance level or maybe the relationship of orientation where .

Sometimes they face north or south or west or something like that these small changes we realized uh make one dwelling different than the other one and we also came up to the people that now are living there and they really appreciate like having these small differences you know like .

Maybe a couple of weeks ago we went there showing the project to other architects and we came up with with the woman that was living there and she was like really proud about living in in a special kind of cross dublex with her bedrooms where on the ground level .

And she was like really proud about her house being different to to one that her neighbor was coming so after learning this and this is something that we always try to search in you mentioned another project we we didn't show here that it's all about the seven the seven houses that are shared in in one same project .

And in that case uh the search for these little differences are are really shown in in just the position of the house because they are in terms of square meters exactly the same but just switching a little bit the position .

Towards the orientation makes them like really special and particular you know compared to the outside panel like what do you think about yes um the thing is in this particular project in vigoria social housing complex is that the amount of square meters that was going to be built in that portion of city were .

Almost like tripling or quadrupling the amount of square meters building in the surroundings so what we understood is that our surroundings were made uh like the natural way of the city growth is more irregular .

With differences with alternatives because each family builds their own house uh in a different way or with different architects or with different intentions or with different budgets so we thought that this alteration would not only as tommy said will .

Bring a more broad amount of dwellings in order to be able to adapt different kind of living situation if the family was like an older couple or a single person um like a healthier way to .

You know to promote urban growth another thing is that this social housing in the future like in maybe 50 or 60 years will be introduced into the market because the mortgages would be already being paid so each individual would be .

The owner and could be selling their units we thought that also having variations would let the market uh work in a more efficient way and if you sold like 120 apartments with the same square footage and orientations and etc etc .

There's also something about repetition you know like when you have to face um like social housing or maybe like this complex or multi-housing project repetition is like we are always looking for this kind of trick where when .

We have to face this multi-dwelling kind of project is there a way to repeat without repeating you know what i mean like there's some little switches you can do to the exact same unit that makes it unique and you can still .

Use the action of repeating as the solution for these kind of projects and this kind of search is something that we always are facing or looking for thanks so here's another question you already started talking about this and that's how spaces are being used so you your office is i think nearby so you get a chance to .

See uh the everyday life of the building and how people have colonized the shared spaces uh in between there i it's a really interesting approach and you know when we work with students one of the first things we tell them you know don't um don't put spaces that are don't use .

Spaces that that you don't know what they are for and you know obviously but you've done exactly the opposite thing and it's kind of very very very good example of um sort of ambiguous use of communal spaces so i'm interested to know a little bit more .

Uh uh how the spaces in the uh the access spaces are being used so in photos we see that you know some people have brought out the items from their from their units they put the code hanger their bicycles are there do they have any relevance in how people socialize .

As well how buildings connect to outdoor spaces yeah about about the those those voids um the project um like um itself is explained around those voids that not only are healthy entrances .

But also um like they have the scale for being entranced uh to a a large complex you know it's not a small door you know in a facade it's a large hole in a building that has almost 100 meters these terraces that happen in different levels as you said um .

Were used in different ways by depending on the family composition in some spaces you can see a lot of gardening in other places you can see a lot of bikes or children playing on here in argentina it's also really common to have barbecues outdoors .

So maybe they buy a barbecue between two or three houses and they're sharing like dividing they use it like maybe we use it on friday you would do it on saturday and the other one on sunday but the most interesting situation is that the the place is really well maintained because .

As that circulation space only um feeds like eight apartments uh only eight uh families use it so each and every one of them know the other so if anyone tried to trash the place or not take care of it uh you know who might have been so as as we .

Uh divided these circulations into small smaller portions than the base the the use is more that the place is more taken care of and uh and we'll go with happening uh was like uh like a fun fact like like kobe do .

That's a fail dina's a favor because it was uh amazing to see how those those terraces were used during this pandemic situation and that were thought like a long time uh before yeah and you can totally have a community feel .

Feeling like watching what is going on with these species and and the funny thing as well is that it was also kind of a trick when we were like so constricted or having these tough limitations towards what we were supposed to change from this brief base we .

We were like struggling with with these units that each apartment is really small in terms of square meters so these voids were like a gray area towards the rules we were supposed to be playing with so in other words like the .

Square meters of these places were the the ones that were supposed to be corridors you know so as we group these square meters nobody is paying now for for these spaces uh every like everyone that is living there it's like a an extended little extension that they share among other .

Neighbors but they are not really paying for these boys you know so that's where the trick came and we as architects could give this to to future users you know yes and ultimately it makes like a better transition from the streets to your interior home like you you you go on like .

Entering in a sort of uh storytelling like from the outside of of the streets to your house with different situations happening uh but we think uh it's uh really healthy for um okay thanks very much i'm just being conscious of of the time that we have at our disposal uh i'd love to hear more .

About it and i hope we'll have some other opportunities um thank you very much uh for for being with us and we hope to see you again thank you george thank you george and we are happy to see you as well i'm delighted to introduce mark from who .

Is a co-founder of fart from rojas architectural design and practice and research network located in different parts of the world there are nodes in berlin santiago and los angeles interestingly mark worked for oma and collaborated with brandel huber he taught at several different places .

That ahem at syrac and royal college of art in london and he currently chairs architectural space and design at carlson institute of technology their practice is exhibited and published widely but today we're going to be talking about a specific project ventricle apartments in battalions in berlin .

Completed in 2019 uh a project is specific now for its use of precast concrete elements in a very clever way and over to you mark well thanks for invitation thanks for having me i'm very happy and delighted .

To present the project well thank you um for your introduction as you mentioned um this is a project that uh that we've been working on and that we've realized with my office uh far and um well uh i would start with the model photo uh .

And this model photo shows uh the basic structure of the bone legal as a six story construction made of precast concrete elements and um this this type of construction uh is usually um um used in warehouse or industrial .

Warehouse construction so basically morphologically what we could say is we have a stack of six warehouses as the overall structure and um that doesn't come as a coincidence because i do think that what is critical about the project from my perspective is the fact that we're trying to address .

Two aspects that characterize the berlin housing market that seem at first glance uh irreconcilable the first aspect is a a dire need for more housing uh which you know which uh by definition leads to the need for fast and cheap uh provision thereof construction which which in turn implies .

Uh very likely also serial construction pre-con precast elements and so on and on the other hand we are also facing an ever widening range of ideas of how we live how we work how we share or combine these two aspects and facets of life and therefore uh something that that seems uh uh .

Intuitively go against the idea of pre-construction or seriality which is the idea of a variety of plans and therefore seems to contradict um pre-construction and the uniformity that it seems to imply uh and this is exactly where that type of construction comes in .

