Future of a City: Liquid Era
Anna Andronova, University College London (UCL), Bartlett School of Architecture, London, United Kingdom & Kazan State University of Architecture & Engineering, Kazan, Russia
My LafargeHolcim Next Generation Award winning project “Liquid Era” speculated on digital futures through integration with natural environment in Kazan, Russia. Urban climatology and hydrology dissertation studies in the Bartlett School gave me more in-depth insight on how these complex natural processes are working. Two years after my graduation, our city authorities show particular interest in development of Volga adjacent project areas in collaboration with my university; and as I come back to start practicing, I am accepting the challenge.
Site offers opportunities to do an unconventional project with the new digital tools on board: it inherits a unique hydrology of Kuybyshev Reservoir, the largest in Europe and vast obsolete infrastructure. My objective is to propose a resilient and sustainable waterscape, able to overcome predicted stress conditions through improved water management, integrating with regional healthcare complex. However, there is always limited funding for the research stage, which is essential in such ambitious intention.
In my vision, production should go beyond just built environment: not materialize an object as such, but materialize its performance. Architecture may remain “liquid”: rainbows, fog, frost, gravity, shadows and data will be my primary materials. Water in architecture will be explored in its full cycle as a force for form-making (plasticity and weathering), energy generation (streams and waves), transportation (hydraulic and floating dynamics), biological performance (growth, sanitation, healing), as well as leakage, material degradation and decay.