Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith of MOS Architects are participating in the US Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Biennale. The Holcim Awards Silver winning architects for their locally-adapted orphanage and library in Nepal are part of The Architectural Imagination, an exhibition of speculative architectural projects designed for specific sites in Detroit.
The exhibition curated by Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon emphasizes the importance and value of the architectural imagination in shaping forms and spaces into exciting future possibilities. Detroit was the birthplace of the automobile industry, the free-span factory floor, the concrete paved road, as well as Motown and techno music. The iconic city was once a center of American imagination – not only for the products it made but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle. Like many post-industrial cities, Detroit is coping with a changed urban core that for decades has generated much thinking in urban planning: and motivated the Holcim Foundation to hold its 5th International Forum on Sustainable Construction in the city in April 2016.
The Architectural Imagination presents new speculative architectural projects designed for four specific sites in Detroit, but with far-reaching application in other cities around the world. The sites typify a variety of urban conditions requiring architects to re-purpose existing industrial structures and revitalize urban precincts.
The MOS proposal for the Dequindre Cut works with and within the overlapping and disaggregated connections between urban and social form. Low-rise high-density development connects existing conditions with a new urban fabric. A series of common spaces link the community with the Cut and the existing street system. The structure and circulation are based on the economical models of highway and parking structures.
The open framework creates spaces for recreation and social gathering that are owned collectively and work outside conventional notions of property and lots. The fringe between interior and exterior including roofs, ramps and porches, provide informal areas for interaction with neighbors. The Architectural Imagination as part of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale continues until Sunday, November 27, 2016.
Public invitation to attend panel discussion at the Venice Biennale
The Holcim Foundation invites members of the public to attend a panel discussion featuring Alejandro Aravena, Jonathan Ledgard, Milinda Pathiraja, and Robert Mardini at the 15th International Architecture Biennale on Friday, November 25 at 17:00. “Reporting from the Front: Sustainability vs. Security” is a concluding feature of the Biennale, the panel will discuss how growing security concerns will add complexity to the challenges to which architecture must respond.
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Hilary Sample of MOS Architects received a Global Finalist 2015 certificate for “Children’s Ziggurat”, the Lali Gurans orphanage and library in Kathmandu, Nepal. The project for a locally-adapted earthquake resistant structure addresses the needs of an under-served rural population with a facility that uses low-technology renewable energy and material resources, thus significantly reducing operating costs. As part of the celebration of the Global Awards Bronze prize in New York City, the certificate was handed over by Marc Angélil, member of the Global Awards jury 2015 and member of the Board of the Holcim Foundation.
Marc Angélil, Professor of Architecture & Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), praised the project for managing to combine a social framework with a physical one in a seemingly seamless way. The structure has commenced construction and even before completion, provided a seismically stable location with toilets, water and living area for 20-30 local people who have been displaced from their homes, following the 7.8-magnitude quake in April 2015 that destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and severely affected rural areas across the region.
Hilary Sample announced that the Colorado-based “Seeds of Change Foundation” (SOCF) established by Christopher Gish to support the project has been granted charity status that will assist the organization in financing the project to completion. She confirmed the team’s conviction to ensure the project would be finalized, and also presented the project to the Awards Lab where 53 “Next Generation” winners of the Awards competition in 2014 gathered to exchange ideas about the future of sustainable construction prior to the Global Awards Bronze hand-over and dinner.See more
Lali Gurans Orphanage and public library is an example of how personal drama can release positive energy – and how clever architecture can be combined with sustainable systems to form an optimal whole.
The orphanage is designed to function almost in complete self-sufficiency: Enough energy for day-to-day operation, in the form of electricity and methane gas, will be produced on the small site – as well as sufficient fruit and vegetables for 50 children and 12 adult staff. Natural filter systems will be used to recycle greywater; mainly passive systems will be used to cool and heat the spaces. The structure is designed to withstand major seismic activity – up to an 8.0 magnitude earthquake – which explains why the concrete skeleton makes such a massive impression.
Christopher Gish set up the “Seeds of Change Foundation” (SOCF) and, together with a friend in Nepal, founded the NGO “Prakriti Ko Ghar” (PKG), the local organization which will later be in charge of the home. Christopher Gish explains: “We must inspire children and equip them well through education.”
A powerful earthquake that struck northwest of Kathmandu on Saturday April 25 caused enormous suffering and devastation. The 7.8-magnitude quake destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and severely affected rural areas across the region. The orphanage’s raft foundation and its double exoskeleton frame of 300mm reinforced concrete were designed to be resilient in this earthquake-prone region. The partially-completed Lali Gurans orphanage in Gagalphedi, around 10 kilometers from Kathmandu, is providing a seismically-stable location with toilets, water and living area for 20-30 local people who have been displaced from their homes.