That we have appropriated from the range of um or from the world of industrial um uh warehouses so what you see here is an exonometry of one floor of the house and you can see the key elements of it um it's columns it's beams .

And a few walls but mainly also the so-called tt ceilings and i'll get back to that because that's a critical part of the logic and the freedom that the project offers in that way so the same floor um here in an exploded way which probably makes it easier to detect the individual elements columns again beams and .

In the center of drawing the so-called tt ceilings i'll show you a couple of images of the of the construction process um as i do think they offer an idea of actually how it all comes together and what kind of freedoms uh the project and the way it is constructed offers at the end so you see at the very beginning you .

See the first elements that have arrived where the site of the project is in our city site in berlin so we're attaching the building but we did attach the building on one side to an existing kind of block condition the traditional kind of let's say urban morphology of the city but as you'll see on later images it .

Does not traditionally close the block but actually leaves it partially open um the what you see here is like somewhere halfway through construction as i mentioned before it's a six-story uh building each floor was built within one week in terms .

Of the in terms of the structure excluding the skin and the interior the guts but you see how these elements that i've introduced a couple of slides before um come together uh and uh constitute the basic let's say shelf as the um as the uh the vol regard meaning the housing shelf so like what we're looking at how .

These elements actually constitute that major shelf um here you see like how they come together and as i mentioned before these are uh these are elements and this is a construction methodology that's commonly used in industrial construction the tolerances are .

Bigger the seams are wider this is not as you would normally imagine let's say kind of architecturally with a capital a refined kind of structure so there was a couple of aspects also of making it applicable to the idea of housing .

I think this image is uh is critical to introduce the idea of the freedom that this uh shelving this concrete prefab concrete shelving actually offers because what comes to site is the kind of relatively large span that these ceiling elements offer i mean you can get a sense here in the photograph .

Of the uh thinness of the actual ceiling itself in the very front um but also the uh the downstands that are implied in these t ceilings and it's critical that there is no structure supporting these ceilings in the interior of the house so they span from facade to facade so that tt ceiling or pie ceiling as it's called .

Is is made up of a ceiling with two downstands and those allow for example in the instance of the boundary to span for 12 meters roughly something that is with traditional means of construction not economically feasible uh but now that we're able to do that suddenly we gain a humongous amount of .

Architectural freedom and freedom in terms of plans on the inside because we do not have to align uh floor plans of the different levels so a photo from the uh from the uh factory where these pieces are being made um you know it's somewhere in the more or less vicinity of berlin an hour and an hour and a half .

From here some of these factories in the past have been places where large parts of the um prefabrication of east german housing elements have been uh have been delivered or produced um and they have been developing onward from that and then focused on different types of .

Reconstruction as it's the one that we're reappropriating now for housing so as i've mentioned the something that is very specific uh to the vulneraga and i think uh constitutes a critical aspect of that uh of the thinking behind it is the aspect that we can offer while uh .

Being building in a prefabrication method a large degree of um freedom in terms of plans for these uh live work ateliers that the house that the building houses so what you will see that on every floor there is a substantially different or completely different plan layout therefore offering a wide range of of .

Ateliers or apartments somewhere between 35 square meters you know to 110 square meters um so uh one but before i show let's say before i show these uh these individual differences from florida for i also want to point out the the let's say the organizational principles that stay the .

Same on every floor and those can be seen mostly on the very right of the plan where you see the one bay of that structure which is exterior it contains the staircase the lift and two lodges uh as an external like extension for each of the units so you see one unit which is .

Largely open a single almost like a single space plan um unit one unit two uh solely divided by like one core containing a bathroom uh you see in a different floor one that can that separates a bedrooms a potential second bedroom a .

Workspace we have one where you have an uneven division of the floor with like a very small or relatively small studio space where the sleeping areas just separate by a curtain multiple bedrooms and workspaces and the other larger .

Apartments and yet one another open of a separate division of a small open open plan studio and um and a relatively uh large-scale open uh live work atelier um on that top half of the drawing um the the basic orientation is an east-west orientation .

Here so that all units have proper daylighting and here is i think like a drawing that is conceptually important for the project it's an overlay you know it's an unfold of plan and a reflected ceiling plan um on the top but it's an overlay of all the different plans of the different .

Floors and so like that is something that is i think a relatively unique to the project as normally the rationale of of building would would not allow that for exactly that you know multitude of of different plants being overlaid in that fashion i'll continue with a couple of photos to .

Give you an idea of uh uh how it how it appears in a build in a build fashion um here you see it it is part of uh it is set in berlin moabite um uh a an inner city part of of berlin it is a corner lot it is obviously kind of um taking um .

Taking the the front of the block in a way closing the corner and you can see here on the right of it that's like a series of these open log jars and uh to the left you see the the curtain wall of the interior but what i mentioned before is that it does not completely close the block um .

And um visiting the site you'd see that it's a relatively heterogeneous area it is one that has been destroyed hugely in the war so much of the construction that you see in the immediate vicinity uh has been built the last 70 70 years roughly um .

So the idea of that pre-war berlin block does not seem to make sense in my eyes so like there is a certain openness still keeping you know immediate relationship to the street for the uh for the for the neighboring building so we have not closed that off um but something that appears uh on on .

This photo is um is also the importance of the curtain wall the curtain wall constitutes or is is made up of um sliding doors you know that you commonly know from you know single single residential construction single family home residential construction uh .

They have full height in terms of uh each floor and so what they allow is that you can like open on a large scale open each of the of the ateliers of the flats and um so depending on the weather you know it almost you can almost think of the interior in the summer and in the spring almost as a large open uh um .

Uh open space uh like almost like a lodger kind of interior where you feel the the breathe and um keep in mind that uh that is very uncommon germany to have air conditioning in a residential environment the northern facade of the building as i pointed out when looking at the plan .

Houses the open staircase um these uh these let's say balcony lodges for each of the flat and the elevator um and with its complete openness just like closed by a kind of stainless steel mesh um it also animates that street facade um so you see here um the also you know the staircase being uh assembled in the in these precast concrete pieces .

And uh going on the inside um the things that i've introduced in terms of uh the the element that constitute the shelf the concrete elements the the double t or the pi ceilings that you see here in terms of the downstands the seams between the elements they become visible uh they uh uh and you see also like a relative openness of .

The plan i guess in the upcoming photos but what also becomes apparent as i um uh as a focus on uh as i'll show a sequence of different uh uh apartments right now that each one of them uh has a completely different uh different plan and um as this one with the kitchen oriented towards the northern end of the .

