Chicoco Radio is a floating media platform that will be built with and for the residents of the waterfront slum communities of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. The structure is conceived as a linear public space connecting land and water. The design is part of the “African Water Cities” project, which investigates the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of rapid urbanization and climate change in African coastal cities. A participatory venture using locally produced materials, Chicoco Radio will be the community’s voice and will include recording studios, a computer center, meeting rooms, cinema, and an amphitheater.
This project addresses a strategy to strengthen mangrove forests along coastlines to reinforce the natural protection of the coastal communities against the threat of tsunamis. This issue with global relevance is taken up with Miami as a case study. The project shows the high capacity of the plant structure to break down the wave’s energy in comparison to vertical walls.
This project for a public park centers on creating spaces around and above a series of water reservoirs. Architectural form takes inspiration from the site’s history, surrounding topography, and structure of the existing tanks and pools, resulting in an intervention with minimal environmental impact. Special attention is given to water management, using recycling technologies involving rainwater and grey water harvesting through simple systems for irrigation of the park.
Children’s House is founded on an alternative educational model, offering activities that find solutions to the real problems of the population in a rural community. The curriculum includes instruction in agriculture, farming and building construction, in addition to normal course work. The school’s design – arranged by Fundación la Concepción and self-built by the community – proposes the use of cement-reinforced compacted blocks using local earth.
The Lali Gurans orphanage and library addresses the needs of an under-served rural population. In a context lacking basic infrastructure, the new facility utilizes low-technology renewable energy and material resources, local craftsmanship, and vertical gardens for insulation and food, thus significantly reducing operating costs. The project also addresses the needs of the nearby communities by offering a library accessible to the public and a seismically stable refuge area during earthquakes.
An Eco-Park for sustainable research and technology that will promote small and middle-sized enterprises is planned for Ortadoğu Sanayi ve Ticaret Merkezi (OSTİM), an industrial zone located in Ankara. The project aims to maintain the site’s landscape. Offices, conference and workshop spaces are embedded within the terraced landscape. The building – situated at the edge of the site – constitutes a landmark for the area and connects with the terraces at different levels. Designed to create a pleasant communal space for its users with minimum interference to the natural context, the project incorporates various sustainable features including natural lighting, geothermal heat pumps, green roofs, passive ventilation and water efficiency/irrigation systems.
The Beirut Pine Forest is a green space extending over more than two hectares with a natural ecosystem typical of the Mediterranean region including native tree species, shrubs, and plants. The unique green space known locally as Horsh El Snoubar or Bois de Pins is located in the middle of the capital and considered the largest botanical garden in Lebanon. A rehabilitation plan has been proposed to develop the facilities and services needed in the park for opening it to the public and promoting it for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while at the same time maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats. Environmental standards and urban needs will be integrated in a seamless way, enhancing the sense of belonging to the wider community.
Hy-Fi is a cluster of circular towers formed using reflective bricks, designed for and commissioned by the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. The structure uses recent advances in biotechnology combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering to create new building materials that are almost fully organically grown and compostable. Beyond the use of technological innovations, the tower challenges perceptual expectations through unexpected relationships of patterns, color, and light.
The research project Sustainable Incremental Construction Unit (SICU) is a response to the housing challenge in the rapidly-urbanizing capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The project is process-oriented and aims to both explore and implement specific construction techniques to tangibly upgrade the city’s housing stock. Whereas the first phase of the process was framed by collaboration between academia, local administration, and inhabitants, the second phase is specifically focused on the development of a prototype – a purposefully incomplete structure that is both affordable and rapid to assemble. Close to 90% of the building components including prefabricated concrete elements and lightweight eucalyptus frames are prefabricated and produced by micro and small-scale enterprises, creating the opportunity for skilled employment and capacity building. The housing unit is a “half-ready construction” where the homeowners will be able to finish the construction themselves, installing building components and finishes according to their needs.
This design proposal repositions water infrastructure as a civic project. Facing a significant shortage of water in an arid region, local drainage systems are incapable of handling and collecting the water that floods the Las Vegas valley when it rains. Poreform, a porous concrete surface poured in place with fabric formwork is capable of rapid saturation and slow release, and reframes water as a valuable resource rather than a liability.
Main author of the “Chicoco Radio: Community building designed for urban flooding” project in Port Harcourt, Nigeria will present his…
Board of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction (l-r): Rolf Soiron, Roland Walker, Simon Upton, Enrique …
The Holcim Awards Silver 2014 winning project for North America addresses the vulnerability of New York City to coastal …