Kishor Lohani, Director of NGO “Prakriti Ko Ghar” (PKG), the local organization which will later be in charge of the orphanage, explained that the partially-completed structure was currently providing a temporary shelter following the earthquake. “The earthquake that struck northwest of Kathmandu caused enormous suffering and devastation. The orphanage’s raft foundation and its double exoskeleton frame of 300mm reinforced concrete were designed to be resilient in this earthquake-prone region. The partially-completed Lali Gurans orphanage presently provides a seismically-stable location with toilets, water and living area for 20-30 local residents who have been displaced from their homes,” he said.
As one of the three main Holcim Awards winners for Asia Pacific in 2014, “Children's Ziggurat” automatically qualified as a finalist in the Global Holcim Awards 2015. All 15 finalist project teams were asked to submit an updated and more comprehensive entry that was evaluated by a global jury in March 2015.
The results of the global phase of the 4th Holcim Awards competition were announced on April 20, 2015.
The construction phase for the Lali Gurans orphanage and library is continuing, with more material on site for further work on the building frame. The design invests in local artisanship by following vernacular building techniques, and also uses locally-sourced building materials to minimize embodied energy and maximize lifespan.
The project is a key initiatives funded by the Colorado-based Seeds of Change Foundation (SOCF). The foundation was created to support tangible change in developing societies through education and sustainability. SOCF is supporting the Lali Gurans orphanage and library which provides rent-free seismic-resistant housing and education for the orphans of Nepal. Utilizing self-sustaining technologies to produce its own food, water, fuel, and shelter, the orphanage will also provide state-of-the-art lesson plans and educational resources to children and neighboring communities; a sizable public library in a country where such availability is unprecedented; and higher education outreach programs and online degree courses.
The building uses blended cement based on the use of fly ash, a waste of coal-fired power stations to conserve virgin materials and reduce processing energy. Window frames, built-in furniture, and freestanding elements are made from durable, locally-sourced teak.
The building’s entire electricity needs are met by 15 x 175W solar panels. Two solid-dome anaerobic digesters (5m diameter) provide gas for heating, cooking, and lighting. The digesters are a common building element in the area, and will operate using kitchen, agricultural, and community waste. Drinking water is sourced from ground and rainwater supplies that pass through a UV filtration system and stored in large tanks.
Organic food will be produced by the two rooftop gardens, 80 fixed drip-irrigation planters, and more than 300 vertical hanging planters – all fed with bio-slurry and utilizing the building’s gray water. Fruit trees in the garden together with vegetables and herbs grown in planters will provide sufficient supply for the orphanage’s needs.See more
The winners of the global phase of the 4th International Holcim Awards competition will be revealed on April 20, 2015. The results will be announced via the Holcim Awards website.
The USD 2 million Holcim Awards is the most significant international competition for sustainable design. The jury composed of renowned specialists from around the world and headed by Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA) will evaluate 15 projects out of more than 6,000 submissions. The finalists are the winners of the Holcim Awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards 2014 in each of the five competition regions of the world.
The finalist projects competing for one of the three Global Holcim Awards prizes are located in Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA and were entered by authors from these countries as well as from Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. They reflect a broad variety of the current interpretation of sustainable construction combined with architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life beyond technical intervention.
The submissions will be evaluated by the Global Holcim Awards 2015 jury including Marc Angélil, Senior Dean of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Alejandro Aravena, Principal of Elemental (Chile), Maria Atkinson, Founding Director of the Australian Green Building Council (Australia), Meisa Batayneh Maani, Principal of maisam architects and engineers (Jordan), Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International (Ecuador), Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA), Matthias Schuler, Principal of Transsolar(Germany), and Rolf Soiron, Chairman of the Board of the Holcim Foundation (Switzerland).
The winners of the global prizes will share prize money of USD 350,000. Previous winners of the tri-annual Global Holcim Awards include Bureau EAST (Los Angeles, USA), Centola + Associati (Salerno, Italy), Coelacanth and Associates (Tokyo, Japan), Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten (Dusseldorf, Germany), Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany), L’OEUF (Montreal, Canada), Public Architecture (San Francisco, USA), Proyectos Arqui5 (Caracas, Venezuela), realities:united (Berlin, Germany), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and Urban-Think Tank (São Paulo, Brazil).