Apartment and you see also uh the openness and the uh that the the curtain wall um the glazed curtain wall offers obviously the um i would say the uh um this this green element um is an important part also like in terms of the appearance of the building .

Uh the balustrade i mean the opening towards the uh towards the balcony zone you can see how the sliding window opens on a large scale and one further look where you see also how in the finished building you see the um the concrete elements uh .

In the way in the fashion that they join you see the large scale seams and uh if you if you look at the if you look at the structure from within the flat uh frontally what you'll see is that through these large gaps it almost seems it almost appears as if these concrete pieces are floating .

And it adds like a very strange architectural sense to something that um intuitively you know uh um weighs multiple tons each one of them so there is like a strange um curious kind of sensation that that raises what was apparent um or what is uh .

Implied in a serial construction logic is not only let's say this idea of freedom within that building and the repetition of the of the structural elements but it's also the repetition on a larger scale the repetition of an approach that could be replicated on a different side in a different scale .

Because um one should also consider working in this way requires a lot of let's say investment investment not so much financially but in terms of understanding the intricacies of a construction methodology of that sort um so it is an .

Investment um that almost demands that you think about it or think in terms of a replication so um shortly uh after or almost before we fully finished the bonus guard project we were approached by a german developer oil borden um and .

And so we got together uh in the context of one other project which is just currently started construction and the interesting aspect about it is uh is at first glance also the setting the .

Setting is in one of these large 70s 80s east german um housing estates and they have been um known for having been completely prefabricated at the time so ultimately in a certain way one could argue that we with our building are meeting our own .

Architectural grandparents of sorts but that being said i think it is important to point out not only that kind of that there is a historical lineage and there's a conceptual like circle closing but at the same time it's also critical to understand the huge uh conceptual difference .

Between the historic idea of the prefabrication that from the 70s 80s because that form of prefabrication was built upon a series of wall elements that were stacked and therefore this reality would go hand in hand with the uniformity of plan there were good floor plans but there were a pure repetition of a few very limited options .

In terms of plans so the skeleton construction that we're proposing or that we're not only proposing that we've realized and now in the process of realizing the second time goes exactly the opposite way as it combines the idea of seriality with that of a large degree of a let's say freedom in terms of different .

Plans and models of living and working so you see the actual site you see um what i just described uh the surrounding being characterized by prefab housing from the in this case from the early 80s large-scale um residential uh um let's say areas that were completely constructed from scratch .

At that time due to the humongous shortage of housing that they were facing at the time the building is characterized through these two um opposing linear buildings um you see on the top and the bottom of this plan drawing there's six story uh um six story let's say linear buildings uh .

Um surrounding a shared uh garden plateau with uh children playground and other shared facilities and the whole construction sits on top of um let's say a mobility platform with uh parking but also um places for bicycles and so on here you see on the upper floors and the plan and one of the critical aspects .

Of it is and that you see in this uh rendering um is that in front of the facades uh there's not only the circulation you know the let's say a type gallery kind of circulation to enter the flats but there's also a series of balconies individual balconies for each of the apartments .

And through that wave sort of wave like layout they allow for every everybody to also while being on the balcony to actually visually be able to connect outside that housing complex but to kind of look out this way or the the opposing way out of it so .

Um basically as i mentioned before this is a a continuation in terms of developing the idea of the bone regard or ideas various ideas in terms of the flexibility in terms of the construction method and also all of these aspects that are applied in the bone to develop them further on a different scale in a different context .

So this one has a little bit more than 120 units of varying scales and and again in a great variety from two-story family-oriented units to a very small scale for um for singles or people for live work environments so i do think it's in my eyes quite interesting to think of that .

Not as a one-off in terms of architecture but as an approach that can be developed further and that can operate in very vastly different let's say urban settings and on varying scales well thank you i will now close the screen thank you thanks mark thanks for the presentation .

And for amazing work we we have time for two quick questions um i i thought maybe it would be great if we revisit the benefits of the system that you are proposing so you know is it reducing cost is it minimizing .

Waste or is it you know being faster in construction you mentioned some of those things but a quick recap maybe would be great to hear well i i there is um i mean the the way of construction does uh does reduce cost and time in .

To a certain degree obviously there's other costs in construction there's property you know there's cost of property which at least in the berlin context is a major aspect by now so just looking at construction cost will not solve uh all of the the the housing issues that we're facing so we should be honest with .

Ourselves on that front nevertheless um i do think it is critical because like it makes us also a certain degree independent from uh from from let's say the the seasonal conditions with cold winters um so that actually implies delays uh concrete doesn't cure .

All these kind of aspects so we're getting to some degree independent from that which is also a constant risk reduction um we also um are because this is a a skeleton kind of construction we're reducing the materiality implied or the the mass implied but it's like an environmental aspect that needs to .

That is important i think um so there's a substantial substantial reduction in terms of concrete being used um also what is important and it's like another another way we need to look at construction these days is um if we think about it in terms of of urban mining and in also like once .

The building goes beyond its uh it's a it's it's lifespan um what it is also there is uh the way the wundergirl is being constructed it allows a very um clear separation of materials which is the foundation for any sort of recycling or reusing or reappropriate reappropriation of the material so these .

Aspects are also critical to the way the construction is thought through okay so just to clarify elements that you are using are they developed bespokely for this project or you were able to recycle an industrialized system that already existed well that's yeah let's say um that's a um .

That's a very interesting question so let's say what is um what is standardized are the types of elements there's columns there is a b there's beams there's tt ceilings um there's also standardized approaches of how they are um uh joined but actually each piece is being .

Produced in a bespoke way because the um reinforce the reinforcement is being specified um you know as per a structural calculation for each piece let's say the length and the width and and whatever they can be adjusted obviously within within limits .

Um but so the to answer a question it these are bespoke pieces but the principles are set within the casting system and so the the what needs to be understood as you work with it is really what are you what are your freedoms what can be adjusted you know cheaply or .

Without extra cost and like where and that's sometimes surprising where suddenly kind of uh cost spirals out of control because suddenly something that seems very simple geometrically in terms of production turns out to be an absolute hassle okay and then the final one i mean i .

Could ask many more but we really have to stop at some point would be about the relationship between the architect yourself and the developer put in this particular project was it the developer that was interested in develop in in using such system or uh it came from from from the design side .

Uh it came from the design side and also for this for the bone regard project we as architects are not completely separate we're involved also with the development of the project because it was critical for us um as we were seeing that housing was such an important uh aspect in in the architectural production in in berlin or in germany at .

