Instructor: Prof. Christ & Gantenbein
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Duration: 3 months
Partner: Philip Weber
Schwamendingen is a satellite city of Zürich, about 5km from downtown Hauptbahnhof (main station). The goal is to densify the region using any combination of typologies pre-selected from Rome, New York, Buenos Aires and Hong Kong.
The studio is split into two halves creating two total 'Collage'. Each half is then grouped into pairs of two, each exploring a particular plot in the area.
Teams are encouraged to work collaboratively with others designing the adjacent plots to ensure a continuity of urban fabric.
"A Proposal for constructive dis-illusion, it is simultaneously an appeal for order and disorder, for the simple and the complex, for the joint existence of permanent reference and random happening, of the private and the public, of innovation and tradition, of both the retrospective and the prophetic gesture. To us the occasional virtues of the modern city seem to be patent and the problem remains how, while allowing for the need of a 'modern' declamation, to render these virtues responsive to circumstance."Colin Rowe, from Collage City
Our typology of choice is the Palazzina de’ Salvi, chosen for the proportion of its height to footprint to achieve our desired density, as well as its minimal orientation bias. The typology provides good views and light to all units, and extra airflow with the interior lightwells. The spatial arrangement of the Palazzina follows that living spaces are lined up against the facade, while bathrooms and kitchens are oriented towards the lightwells. Circulation is achieved with a central circulation core.
The facade of the Palazzina is one that is articulated by its strong corners to define it’s volume, while the domesticity within is articulated by a series of small balconies and loggias - at most a meter in depth, pushing in or out of the box volume, creating an interface between the private and public life.
With this one typology, our site strategy was to create a field of Palazzinas, rotated and overlapped, and in very specific occasions inserting public squares which is cut out from the volume of the buildings. This controlled reversal of figure and ground relationship between buildings and space allows our buildings to be both space occupier and space definer.
Referring back to Collage City, in the chapter “Crisis of the Object: Predicament of Texture’, Rowe suggests that the ‘mystery of what is beyond’ brings more life to the city, and thus in our scheme we decided to do away with clear streets and corridors, rather, a play of geometry that creates a fluid field of constraction and expansion.
"the mystery of what is beyond brings more life to the city"
Large scale models, studio lighting, high F-number, long exposure photography.
No Computer Rendering. No Photoshopping.