About the Holcim Foundation and Holcim
The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation promotes and illustrates the strength of diverse strategies of achieving greater sustainability of the built environment. As part of its approach, the Foundation publishes booklets on outstanding examples of applied sustainable construction. The initiatives of the Holcim Foundation include the USD 2 million Holcim Awards – the most significant international competition for sustainable design.
Since it was established in 2003, the Foundation has been supported by Holcim in more than 70 countries worldwide and is independent of commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, including services.See more
Project client Christopher Gish from the Seeds of Change Foundation (USA) considers the engagement with children on the issues of sustainability as the most significant impact of the Holcim Awards Silver winning project by Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith of MOS Architects (USA). “Children’s Ziggurat: Locally-adapted orphanage and library” in Kathmandu, Nepal addresses the needs of an under-served rural population.
The Lali Gurans orphanage and library in Kathmandu, Nepal by Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith of MOS Architects in New York, USA won Silver. The project addresses the needs of an under-served rural population with a facility that uses low-technology renewable energy and material resources, thus significantly reducing operating costs. Vertical gardens and permaculture provide thermal insulation as well as food for cooking. The project addresses the isolation of the orphanage as an institution by integrating the needs of the nearby communities through a library accessible to the public and a seismically-stable refuge area.Read more »
The jury appreciated the simplicity and robustness of the structure, a reinforced fly-ash concrete frame establishing a three-dimensional matrix for manifold functions, including a range of public amenities. Specific spatial qualities are introduced within the structure, offering children the opportunity to discover, not unlike “Alice in Wonderland”, spaces full of surprise and mystery – roof top terraces, hanging gardens, majestic halls and hidden chambers. The building ultimately manages to combine a social framework with a physical one in a seemingly seamless way.
The Lali Gurans orphanage and library in Kathmandu 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, thus significantly reducing operating costs. Using local construction techniques and materials, the design invests in indigenous workmanship. Vertical gardens and permaculture provide thermal insulation as well as food for cooking. Aiming to overcome the image of “the orphanage” as institution, the project addresses the needs of the nearby communities by offering a library accessible to the public and a seismically stable refuge area during earthquakes.
The site for the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Library in Gagalphedi, Kathmandu was selected for its clean air and water, safety in seclusion, and economical land value. The building will vastly improve the orphanage facilities, while cutting operating costs in half, allowing the organization to play a prominent role in the community as they proceed into the future.
The design invests in local artisanship, by following vernacular building techniques and employing simple, sturdy, locally-available materials to minimize embodied energy and maximize lifespan. Its concrete made with fly ash avoids waste, conserves virgin materials, and reduces processing energy. In contrast to local concrete buildings finished in stucco, the orphanage’s exposed concrete expresses the typical construction technique. Window frames, built-in furniture and freestanding elements are made from durable, locally-sourced teak.
Kathmandu is expecting a major earthquake. The orphanage’s raft foundation, and its double exoskeleton frame of 300mm reinforced concrete is highly engineered as an area of refuge for the entire local community.
Thermal mass mediates Kathmandu’s hot days and cold nights, absorbing radiation throughout the day and releasing it at night. During winter, the low sun penetrates deeper, providing warmth. Operable windows allow inhabitants to control temperature and air quality. Larger spaces have cross-ventilation, and the main stairwell provides stack ventilation. Although the orphanage is well-shaded from direct sunlight by its brise-soleil and planting, its glazing allows for plentiful indirect light reducing electrical use.
Fifteen 175W solar panels provide the building’s entire electricity usage. Two 5m and 6m diameter solid-dome anaerobic digesters provide gas for heating, cooking and lighting. They are common to the area and will run on kitchen, agricultural, and community waste. Drinking water is collected from the ground and rainwater, passes through a UV filtration system, and will be stored in large tanks.
Organic food will be produced by the two rooftop gardens, 80 fixed drip-irrigation planters, and more than 300 vertical hanging planters, fed with bio-slurry and graywater. Fruit trees in the garden will complement vegetables and herbs grown in planters lining the exoskeleton, social spaces, exterior circulation, and roof garden. Together they will provide enough capacity to fulfill the orphanage’s needs.Download project entry poster (PDF, 5.01 MB) »See more
The Lali Gurans orphanage and library in Kathmandu addresses the needs of an under-served rural population. In a context …
Project client Christopher Gish from the Seeds of Change Foundation (USA) considers the engagement with children on the …
The world’s first self-sustaining seismic-resistant community center, orphanage, and library. Created by the Seeds of …
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