This point in time it was critical for us to kind of actually have a voice within that and um i do think uh uh the most uh most productive way would be to show one way and the showing would actually have to be something that does not exist in drawing only so like um uh to kind of uh uh demonstrate through .

The project um that there is a way to think through it uh in such a way so um that is like a an aspect that came from the uh from an architectural point perspective but at the same time obviously us being also involved in the development of the project great thanks very much uh i'd love to .

Continue the conversation but we just have to stop because this is how much time we have thank you very much for being with us today thank you i appreciate the invitation it is my pleasure to introduce ramon bosch who together with cab de ferro is the founder of bosch cable ferro .

Architects an office based in geronia catalonia have won many prizes i have been exhibiting and publishing their work widely for instance in venice biennale in 2012 uh a year before that they've earned an emerging architect a special mention uh at miss when the award they've also .

Exhibited at uh spanish bernalillo for architecture and urbanism in 2018 in 2021 received awards uh as well uh today we're going to be hearing from them about their project called six by six block in .

Girona completed in 2020 um over to you ramon i'll ask one or two questions uh at the end okay so thank you uh thank you julia and thank you everybody for inviting him from the interesting in our work um .

I would like to first talk about some genetic aspects that are related to our work as architects but specifically also about the 6×6 block and i'll try to show six images that's the the reason of the title the six by six block in six images because i will try to present six different topics .

Related to the project so the first image we have here is this uh amazing picture by william tammer in the early 19th century and we would like to show this image to talk about atmospheres in a way .

Atmosphere not only from the romantic point of view of this picture of the romantic impression of the power of nature but also related to the media in which we live as architects we remove solid matter to achieve the comfort conditions of this .

Atmosphere atmosphere about this air which is the the living in which we move all our lives next slide is also a picture uh in the late 9th century by roman kaza as a catalan painter it's also related to atmosphere this teacher is also talking to us about atmosphere in the cultural sense uh and .

In the comfort uh sense about the living conditions related to comfortable spaces lights shadows temperatures and uh close traditions so on so as architects we think that we are especially keen on those two kind of atmospheres the very scientific and objective one the parametric uh data of .

The air in which we live and also the quality of the species that we are supposed to design the third image we wanted to show you uh is this uh image from the early 20th century by santiago ramon which is one of the first drawings that were somehow uh trying to explain how our neurologic behaving .

So which are the mechanisms which are the methods which are the natural processes that allows allow us to understand things and as architects which are the methods that we should control to achieve these atmospheric conditions both in the parametric sense and the cultural sense the fourth image we wanted to show you .

Is this image by paulo picasso that you might probably know and it's now related to the design process uh in these uh bull engraving paintings uh pablo picasso uh went through a process of we could say simplification .

Distillation in a way a decantation in which he was able to get rid of most of the lines and to understand which were the fundamental lines that could explain the wool itself the whole animal with the minimum material in a way this decantation .

Process is also something that as architects we use to achieve the most uh the simplest solution uh to solve a problem well the next image that you will also probably know by alberto giacometti in mid 20th century .

Is exactly the opposite in architecture sometimes one thing and the opposite are both true and we would like to talk about the sedimentation so this process is of um accumulating lots of lines lots of data lots of different .

Materials and topics that somehow enrich the process and are at the end embedded in the final solution this kind of uh portrait in which uh by accumulating lines trying to find the right one it just the the the portrait just shows up or it appeals appears as a revelation of the most probable line after all the .

Iterations this is also something related to the uses of architecture we give a single answer to a problem that afterwards should be also adaptable to new conditions uh so many many different things should happen in the same in the same place at the same time finally the sixth image of the 6×6 vlog that we would like to introduce is the .

This contemporary artist that you probably also know which is uh banksy and it's related to climate change of course and to our responsibility as architects related to the the carbon footprint of our activity next slide please we can show .

These six images the as the six topics that are somehow related to our workers architects especially in the 6×6 block which are atmosphere in the let's say physical or scientific point of view the cultural atmosphere of the spaces we make our controllers architects of these methods that allow us to achieve these particular .

Conditions simplification as a design process accumulation of that and finally this consciousness about our role in our duty to to bring solutions to the climate change and to reduce the the carbon footprint of our buildings so uh talking about uh the precise exercise of the six six .

Block it is a dwelling block situated in jonah here you can see this uh this sort of photo of girona the block is the the orange point the orange shade here which is somehow in between in the urban area between sao which is this .

Urban grid in the left hand side of the image and girona city which is the one on the right in a particular place where both urban grids meets and in next slide we can see uh how this uh dense crit of both cities .

Are somehow uh evolving into an open block area plenty of public equipments like schools hospitals and so on this is the the side plan somehow the the roof plan where we can see that it's a compact block due to uh jupiter regulations approximately 40 meters long by 15 meters .

Deep depth with a very particular condition which is facing south this you can see here the orientation we could design a central core of vertical communications with staircase and lifts elevators that could give access to uh three different blocks of apartments on .

Both sides right on hand side with cross ventilation all of them facing south and facing north this is just the basement floor plan with the parking lot made out of concrete and in next slide we can see how the floor plan .

Provides for access for vehicles in the right hand side which is the street and pedestrian access from the north uh an important thing about this site is that we have of course a great boiler which is the sun it's a nuclear water in fact uh facing south in the long facade of the .

Building and a green public area in the north which can provide for some um natural breath uh a natural presence in the middle of the urban grid and a natural access for pedestrians so we have somehow a nice surroundings despite being in the center of the city in next slide this is the the floor .

Ground floor plan but in the next slide we can see the typical floor plan that explains the central core of particular communications and two different blocks of apartments that have cross ventilations and two different orientations facing south and facing .

North uh ground floor and five floors above that so six uh stories of six apartments uh that's the six plus six by 6×6 name that's the reason of it and a very important question we wanted to as i said before i reduced the carbon footprint of the operation and that's why we decided to act in two different .

Directions the first part is to somehow reduce the energy embedded in the construction process itself that's why we decided to use a clt wood panels timber panels to to build the whole structure of the building and on the other hand we try to reduce the energy demand that we need to achieve .

The the thermal comfort conditions for the interior spaces uh taking into consideration that uh we wanted to design a structure that itself was able to configure the spaces and that we had a fantastic uh south orientation here in the north hemisphere as you know .

We have the sun in the south orientation uh we tried to design some passive strategies that could allow us to achieve the comfort conditions with no extra energy demanding it that's why all these apartments have this caused ventilation .

And an important uh facade facing cells so facing the sun which will be our boiler as you will see and just by changing the air uh in different seasons in different parts of the building we achieve the comfort conditions with no extra fuel let's say that means that the self-assad that you can see here is very important it will .

