By Samael Ezio Coco
At the beginning of the 21 century, we should think about wood like the new gold, which is why the main image - conceptual drawing – has been rendered in gold. The main image is an artistic representation that shows that all the components can be disassembled. Some parts, curtain walls for instance, can be rearranged during the life of the building, acting as a critique of buildings that are still growing in concrete, with poor flexibility. The partitions are depicted as flying, spreading this new approach, and a bearing structure holds this idea deeply into the ground.
It’s a metaphor, but it’s not too far from reality. We are in an era that, thanks to the growth of the collective conscience, is thinking ahead about how to balance the necessities of the planet in order to live sustainably. Science tells us that we don’t have much time, and we need to take much bigger action than just realize that the problem exist. Every drop matter. The construction industry has a role to play and as architects we can help reduce waste. One way to do this is to build with wood, the only material that absorbs CO2.
The architects role is to improve the quality of life for everybody. Given increasing populations and constant urbanization, we need to respond with a kaleidoscopic point of view. A plan of action is needed to preserve the freedom of movement through the city. As you will see in the first A2 - Context & Plans - The free designing of the ground plan gives the way, and a ramp opens another way to the existing “ Walk in the sky ” of the Aylesbury Estate, then a network of stairs and landings connect different areas, suggesting the idea that the building can still grow. Second and third A2 - axonometric and 3D views - explain the architecture of the spaces, and show some possible uses of the building. The last one - Section & Details – displays the design through the section and shows the bearing structure composed of LVL Kerto-S beams and pillars with steel joints, on wich the opaque partition is easily bolted. The partition consists of a sandwich of waterproof plywood panels and recycled cardboard as insulation. The windows are attached with the same technique. All the weight is hooked to the soil through screw piles, a process that will reduce time, machinery, and that represents a solution to our addiction to concrete.
This housing project has been designed to create a symbiotic relationship between building and context, both on small and big scales. It’s designed for people willing to share facilities with the community, and is therefore inexpensive, while encouraging people to come together. Just one example of how architecture can work to enhance communities. With efforts like these, it might be possible to build a more harmonious world, and enter a new golden age.