Beautiful and spatially relevant structures that work in unison with the local context and culture
What is an Uplifting Place?
Building and infrastructure design projects must display a high degree of context awareness, in terms of geography, ethnography, beauty, form and space.
Newly designed elements are responsive towards the specificities of the place and make an overall positive contribution. Design proposals enhance the existing place by leveraging on contextual environmental conditions and biophilia to increase quality and aesthetics.
How can we achieve this?
- Maximise context value through resource and existing stock use whenever possible
- Maximise flexibility and adaptability
- Maximise context interconnectivity and integration
- Maximise quality and enhance aesthetics as a means to inspire, trigger appreciation, care and sense of belonging
Articulated Site in Colombia
Articulated Site in Colombia is a perfect integration between built environment and the site context, generating a place that is lived and cherished by the community. The project carefully analyzed and factored in the pre-existing infrastructures, site topography and even the site history. Where there was a barren brownfield with unused tanks, a park is created with attractive and light-filled spaces for activities, surrounded by biophilic elements as green areas and water.
Hydropuncture in Mexico
The Hydropuncture in Mexico establishes an uplifting public space with great social impact, while realigning the community with the traditional water culture. While the main purpose of the project is acting as an infiltration and flood management system for a water stressed area, the public structure is created with a new commons mentality, becoming a green oasis as well as a space for organized social activities and leisure.
Global Flora in USA
Beautifully integrated in the green areas of Wellesley College, Global Flora in USA is a greenhouse that lives up to its nature preservation and educational purpose by reducing the means needed for the enclosure and designing a net zero building. The three biomes dry, temperate, and humid support each other through passive air and heat exchange, pretty much as it would happen in nature. The project is sustainable in terms of structure, form, and system, and provides a bio-friendly, enjoyable public environment that promotes immersion in nature and elevates the spirit of visitors.
Green-Blue Network in China
To address the climate crisis, our infrastructure needs to extend beyond single-purpose design and promote ecosystem regeneration as well as social services. The primary need addressed is the revitalization of existing infrastructure, transforming it into a civic space, as well as integrating nature. Green-Blue Network in China overcomes the old urban squalor by realizing an efficient and desirable nature-based solution that appeals to Shenzhen’s citizens and is highly valued for its lush vegetation, clean air, and vistas of the water. The design integrates flood control, wastewater treatment, nature restoration as well as civic spaces.
Secondary school with passive ventilation system in Burkina Faso
In the words of project architect Francis Kéré, “in the eyes of the people of Burkina Faso, a schoolhouse is something introduced from Europe and therefore must be made of glass, concrete, and steel”. The Secondary School in Gando village overturns this colonial paradigm and proposes a building that assets local cultural traditions and is harmoniously integrated in its context, understood by its users, and cherished. The community engagement process addressed local perceptions that clay is unstable and cheap by demonstrating the building’s strength and delivering architectural beauty.
Urban remediation and civic infrastructure hub in Brazil
The Urban Remediation and Civic Infrastructure Hub in Brazil is multifunctional and delivers enjoyable civic infrastructure in an otherwise segregated neighborhood of São Paulo’s Paraisopolis favela. The Fábrica de Música intervention demonstrates how lives can be improved in megacities, specifically for people living in informal settlements. In full consideration of the topography of the place, the plan implements sustainable building solutions, and integrates cultural and sport opportunities, water management, landscaping, and urban agriculture while creating an enriching and inspirational focus for civic life.
City hall and civic center recycled from former factory in Belgium
In urban developed environments, it is not unusual to be surrounded by ugly and inhumane physical environments. Combining stark sustainable strategies with eye-catching formal design and organic shapes is assured to produce spaces that are pleasant and enrich the human experience of how space can be used. The City Hall and Civic Center for Oostkamp in Belgium reinvigorates an old factory building through adaptive reuse combined with a welcoming design. Municipal and public welfare services are combined in an uplifting space, enriched with bike paths, greenery, and art works. Reusing the space also keeps the civic center in a central location, the onion layering design and cloud ceilings reduce energy demands for heating.
Micro library in Indonesia
A place appropriate intervention and a graceful design that educates the public about the environmental qualities of the project is a main feature of the Micro Library project in Bandung, Indonesia. Conceived to fill the gap in educational facilities in the region and promote literacy, the intervention is minimally disruptive to the nature it is immersed in. Reading spaces as well as the pavilion external covered spaces are attractive and inviting. Biophilic design features are integrated throughout, bringing beauty, nature, and context together.
Metropol Parasol in Spain
History meets public space meets beauty in this uplifting place example. Metropol Parasol in Spain revitalizes a market area through a multifunctional structure, that reinforces the farmer’s market character of this space, and emphasizes the rich heritage of the site via a dedicated museum below ground that uncovers archaeological sites. Leisure opportunities and panoramic viewings complement this infrastructure, increasing the overall appeal and user experience of this social hub. The dynamic and contemporary structure of engineered timber has a strong biomimicry valence, offering a bio-based material in a mushroom-like shape, but also dynamic space fruition and shelter in the hot city of Seville.
Learn more about our goals
Structures that minimize resource use, avoid emissions, and embed solutions to repair ecosystems and restore biodiversity.
Financial planning that combines short term project feasibility with long term circular value creation
Inclusive and affordable living environments that cultivate equity, health and well-being.