Act as a sun space as a greenhouse in wintertime and as a shaded that was in summertime which is the the most important strategy that we used and we can see the next slide that's the cross section of each one of the units of the apartments uh .

How the performance work either in wintertime or in summertime this is the winter time position we have a central core uh of kitchens and and bathrooms and four different uh generic let's say .

Rooms uh configured by the timber panels as load-bearing walls and a self-facade with the sun space that has a double enclosing of glass that allows us to increase naturally increase the temperature of this uh intermediate space of this thick .

Threshold from 10 to 15 degrees it means that the this red air that you can see in this drawing is from 10 to 15 degrees higher than the outdoor air and just by introducing this air this inlet system of air from this preheated naturally preheated air which is the the thermal conditions in interior spaces .

And in the next slide we can see which is the performance in summertime and this heat recovery unit that is in the in the central core of of the bathrooms uh changes the position and they let air instead of being taken from the south facade is taking from the north passat so fresh air that's introduced in the in .

The interior spaces and we achieve these thermal conditions in this position in this summer season position the the gallery in the south facade is exchanged is configured as a shaded terrace with some traditional wooden shades that you will see .

In an open position so this passive strategy uh based on pre-heating or pre-cooling uh the interior generic species uh by introducing the air from these thresholds both or not fast in the summertime or in the south pacifier in the winter time built with clt should allow us to reduce .

In an important way our carbon footprint in the sense that we are reducing the energy embedded in the construction as you know timber can fix co2 due to the photosynthesis the trees are absorbing .

Carbon dioxide dioxide and transforming it into woods and into oxygen so until we burn somehow this approximately 1 000 tons of wood that we have in the building we have 1 000 tons of co2 fixed uh in that place and the energy demand is reduced through these passive strategies that of course are .

Supplemented by the natural cross ventilation of the both opposite facades so one of the key things of of this system was to design these galleries uh as a sun space in wintertime and i shaded there was in summer time and here .

It comes to life another thing that is important for us and is related to this is six by six block uh on once somehow we could say that this uh this exercise the design of the six by six block tries to uh get to uh points between what is apparently some dichotomies related to how can we increase density in our cities at the same time .

Be sustainable somehow how can we build what we can consider a prototype at the same time be uh link it in to tweet with the history in the traditions of the site or how we deal with these very scientific and parametric aspects of the project and how we .

Provide with comfortable uh spiritual spaces uh i explained this because this image explains somehow the origin of this uh the design of these galleries girona is a city by a river as you could see in the india photo in the beginning with some typical houses which are like the the postcard of the city hanging over .

The city wall that are representing these galleries of this picture in the next slide we can see how uh those galleries were uh somehow in our mind when we designed these shaded spaces of these sun spaces uh following the patterns of the history of .

All these layers of the galleries typical galleries of the site and in next slide we can see how with local enterprises we did we were able to do to produce some mocaps and to evolve these solutions to contemporary solutions like in next slide where we can see how all these um .

Patterns were afterwards uh somehow in the final design of the building as contemporary galleries uh a new building but with all somehow uh patterns and styles uh in next slide uh we can see at the end which is the .

Each one of the units as you can as you could see uh we somehow bet for uh flexibility we think that flexibility is very important in our building especially in in residential buildings uh and that means flexibly to the exterior and to the interior we could see how the .

The building itself by its skin is changing and adapting to different seasonal or climatic conditions but again in the interior we would like to give a generic structure with generic rooms able to host whatever related to dwelling or other uses and that means flexibility during time so .

Those spaces should be able to be configured in different ways so the shifting needs of the inhabitants shouldn't be a problem to be incorporated in the same design here we have the the department units empty with the central core of bathroom and kitchen the access to these corridors internal .

Facade and the galleries in the sulphur side on the right hand side and how these four genetic rooms and both facades are ready to be communicated with these lighting door systems or spurter parts and that allows for different configurations for example in next slide we can see the same apartment configured with a one bedroom .

Program with access to this dining and kitchen and living so somehow they the zone and the knights area on the top but again in the next slide we can see how it can be configured in two bedroom uh units with no needs of uh of more works just by using uh with furniture in different .

Ways the same space is configured by the clt load bearing walls next slide we can see the same apartment with the three bedroom configuration or for example not only hosting uh and domesticity but actually are also hosting the extraordinary so how in .

These relatively small apartments of 70 square meters you can even have a celebration or dinner celebration for 30 people just by moving the sofa for a while or other extraordinary uses like this uh slot car racing championship uh beside the joke of the of the slot race championship this feature allows us to .

Understand how the number of doors so communication in between rooms is allowing for more flexibility and that means that each one of those rooms has have it has at least three different connections with the rooms beside it .

Our other extraordinary uses like this pop-up pastry dinner where you have the intimate spaces in the southwest side and the norfolk site can be open in weekend for example to share with the community or or the rest of the people of the block or the city as a pastor atelier or other activities while keeping the intimacy in the south facade .

Or for example trying to use the same species genetic spaces for collective uses so apart from the dwelling units in the blog the inhabitants of this of this building can share communal spaces with different uses in each one in any one of the units for example a .

Nursery or kindergarten in one of the units or for example other collective uses like a canteen with 40 people to to eat in space with the kitchen or other collective uses like co-working spaces or it is one next slide like a gym where it could be used for the .

Inhabitants of the block so this interior flexibility to achieve hybrid uses in the same building with just one same answer we can see the this picasso strategy of simplification of decantation that brings him to the point where only with one line he can draw the figure of of woman dancing .

Which is somehow what we can see in next slide what we try to do with the building trying to find the less elements to achieve the most complete performance so the less lens to achieve the most complete building we can while on the other hand the giacometti .

Sedimentation process is somehow achieved the next slide we can see that uh the accumulation of lines somehow uh allows for the figure to to appear to bring back to light like us in our building all the supporting position of of of new users are bringing this complexity to this .

Simplification that we previously designed as a structure so both strategy uh sedimentation and reconnection as processes to achieve the most simple structure for the uh major number of years is possible so simplifications allow for complexity here we can see the building uh under construction these big cabinets .

Made out of timber with a grid of a load-bearing walls and racing walls that configure the spaces generic spaces themselves so all the image of the structure is the addition of cells that configure both the structure and the spaces .

And somehow the all the benefits of industrialized buildings that also allow us to pre-dimension and then prefer all the holes and the surveys uh go through uh in factories so no needs of holes in on-site all these and fill out of spaces from north to south the the north .

Corridor access facing the green area and this is the finished building again the the green area uh public area and the street and somehow the street that goes above along the building to bring access to all the the units in the north facade .

A very transparent and permeable facade from the building to exterior well quite an intimate facade going through with some reverberations of the neighborhood the access from the public area and the south facade as the quit of everything this scheme that somehow is expressing was visible but also was .

Invisible so the season the movement of air and the temperature the thermodynamics of the behavior of the building itself this facade that can be configured as a as a sun space as you can see here with this class facade or displaced facade or as a shady terrace with these persians these wooden typical traditional shades .

So here we can see what should be the configuration in winter time as a sun space preheating the air and as a summer space during summer as a shaded terrace and here we can see a slide where we can uh compare both conditions of the of the same facade in wintertime or in summertime .

Uh finally the the access from the north corridor with this timber appearing back as this worm type that receives you at the entrance of each one of the units with this transition threshold spaces that allows you afterwards to access to the whole depth of the building and these sliding door systems that allows you to both .

Communicate or spare apart the different spaces of of the rooms of each one of the units again in this long section you can see how both spans can be connected or separated with this system of wooden panels or .

How these amphilet of rooms allow you to get to these thresholds both in north assad as a working space in habitable thresholds or in the south facade as a shaded space in summer or as a heat preheated sun space in wintertime finally just to show the flexibility of .

These spaces uh three slides of the same space configured with different uses depending on how you distribute furniture as a working space for example or as a play space or studio or finally as a dining room at the entrance of the house or in the south .

Span how you can use the same room of approximately 12 square meters as a workspace or as a sleeping room facing the gallery design space or as a living room so this is more or less what we tried to achieve with the 6×6 block experience and wanted to share with you and and .

Ready to answer your questions in case you have some so thank you for your attention thank you ramon that was a really good presentation and really amazing work amazing project if you let me ask one or two questions although i want to ask six but i will stick with with one or two um .

It's about clt that i'm interested uh the most we all have very high hopes for for clt because it's good for the environment although concrete is still predominant it's uh possibly a lot easier to build in concrete and therefore we use it a lot but when it comes to to to clt .

You know environmental benefits are first but what i really like about your project is that it lends itself to the very architecture expression itself in the sense that you you see the the texture of the material in the interior of the flats and you also use structural elements to define the project to define even the flexibility .

Of spaces through thinking about clt so my question for you would be from the first-hand experience of using that building material what would you share with fellow designers about about it well i would say this is something i didn't explain because it would be too .

Long but we had another uh design for the same building uh with concrete with prefab concrete elements before that we somehow it's not a translation but that we think of the whole design with cld and that's to answer your question you cannot build the same thing with different materials to to to achieve a real .

Real efficiency in construction i think that each material brings somehow the techniques and the the the final space is embedded that means clt as a a structure can be used both for for um for flaws of course but also for for walls when you're designing uh domestic .

Spaces uh in between uh load-bearing walls uh this already gives you a sense of the dimensions in between uh supports right so i would say that a natural uh use of cld would be domestic spams uh otherwise uh if you if we want to achieve like longer or bigger spans we should begin .

To to use mix structure but for domestic spaces like dwelling i think it's a perfect uh a perfect technique and a perfect material since uh these rooms that we just saw are approximately three by four three per four meters so this allows for many domestic spaces to be um .

To be hosted uh the design quit is here just how you can link those spaces in between and this is not a new thing we are using a very new technology to do very old things the amphilot of rooms or the housing as a collection of rooms in a sequence of rooms is something really old from old policies until nowadays .

So i would say clt is a fantastic material for sustainable issues but has its own rules and the structure itself should define the project following the rules of the spans of the clt panels they're incredibly thin uh the clt walls is it just a good engineer or there is .

Another trick to it well that's another nice question all the vertical also the the walls the load bearing walls are 12 centimeters thick that would be uh five approximately five to six inches i think in in section .

So 12 centimeters while the flows are 15 centimeters uh those are not really thin it could be even thinner uh but that's a nice thing that you point out uh if we go back to the images with the building under construction you will see that in fact it's a very dense uh structure so it's completely braced in .

Both directions so it's very rigid and our intuition here in the studio is that if you use concrete or heavy materials you can go to longer spans and due to uh horizontal uh forces you're still stable well when using very light materials like timber like clt .

You should provide with a very rigid structure that can only be achieved by geometry so by uh the union in many directions of many elements and that's also related to thermodynamics heavy heavy structures allow for thermal mass .

While these light materials like timber are dissipating energy so we should provide with a very rigid structure made out of many different breast elements and achieve thermal mass with other elements of construction in our case it was the pavement afterwards .

Added to the structure so each each material has its own rules and its consequences both in terms of geometry and thermodynamics i would say if i understood correctly i think the frontage of each unit is six meters as well so you have two rooms three by three meters in width at the front edge of the of the building so i i .

Think it's really remarkable how many variants of different layout you you were able to to achieve within the confined uh grid and that is um you really may be worth teasing out another sentence or two about spatial flexibility and different ways of using um same footprint of the apartment but very .

Different organization in inside yeah in fact the degree that we showed it's not as i said some of the walls are uh load-bearing walls so structural while the others are bracing but the sliding walls in between rooms those are not structural uh it's it's .

You can see the wood but it's it's it's not structural so uh we could even achieve a spaces of six meters span by uh in between loading load-bearing walls um i think this is the quit of the question that i mentioned of the of the room which is quite easy to to design or to imagine in in dwelling .

Because we all move in domestic spaces and allow for quite generic uh uses well as i said if we need for program issues larger spans it will get more difficult to to do with timber i guess yeah i'd love to continue the conversation and i hope they will get .

The chance but thank you very much we we have to stop because of the time that we have at our disposal uh thanks again for for being with us and sharing your uh amazing work thank you thank you very much next i'd like to introduce elisa garner and andre what's turtle who have formed the practice named leon .

It's a new and upcoming practice and i think their mainstream is the combination of international experience and local knowledge international experience comes from berlin and london and they'll present their ongoing project produced for the future homes initiative .

Launched by victoria state government including the office of victorian government architect with an aim to inform a potential planning reforms the project specifically focuses on medium density house housing and proposes a sustainable .

Way to accommodate growing population in london and australia in general the initiative had two phases liane was were the winners uh among the the winners of the first phase uh and now they are working on the second phase which is related to implementation and that is to deliver a project with i believe 12 new .

Housing units over to you lisa and andre thanks george thanks george um so yes we're leon and we've been working on the future homes initiative initially through taking part in the future homes competition and .

Subsequently through adapting our winning scheme for implementation briefly the future homes initiative is a collaborative program set up by the ovga and dell looking to incentivize the delivery of medium density in-field housing in melbourne's existing suburbs .

Through the adaptation of development of template designs by a group of architects selected through the initial competition and the goal is for the templates to be adapted to varying site conditions across the city meeting high benchmarks for accessibility sustainability and financial .

Viability to give them every chance of update we'll be running through the competition design free space and one example of the design being adapted in this case for public housing by homes victoria we began developing our design through .

The crystallization of a selection of core principles that we feel and view the qualities of a single household home in the suburbs the translation to apartment designs hopefully maximizing the appeal of medium density housing within the typical suburban australian psyche firstly we .

Offer spatial generosity in the form of double height ceilings providing a sense of escape that the suburbs offer and people don't think of with apartments secondly uh we're locking in direct access from living spaces to 25 square meters of private open space and as many of those private open spaces .

To be located on the ground floor if possible thirdly ensuring dual aspects apartments for access to light and air often with two points of entry to enhance the free sense of movement facilitated by detached houses in the suburbs .

And then also providing shared space as part of public realm and street so an incidental social space that is part of pedestrian and vehicle movement through the site rather than space being programmed and such and so we started our design process by .

Um embedding these core um objectives or principles that andre has mentioned um and starting with the basic unit of a double height living space you can see on the left that connects directly to an outdoor space and that to be combined with any number of .

Bedroom and bathroom units and that essentially being the basis for creating this from a studio up to a four bedroom unit and then the next step was finding a way for those units to be combined and work together so we've sort of came up with this .

Unique kind of interlocking arrangement that allows for um every two bays of this sort of structural grid to be interchanged with say a two and a two better or a studio and a four better or a one and a three um and that was about finding a really um flexible and .

Adaptable kind of bones for the building that could be could enable different um dwelling mixes for different demographics and for different briefs um yeah just embedding that sort of adaptive flexibility and then that um essentially forming a logic for a linear .

Typology that can be extended or cut or rotated to suit any different site yeah and then with that sort of adaptable logic i guess the next steps were around um identifying a key set of steps um to make this proposal work on your .

Typical suburban block so we were specifically looking at blocks in the north-south orientation and the east-west orientation and so divine defining kind of a series of moves um to be implemented so the first of those being obviously a consolidation of suburban blocks .

The second being to reduce the footprint to the minimum and build to the maximum height of three stories the third step being to maximize the orientation towards the north so where possible having these units facing north just to maximize solar gain and thermal efficiency and then .

Fourth being quite clear about the split of vegetated permeable surfaces and gardens consolidated to one side of the site and the vehicle empid access to the other side and defining sort of creating quite a clear distinction between those two access .

Points and then introducing a communal space through the thoroughfare to through the access point to the building as andre mentioned sort of an incidental space and then splitting up that volume so that the living spaces are facing north .

And the bedrooms to the back just having that facade condition and then obviously those living space is opening out onto that 25 square meters of private open space for everyone either on the ground floor or for the top level units to a generous rooftop .

Sort of courtyard terrace so this is the ground floor plan for our competition scheme in um bray brook so you can see that the the car parking is sort of in a very um tight and compact parallel parking .

Arrangement to the side of the site just leaving the rest of the space free um and we sort of see that uh opportunity for that parallel parking to be used in other ways um and either sort of as a play space for children or in the future um cars not being there the opportunity for .

That to become a laneway or a throughway yep and guess what we're showing here is the other side of the site and that um prioritization of um sort of consolidated green space and deep soil that sort of given over to the private gardens and then this .

Sort of entryway communal um arrangement of services along the side boundary that's kind of on the pedestrians journey to their to their door which is um if you go if we go to the next slide sort of being imagined as a series of um .

Functions that residents require in their daily life so the communal laundry and the clothes hanging and the bike a bike workshop and a productive garden and just creating a moment for a residents to .

Pass by each other just while doing kind of daily daily functions and shown in pink here is those double height living spaces where possible oriented to the north and where we couldn't orient it to the east and how they directly open onto the private gardens so that seamless .

Connection that we spoke about in the beginning and this is just showing um to the north facing street interface for those dwellings and trying to capture as well the kind of individual individuality of each resident um and so how that's uh how we've enabled .

That expression to come through with these pergolas and small intermediary elements just to for people to um claim and make their own and for that expression also to be facing onto the street just sort of in the same way that the suburbs kind of are a format for people to express themselves through their front garden this was .

About trying to make that possible and sort of a a townhouse terrace um expression rather than sort of one big apartment and moving inside just showing that double height living space and just the abundance of natural light and the quality that that brings to the living .

Space but also the opportunity for that like blank canvas to be something that residents can animate like hang a surfboard on the wall or bring really appropriate to make their own space which is something we've felt is really important to instill .

Even in apartment living and looking in the other direction sort of seeing the possibility for that mezzanine space to also be working from home and also kind of baked into the structure the possibility for that mezzanine to be built out .

In the future it's just another layer of adaptability and just looking at the first law so you can see the generous void spaces over the living space and another really sort of central part um tying the scheme together is the access to the building at the upper .

Levels so this bridge that we've um conceptualize between the two buildings we see as another really important element to bring residents together just to make it a really beautiful space that is pulled away from the building for .

Privacy that creates this deep soil zone for vegetation to to grow through and create more privacy um but also just to make it a really special entry um to the to the back door and on the top floor um obviously where the ground floor garden is impossible we've sort of chosen to .

Create really special open to the sky um terraces that are kind of enclosed as an outdoor room and just showing that that sort of type of space here where you have a really wide view into the horizon and a great outlook and so it's sort of got a different quality to the to the ground floor .

Double height typologies and just showing the dwelling mixer it was not only part of the beef but really important to us to have a full spectrum of bedroom types from a studio to a far better and i guess the challenge is is accommodating that within a really .

Structured and repetitive grid standardized structure and grid just showing those typologies on the upper levels and the top floor the three three bedrooms and just showing that the scheme in its context um i guess the main thing to see here is .

The generous setbacks from all sides so whilst we are being quite a tall and proud three-story building um is an important part of the scheme to have a lot of open space around just to create a generous enough space for greenery to grow to be a buffer to .

Neighboring developments and for the landscape on the skin we work with open work stage two and so um i guess the landscape has been a lot about trying to make the drive the open-air driveway which isn't under the building um but out in .

The open sort of as usable friendly as possible with lots of um green planting and shade and this and the basketball court um just to give it um i guess more more usability um and then the private gardens obviously .

Sort of for the into the residents to um create their own um gardens and then to the north in that north east corner a small kind of productive garden that faces onto the street and catches the north sun .

And then as i mentioned in between the two buildings this really um kind of ferny forest walk we called it which sort of shade loving plants and really um lush passageway between the buildings .

And i guess going a step further in terms of sighting we also looked at the possibility for this typology to work on two or three or four lots um in different orientations and just kind of proving the the flexibility of such a basic linear module and the ability to reorientate um .

This is just showing an example of the east-west oriented site so all of the volumes facing north away from the street and then next page and then as we developed it for the braver competition with the north to the street .

And a rotated rear volume so just showing those two key orientations and sustainability um was obviously would have been embedded in the the sighting of the design um just in the sort of prioritization of orienting towards the north to capture .

That soul again um but we've also worked with finding infinity to develop and optimize a number of initiatives to reduce our energy water as well as our waste and of course the embodied energy through the .

Use of timber and we proposed and worked with different suppliers to um develop sort of a cross-laminated timber ground one level two structure and lightweight on top and this was just a study exploring .

Showing the net benefit of building with timber instead of concrete and the reduction in embodied carbon and so as well as the um adaptation of that competition design for the planning scheme we've also .

Tended to deliver an adaptation of the design as a public housing project which is being delivered by homes victoria um and we're currently um sort of in planning process at the moment um getting that through um .

And the brief is i guess from the beginning um as a public housing project um it had a different brief and different constraints from the department of housing .

Um so we instantly had to adapt our scheme um some of the uh requirements were for 12 social housing units they had a specific mix of one two and three bedroom units .

We had to have two um sdas um so special disability departments on the ground floor and then critically as well they the department had a requirement for no split level apartments um so just i didn't find the site it's on ballarat road in braybrook .

And there's really a mix of kind of remnant weatherboards some newer developments sort of setback development mix of commercial buildings and then the sort of predominant emerging typology of .

The townhouse subdivision so i'm just capturing that mix of straight interfaces that we see along ballet road with the site identified in red and then i guess bring .

As we've gone through the planning process there's re we've really come to a head with that kind of key question of how do you reconcile medium density development within existing suburbs um and we've had a look at sort of benchmarks of the status quo of how how um .

Kind of status quo developments get through and they often kind of result in a step back form that complies with res code that sort of maximizes the yield um on the site with little space for kind of deep soil zones and potentially compromised interiors .

But then also like over reliant on kind of formal gestures to to sort of tie the tie the um composition together so then we've looked at other and more enduring examples from um last century which .

Look have a more simple form that would um be easier to detail and perform better thermally but then also with larger setbacks using the landscape to create a buffer rather than a sort of step-back gesture so looking at the ground floor plan um .

The i guess the key adaptations are we've created a uh we've kept a mezzanine entry lobby that takes residence through a pedestrian right through the center of the building where we've got a garden um as per our .

Competition scheme with a lightweight stair that takes residents out of the building and there's two disability disability residents on the ground floor facing the street with three-bedroom sort of stack of apartments in the rear volume .

And mix of one bedrooms three bedroom and a really maximized sort of northern frontage with balconies and terraces on the uh upper level and this is a scheme it's currently looking so i guess one of the kind of .

Key um key planning uh i guess conversations that we've been having is that it's okay especially on a road like ballarat road which is in such transition to .

Present as a three-story building on the on its end and just rely on setbacks with trees as a buffer and this will hopefully set a um i guess a good precedent for how development along this street will happen in the future .

And on the east um we're providing windows with shading shutters and you get a view into that garden with canopy trees growing between the two volumes and then a view from the car park which again we've been working with open work and .

Been looking at strategies through the ground treatments to descale the car park i think you've got opportunities for for um yep it's a parasitic planting to grow around its edges another view looking back through the entry .

And we really made a conscious decision to try and keep all of the circulation open air so that i guess the public space bleeds through the building that all-important view from the rear street as well just showing its integration and sort of descaling of dormer windows .

Through that setback that's that's the um yeah view through the entry i've also participated from white's design is um arbor that sort of balances the privacy from uh .

Also the inside looking out and also demarcates the entrance through thank you thanks that brings it to an end thank you thanks for the presentation uh an amazing uh project um we said we have time for one or two questions if if you don't mind .

Um i'd like to ask if you can look back now to competition phase and i would like to hear your thoughts on the competition brief in a sense it feels like you were very thorough about it and that it helped a lot how .

You developed your project but it would be great to hear uh from from your side what you think about it yeah good question um yeah i think the competition brief was um so dense and so full of requirements it almost seemed overwhelming in the beginning but i .

Think that structure almost did kind of help us work out like um the core the core building block um and so it was um it was quite helpful in that way in terms of the brief overall i do .

I think we do remember having like discussions early days about the decision for this future homes development to be only apartments um and sort of not houses um but i think as we've progressed through um .

The competition and been really working on the viability of um development in this context it's been interesting to learn like really just how um how important it is for the for the amalgamated lots to be apartments and to be quite dense apartments just to make them affordable .

Um yeah okay um a follow up on that um a question about design guidelines and how do you see them are they helpful in relation to design response and in your own work are are you able to to harvest the the knowledge that is embedded there with the best intention .

To help designers and how do you evaluate that against the specific design response for each individual site um yeah well i think it's been an interesting process as we've been developing our competition scheme .

On to to be sort of a more viable guideline for future development i think i guess the um it's been interesting that we've i guess we've had to really design in a way which um .

Was optimized to us to a very specific set of circumstances but um yeah i think the the development of guidelines that show how they can be adapted hopefully leave some flexibility um that the .

Sort of initial sort of principles can kind of unlock um yeah okay in the very very final one the model that you develop um i know it's uh limited by by planning uh in a certain extent uh but do you feel it could go higher do you feel that that .

That the same topology could be used to to add another because the projects that we've selected and we've spoken to would often go up to six floors as sort of mid-rise uh development so i'm curious to to hear your thoughts about increasing the the height of the model definitely i mean it has been designed .

To such a um i guess a rigid sort of grid and spatial layout so it'd be very easy to to stack um vertically um and i could imagine that external circulation working well like probably six meters might be .

The limit um but certainly yeah because one of one of the main qualities that you put forward is the relationship to private outdoor space and direct access i think that you know that that is real quality and something that you wouldn't want to lose but .

Increasing your height you have new challenges but it could be an interesting design yeah we definitely feel like we've optimized the design for the three story story yeah yeah that's true yeah there's certainly aspects of it that we could keep adapting and changing .

Um from that basic building block definitely i suppose there is no there is not an end to it you always have to keep on working and adapting the specific requirements all right all right thanks very much uh .

Thanks very much for your presentation and for for amazing work that you've shared with us and i'd like to conclude here if that's okay thank you thanks for the invitation to talk


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